Arts, culture, arts education, and creativity are major contributors to Los Angeles County residents’ quality of life, and the arts and culture sector is an important part of LA County’s local economy. This study, in its third iteration, was undertaken by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture to better understand the demographic makeup of the workforce of the arts and culture sector. This information can be a key tool to help ensure that every resident of LA County has access to all opportunities offered by the arts and culture sector.
The SMU DataArts Workforce Demographics study collected data from individuals who work or volunteer for LA County arts and culture organizations, surveying five demographic characteristics: 1) Heritage (race, ethnicity, and nation of origin); 2) Age; 3) Gender; 4) Sexual Orientation; and 5) Disability. Additionally, this study collected data regarding staff and board member workplace perceptions.
In addition to the demographic characteristics mentioned above, this study also asked respondents questions regarding their perceptions of working at their LA County organization. These questions probed areas such as workplace well-being, support for risk-taking, psychological support, and happiness of staff and board members.
In addition to surveying the demographics of the workforce in LA County, this study probed staff and board member perception of well-being in their workplaces where wellbeing related to 1) the workplace, 2) support for risk-taking, 3) psychological safety, and 4) happiness and satisfaction. In general:
Staff and board members from organizations with budgets over $5,000,000 scored less positively than all other organization budget sizes, and
• There was little variation in perception scores when analyzing scores by respondent race/ethnicity.
As additional studies are conducted across the country, SMU DataArts’ research regarding workplace perception will generally explore whether higher scores on these dimensions have a relationship with workplace diversity and organizational performance measures, such as staff and board member turnover, attendance, and bottom line, which will incorporate data from multiple sources.