Dallas, TX / March 29, 2023 — SMU DataArts announced today that Research Director Glenn Voss, Ph.D., is retiring, effective May 31, 2023. Jen Benoit-Bryan, Ph.D., will assume the role of Research Director on June 1, 2023. Benoit-Bryan will also hold a position as Research Professor in the Division of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Voss has made the decision to retire after leading the research efforts for SMU DataArts for 11 years, since its founding as the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) in 2012. During his tenure, the organization made major advancements in applying data modeling and analysis techniques to the key questions facing the arts sector.
Voss, who originally hatched the idea for NCAR, imagined how disparate sets of secondary data could be connected to model the country’s arts and culture ecosystem. This led to the creation of methodology to help major funders, like Bloomberg Philanthropies, understand the impact of their program initiatives, as well as the development of the KIPI Dashboard, which allows CDP-users to understand how their metrics compare to peers in similar cities and has been accessed by over 10,000 organizations since its launch in 2016.
“SMU DataArts was fortunate to have benefited from Glenn’s dedication, ingenuity and intellectual firepower for over a decade,” said Samuel S. Holland, Algur H. Meadows Dean of the SMU Meadows School of the Arts. “His contributions to the organization have made a lasting impact on the industry. He will be greatly missed, but we are excited to welcome Dr. Jen Benoit-Bryan as our new Research Director to continue to build upon his legacy.”
Jen Benoit-Bryan will join SMU DataArts on June 1, 2023 after serving as President of Slover Linett Audience Research. She has led that team by prioritizing research strategies that pull in new voices, that are collaborative, that co-create with communities, and that spark and support lasting change in the arts and culture sector. During her time at Slover Linett, Benoit-Bryan worked on wide-ranging multi-year projects including the Museums Moving Forward Initiative, the National Academy of Sciences, the LA Phil, the High Line, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Carnegie Hall, Washington National Opera, Ballet Austin, Dallas Zoo and the Central Park Conservatory, among many others. As an expert in statistical social research, she consults internally and externally on research design and advances the use of new tools and advanced techniques for analysis.
“Jen brings a wealth of field knowledge, research talent, and experience, and the deep respect of peers around the country,” said SMU DataArts Director Zannie Voss. “We share a passion for providing and engaging organizations and individuals with the evidence-based insights needed to collectively build strong, vibrant and equitable arts communities. The SMU DataArts team is extremely fortunate to welcome her, and we are excited by the prospects for future research that will come under her leadership.”
Incoming Research Director, SMU DataArts
ABOUT SMU DATAARTS
SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, is a joint project of the Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. The mission of SMU DataArts is to provide and engage both organizations and individuals with the evidence-based insights needed to collectively build strong, vibrant and equitable arts communities. Its programs provide free business intelligence tools and educational workshops to help arts leaders leverage data to answer critical management questions, communicate about their organizations, and connect research analyses to their own work. Recent publications include white papers on emergence from the COVID-19 crisis; the alchemy that drives high performing arts organizations of color; audience diversity, equity and inclusion in large performing arts organizations; working capital and the resiliency of BIPOC organizations; and more. SMU DataArts also publishes reports on the health of the U.S. arts and cultural sector with its Arts Vibrancy Index, which highlights the 40 most arts-vibrant communities around the country.