Local Arts Agency Census 2015: 25 Highlights from the LAA Census


Research Abstract
Local Arts Agency Census 2015: 25 Highlights from the LAA Census

In 2015, Americans for the Arts partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct The Local Arts Agency Census, the most comprehensive survey of the local arts agency (LAA) field ever conducted. Its purpose was to illuminate the ever adapting role LAAs play in ensuring the arts have a vital presence in every community.

The survey process was designed by a task force of local arts agency, research, and policy leaders to ensure relevance and rigor. The Census was composed of both a long-form survey and a short-form survey that were sent to the 4,377 LAAs in the United States known to Americans for the Arts. A total of 1,127 LAAs responded (641 submitted the long-form; 486 participated via the short-form), providing invaluable details about their budgets, programs, partnerships, grantmaking, diversity, and staffing. While the overall response rate was 26 percent, the rate of response from large- and mid-sized LAAs was very high, while small and volunteer-driven LAAs were under-represented in the survey respondents.

The most important aspect that all LAAs share is the goal of enabling diverse forms of arts and culture to thrive, ensuring their broad accessibility to the public and building healthier communities through the arts. While LAAs across the country share the same goals and many tactics to achieve them, the LAA Census sheds light on the intricacies of the field. This report, 25 Highlights from the Local Arts Agency Census, offers a broad overview of the findings and paints a portrait of the programs, budgets, and operations of the LAA field as of 2015. 

This report highligths key findings from the Local Arts Agency Census. Visit the Local Arts Agency Census Page to one pagers and other data from the census.

This report provides highlights from key finding of the 2015 Local Arts Agency Census, covering topics on organizational budgets, operations, programs, and services of local arts agencies across the country. 


Cohen, Randy
May 2016

Americans for the Arts
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