SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


The Community You Keep: Audience Diversity in the Performing Arts and the Post-pandemic Landscape

  • Posted May 03, 2021

There is a growing sense of anticipation as performing arts organizations plan to emerge from pandemic closures and re-engage with their local communities in person this year. The communal nature of the arts, where audience members interact with one another in the course of collectively experiencing performances and events, holds great potential for bringing communities together and for reaffirming existential meaning after prolonged isolation and polarization? But do they have a history of equitably serving the diversity of their communities, and what influences help or hinder their efforts to do so?

SMU DataArts' recent research report The Intersection of Funding, Marketing, and Audience Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we examine if and how donor priorities, an organization's location, its subscription base, and its marketing actions all affect the extent to which the organization's audience represents the diversity of its community. In this webinar, co-author Dr. Zannie Voss explores how funder priorities and strategic marketing choices enhance or inhibit opportunities for cultural exchange and understanding among the full spectrum of a community's diverse populations.

Our Research

SMU DataArts compiles and analyzes data on arts organizations and their communities nationwide and develops reports on important issues in arts management and patronage. Its findings are available free of charge to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers, and the general public.

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