Arts Incubators by the Numbers in 2021:
- Most art incubators have been in operation for over 25 years.
- 30% of the organizations that participated in the survey reported that the primary purpose of the organization is to serve as an arts incubator.
- Another 64% reported that that the organization has at least one program/component that serves as an arts incubator (but it is not the primary purpose of the organization).
- Only 6% reported that they provide funding that supports the delivery of or participation in incubator programming offered by another organization (but does not offer programming directly).
- 84% of the survey respondents are nonprofit organizations.
- 5% reported an affiliation with a university or a college.
- Full-time incubators (i.e., the primary purpose of the organization) reported a median staff size of four positions.
- 52% of the responding incubators reported that a founder or co-founder remains actively involved with the organization.
- 17% of the respondents reported that it has provided at least one staff member with access to a "train-the-trainer" professional development opportunity that helped shape their arts incubator programming.
- Only 8% of the respondents indicated that they own the facility (or facilities) in which they operate.
- 12% rent (short-term)
- 24% lease (long-term)
- 56% responded that they have a partnership with another organization or receive "in-kind" access to physical space.
- 38% of the responding organizations indicated that their organization serves as an internet access point for the artists and/or arts organizations they serve via a Wi-Fi network or on-site terminals/workstations.
Financials by the Numbers:
- The responding organizations reported that the median operating budget (expenditures) for the current fiscal year was $375,000.
- A median of $45,000 was dedicated to the arts incubator programming.
- Respondents provided a median of $25,000 in funding (e.g., scholarships, grants) to participating organizations and/or individual artists to offset the cost of participation.
- The responding organizations reported that they served a median of 40 individuals through their arts incubator programming during the past year.
- 30% of the organizations reported that their arts incubator programming is specifically designed to serve historically underserved communities.
- 47% of the responding organizations reported that they offer their arts incubator programming for free.
- 40% charge some participants, but not others
- 13% charge all participants in their incubator programming.
- 75% of the responding organizations reported that they will continue to provide access to physical space/facilities in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to virtual programming.
- 58% of the participants reported that they conduct surveys and collect/analyze data from their participants to evaluate the success of their arts incubator programming.
- The responding organizations reported that an average of 83% of their participants typically complete the entirety of the incubator program.
- 52% of the responding organizations track and evaluate the future performance and success of the participants in their arts incubator programming.
Resources: 2021 Profile of Arts Incubators
- Survey Instrument (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
- Survey Results/Raw Data (Microsoft Excel)
- The 147 Participating Arts Incubators Organized by State (Microsoft Excel)
- Photo Album of Selected Incubators and Their Creative Spaces
- Universe of Arts Incubators GIS Interactive Map (also embedded on this page)
Directions on how to use the GIS Interactive Map:
- Use zoom-in and zoom-out feature
- Click on each node to access pop-up windows
- Click on “Browse Features” to access detailed information about each arts incubator within a cluster.
- Use forward (►) and backward (◄ ) arrows to navigate and explore information for each arts incubator.
Describe the current perception of your arts incubator programming
Key words/phrases: artist, perception funders, art incubator, incubator programming, many people, fort worth
What future plans do you have for your arts incubator programming?
Key words/phrases: incubator, artist, future plan, maker space, studio space, grant funding, next step, art incubator programming, paid staff
Additional Arts Incubators Publications from the Arts Incubation Research Lab:
- The Network Effect of Arts Incubators: A Geospatial Perspective
- Arts Incubators, Entrepreneurial Activity, and Digital Inequality in the COVID-19 Age: A Digital Divide Report
The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not represent the views of the National Endowment for the Arts Office of Research & Analysis or the National Endowment for the Arts. The National Endowment for the Arts does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included in this material and is not responsible for any consequences of its use. This NEA Research Lab is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (Award#: 1861816-38-C-20).