Reports and Data

Houston Area Artists Report

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Houston Area Artists Report is an online survey and set of visualization tools aimed at shedding light on how visual artists are compensated for their work. We hope to enable artists to access data outside their personal network as well as easily identify industry-wide and organization-specific norms.Houston Area Artists Report aims to:+  make evident the current landscape of support for artists while the city of Houston is determining the future of that support+  supplement data about artists with data by artists+  enable artists to access data outside their personal network+  enable artists to make more informed decisions about their careers+  provide artists a way to track the quality of their professional opportunities over time+  enable institutions to track their relevance and degree of reciprocity in the community+  empower artists and hosts to negotiate compensation agreements+  identify city-wide and organization-specific norms+  aid innovators as they develop new policies and tools to serve and present artists+  provide funders with reports from those who they intend to support but don’t usually hear from+  create a more competitive environment and a higher level of accountability for presenters+  create a more supporting and transparent field of opportunity for artists+  exhaust less creativity on exploitative gigs and foster more creativity with good opportunities+  platform and increase that which makes its viable for artists to stay here+  publicly visualize how the arts ecosystem works together here in our city+  Advocacy for equitable compensation of artists and more effective and sustainable models in the arts is nothing new. As Houston’s arts funding policies are currently being rewritten and the city is undergoing a major cultural initiative, this survey, centered on and starting with the artists is vital in establishing equitable policies for the future.What Will Be Done With the Data?We will build visualizations once there is a significant data pool to draw from. Houston Area Artists Report is hosted by the Compensation Foundation platform, whose Bay Area Artists Report visualizations appear at left.All information is anonymous.For a piece of data to be displayed on the website it will need 5 reports. So for example, no arts organization will appear until 5 interactions with it have been recorded. Information about a sub-category of artists (e.g. Mid-Career, Painters...) will only be presented after there are 5 artists within that sub-category. No individual paths will be able to be tracked from venue to venue.In Our Own Backyard:"According to a study by the Urban Institute, artists in the United States are often underpaid in relation to their education, skills, and societal contributions. In the case of Houston, a high degree of wage disparity persists among artists, both in terms of geographic location and the different disciplines that make up a given artist occupation. Meager earnings are one of the chief reasons why increased funding remains such an enduring need for artists. Examining the earning levels for individuals whose primary source of income comes from arts-related occupations shows how viable it is for a person to pursue a career in the arts in the Houston region. As an indicator, income levels for artists can lend insight into how hospitable our region is for working artists, as well as better inform funding decisions.""Low wages often signify a lack of sufficient opportunity for workers with a certain skill set. When comparing how much money arts workers in Houston take home against their counterparts in competitor regions, the numbers initially seem to indicate that Houston is failing to keep up with its peers. In fact, Houston ranks last for mean hourly wages in arts occupations among the 13 other regions considered. Houston is distinguished, however, by the low cost of living its residents enjoy relative to other major U.S. cities – something that the arts community has benefitted from as well."            - Center for Houston's Future ReportThe Big PictureWe believe it is essential to make visible the landscape of support for artists because it also matters in the wider economy. The labor economy is changing. Experts predict that “contingent workers,” will reach 40% of the workforce by 2020. These workers, from artists to business consultants, cooks to interns, have been left out of labor policy and are often unfairly compensated for the work and financial risks they assume.As entities of all sizes turn to a more flexible, decentralized, on-demand workforce, we need ways to ensure that workers are getting a fair deal, that these new arrangements are sustainable. Public, anonymous compensation data will prove invaluable for activists and organizers advocating for their own communities, but it will also be useful to anyone who cares about where the economy is going and how to make it just and equitable for the long term.Courtesy of Compensation Foundation: Houston Area Artists Report
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Arts and Culture Report from Center for Houston's Future

