Cultural_Assess_Survey by chrstphr

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									Cultural Assessment Survey Findings

Report prepared for: The City of Austin Economic Growth and Revitalization Services Office Cultural Arts Division

Report prepared by: Jennifer Beck, Ph.D., EvalArts Janet Seibert, City of Austin Cultural Arts Division
March 2006

Table of Contents

Overview............................................................................................................................. 1 Background ......................................................................................................................... 1 The Austin Community Cultural Plan ........................................................................ 2 The Cultural Assessment Survey Method........................................................................... 2 The Cultural Assessment Survey Findings ......................................................................... 3 Respondents’ Role in the Arts .................................................................................... 3 Annual Operating Budget ........................................................................................... 4 Years of Involvement with Austin’s Art and Culture Community............................. 4 Geographic Location................................................................................................... 5 Artistic Disciplines...................................................................................................... 5 Purpose of the Work, Organization or Business......................................................... 6 Overall Satisfaction with Austin’s Arts and Culture Landscape ................................ 6 Use of Technical Assistance ..................................................................................... 11 The Community’s Unique Assets ............................................................................. 12 The Role of the Government..................................................................................... 13 Pressing Issues Facing the Cultural Development of Austin.................................... 14 Ideas for Improving the Cultural Vitality of Austin ................................................. 15 Facility Needs ........................................................................................................... 17 Individual Artists ...................................................................................................... 18 For-Profit Businesses ................................................................................................ 19 Interest in Participating in the Planning Process....................................................... 21 Conclusions....................................................................................................................... 21

Overview
In February 2006, The City of Austin’s Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office (EGRSO) contracted with Jennifer Beck, Ph.D. of EvalArts to evaluate the responses to a Cultural Assessment Survey that was completed by members of Austin’s arts, culture, and creative Community. The goal of this survey was to provide EGRSO’s Cultural Arts Division with an analysis of Austin's cultural environment and to identify key issues in need of further community discussion. It is intended that the results from this survey will be used by the Cultural Arts Division to inform the two-year planning process that will lead to the Austin Community Cultural Plan. The Austin Community Cultural Plan will provide dynamic strategies to nurture, preserve and promote the arts and creative industries in Austin. Following a description of the project’s background, this report presents the findings and conclusions from the community survey.

Background
The Cultural Assessment Survey was designed by the Cultural Arts Division of EGRSO to take a snapshot of Austin’s arts and culture landscape, with a focus on identifying the creative community’s key strengths, assets and pressing issues. Although the survey was not designed to gather feedback specific to EGRSO or the Cultural Arts Division, the survey responses highlight the need for greater community understanding about the roles and purposes of EGRSO and the Cultural Arts Division. As the planning process moves forward, it is instrumental that the community understands what EGRSO and the Cultural Arts Division can and cannot do for the arts and culture community so that appropriate expectations are established from the beginning. As described on the City’s website, EGRSO was created to manage the city's economic development policies and to promote and facilitate sustainable growth. The goal of EGRSO is to enhance livability and economic viability in a manner that preserves the character of Austin and its environment. EGRSO provides multiple services to the City of Austin, including, but not limited to, the following: Provide assistance to the City Manager and City Council to develop and implement the City's economic development policies and programs. Form public and private partnerships with primary employers and key project developers in order to encourage location and/or expansion in the Desired Development Zone. Provide information to and coordinate projects and studies for the community that encourages a mixed-use downtown. Provide development opportunities and resources to small businesses so that they may become self-sustaining in a competitive business environment. Nurture, preserve and promote Austin's arts and creative industries in order to strengthen and sustain Austin's dynamic cultural vitality.
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The Cultural Arts Division within EGRSO provides leadership and management for the City’s cultural arts programs and for the development of arts and cultural industries as an economic development strategy for the City. The Cultural Arts Division is responsible for the Cultural Arts Funding Programs, the Art In Public Places Program, Music, Film and Technology Economic Development, Civic Arts, and special projects, planning and marketing to encourage the community’s unique cultural identity and vitality. The Austin Community Cultural Plan The Cultural Arts Division is poised to launch a two-year planning process to create the Austin Community Cultural Plan (The Plan). Once complete, The Plan will provide action-based strategies to nurture, preserve and promote the arts and creative industries in Austin. Although the Cultural Arts Division of EGRSO is facilitating the planning process, the planning process will be a community-wide effort. Community participation will be vital to identifying the strengths, issues and challenges of the arts and culture community, as well as creating and implementing strategies that will enhance and sustain the cultural development of Austin. There are several components to the planning process, including: 1. Cultural Assessment: Data is being collected about the arts and creative industries using research, surveys, interviews and focus groups. The Cultural Assessment Survey that is the subject of this report is one of the activities in this component. 2. Economic Impact Study: Texas Perspectives, Inc. has completed a cultural sector economic impact study. 3. Arts and Economic Prosperity Study: Austin is participating in the second national study by Americans for the Arts. The study will determine the economic impact of Austin’s non-profit arts organizations and compare it to other cities. 4. Planning Process: A cultural planning consultant will facilitate a community-wide planning process to develop short- and long-term strategies, and an advisory group is being formed to help guide the process. The community will be asked to contribute to and review The Plan by participating in interviews, civic dialogues, and issue-based committees. 5. The Community Cultural Plan: The final document that provides the policy framework and strategies for the community to build upon.

