SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


DataArts Announces New Data-Driven Tools and Online Resources for Arts Advocacy

  • Posted May 03, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DataArts, the respected national resource for in-depth financial and programmatic data for and about U.S. cultural nonprofits, today announced new, no-cost services for arts advocates, including customizable advocacy reports, fully-designed state reports, and online educational resources. With fiscal year 2018 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum and Library Sciences under threat, DataArts affirmed its commitment to arts and culture by putting a decade's worth of data about the sector’s contributions in service to advocacy efforts across the nation. The resources are available at

Using the DataArts system, arts and cultural organizations can generate easy-to-read two-page reports that draw on DataArts' information to visualize cultural nonprofits' impact on local employment, audiences and spending. The reports are designed for meetings with legislators and their staffs and can be generated for US Congressional districts, state legislative districts, and even City Council districts across the country, as well as for cities, counties and states. Sample reports for the 16 states with the greatest participation in the Cultural Data Profile, an annual online submission of standardized financial and programmatic information, are also available for download. 

Organizations that participate in the Cultural Data Profile can log into the DataArts platform and produce Advocacy Reports that aggregate employment, revenue, spending and attendance data generated by arts and culture organizations in their community or statewide. Non-participating organizations can access the platform and the reports by creating a new user profile.

DataArts has waived the fee for the Advocacy Report service through October 1, 2017, to encourage arts advocates to tell a data-driven story. 

To assist arts professionals who are new to advocacy, DataArts has also launched a free online course, Making the Case: Advocacy Basics for Arts Leaders, which was developed specifically for arts leaders, in collaboration with Julie Hawkins of Drexel University.

“At this time of urgent need, we stand with the cultural community,” said Beth Tuttle, President and CEO of DataArts. “Over the last decade, DataArts has worked in partnership with thousands of arts and cultural nonprofits and public and private grant makers to develop an unparalleled dataset about the financial and programmatic activities of the nation’s cultural nonprofits. Our mission is to put this data back into the hands of arts advocates and policy makers in an easy-to-use format to tell an evidence-based story of the nonprofit cultural sector’s contributions and value in communities across the nation. We applaud Congress’ recommendation of a $2 million increase to fiscal year 2017 arts funding and know we must all continue to make a data-driven case for FY 2018 as well.”     

“The deepest, truest story of the value of the arts and humanities is the transformative experiences that inspire us, exalt us, and educate us, that expand our minds and deepen our human connections,” said Glen Howard, a vocal artist who is DataArts’ Board Chair and also serves on the boards of Americans for the Arts and Goodwill of Greater Washington. “The information DataArts collects illustrates the daily work of individuals and organizations to create those experiences: the people employed, dollars spent, audiences engaged. When taken together, these stories and the data behind them draw an indelible picture of how vital the arts, culture and the humanities are to the social and economic fabric of our nation.”

DataArts provided the primary data collection platform for Americans for the Arts’ Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 report and for several discipline-specific national arts service organizations; its data set is also used by many arts researchers each year, such as the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University, to power a variety of reports and management tools for arts leaders.

The Advocacy Report draws on DataArts’ information to visualize cultural nonprofits’ impact on local employment, audiences, and spending, and are designed to stimulate high-impact conversations with civic leaders and public officials about the economic multiplier effect of federal arts and culture funding.

The Advocacy Report was developed and enhanced through the generous support of the Barr Foundation. The online courses are made possible through support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Barra Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.

About DataArts

DataArts’ mission is to empower the nonprofit arts and cultural sector with high-quality data and resources in order to strengthen its vitality, performance, and public impact. DataArts serves as an important catalyst for data-driven decision-making, resulting in stronger management for arts and cultural organizations, better informed funding policy for grant makers, and a rich information resource for advocates and researchers. Visit us at