SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


SMU DataArts Awarded Hewlett Organizational Effectiveness Grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

  • Posted Sep 13, 2022

DALLAS (SMU) – September 13, 2022 – SMU DataArts, the national center for arts research in the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU, has been awarded a Hewlett Organizational Effectiveness grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This funding will support the organization’s roadmap to increasing equity, diversity and inclusion, which has been a focus for the past three years and is part of its strategic plan moving forward.

SMU DataArts’ overarching goal of increased equity, diversity, and inclusivity will be fostered primarily by two objectives. The first objective is to catalyze the work that SMU DataArts’ equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) working group has been focused on for the last three years: namely, to identify and address internal structural issues, like employee onboarding and other management processes, determining where there is room for improvement and putting processes in place to make the necessary changes. The second objective is to become fully supportive of organizations of, by and for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. This entails identifying, developing and implementing more equitable processes of data collection, and reporting findings in a way that celebrates their strengths and amplifies their voices.

The grant from Hewlett will allow SMU DataArts to meet these objectives by hiring experts who can assess current processes and work with the organization on its roadmap for the work ahead, ultimately eliminating obstacles in the way of EID within the organization and the way data is collected and information is provided.

Arin Sullivan, SMU DataArts’ Deputy Director, remarked, “We identified the growth that needs to take place and Hewlett’s support will allow us to do more, and faster. It increases our capacity to address the issues with real urgency.”

With the grant secured, the SMU DataArts team will begin to take the next steps in planning how these funds will be allocated. Funding will begin in January 2023.




SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, is a joint project of the Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. The vision of SMU DataArts is to build a national culture of data-driven decision-making for those who want to see the arts and culture sector thrive. Its programs provide free business intelligence tools and educational workshops to help arts leaders leverage data to answer critical management questions, communicate about their organizations, and connect research analyses to their own work. Recent publications include white papers on emergence from the COVID-19 crisis,culturally specific arts organizations,  protecting arts organizations through downturnsaudience diversity, equity and inclusion in large performing arts organizationsworking capital and the resiliency of BIPOC organizations, and more. SMU DataArts also publishes reports on the health of the U.S. arts and cultural sector with its Arts Vibrancy Index, which highlights the 40 most arts-vibrant communities around the country. For more information, visit





For more information, please contact:


Emma England

SMU Meadows School of the Arts