A couple of months ago I attended a forum in which one of the speakers said: “in God we trust, everybody else bring data.” This affirmation was a funny way to express what in the arts field is becoming more and more a reality: we use data to make sound decisions. Arts administrators are getting used to not only look for data when they have to make important decisions about their programs and communications, but many organizations are also starting to gather their own data. Important efforts that show the value of data in the non-profit art world have emerged in the last several years, and funders are looking at ways in which they can support organizations to learn how to use data in their organizations.
But data is not always easily accessible, and often times it is non-existent. Publicly available data about the arts experience of specific population groups, such as Latinos, is scarce and most often a sub-set of larger surveys. Although valuable, data like this shows us how Latinos compare to other population groups based on variables designed for the population at large (e.g. how many Latinos attend the opera) not designed to understand that particular group.
Finally, even in situations in which there is data available, often times arts administrators remain scratching their heads on how to convert insights into actionable guidelines. Solutions are not easily drawn from the data itself, and a lot of times even those with the best intentions prefer to put the data aside and keep making the type of decisions they’ve been making in the past since those have proven effective by now.
The LatinXperience Study, which you now have access to in an accessible format, was designed to provide original data about the experience of Latinos in the arts in California, as well as provide actionable guidelines that arts administrators can use when designing programs and communications.
We hope to achieve this by providing:
models and frameworks to understand and empathize with the experiences Latinos seek in the arts;
guiding principles to empower the design of programs and communications; and
recommendations to inspire solutions that will result in higher and more meaningful engagement of Latinos in the arts.
But we also have one more objective: to create a community around the LatinXperience Study. We hope you make this your study and make it a valuable resource by sharing your opinions and experiences through this blog as well as the study’s social media channels.