SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


SMU NCAR Merges With DataArts

A National Hub for Data Resources, Analysis and Insights

SMU announces the merger of its National Center for Arts Research (NCAR), a leading provider of evidence-based insights on the nonprofit arts and cultural industry, with DataArts, the respected Philadelphia-based resource for in-depth data about U.S. nonprofit arts, culture and humanities organizations, effective immediately. 

Our Vision

SMU DataArts will build a national culture of data-driven decision making for those who want to see the arts and culture sector thrive.  We will make data useful and accessible to all in the arts and culture field, illuminating strengths, challenges and opportunities for individual arts organizations and for the sector as a whole, to help ensure long-term stability.

Our Mission

To empower arts and cultural leaders with high-quality data and evidence-based resources and insights that help them to overcome challenges and increase impact.

Why We Merged

The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) and DataArts are joining forces to strengthen the national arts and cultural community through data, the knowledge that can be generated from it, and the resources to use it. The merger will integrate the strengths and capabilities of both organizations, which have been closely collaborating since 2012. Our new entity, SMU DataArts, will continue the core operations of both organizations and build on our existing successful programs. NCAR’s research expertise, its partnerships with other data providers, and the resources of a major research university will be combined with DataArts’ existing data collection platform and relationships with arts organizations and grantmakers. 

Will arts organizations' data be kept safe?

The integrity and privacy of the data provided by our arts and culture organizations is our most precious asset. Prior to the merger, DataArts regularly shared aggregated data with NCAR and other academic researchers, all of whom are bound by the same high standards. The data will continue to be protected and used responsibly for the benefit of arts and culture organizations and the grantmakers they apply to, and, in the aggregate, to help understand and advocate for the arts sector. It will be treated with the same high level of confidentiality. It will not be used differently or exposed to funders in a different way.

What will change for arts organizations?

The DataArts services currently used by arts organizations will not change. We are excited about the possibilities for the future. For an example of some of the collaborative projects DataArts has already launched with NCAR, check out the NCAR KIPI (Key Intangible Performance Indicator) Dashboard. In addition, SMU will provide university-wide benefits to DataArts, including in the areas of information technology, data management, marketing, fundraising and human resources.

How can we get more information?

To follow news about the merger, connect with us on Twitter @SMUDataArts. Additionally, SMU DataArts will host a series of webinars with Q&A sessions for participating arts organizations, grantmakers and researchers. Questions or concerns? Contact us. United, we can do more for and with the field than we can separately.

R. Gerald Turner

President of SMU

“This merger will create new connections between SMU and cultural organizations in every part of the country.”

The SMU DataArts Toolkit

Interactive Data

We integrate and analyze data from DataArts’ Cultural Data Profile and other national and government sources such as Theatre Communications Group, the League of American Orchestras, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Census Bureau, and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. We offer the KIPI Dashboard, a free online diagnostic tool that allows arts organizations to benchmark their individual performance in nine finance and operations categories against their peers. 

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The Cultural Data Profile (CDP)

The Cultural Data Profile (CDP) is DataArts’ flagship service, which thousands of cultural nonprofits use annually to report their financial and programmatic information. 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 grantmakers, and a rich information resource for advocates and researchers.

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