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Department of Arts & Culture Takes a Data-Driven Approach to Policy Making

Posted 1 years 77 days ago ago by Carol Schliesinger (SAMHD)

SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 5, 2020) – The Department of Arts & Culture announced today it will use data collected by Southern Methodist University (SMU) DataArts’ Cultural Data Profile (CDP) to assist nonprofit art organizations build sustainable business models and access to additional funding opportunities. The initiative aligns with strategies included in the Department’s Performing Arts Strategic Plan, which is in its final stages of development.


DataArts’ CDP is an online survey that collects financial and programmatic data from all sizes and disciplines of nonprofit arts, culture, and humanities organizations. The data is used to guide arts management and patronage, with thousands of cultural nonprofits using CDP to share data with current and potential funders, apply for funding, and analyze trends in their organizations. Nonprofits and cities can also use CDP data to compare trends across peer groups, conduct competitive analyses and brand comparisons.


DataArts’ Director Zannie Giraud Voss, Ph.D. and Department of Arts & Culture Director Debbie Racca-Sittre will present to the San Antonio Area Funders Group and the San Antonio Arts Commission’s Arts Funding Committee regarding the use of CDP data to better inform art investments and organization management decisions. The Arts Funding Committee meeting is open to the public and will be held on February 6 at 2:30 p.m. at United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County’s Briscoe Center, 700 South Alamo.


“All nonprofit arts organizations funded by the Department of Arts & Culture are required to use the CDP, as dictated through our arts funding guidelines,” said Racca-Sittre. “The overall goal of this effort is to collect a holistic view of our nonprofit arts community through data and assist nonprofit arts leaders and funders in analyzing the health of organizations.”


At least three years of data needs to be collected in order to generate statistically significant reports and trends. The Department of Arts & Culture started using DataArts’ CDP in fiscal year 2018, coinciding with the launch of its Cul-Tú-Art Plan and new funding guidelines for nonprofit arts organizations. Three years of data will be available at the end of fiscal year 2020 (Sept. 30, 2020) and will be used to analyze the effectiveness of City Art Funding policies.

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Friday, April 23, 2021