The Cultural Assessment Survey Method
The Cultural Assessment Survey is one of several activities designed to assess Austin’s arts and culture landscape. Additional surveys, interviews and focus groups will be conducted to further inform the overall Cultural Assessment. The target audience for this survey included representatives from the City of Austin’s non-profit and for-profit arts, culture and creative organizations, as well as individual artists and arts workers. The survey was not intended to be an

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evaluation of the City’s Cultural Arts Division or EGRSO. Rather, the survey was designed to assess Austin's cultural environment and to identify key issues for future community discussion. The Cultural Arts Division designed and distributed the survey. The survey consisted of 39 questions and used a combination of open-ended questions and ratings. The first section asked all respondents to describe their involvement with Austin’s arts and culture community and to share their general opinions about the quality of Austin’s cultural environment. The remaining sections asked more focused questions about the cultural community’s strengths, assets and challenges from three perspectives: non-profit arts and culture organizations; for-profit arts and culture businesses; and individual artists and arts workers. On December 19, 2005, a link to the online survey, along with a cover letter from the EGRSO Cultural Arts Program Manager, was emailed to the Cultural Arts Division’s database of contacts. The invitation asked recipients to complete the survey themselves, and to then distribute the invitation to colleagues, board members, businesses and artists who are members of Austin’s arts and culture environment. The survey was also promoted on the Cultural Arts Division’s website. EGRSO supplemented the original email invitation with an email reminder four weeks later, and officially closed the survey on January 31, 2006. Due to the broad dissemination of the survey, it is impossible to know how many individuals received notice of the survey. It is also impossible to know how many individuals are in the target population because the number of individuals representing Austin’s arts and culture community is undetermined. As a result, the closest approximation to a response rate that can be computed is to divide the number of survey respondents by the number of individuals who received the original email invitation from EGRSO. In total, approximately 5,800 individuals received the email invitation and 642 individuals completed the survey, yielding a 11% response rate.

The Cultural Assessment Survey Findings
This section describes the characteristics of the survey respondents and their opinions about the community’s strengths, assets and challenges, as they pertain to the vitality and sustainability of Austin’s arts and culture environment. Respondents’ Role in the Arts The survey was completed by a diverse set of community members who had varying amounts of involvement and interest in Austin’s arts and culture environment. As previously described, the City was interested in the opinions of arts-related non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses, as well as individual artists and arts workers. While the majority of respondents (86%) completed the survey from a single perspective (e.g., a non-profit arts organization), 14 percent of the respondents completed the survey from multiple perspectives (e.g., an individual artist and an arts-related for-profit business). Of the 635 respondents who indicated their perspective:

