Baseline Demographic Survey of the Local Arts Field: Executive Summary
To support a full creative life for all, we at Americans for the Arts are committed to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, and equitable nation.
In May of 2017, Americans for the Arts deployed a 17-question anonymous demographic survey to 9,026 affiliated individuals representing the local arts field as part of our ongoing commitment to pursuing cultural equity. The survey was distributed with an understanding that basic demographics are neither the beginning nor the end of any conversation about equity, but that such anonymous demographic information about our organization and those we serve was crucial to our ability to continue providing the strongest services and ensuring our field is fully supported and sees themselves in our work.
The goal of this survey was to provide Americans for the Arts with a baseline understanding of the demographics of those we directly serve, while also providing the respondents and the local arts field with a broad portrait of field demographics, which we believe both Americans for the Arts and the local arts field have historically lacked.
The overarching results in this report may (or may not be) surprising to individuals who have spent any amount of time inside the local arts field. But it is important to have specific and actionable information about where local arts agencies and others who sit at the intersection of the arts and the broader community do and do not reflect the broad face of America.
Americans for the Arts will use this information to inform and continue to strengthen the field through our strategic planning process, as well as to craft and deploy more effective services, set and pursue goals and objectives around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and provide transparency about our organization, those we serve, and the field at large.
Thank you to all who helped create this survey, and to the 3,074 individuals who completed it. [Executive Summary]