Brick by Brick: Building Social Capital Through Artist Agreements in Community Theater


Author/Creator ORCID



Type of Work



MA in Arts Administration

Citation of Original Publication


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This paper highlights the importance of creating effective written agreements between authors, composers, lyricists, and nonprofit community theaters. Nonprofit community theaters, by assuming responsibility to produce agreements that benefit and protect both the artist and the arts organization, create relationships that strengthen social capital, supporting strong communities and a development of the local creative economy. By addressing specific agreement protections for both the artist and the organization, community theaters can further their mission, establish trust, and avoid legal risk. Nonprofit community theaters can better serve their artists by reducing barriers for agreement negotiations through encouraging legal education, navigating power dynamics, and engaging in active listening. This paper cites research on social capital, copyright law, employed contracts in nonprofit and commercial settings, and creative economic development. The paper concludes with recommendations for nonprofit community theaters when engaging authors, composers, and lyricists in the creation of an original work.