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52% were solely individual artists or arts workers; 21% solely represented non-profit arts and culture organizations; 14% of the respondents completed the survey from multiple perspectives; and 13% solely represented for-profit arts and culture businesses. It is important to underscore that these percentages do not reflect the percentages of individual artists, non-profit art organizations or for-profit art businesses in Austin. Rather, the numbers represent only those who completed the survey. For example, the fact that more individual artists completed the survey than representatives from non-profit or for-profit organizations does not reflect actual differences in the number of each in Austin. The difference in percentages only raises questions about who did and did not receive the survey and who decided to complete it. Annual Operating Budget Respondents’ (N = 628) operating budgets ranged from less than $15,000 per year to more than one million annually, with the majority of respondents’ earning under $50,000 annually. The range of operating budgets was as follows: 37% operate with less than $15,000; 25% operate with $15,000 - 49,999; 13% operate with $50,000 - 99,999; 12% operate with $100,000 - 499,999; and 13% operate with $500,000 and more. Individual artists were asked to identify the figure that was the closest to their income. As discussed on page 18 of this report, a small percentage of individual artists’ income is derived from their art, and as might be expected, individual artists had lower operating budgets than the non-profit and for-profit organizations. Fifty-two percent of the individual artists earned less than $15,000 annually, whereas 58 percent of the non-profit organizations and 54 percent of the forprofit organizations had operating budgets greater than $100,000 annually. Years of Involvement with Austin’s Art and Culture Community Of the 631 respondents who answered the question, the number of years that the individual artists and art organizations had been in business ranged from less than three years to more than 20 years, with 44 percent of the respondents in business for six or less years and 21 percent existing for more than 20 years. 23% had been in existence 3 or less years; 21% had been in existence 4-6 years; 15% had been in existence 7-10 years; 20% had been in existence 11-20 years; and 21% had been in existence more than 20 years.

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The number of years in business varied significantly for the individual artists, non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses. Fifty-one percent of the individual artists and 59 percent of the for-profit businesses had been in existence for six or less years, whereas 27 percent of the non-profit organizations had been in business for six or less years. Geographic Location The 618 respondents were located throughout Austin, with a few situated in sparser areas outside these zip code areas. See Figure 1: Geographic Location of Respondents on page 6. Nearly onethird of respondents were located in Central Austin, and an additional one-third of respondents were located in West, Northwest, and East Austin. Respondents were asked to provide the zip code where their business or studio resided; some elected to identify both. 11 respondents chose not to identify their zip code. The researcher categorized the zip codes into City areas using a set of categories and accompanying zip codes provided by the Cultural Arts Division. 35% were located in Central Austin; 24% were located in West/Northwest Austin; 16% were located in East Austin; 15% were located in Southwest Austin; 5% were located in the Northeast Austin; 3% were located in the Southeast Austin; and 2% were located outside Austin City Limits. Central Austin was home to many of the respondents representing non-profit organizations and for-profit organizations, whereas the individual artists were more dispersed across the city. While 28 percent of the individual artists resided in Central Austin, 42 percent of the non-profit organizations and 39 percent of the for-profit businesses were located in Central Austin. Artistic Disciplines Five hundred seventy respondents identified the artistic discipline that is the focus of their individual work, organization or business. While the majority of the respondents (70%) worked in a single artistic discipline, 30 percent of the respondents worked in multiple artistic disciplines. Respondents were working in the following disciplines: 30% were involved with more than one of the disciplines listed below; 28% were involved with music; 19% were involved with visual arts; 11% were involved with media arts; 4% were involved with dance; 4% were involved with theatre; 2% were involved with literary arts; and 2% were involved with technology. Those involved with multiple disciplines represented all combinations of the presented disciplines. In addition to indicating their disciplines from the given list, 18 percent of

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respondents identified another discipline that was not listed. These “other” disciplines included architecture, artisan crafts, costume design, design, jewelry, and video game development. Purpose of the Work, Organization or Business Six hundred thirty respondents identified the primary purpose of their individual work, organization or business. Respondents were instructed to select one option from seven listed purposes: 34% had the primary purpose of creating an exhibition, performance or product; 19% had the primary purpose of presenting an exhibition, performance or product; 15% had the primary purpose of producing an exhibition, performance or product; 9% had the primary purpose of education; 5% had the primary purpose of offering support services; and 18% had “other” primary purposes. The 18 percent of respondents who indicated having “other” primary purposes represented, in most cases, individuals who had multiple purposes from the provided list. In other words, many of those in this category had purposes to educate, create, present, and produce their work. The purpose of one’s work corresponded to the size of the operating budget. Of those who said their primary purpose was to educate, 68 percent had operating budgets above $50,000 annually. Likewise, 67 percent of those with the purpose to provide support services had annual budgets over $50,000. On the other end of the spectrum, 83% of those who created work, 65% of those who presented work, and 59% of those who produced art-related work had annual operating budgets of less than $50,000. These percentages suggest that funds are more accessible to those with the purposes of educating about the arts and supporting the arts then there are for creating, presenting, and producing art. Overall Satisfaction with Austin’s Arts and Culture Landscape Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with various aspects of Austin’s arts and culture landscape. For each of the following issues, respondents rated their satisfaction on a scale of 1-5, with 1 equal to “very unsatisfied” and 5 equal to “very satisfied.” Table 1 shows the average satisfaction ratings for the overall sample.

