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THE DEVOS INSTITUTE OF ARTS MANAGEMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND RELEASES REPORT ON DIVERSITY IN THE ARTS

Graham Binder, UMD Right Now

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland released a report on diversity in the arts, highlighting the challenges facing African American and Latino arts organizations.  

The report, titled, “Diversity In The Arts: The Past, Present and Future of African American and Latino Museums, Dance Companies and Theater Companies,” explores the historical factors that shaped African American and Latino arts organizations and assesses the current status of these organizations.

According to the report, arts organizations of color are, in general, much less secure and far smaller than their mainstream counterparts. Many are plagued by chronic financial difficulties that place limits on what can be produced, how much can be produced, how many artists are trained and how many people are served. 

“In 2015, a large number of arts organizations of color are struggling, in some cases desperately,” according to the authors of the report. “As macro trends emerge that threaten the U.S. arts sector as a whole, from cuts in government funding to the proliferation of cheap online entertainment, organizations of color are particularly vulnerable.” 

Major findings on the differences between mainstream arts organizations and organizations of color include:

  • Difference in ages: The average age of mainstream arts organizations is 72 years versus 35 years for diverse organizations. 
  • Difference in sizes: The 20 largest mainstream organizations have a median budget of $61 million while the 20 largest organizations of color have a median budget size of $3.8 million.
  • Sources of revenue: The largest mainstream organizations earn 59 percent of their budget compared to just 40 percent for African American and Latino organizations.
  • Deficits: Thirteen of the 20 largest arts organizations of color in the sample reported deficits in FY13, with nine reporting deficits of at least 10 percent of their total annual budgets. 
  • Endowments: Total net earnings in mainstream dance were more than $31 million compared to close to $5 million for African American dance and $76,000 for Latino dance. 
  • Compensation: The median executive compensation in mainstream theater is $338,812, compared to $62,692 in African American theater and $51,298 in Latino theater.

Read more here

Date of Publication: 
10/19/15