SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


BAYCAT, San Francisco, CA. Photo by Ariel Dovas. BAYCAT, San Francisco, CA. Photo by Ariel Dovas.

ForResearchers & Advocates

Find Answers to Fuel Advocacy

SMU DataArts offers an unparalleled longitudinal dataset, including financial, programmatic, and operational information from thousands of cultural nonprofits.

An essential resource for a range of research studies, we give advocates the evidence to make a more powerful case for the value and impact of the arts. We provide data in many forms for many purposes: from raw structured datasets for academic or field research to custom analysis and reports for publication. 

Report, Reveal, and Influence

Document the range, reach, or economic and community impacts of nonprofit cultural activity.

Identify opportunities, challenges, and solutions for the cultural sector and society.

Use evidence-based support to advocate persuasively for policy and funding.

We also offer free advocacy resources to help you build a data-informed case for the arts.

Who Participates and What We Collect

Nonprofit organizations voluntarily report financial and programmatic data through the CDP, as part of their applications for funding to grant programs, or as part of another integrated field survey. 

Many types of organizations participate:

  • Broadcast, Media, and Literary Arts
  • Community
  • Education
  • Museums, Visual Arts, and History
  • Performing Arts
  • Support and Advocacy

They provide  detailed information on:

  • Revenues and expenses
  • Marketing activities
  • Balance sheet items
  • Investments and loans
  • Attendance and pricing
  • Program and educational activities
  • Staffing and volunteers

Integrated Surveys

SMU DataArts also integrates a growing number of surveys from leading arts service organizations into one seamless platform. This innovation saves time and effort for arts and cultural organizations and gives everyone access to more inclusive, reliable, and standardized data.

About the Dataset

SMU DataArts hosts the Cultural Data Profile (CDP), a detailed online survey of financial, programmatic, and demographic information that cultural nonprofits fill out once annually, and use to apply for funding to multiple grant programs. Other organizations provide data as part of integrated surveys administered by national arts service organization partners.

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Access the Dataset

Whether you’re a journalist, public policymaker, student, or casual fact-seeker, connect with us to explore aggregated data about the activities, assets, and contributions of cultural nonprofits.

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Free Tools for Arts Advocates

In the face of continuing threats to public funding for arts and culture, SMU DataArts is proud to advance the sector by putting data and insights in service to advocacy efforts across the nation by offering free tools with tips and best practices for arts advocacy.

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Ready to Begin?

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