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Table 1 Satisfaction with Community Issues Scale: 1 = very unsatisfied 5 = very satisfied Variety & Strength of Art Disciplines Audience Attendance Collaboration Between Non-Profit Groups Community Leadership Access to Appropriate Facilities/Venues Media & Promotion Coverage Access to Support Services Collaboration Between Non-Profit and For-Profit Groups Diversity of Funding Access to Funding N = 354-436

Average Satisfaction Rating 3.9 3.3 3.1 3.0 3.0 2.9 2.9 2.8 2.3 2.3

Relative to the other community issues, respondents were most satisfied with: The variety and strength of art disciplines in Austin; and Audience attendance. Variety and strength of disciplines On the 1-5 scale, respondents rated their satisfaction with the diversity and strength of disciplines at 3.9, the highest rated issue. More than two-thirds (69%) of the respondents rated their satisfaction above the midpoint of the scale, whereas only twelve percent rated their satisfaction below the midpoint. Respondents’ satisfaction with the variety and strength of the art disciplines in Austin did not vary by role, discipline, years in business, budget, location or purpose. Audience attendance On average, respondents rated their satisfaction with audience attendance at 3.3. Nearly one-half of the respondents (45%) rated their satisfaction above the midpoint of the 5-point scale and onequarter of the respondents (24%) rated their satisfaction below the midpoint. Respondents’ satisfaction with audience attendance varied according to their perspectives and characteristics. Independent artists were slightly less satisfied with audience attendance than were nonprofits and for-profits. Respondents working in media arts were the most satisfied with audience attendance, whereas those working in theatre were the least satisfied with audience attendance. As the size of one’s budget increased, so did satisfaction with audience attendance.

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Respondents with a primary purpose to educate were the most satisfied with audience attendance, yet those with the primary purpose to present an exhibition, performance or product were the least satisfied. Respondents located in Central and West/Northwest Austin were the most satisfied with audience attendance and those located in East or Southwest Austin were the least satisfied. Of the ten aspects of Austin’s arts and culture landscape that were rated, respondents were least satisfied with: The diversity of funding; and Their access to funding. Diversity of funding On the scale of 1-5, with 1 being “very unsatisfied” and 5 being “very satisfied”, respondents rated their satisfaction with the diversity of funding at 2.3. More than one-third of respondents (38%) rated their satisfaction below the midpoint, whereas 13 percent of respondents rated their satisfaction above the midpoint of the scale. The following bullets highlight differences in respondents’ satisfaction with the diversity of funding. Independent artists were the least satisfied with the diversity of funding and non-profit organizations were the most satisfied with the diversity of funding. As budget increased, so did one’s satisfaction with the diversity of funding. The number of years in business had no impact on respondents’ satisfaction with the diversity of funding. Those with a primary purpose to educate were the most satisfied with the diversity of funding. Access to funding On average, respondents rated their satisfaction with their access to funding at 2.3. Fifty-nine percent of respondents rated their satisfaction below the midpoint of the 5-point scale, whereas 11 percent of respondents rated their satisfaction above the midpoint of the scale. Non-profit organizations were more satisfied with their access to funding sources than were the individual artists and for-profit organizations. Older, more established organizations and artists were more satisfied with their access to funding than those just starting out. As operating budget increased, so did respondents’ satisfaction with their access to funding.

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Once again, those with the primary purpose of educating reported higher levels of satisfaction with their access to funding than those with purposes to create, present, produce and support artistic work. Thus far, the findings have discussed, in detail, the two issues that respondents were most satisfied with (i.e., strength and variety of disciplines and audience attendance) and the two issues that respondents were least satisfied with (i.e., diversity of funding and access to funding). We now turn our attention to the six issues that respondents rated at the middle of the 5-point scale: Collaboration between non-profit organizations; Community leadership; Access to appropriate facilities/venues; Media and promotion coverage; Access to support services; and Collaboration between non-profit and for-profit organizations. Table 2 shows the percentage of respondents who rated each of these community issues above, below and at the mid-point of the 5-point scale. Following Table 2, each issue is discussed in greater detail. Table 2 Satisfaction with Community Issues Scale: Average 1 = very unsatisfied Rating 5 = very satisfied Variety & Strength of 3.9 Disciplines Audience Attendance 3.3 Collaboration Between 3.1 Non-Profit Groups Community Leadership 3.0 Access to Appropriate 3.0 Facilities/Venues Media & Promotion 2.9 Coverage Access to Support 2.9 Services Collaboration Between 2.8 Non-Profit and ForProfit Groups Diversity of Funding 2.3 Access to Funding 2.3 N = 354-436

