SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


Audience Demographics Pilot Underway in Houston

  • Posted Aug 27, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, PA - As cultural nonprofits seek to serve and reflect increasingly diverse communities, DataArts is developing ways to provide affordable and readily accessible insight into the demographics of their audiences and service areas. More than 100 arts professionals gathered for a recent preview of the pilot initiative now underway in Houston, thanks to support from the Houston Endowment and Houston Arts Alliance.

This summer, over 100 arts representatives from the greater Houston area came together at the Ensemble Theater for an introduction to DataArts’ audience demographics initiative. The project is being piloted in the city, one of the most diverse in the country, through a partnership with Houston Endowment and Houston Arts Alliance. DataArts' Chief Operating Officer Larry Bomback and Education Manager Katie Ingersoll spoke with attendees about plans to provide cultural nonprofits with an affordable means to access community demographics and gain insights into their audiences. With this data, organizations are better positioned to plan for the future, and to help make sure their programming and services are relevant and accessible to the broader community

“The chance to delve deep into our demographics with the help of professionals like DataArts is something we have not really been able to do before, and it was fascinating to get a much clearer look at our audience breakdown,” said Shannon Emerick, Director of Marketing and Development, Main Street Theater. “It was also, frankly, very easy to participate in this program: we just provided our data, and DataArts did all the work! in nonprofits where everyone is already wearing multiple hats and juggling like crazy, having that kind of support really makes a difference.”

The two-year initiative is one of several programs currently underway at DataArts. With this program, DataArts aims to make available high-quality demographic information on the cultural workforce and audiences in support of the national dialogue on equity and inclusion in the arts. Learn more about the audience demographic initiative, which is generously funded by Houston Endowment. 

Photo Credit: Ensemble Theater, Houston, TX. Photo by DataArts.