SNAAP DataBrief
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Vol. 1 No. 7
Strategic National Arts Alumni Project
DataBrief provides arts educators and arts policy makers
with highlights of SNAAP data and insights
into the value of arts-school education.
Contact us for more information.

• Following the Artist's Path: Influence of Socioeconomic Status
• Following the Artist's Path: Influence of Race and Ethnicity
• SNAAP Registration Open until July 31!
• SNAAP Staff on the Road

Last month, SNAAP released its annual report of selected findings, based on responses from more than 65,000 arts alumni who took the SNAAP survey in 2011 and 2012. An Uneven Canvas: Inequalities in Artistic Training and Careers reveals that a postsecondary arts education affords some unique advantages for women, minorities, and disadvantaged students. However, significant gaps also remain and some inequalities persist.

One portion of the report focused on whether arts graduates have ever worked as artists (in occupations creating or performing art). Below, we present some highlights from these findings.

How does your institution fit in with the national findings? Find out by participating in SNAAP 2013 - there's still time to register. See below.

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Following the Artist's Path:
Likelihood of Ever Working as an Artist Does Not Vary by Socioeconomic Status?
  • Among those who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, % of first-generation college students who have ever worked as artists: 81%
  • Among those who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, % of non-first-generation college students who have ever worked as artists: 81%
First-generation college students work as artists at rates equal to those of their non-first-generation counterparts. Among alumni who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, 81% of both first-generation and non-first-generation students have ever worked as artists, either full- or part-time.

"First-generation college students" refers to students whose parents or guardians had not completed a four-year degree or higher, and is generally considered an indicator of socio-economic status.
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...But Differences by Race/Ethnicity and Gender Persist.
  • Among those who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, % of White alumni who have ever worked as professional artists: 82%
  • Among those who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, % of Hispanic and Black alumni who have ever worked as professional artists: 76%
  • 85% of all male graduates have ever worked as an artist, versus 78% of all female graduates
Among those who intended to work as artists when they started at their institutions, 82% of White alumni and 80% of Asian alumni have ever worked as artists. In contrast, 76% of Black alumni and 76% of Hispanic alumni who aspired to be artists have ever worked as artists. Furthermore, an arts graduate's likelihood of ever working as an artist differs by gender. Among those who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, 78% of women and 85% of men have ever worked in occupations creating or performing art, either full- or part-time.

While working as a professional artist is only one potential option for leading an artistic or creative life, it is also a crucial outcome to consider. Arts institutions are an important training ground for the artistic workforce and, as these results from SNAAP demonstrate, arts graduates from some groups are less likely than others to persist in artistic careers.

Comparisons by race include only respondents who identified with one racial/ethnic category.
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Register for SNAAP 2013 until July 31!
The SNAAP deadline has been extended to Wednesday, July 31. Register ASAP to secure your spot and take the first step toward better understanding the lives and careers of your arts alumni.

SNAAP defines "the arts" and "arts alumni" broadly, to include the following fields: performance, design, architecture, creative writing, film, media arts, illustration and fine art. Graduates of institutions that participate in SNAAP are invited to complete SNAAP's online questionnaire. All members of every graduating class will be surveyed.

By participating, your institution will receive a customized and confidential Institutional Report as well as the raw data set of your arts alumni responses. Your Institutional Report includes separate reports for undergraduate and graduate (or high school) alumni, both quantitative and qualitative results, a new report on "Recent Graduates", and comparative data with other schools. In 2013, you will be able to compare your results with those of any of the institutions that participated in 2011, 2012, and 2013! Here's the list to date.

For more information, check out the 2013 Invitation to Participate and our new Value for Institutions page on the SNAAP Web site for examples of how institutions are using their SNAAP data. We welcome questions via email (snaap@indiana.edu) or phone (812-856-5824)!

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SNAAP Staff on the Road

The SNAAP team from Indiana University will be presenting at a number of upcoming conferences. We are always happy to meet with current, former or prospective SNAAP institutions when we are traveling! Here's the confirmed list through 2013:

  • July 19-20: Assessment in the Arts - Denver (Amber Lambert and Angie Miller, SNAAP Research Analysts)
  • July 22-23: Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design - Alumni and Career Services - Providence (Sally Gaskill, SNAAP Director)
  • October 23-24: International Council of Fine Arts Deans - New Orleans (Sally Gaskill)
  • October 24-26: Social Theory, Politics and the Arts - Seattle (Amber Lambert)
  • October 25: Arts Schools Network - New York (Sally Gaskill)
  • October 28-29: Assessment Institute - Indianapolis (Angie Miller)
  • November 14-16: Association for the Study of Higher Education - St Louis (Amber Lambert and Angie Miller)

We welcome invitations to speak at your events.

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