Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Diversity / equity / Indigenous arts

Based on experiences conducting demographic surveys of arts organizations in Chicago, Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Houston, this article outlines key findings regarding the measurement of identity-related characteristics (but not actual survey results). The surveys focused on five characteristics: race/ethnicity, age, gender, LBGTQ status, and disability status.

Based predominantly on a survey of 2,487 creative sector workers in the United Kingdom (called the Panic! Survey), this report concludes that “the cultural and creative industries are marked by significant inequalities”.

This report summarizes the diversity within English arts organizations in 2016/17, based largely on an annual Arts Council England survey completed by larger client organizations. The report’s diversity statistics include a focus on disability, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Based on a survey of more than 2,000 Canadians (including substantial samples of youth and Indigenous residents), this report highlights information about arts and heritage attendance, personal arts participation, as well as perceptions of cultural activities and government arts support. The report concludes that there is “robust public engagement with arts and culture in Canada”.

Based on a “national mapping of the publicly available programs of 135 mainstream presenters across Australia” in 2015 as well as a custom survey of 44 presenters and interviews with 40 performing arts producers and presenters, this report outlines “the level and types of First Nations performing arts programming in Australia’s mainstream venues and festivals; the presenting of works to audiences; and the motivations and obstacles for presenters and producers”. The key finding of the mapping exercise is that “First Nations performing arts are under-represented in Australia’s mainstream venues and festivals”, comprising only 2% of the nearly 6,000 works that were programmed in 2015.

Given the “severe lack of hard data” on diversity in Canadian art galleries, the author of this report, with assistance from anonymous collaborators, created a dataset of the diversity in select leadership positions in 80 galleries that have received core funding from the Canada Council for the Arts (as well as the separately-funded National Gallery of Canada). The resulting statistics indicate that “gallery management is whiter than Canadian [visual] artists in particular, and the Canadian public in general”. Regarding gender equity, the report finds that “women dominate Canada’s art field” but their majority is weakest in its top echelons.

Based on a custom-designed 2016 Survey of the Inuit Arts Economy and Statistics Canada’s 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, this report outlines the economic impacts of Inuit arts in Canada. Overall, the report finds that “the Inuit arts economy contributed $87.2 million” to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and “sustained over 2,700 full time equivalent jobs” in 2016.

A Social Return on Investment Analysis

Using a social return on investment framework, this report assesses the impacts of the $1.9 billion in public and private investment in over 1,400 Illinois not-for-profit organizations working in the arts and culture. The headline finding is that “every dollar invested into the Illinois nonprofit arts and culture field generates an estimated $27 in socio-economic value”. Two similar studies from Australia examined the social returns of a community arts project in Western Australia that tries to connect Aboriginal youth with their language and culture and a program offering film workshops for youth.

This literature review investigates how some cultural organizations and funders have improved “diversity in cultural organizations, in the areas of their leadership, staffing, programming and audience composition”. Elements of diversity include race, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age.

A Guidebook for Working with Artists who are Deaf or have Disabilities

Developed as part of the Canada Council’s Expanding the Arts strategy, this guidebook aims to provide “an important resource for companies and organizations working towards increasing the participation rates within their processes of people who are Deaf or who have disabilities”. That being said, the guide also notes that “the environment within which people who are Deaf and who have disabilities continues to change. Best practices and protocols around accessibility and accommodation must be responsive to this continually changing environment.”