SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


Image courtesy of the City of Pittsfield, MA. Berkshire Theatre Group. Photo credit: EKRWCREATIVE. Image courtesy of the City of Pittsfield, MA. Berkshire Theatre Group. Photo credit: EKRWCREATIVE.

A Year in Review | Annual Report 2023

  • Posted Feb 06, 2024

This year-end we celebrate three major milestones in our organizational history – the five year anniversary of the merger between DataArts and the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR), and the 10-year anniversary of the founding of both legacy organizations.

As we reflect on these milestones we are immensely proud of how we’ve learned, adapted, and evolved as an organization over time, and proud of our contributions to field knowledge. These reflections also bring deep gratitude for the practitioners and leaders in our sector who have taught us so much over the years, and imbued our work with meaning by applying it in their own contexts.

2023 by the Numbers

Our Most Popular Reads

The Top 40 Most Arts-Vibrant Communities of 2023

In 2023, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA, reclaims top spot on the list of most arts-vibrant large communities for the first time since 2018; Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI and Canton-Massillon, OH make their debut.

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Study Finds Local Arts Agencies are Catalysts for Art Vibrancy

New research findings from SMU DataArts indicate that Local Arts Agencies (LAA) positively and irrefutably contribute to their communities’ level of arts vibrancy.

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Navigating Recovery: Arts and Culture Financial and Operating Trends in Chicago

This report represents the first comprehensive look at the health of the city’s arts and cultural organizations before, during and emerging from the pandemic. A look in the rearview mirror provides context for the underlying challenges that many organizations across the nation are facing today.

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Study Shows $53 Billion in Federal COVID-19 Relief Funding Went to Arts and Culture

After an analysis of publicly available data showing the distribution of aid from four federal programs, we found that unprecedented levels of federal arts funding reached nearly every community in the US during the pandemic.

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Grantmaking and the AI Bill of Rights: Safeguarding the Nonprofit Sector

When developed well, machine learning can be a powerful tool, and we are just in the early stages of developing this work to support the field.

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Thank You to Our Major Contributors


Bloomberg Philanthropies

National Endowment for the Arts

Mellon Foundation

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

One Chicago Fund


Mass Cultural Council

SMU Meadows School of the Arts

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

The Ford Foundation

Flinn Foundation

Bloomberg Consulting LLC/Bloomberg Associates

Oregon Arts Commission

Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture

Arizona Community Foundation

William Penn Foundation

Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger

The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation

Melissa F. Fetter and Trevor Fetter


Doris Duke Foundation

Donna M. Wilhelm

Ohio Arts Council


Get Involved

The true power of our work lies in the network of partners who are as passionate about advancing arts and culture as we are.

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