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SMU Arts Survey: Arts Leaders Are Actually Optimistic. Except Dancers.

SMU’s National Center for Arts Research was founded in February this year — with the largest database of arts research in the country — and it”s released the results of its first survey, the Arts Manager Sentiment Survey. The center polled arts leaders across the country about conditions in their own cities and arts disciplines. Coming out of the recession, a majority of arts leaders (the ones who replied to the poll) say they”re optimistic about future audience attendance, increasing revenue and the strength of their own programs. Only dance leaders are pessimistic.

You can find the complete results

Full press release:

SMU’S NATIONAL CENTER FOR ARTS RESEARCH (NCAR) RELEASES RESULTS OF FIRST ARTS LEADER SENTIMENT SURVEY

DALLAS (SMU) – Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) has released the results of its Arts Manager Sentiment Survey, which collected and analyzed national arts leaders’ opinions on the health of the nation’s cultural sector across a range of disciplines. The survey results indicated that, overall, arts leaders have a positive outlook for the future of their organizations in areas like attendance and revenue streams.

Launched in February 2013 by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business in collaboration with the Cultural Data Project (CDP) and numerous other partners, NCAR is the first center of its kind established to analyze the largest database of arts research ever assembled and to act as a catalyst for the transformation and sustainability of the national arts and cultural community. The recently released Arts Leader Sentiment Survey is the first step in the Center’s mission to be the leading provider of evidence-based insights to enable arts and cultural leaders to overcome challenges and increase the impact of their institutions.

“While we can easily look at whether revenue and expenses went up or down over time, we want to dig deeper to understand why,” said Dr. Zannie Voss, NCAR director. “We expect that arts leaders’ perceptions about the environment, their confidence in meeting expectations, and their sense of optimism will affect their decision-making, and ultimately performance.”

The Arts Manager Sentiment Survey was administered from February to March 2013 to arts leaders across the nation, spanning the disciplines of the visual arts, arts education, dance, music (non-symphony), opera, performing arts centers, symphonies and theaters. The survey addressed seven distinct issues: the leaders’ perceptions of local conditions in the cultural sector, and their outlooks on attendance, earned revenue, contributed revenue, program quality, risk taking and strategic change. According to the key insights developed from analyses of the survey results, the nation’s arts leaders generally have a brighter outlook on the future of their local cultural sector conditions. Among the disciplines, only dance leaders perceived its past conditions as more favorable than future conditions. The majority of leaders polled are optimistic about their future attendance levels, future levels of earned and contributed revenue, and the continued strengthening of their programming. Considering this high level of optimism, arts leaders are also planning to take risks at a similar or higher level than in past years.

The complete results of NCAR’s Arts Leader Sentiment Survey are available online at http://blog.smu.edu/artsresearch/arts-leader-sentiment-survey/.

 

About the National Center for Arts Research

The first of its kind in the nation, SMU’s National Center for Arts Research was established by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business. NCAR will analyze the largest database of arts research ever assembled and investigate important issues in arts management and patronage, while making its findings available to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers and the general public. NCAR’s goal is to create the most complete picture of the health of the arts sector in the U.S. and to act as a catalyst for the transformation and sustainability of the national arts and cultural community.

NCAR is able to pursue analysis of this unprecedented collation of data through a number of partnerships, including Cultural Data Project, Theatre Communications Group, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Census Bureau and the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Dr. Zannie Voss, chair and professor of arts management and arts entrepreneurship in the Meadows and Cox schools, serves as NCAR’s director and Dr. Glenn Voss, the Marilyn R. and Leo F. Corrigan, Jr. Endowed Professor of Marketing at Cox, serves as research director.

 

 

 

 

  • ClintonTwiss

    Dr. Zannie Voss’s comments in the third paragraph are refreshing after the robot-speak that clutters the rest of this release. Such annual report lingo, which seems to signal the involvement of SMU’s Cox School of Biz, is painful to read re: the arts, even considering the data-driven mission of NCAR at SMU. “To act as a catalyst for transformation and sustainability” … “To be the leading provider of evidence-based insights to enable arts and cultural leaders to overcome challenges and increase the impact of their institutions” … ? If NCAR doesn’t want true artists to shudder at its “evidence-based insights,” let’s have some graceful expression.