Date of Award

Spring 4-2019

Document Type



Art Education & Crafts

First Advisor

Heather Kuruvilla


The complexity of culture goes beyond artistic expression, nationality, race, and religion. Culture shapes our communications, interactions, and our perceptions of the world around us (Hall, 1989). Studies show that self-awareness of our own culture through exposure to the unfamiliar leads to intercultural competences (Herlo, 2015; Crossman, 2011; Hermond 2018; Hall 1989). As technology, travel, and community diversity continues to shrink our world and diversify our workplaces, these intercultural competences support modern processes of marketing, community engagement, and organizational leadership. This thesis is a case study of the community culture, organizational culture, and structure of arts institutions in Chiusdino, Italy. The thesis is designed to improve my own intercultural competences by placing me outside of my cultural and linguistical comfort zones. Data was collected through interviews and observations of community relationships to discover audience motivations, community cultural diversity, and organizational limitations to adapt to and serve the changing cultural climate of the city of Chiusdino. A narrative approach encourages the observation of slight cultural and communicative nuances vital to understanding the personal relationships between community and the arts, community and shared history, and community and organization. The narrative also serves to uncover prolific, although sometimes seemingly subtle, cultural shifts that directly impact organizational programming and engagement initiatives. iii Analysis of data concludes that intercultural learning is vital to spotting and adjusting to cultural changes within one’s community and organization, and an unwillingness to adapt to cultural change is correlated to the decline of organizational relevance and efficiency.