NEA Offers Insight about Working Artists through New Data Research Tool

The following blog post is by Mimi Ringness, Communications Intern at the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Mimi is a full-time student at Arizona State University and will graduate in December 2013, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a focus in Performance Studies and Interpersonal Communication. She is very involved in the arts community, performing across the Phoenix metropolitan area in her fourth season with Phoenix-based Terpsicore Dance Company. In addition, Mimi teaches classical and contemporary ballet in Tempe.

On June 12, 2013 the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released “Equal Opportunity Data Mining: National Statistics about Working Artists,” a publically accessible research tool that provides statistics about working artists across the nation. Following “Equal Opportunity Data Mining,” the NEA plans to release a series of Arts Data Profile web pages over the next several months, with each page providing extensive data about nationwide arts participation, arts organizations, and further statistical data regarding artists in the workforce.

According to the NEA, the dataset in “Equal Opportunity Data Mining” is culled from information gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tables, and allows researchers to access 70 tables that are searchable by “state and metropolitan area, by demographic information, and by residence and workplace.”

Full-time, part-time, or self-employed artists from 11 distinct occupational categories can be also searched based on whether they are currently employed or looking for work, making the “Equal Opportunity Data Mining” tool an important resource for other artists or organizations that are looking to fill job posts. With 2.1 million artists working in the United States’ labor force, NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa states, “These data adds further detail and nuance to our understanding of the profile of American artists.”

To access the “Equal Opportuntity Data Mining” research tool, go to: http://arts.gov/research/EEO/index.html.

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