Diversity & Equity

Cultural Workforce Demographics



Workforce Demographics Pilot Study Results

The 2019 SMU DataArts pilot survey collected information on the staff demographics of a group of nonprofit cultural organizations funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs, including the 33 members of the Cultural Institutions Group and 32 organizations that receive support through the Cultural Development Fund.

This pilot was funded by the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.

New identification categories

In 2016, a demographic report on DCLA grantees produced by Ithaka S+R provided an unprecedented snapshot of NYC’s cultural workforce. It illuminated the challenges the cultural community faces when it comes to reflecting our dynamic city in regard to race and ethnicity. As a result, DCLA has initiated new programs and funding streams to support diversity efforts. However, because of its methodology, the Ithaka S&R survey could not capture data on certain key categories including disability and sexual orientation.

DCLA worked with its partners at DataArts to design and deploy a new survey that relies on self-reported responses from 7,000 cultural workers, and allows it to capture demographic information regarding disability status and sexual orientation. These differing methodologies means data from the Ithaka S&R and DataArts reports cannot be directly compared. But with these critical aspects of identity and representation now included, the new DataArts new report can serve as a basis for continuing to accurately track employment statistics within the cultural sector and to enhance our ability to foster a more equitable and inclusive community that reflects and serves all residents of our dynamic, diverse city.

Following this pilot year, DCLA plans to extend the survey to all of its approximately 1,000 constituent organizations in 2020, with the goal of providing a baseline understanding of the demographics of New York City’s cultural workforce that can be tracked over time.

 Learn more about the 2016 Ithaka S+R report