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  Vol. 1 No. 4
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.

This DataBrief highlights important data exploring arts graduates’ lifelong involvement in the arts -- beyond employment. We draw on data from more than 36,000 arts alumni from 66 institutions (8 arts high schools and 58 postsecondary institutions) in the United States and Canada who responded to the SNAAP survey in Fall 2011.

•Giving and Volunteering
•Unpaid Art-Making
•Profile: Herron School of Art + Design
•SNAAP in Fast Company Magazine
•SNAAP 2013: Register now!
•Explore SNAAP: Info Seminars Coming Up

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Giving and Volunteering

% of all SNAAP respondents who have volunteered at an arts organization in the past 12 months: 27%

% of respondents who are not currently professional artists who have volunteered at an arts organization in the past 12 months: 21%

The degree to which arts graduates contribute to their artistic communities speaks to their passion and identity grounded in their arts education.

A whopping 92% of SNAAP respondents – both those who work in the arts and those who do not -- have supported the arts in the past 12 months, in ways other than performing, creating, or exhibiting their own artwork! For instance, 88% attended an arts event, 27% volunteered at an arts organization, 19% volunteered to teach the arts, and 14% served on the board of an arts organization. Additionally, a full 45% donated money to an arts organization or artist.

Many arts alumni who are not employed as artists continue to support the arts. Among those not currently working as professional artists, 41% donated money to an arts organization or artist, and 21% volunteered at an arts organization, in the past year.

In sum, large numbers of arts alumni indicate that they engage in volunteerism and make other contributions to the arts. These results also suggest that creative individuals who are not working as professional artists are not peripheral to the artistic ecology but are, in fact, a significant force within it.

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Unpaid Art-Making

% of all SNAAP respondents who engage in unpaid art-making: 83%

% of respondents who are not currently professional artists who make art in their personal time: 61%

Data from SNAAP suggest that individuals who are not paid artists produce and perform a substantial portion of the art being seen and done in our communities. While 83% of alumni who currently work as professional artists say that they make or perform art in their personal (not work-related) time, the same is also true for 61% of their counterparts who are not professional artists. Among individuals who do not currently work as professional artists but who intended to work as artists when they began at their institutions, 67% currently make or perform art avocationally.

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Profile: Herron School of Art + Design

Herron School of Art + Design has a century-long record of producing Prix de Rome winners, Fulbright scholars, MacArthur fellows and other artists and designers of renown. A part of the urban campus of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), it offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of fine arts, visual communications design, art education, art therapy and art history.

Glennda McGann, Assistant Dean of Development and External Affairs, immediately recognized the value of Herron’s SNAAP data. Her team developed a Web site and printed materials on “Careers in the Arts” and shared highlights from its SNAAP results .“The career information for current and prospective students and their parents, and other observations from our alumni that we are using to continuously improve the experience of students today, would not have been available without SNAAP,” McGann says. “The data also allowed us to measure ourselves against competitor schools. We never could have taken on a similar survey alone.”

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SNAAP in Fast Company Magazine

SNAAP’s director of research, Steven Tepper, published an intriguing article in Fast Company magazine’s online edition recently. Aimed at business leaders, the piece addresses the talent gaps that most companies will face as the unprecedented Baby Boomer retirement wave deepens in the next few years. With fascinating statistics, this piece offers a counterintuitive point of view and details how business leaders can tap the creative economy to find resourceful, creative workers who are hidden gems and tomorrow’s superstars.

As spring Commencements approach, the ideas are particularly relevant as we send the next generation of artists and arts-trained graduates into the world. Read the article here.

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SNAAP 2013: Register Now

Join these schools – Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts, DePauw University School of Music, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Temple University Center for the Arts: Boyer College of Music and Dance, Tyler School of Art, and the Division of Theater, Film & Media Arts – in registering for SNAAP ‘13!

Why do SNAAP? Here are a few good reasons.

  1. Dazzle your alumni, donors and authorizers with data about the accomplishments of your alumni;
  2. Be able to demonstrate what skills your alumni learned through their arts education, and what they use in the workplace;
  3. Have in hand valuable data to help you make important decisions about curriculum;
  4. And that’s the tip of the iceberg.
View our Invitation to Participate here.

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Explore SNAAP: Info Seminars Coming Up

We are offering several opportunities to learn more about SNAAP:

Wednesday, May 1, 4 to 5:30pm EDT
All About SNAAP Information Seminar in New York City
Hosted by Fashion Institute of Technology, 27th Street at 7th Avenue
For more information and to register to attend, please contact us at

Tuesday, May 14, 2 to 3pm EDT
Why SNAAP, Why Now? – a free Webinar presented by SNAAP staff
Learn more about SNAAP and ask the staff questions! We will discuss how SNAAP works, the costs involved, and how institutions are using their SNAAP data for positive change.
Register in advance

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