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  Vol. 1 No. 8
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.

•Influence of Place
•Influence of School Type
•Influence of Major Field
•The New SnaapShot: How current artists rate their cities as a place to pursue their artistic careers

This brief draws upon data from the 65,837 arts alumni from 120 institutions (109 postsecondary institutions and 11 arts high schools) in the United States and Canada who responded to the SNAAP survey in 2011 and 2012.

A number of factors influence arts graduatesí decisions to take up residence in particular geographic regionsóincluding availability of jobs, professional and social networks, and family.

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Influence of Place

Arts graduates who took the SNAAP survey in 2011 and 2012 were asked whether, within the first five years after leaving their institutions, they took up residency in the town or city where their institution was located to pursue their careers. More graduates leave their schoolsí towns (63%) than remain (37%). But whether or not they stay tends to vary by the geographic regions of their schools, their school types, and the arts disciplines in which they trained.

  • % of SNAAP respondents attending schools in the Midwest who take up residency in their institutionís town within five years of graduation: 32%

  • % of SNAAP respondents attending schools in the Northeast who take up residency in their institutionís town within five years of graduation: 44%

SNAAP respondents who attend arts schools located in the Midwest are the least likely (32%) to take up residency in the towns where their institutions are located, while those attending Northeastern schools are the most likely (44%). In comparison, 38% of alumni from schools located in the West and 36% of graduates from Southern schools remain where their institutions are located.

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Influence of School Type

  • % of all SNAAP respondents who take up residency in their institutionís town within five years of graduation: 37%

  • % of SNAAP respondents attending arts-focused schools who take up residency in their institutionís town within five years of graduation: 49%

Alumni from schools focusing on art, music, and design are relatively likely to remain in the towns where their schools are located (49%) , compared to graduates from doctoral or masterís degree granting comprehensive institutions (33%). The fact that graduates from arts-focused schools are relatively likely to reside in their institutions' towns within five years of graduation may reflect the local networks they are able to build while in school. They also may reflect the particularly vibrant artistic economies in which these schools are located.

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Influence of Major Field

  • % of all SNAAP respondents who take up residency in their institutionís location within five years of graduation: 37%

  • % of fine/studio arts majors who take up residency in their institutionís location within five years of graduation: 43%

  • % of arts education majors who take up residency in their institutionís location within five years of graduation: 25%

Among all arts majors (excluding double majors), fine and studio arts majors (43%) and administration alumni (also 43%) are the most likely to reside in the cities where they went to school. The least likely are arts education majors, with only 25% of them doing so. Dance majors are also relatively unlikely to reside in their institutionsí towns within five years of graduation; only 26% of them do so.

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The New SnaapShot: How current artists rate their cities as a place to pursue their artistic careers

The 2011-2012 SnaapShot is out, with combined data for 65,837 SNAAP respondents over the last two years. The new Locations page shows where SNAAP respondents live, and what percentage work as artists. (The map on previous SnaapShots used Census data rather than SNAAP survey data.) There are 89 metro areas (Central Statistical Areas or CSAs) on the map, each with a minimum of 40 SNAAP respondents.

Included in the data on the Locations page are answers to this question, for each of the 89 metro areas: "How do you rate this area as a place to pursue your artistic career?"

View the new SnaapShot and select the Locations tab to view the interactive map.

We value your feedback! snaap@indiana.edu

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