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Here in Houston we create and celebrate arts and cultural heritage the same way we do so many other things – with bold strokes, rambunctious energy, and great good humor.We’re particularly proud to brag on our most prominent and celebrated institutions, crowing (correctly) that we’re one of the few cities in the United States that boasts permanent resident companies across the major performing arts disciplines – symphony orchestra, grand opera, theater, and ballet. Not to mention exceptional fine arts museums. So yes, we’ve got good reason to toot our trumpets. These institutions have a storied history. They’re well-respected and well-reviewed throughout the country and around the globe.Of course, when we consider Houston’s arts and cultural heritage in broad terms, we’re not all about the high-brow. Our folk and vernacular traditions encompass everything from neighborhood renditions of free expression such as the Beer Can House to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The rodeo, in fact, may be the single largest ambassador of the Houston region’s cultural identity. A recent editorial in the Houston Chronicle noted that the rodeo has become “so successful that it draws more visitors than all the people in the entire city of Houston” while still engaging a diverse and burgeoning hometown population. The Chronicle identified the rodeo and the Houston Grand Opera as exemplars of organizations that have “embraced the obligation to … reflect the community.”Indeed, our major institutions do an admirable job of connecting with the Houston region’s diverse constituencies. And all those varied communities have generated a fertile artistic and cultural universe that reflects our manifold cultures and backgrounds, as well as our gloriously colorful future.So when we decided to study the Houston region’s arts and cultural heritage, we knew we’d be working from a rich palette. We also knew this topic would present particular challenges, unlike those encountered in earlier reports. The arts by nature capture a subjective version of our world, and for that reason prove resistant to quantification. In the absence of hard data, the temptation is to talk about what we like or don’t like. But our aim here is not to produce a qualitative review of our arts and cultural scene. Nor is it to assess the economic or social impact of arts and culture on our region. Our aim is to come to some understanding of how well the greater Houston region cultivates, encourages, and nourishes artistic and cultural expression, particularly in terms of financial sustainability.The Arts & Cultural Heritage Community Indicator Report focuses on three regional topics – cultural organizations, funding for the arts, and people and jobs. The report strives to capture longitudinal trends and challenges with comparisons to competitor regions within Texas and around the nation. Within this report, we selected individual indicators* following a literature review, and consultation with dozens of arts and cultural leaders throughout the region via interviews, focus groups, and peer review meetings. The chosen indicators reflect both the priorities voiced by these leaders, as well as practical considerations related to the availability of the existing data. DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT BELOW.
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Research from the Houston Arts Alliance

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From the Houston Arts Alliance website:In 2012, a resounding amount of information from research surrounding the arts in Houston was released through three different studies, illuminating the intersection of Houston's creative industries, nonprofit arts, and quality of life issues.The Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, under the leadership of Co-Director Stephen Klineberg, conducted the first-ever Houston Arts Survey. That survey revealed that 73% of all respondents asserted that the arts contribute significantly to their quality of life. This appreciation extends across the city's diverse populations, with the vast majority of respondents supportive of continued and, in fact, enhanced public funding of the arts and arts education.These findings aligned with Houston Arts Alliance's economic impact studies, providing further compelling evidence of the strength of the arts in Houston. HAA released the economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences in Houston/Harris County as part of Americans for the Arts’ national Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study. Our local nonprofit arts industry generates $869 million in total economic activity annually and supports the full-time equivalent of 19,651 jobs. Conducted every five years, this 2010 study showed a 39% increase in Harris County over 2005.Following the 10-county footprint of the Greater Houston Partnership, HAA together with the University of Houstonmeasured The Creative Economy of Houston for the first time. This diverse and broad-based collection of for-profit industry sectors such as film, design and architecture as well as the non-profit arts employ 146,000 individuals with a $9.1 billion economic impact annually.Taken together, all three studies support Houstonians’ active participation in the arts, our willingness to support the arts, and the great growth potential for creative services and products. Even coming out of the Great Recession, Houston's arts have proven not only resilient but also set for sustained growth. This data informs public policy, education, tourism and business leaders about the benefits of the arts and creative economies.
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