Annual Profile of Local Arts Agencies

Our new approach to information gathering and reporting about LAAs—the Annual Profile of Local Arts Agencies... yes, it is a survey. It is also, however, quicker and easier than ever before!

  • Most questions are in a simple check-the-box format. Where appropriate, we pre-populate your survey with previously collected information.
  • Each spring, we will ask an annual set of core budget, program, and service questions—followed by rotating modules that dive a little deeper into timely and relevant topics chosen based on feedback from the LAA field. The 2018 supplemental module is about grantmaking and equitable investment.
  • A new LAA Dashboard (Beta version to be released later in 2018) will allow you to run interactive custom visualizations and compare your LAA to its peers. The data collected from the Annual Profile will be used to populate the Dashboard.
  • Participants will receive complimentary access to all online tools and reports.

Survey invitations will go out on May 15, 2018. If you wish to participate and did not receive a link, please write to

To download a sample PDF version of the survey please click here

Local Arts Agency Census Released May 2016

Americans for the Arts partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct The Local Arts Agency Census to illuminate the ever-adapting role our nation’s 4,500 local arts agencies play in ensuring the arts have a vital presence in every community. With surveys collected from more than 1,000 local arts agencies throughout 2015, the census represents the most comprehensive survey to date of the local arts agency (LAA) field.

The Local Arts Agency Census paints the portrait of the programs, budgets, and operations of the LAA field as of 2015.  Below, please find our 25 Highlights Report along with other resources. We will be releasing more topic-based one-page reports throughout the year. The schedule of topics below will help guide you on when to expect future reports.

Visit the Local Arts Agency Census Page to details.

Local Arts Agency Salaries 2013 Research Report

The Local Arts Agency Salaries 2013 research report benchmarks the vast and varied compensation practices of the local arts field in America today. As the previous iteration of this report did when it was published in 2001, the 2013 report will assist LAA executives and employees in evaluating staffing and salary levels, setting pay rates, determining incremental compensation adjustments, and better understanding the varied benefit options and structures currently at play in the field.

Some quick figures from the report:

  • Full-time employees earn an average annual salary of just more than $66,000.
  • 86 percent of the full-time respondents were white and 72 percent were female.
  • Full-time employees had an average approximate age of 52.5 years.
  • 91 percent of full-time employees have a college degree.
  • Salaries of staff at city agencies averaged about $5,000 more than at county agencies and about $10,000 more than at multi-county agencies.
  • Salaries increased by budget size, number of people in the service region, and number of employees.

Read the full report for more details and check out responses to this survey we published on Americans for the Arts ARTSblog.

New Community Visions Initiative

Launching in 2015 with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation—and in partnership with 30 local, state, and national arts organizations, arts agencies, and foundations—the New Community Visions Initiative is an ambitious two-year effort to explore the future of local arts in America and the role of community-based arts enabling organizations, funders, cultural institutions, and artists in shaping that future.

Incorporating twelve regional and national convenings, ten commissioned essays, and the release of a library of resources and digital engagement anchored by three books, this project aims to put forth a forward-looking blueprint for 21st century local arts development that will drive ten years of local-level capacity building, transformation, and change in order to create healthier communities over time. More information