Percent above midpoint 69% 45% 36% 30% 39% 31% 31% 23% 13% 11%

Percent at midpoint 19% 31% 35% 38% 27% 32% 33% 36% 49% 30%

Percent below midpoint 12% 24% 29% 32% 34% 37% 36% 41% 38% 59%

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Collaboration Between Non-Profit Groups Respondents’ satisfaction with the collaboration that occurred between non-profit groups did not differ according to the respondents’ role, their discipline, years in business, budget, location or purpose. Community Leadership Independent artists were the least satisfied with community leadership, whereas respondents representing non-profit organizations were the most satisfied with community leadership. Compared to the other artistic disciplines, respondents from the theatre were the least satisfied with community leadership. The larger the operating budget, the more satisfied respondents were with community leadership. Respondents with the primary purpose to educate were the most satisfied with community leadership and respondents with the purposes to create and produce exhibits, performances or products were the least satisfied with community leadership. Access to Appropriate Facilities/Venues For-profit arts and culture businesses were the most satisfied with their access to appropriate facilities and venues, whereas non-profit organizations were the least satisfied with their access to facilities and venues. Respondents from the dance, theatre and visual arts disciplines were less satisfied with their access to appropriate facilities and venues, compared to the other listed artistic disciplines. Respondents with the primary purpose to educate were more satisfied with their access to appropriate facilities and venues than those with other purposes. Media and Promotion Coverage Relative to the other artistic disciplines, respondents from the media arts and literary arts were more satisfied with their media and promotion coverage. The greater the respondents’ operating budgets, the more satisfied they were with their media and promotion coverage.

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Access to Support Services Independent artists were the least satisfied with their access to support services, whereas respondents representing non-profit organizations were the most satisfied with their access to support services. Respondents from the theatre discipline were the least satisfied with their access to support services, compared to all other disciplines. As the number of years that the individual or organization had been in business increased, so did their satisfaction with their access to support services. The larger the operating budget, the more satisfied the respondent was with his/her access to support services. Respondents with the primary purpose to educate were more satisfied with their access to support services than those with other purposes. Collaboration Between Non-Profit and For-Profit Groups Respondents’ satisfaction with the collaboration that occurred between for non-profit and for-profit groups did not differ according to the respondents’ role, their discipline, years in business, budget, location, or purpose. Use of Technical Assistance More than one-third of the respondents (37%) occasionally used outside technical assistance. An additional 48 percent never (13%) or rarely (35%) used outside technical assistance and 15 percent often consulted with outside technical assistance providers. Across the sample (N = 448): 13% never used outside technical assistance; 35% rarely used outside technical assistance; 37% occasionally used outside technical assistance; and 15% often used outside technical assistance. Respondents’ frequency of using outside technical assistance varied by their role, the size of their operating budget, the number of years they had been in business and their geographic location. Specifically: Individual artists were less likely than non-profits and for-profits to use technical assistance. As operating budget increased, use of outside technical assistance decreased. Younger artists and businesses were more likely to use technical assistance than older artists and businesses.

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Respondents located in Central Austin were more likely to use technical assistance than all other geographic locations in Austin. The Community’s Unique Assets Respondents were asked what they considered to be the unique assets of Austin’s arts and culture community. Respondents provided 478 unique assets that were grouped thematically into 10 categories. As described below, the two largest categories of response cited the value and strength of Austin’s human capital, both in terms of the artists and the audience. 19% of the responses cited the value and strength of Austin’s community support for the arts. Community members were applauded for their interest and engagement as audience members across the wide range of artistic disciplines. For example, “There is an educated and interested audience for a variety of art forms;” “There is community appreciation of the arts.” 17% of the responses spoke to the number of talented artists in the community. For example, “There is a depth of ‘bench strength’ in the creative community;” “There is a huge reservoir of talent.” 15% of the responses highlighted the creative climate and open-minded atmosphere of Austin as assets to the community. For example, “We have an environment that recognizes the importance of innovation.” 12% of the responses underscored the strength of having a diverse range of art disciplines in the community. For example, “Artistic crossover among music/theatre/movie/visual/tech fields is an asset.” 9% of the responses cited the value of the resources and reputation provided by the community’s institutions and festivals. For example, “Austin Studios, UT Performing Arts Center, Zachary Scott Theatre, Austin Lyric Opera, and the Paramount Theatre.” 8% of the responses highlighted Austin’s variety of venues and the number of opportunities available for creating, producing and presenting art in the community as significant assets. For example, “There are always festivals, exhibits, and ALWAYS there is live music, 7 nights a week. It’s a beautiful thing.” 6% of the responses indicated that Austin’s assets included the good living conditions of the community. The temperate climate and natural landscape were particularly noted. For example, “Easy living conditions, great weather;” “Inspiring environment, i.e., physically beautiful.” 5% of the responses mentioned the quality of the City’s support as an important asset. For example, “The City is paying attention to the need for cultural vitality.”

