Clear all

3 results found

reorder grid_view

Pandemic Priorities: Exploring unemployment and demographic characteristics of arts and culture workforces and artists across the U.S.

March 18, 2022

For over 10 years, SMU DataArts has studied the demographic makeup of arts and culture workforces and boards to help organizations better understand themselves and the communities in which they serve. From Los Angeles to Houston, from to museum professionals, we have surveyed demographic characteristics related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, workplace perceptions, and more. While the results of these localized studies are very beneficial to participating organizations and their local communities, it is difficult to use this data to generalize about the state of the entire arts and culture sector in the United States.In 2021, we extended our demographics work beyond just our own studies and evaluated national data about the sector in an effort to gain deeper understanding about the makeup of the aggregate arts and culture workforce. Using data from the United States Census Bureau, in partnership with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), via their survey known as the Current Population Survey (CPS), we are now able to assess the demographic characteristics of not only those employed in the sector but also those who are unemployed on a near real-time basis.This report explores the demographic characteristics of arts and culture workforces, both employed and unemployed, and its appendix provides contextual information about the Current Population Survey's applications and limitations as related to the arts and culture sector. Additionally, this analysis will look specifically at artists employed beyond just the arts and culture sector to better understand the larger ecosystem. We start in January 2020 to establish a baseline of pre-pandemic employment characteristics and track the monthly progression through January 2022. 

When Will Arts Attendance Return? How Vaccination Rates May Impact Performing Arts Ticket Sales Through March 2022

December 1, 2021

In this update, we reexamine the impact of COVID-19 on performing arts ticket sales for 51 organizations, using actual purchase data for January 1, 2018 – September 30, 2021.  The analysis updates the results we reported last month, which examined ticket sales data through June 30, 2021.  At that time, we estimated the total losses in the nonprofit performing arts industry attributable to the pandemic through December 2021 to likely exceed $3.2B, which dwarfs the $400M allocated as part of the Paycheck Protection Program. That estimate is unchanged by the current results.  We also estimated that lagging vaccination rates cost this industry around $10M per month for every unrealized percentage point in vaccination rates.  This negative effect for lagging vaccination rates is also largely unchanged in our analyses, even though the results clearly point to diminishing effects as vaccination rates increase towards 100%.

The Alchemy of High-Performing Arts Organizations, Part II: A Spotlight on Organizations of Color

March 1, 2021

This paper, based on research conducted during August and September of 2020, shares findings from a second phase of research investigating the elements of successful strategies employed by high-performing arts organizations. Phase I, conducted in early 2020, examined the strategies employed by 10 visual and performing arts organizations that financially outperformed others and 10 that once performed poorly but engineered a turnaround. It also explored the conditions in which these strategies appeared to succeed.Phase II explores whether findings similar to those of Phase I would emerge with high-performing organizations in the performing and community-based arts sectors that primarily serve communities of color,1 with lower average budget size than those in the initial cohort, and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the pandemic and key differences in organizational characteristics, many of the elements described by leaders of these organizations of color were identical to those that emerged in Phase I while others were depicted quite differently, and several new elements and connections emerged.