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Vol. 5 No. 2
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 contains data from over 35,000 arts alumni from 46 institutions who were surveyed in the fall of 2015.

What Resources Do Artists Need?

The SNAAP survey has traditionally included questions that shed light on why some arts graduates leave the field. In the 2015-2017 questionnaire, we asked about the barriers that current artists face as they navigate their careers.

"What is the most important resource to which you currently do NOT have access?"

  • Publicity and recognition of your work (23%)
  • Business advising (15%)
  • Professional networks (15%)
  • Loans, investment capital (13%)
  • Studio space (10%)
  • Equipment (8%)
  • Performance and exhibition space (4%)

Since money, equipment, and space traditionally have been considered the most important resources needed by artists, this new data from SNAAP demonstrates that there are other more important considerations. Encouragingly, arts education institutions can help both their alumni and current students obtain networking skills, business skills, and marketing savvy to better achieve publicity and recognition of their work.


Some artists indicated that they did not need any resources. Not surprisingly, alumni from the older cohorts are most likely to indicate that no resources are needed.

  • Over a quarter of respondents (26%) of artists who graduated in 1985 and before said they do not lack any resources.
  • 15% of artists who graduated from 1986-1995 indicated they do not lack any resources.
  • Only 3% of artists who graduated between 2011-2015 indicated they do not lack any resources

Disappointingly, survey responses show race-based disparities in borrowing.

  • Percentage of alumni who are currently artists who indicated that ¬†loans and investment capital is the top needed resource to which they do not have access:
    • 21% of Black alumni
    • 15% of Latino or Hispanic alumni
    • 12% of White alumni

More information about these data are available in the 2016 SNAAP Annual Report.

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Register for SNAAP 2017 Beginning in April

Registration will open for SNAAP 2017 in April and close on July 14, 2017.

This is the final year of the current 3-year cycle, so institutions that want to have their own SNAAP data are strongly encouraged to register this year.

As a SNAAP participant, you receive customized institutional reports with comparison data from other participating institutions, a complete data set, infographics that visualize your key results, ways to incorporate your SNAAP data into regional or specialized accreditation efforts, and much more. SNAAP staff provide guidance on how to use your results.

For more information, contact Rebecca Houghton or Sally Gaskill at or 812-856-5824.

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