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Vol. 2 No. 1
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.
• All in the Family: Artistic Work
• All in the Family: Unpaid Artmaking
• Sharing SNAAP Data: West Virginia University


This brief draws upon data from 65,837 arts alumni from 120 institutions (109 postsecondary institutions and 11 arts high schools) in the United States.

How does having an artistic family member potentially influence one's career and creative life? Data from SNAAP suggest that having a parent, guardian, or close relative who was or is an artist is associated with a variety of outcomes, including whether one works as an artist, and, among those who do not work as artists, whether one continues to produce art in her non-work time. About one-fifth of SNAAP respondents (21%) reported having a close relative as an artist.

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All in the Family: Artistic Work
  • Among those who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, percentage of SNAAP respondents who currently work as artists: 60%
  • Among those who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, percentage of SNAAP respondents with close relatives who were/are artists who currently work as artists themselves: 65%
SNAAP respondents with close relatives who were/are artists are more likely to work as artists themselves (in occupations creating or performing art, full- or part-time). Among those who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, 85% of alumni with artist relatives have ever worked as artists, compared to 80% of alumni without artist relatives.

Arts alumni with close relatives who were/are artists are also more likely to currently work as artists. Sixty-five percent of aspiring artists with close relatives who were/are artists currently work as artists, compared to only 59% of their counterparts without artist relatives.

Not only do these results reveal the potential importance of having an artistic family member, but they also indicate that, more often than not, SNAAP respondents who aspire to be artists have worked and are currently working in occupations creating or performing art.
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All in the Family: Unpaid Artmaking
  • Percentage of non-artists who currently make or perform art in their personal (not work-related time): 66%
  • Percentage of non-artists with a close relative who is/was an artist who currently make or perform art in their personal (not work-related) time: 72%
Sixty-six percent of arts graduates who are not currently working as artists continue to produce or perform art in their personal time. But alumni with parents, guardians, or close relatives who were/are artists are more likely to do this. Seventy-two percent of them continue to engage in unpaid art-making, compared to 65% of their counterparts without artist relatives.

The responses of arts alumni to the 2011 and 2012 SNAAP surveys provide insight into the potential impact of having a family tie in the arts. These findings likely reflect the importance of having family support for one’s artistic life and career, as well as the probable networking gains from having a close connection in the art world.
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Sharing SNAAP Data: West Virginia University
The College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University, a 2012 SNAAP participant, is sharing its SNAAP results on a new website, with comparisons to national SNAAP responses. “We were pleased with the results received from our first participation in SNAAP. We want our alumni and other stakeholders to know the results of the survey, and created a website to provide a visual representation of key findings,” said Paul Kreider, Dean College of Creative Arts. “We look forward to future participation and exploration of new and useful ways to use our SNAAP data.”
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Happy 2014 to All
All of us at SNAAP wish you the best for 2014.
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Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
1900 E. Tenth Street | Bloomington, IN 47406-7512
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