Salary Survey Explores Range of Compensation and Diversity in the Local Arts Agency Sector
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, today released findings from a national study of the salaries, benefits, other compensation structures and demographics of Local Arts Agency (LAA) employees. Local arts agencies—which include arts councils, arts commissions, arts service organizations, and other arts enabling organizations—exist to advance the arts at the local level.
Local Arts Agencies Salaries 2013 outlines findings from respondents who anonymously provided salary data on their positions inside LAAs. The survey was conducted in March 2013, with requests for information going out to more than 2,100 of the 5,000 LAAs in the United States. The findings serve as a snapshot of salary and compensation data for the local arts agency field and paint a picture of the high levels of education and demographic composition of these local arts leaders.
- Of the 753 total respondents, 267 were CEOs. These local arts agency heads made an average salary of $78,394 per year in 2012—an amount that has kept pace with inflation. When Americans for the Arts conducted its last salary survey study in 2001, the average CEO salary was $54,309.
- The report indicates a high rate of Caucasian employees among the CEO respondents (92 percent), nearly identical to the national averages of all nonprofits (93 percent).
- Women in the survey were more likely to hold the CEO position (69 percent), which is a slightly higher ratio than nonprofits nationally (62 percent). However, the authors found that women were less likely to hold a CEO position at the larger local arts agencies. In part, because of their underrepresentation at the largest agencies, women CEOs earned an average of $16,000 less than their male counterparts.
- Similar to all nonprofits nationally, more than 60 percent of local arts agency CEOs are in the 45-65 age category.
While LAAs are largely Caucasian at the CEO level, the report highlights a much greater race and gender diversity in the non-senior LAA ranks. Of the14 non-CEO staff positions examined in the survey, 12 have higher rates of diversity than the CEO role. In more than half of the non-CEO positions, women are earning more than men. These findings indicate a possible shift to come in future leadership of the sector.
“The survey suggests that the younger professionals in our sector’s ranks are more diverse than current senior leadership,” said Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts. “To ensure arts organizations maintain remain relevant to their communities, it is essential that we keep these younger leaders engaged and create opportunities for them to grow their careers in the arts.”
“At Americans for the Arts, we are working to ensure the field embraces staff diversity and parity in all forms,” said Robert Lynch, President and CEO of the organization. “Through private and public sector partnerships, as well as programs including our Emerging Leaders Network, we seek to help the arts in America foster a diverse next generation of leaders to ensure equal pay to arts administrators and access to art for everyone. Through expanded field education and leadership efforts in the coming year, we will continue to empower exemplary administrators within our field of all genders, backgrounds, ethnicities, and creeds.”
The survey also identified a number of other trends:
- Local arts agency leaders are highly educated. Ninety-one percent of the respondents of said they have a four-year (or more) advanced college degree.
- While public LAAs (part of the city or county government) have the highest average salaries, private nonprofit LAAs tend to have the highest individual salaries.
- Seventy-four percent of the respondents were between the ages of 35 and 64 (full-time employees had an average age of 52.5 years), with 85 percent receiving health insurance from their agency, and 74 percent having access to a retirement saving plan.
- As one would expect, organizations with larger budget, staff, and service area, offered larger salaries.
The complete survey and findings can be found on the Americans for the Arts website at: http://artsusa.org/LAAsurvey.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org