SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


A Year in Review

  • Posted Jan 04, 2021

Finally, the long chapter of 2020 has come to a close. From a global pandemic to worldwide civil uprising to the national and local elections, the word "unprecedented" has been used to describe so much of the year that it may feel like it's lost all meaning. But with the uncertainty and upheaval we faced, 2020 also brought a dedicated focus on reimagining and rebuilding for a better tomorrow.

On a national scale, the arts and cultural sector is re-evaluating practices that limit accessibility, representation, and support by utilizing reliable sector-wide research. Now more than ever, our mission to empower arts and cultural leaders with high-quality data and resources to overcome today's challenges resonates throughout the sector. Below is a list of our most-referenced publications from 2020 to consider as we enter this new beginning.

Our Top Five Most Referenced Publications from 2020

#5 The Alchemy of High-Performing Arts Organizations

What does it take for a struggling organization to turn its fortunes around and become high-performing? This paper, based on research conducted from mid-January to mid-March 2020, investigates elements of successful strategies that can be considered for replication or adaptation by others. Read the report.


#4 Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Arts and cultural organizations are comprised of resilient, passionate, and creative minds. It is your strength that will be a driving force to help our communities get through these difficult times. SMU DataArts has compiled a list of research and resources for artists, organizations, and grantmakers to consider as we move through the next stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

#3 The Top 40 Arts-Vibrant Communities in the U.S.

At a moment of such considerable environmental hostility and uncertainty about the future, we offer this report as a celebration and reminder of the arts’ enduring importance, resiliency, and vibrancy. We should not forget the essential role that the arts play in fueling community development, emotional health, cultural literacy, social cohesion and integration, and creative expression. Read the report.

#2 The New Streamlined Cultural Data Profile

SMU DataArts has pared down its flagship survey, the Cultural Data Profile (CDP), which is used by arts leaders across the country to report data for grant application processes, measure organizational performance, and understand sector-wide trends and insights. Our simplified and shorter survey strikes a balance between preserving valuable, sector-wide data and conserving the efforts and resources required to collect it. Get started.

#1 Arts and Cultural Organizations: In It for the Long Haul

This report underscores that COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges and proposes specific steps that can be taken to address the crisis while orienting toward sustained action and resiliency. These steps reflect three propositions that any organization can develop and align in order to achieve success. Read the report.

SMU DataArts Annual Report

About Us

Our mission is to empower arts and cultural leaders with high-quality data and evidence-based resources and insights that help them to overcome challenges and increase impact.

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