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5% of the responses recognized that the City is in the midst of growth and the art scene is still emerging. This growth creates potential and renewed energy. For example, “We have a unique status right now as a good sized city with an up and coming contemporary arts scene. This provides artists a chance to get more quickly established.” 4% of the responses mentioned the strength derived from a community where there is significant collaboration between artists. For example, “There is a collaborative atmosphere here.” The Role of the Government in Supporting Austin’s Arts, Culture and Creative Industries All individuals, regardless of whether they were individual artists, representatives of a non-profit organization or employed with a for-profit business, were asked to describe the role they thought government should play in supporting Austin’s arts, culture and creative industries. Two hundred fifty six responses were categorized into six themes. 43% of the responses said that the role of government in supporting the arts was to provide funding and grant opportunities. Respondents communicated the value of arts and culture to the City’s economic vitality, and pressed for the City to increase their financial investment in the arts. For example, “City and state government should help fund non-profits because it is not possible to collect enough funds from ticket sales to produce first-rate programs.” 20% of the responses said that the government’s role was to promote the arts citywide and beyond, to be an advocate for the arts, culture and creative industries, and to be a clearinghouse for information about arts and culture events and opportunities in the city. For example, “Promote a vibrant, thriving arts community;” “Provide access to information and networking.” 18% of the responses considered the primary role of the government in supporting the arts to be focused on developing and establishing supportive policies. The types of policies that were discussed were intended to support individual artists, non-profits, and for-profits with policies concerning fair wages, health insurance, artist parking permits to load/unload equipment, tax breaks and incentives. For example, “I think the government and community should focus on programs which help the arts/artists to succeed in the business world/community, such as low cost housing projects and health insurance opportunities.” 9% of the responses concerned the responsibility of the government to acquire, maintain and facilitate the use of public spaces for exhibits and performances. For example, “Access to venues;” “Providing appropriate indoor venues for various sizes and types of events, with insurance coverage for the event itself. The organizations would cover their own costs by admission price.”

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5% of the responses suggested that the role of the government in supporting the arts was to provide the arts and culture industries with support services and technical assistance, such as assistance finding and applying for grant opportunities, assistance with marketing, and developing business skills. For example, “Technical assistance;” “Grant-writing classes on a sliding scale.” 5% thought that government should have little or no role in the arts and culture landscape. For example, “None, government should leave it alone.” Pressing Issues Facing the Cultural Development of Austin The survey respondents were asked to share what they considered to be the most pressing issues facing the cultural development of Austin. The 333 responses were categorized according to eight different themes. 23% of the responses indicated that the lack of adequate funding was a pressing issue. Respondents indicated that there were too few funding sources available and there was little diversity in the types of funding sources available to them. For example, “High competition for limited individual giving dollars. Corporate dollars are reserved almost exclusively for education. Local foundation funding is disappearing. Austin Community Foundation is our only private foundation giving grants.” 21% of the responses identified the lack of affordable facilities for the creation, production and presentation of art as a pressing issue. Respondents indicated that the space issue extended from the financial challenges associated with purchasing a facility and the high costs of renting space, to the inadequacies of existing facilities and the difficulty of booking a venue in an over-populated market. For example, “The lack of appropriate venues for all artistic genres;” “Most of the affordable venues currently generate low amounts of revenue with 50 to 150 people attending. I think these events could grow larger or more frequent, however lack of affordable venues restrict these events to out of the way places.” 13% of the responses listed the increasing cost of living in Austin as a pressing issue. The respondents who identified this as an issue indicated that the cost of living (i.e., property taxes, housing costs, rental values) had climbed steadily in the past several years and the increase in cost of living was prohibiting individuals from pursuing careers in the arts. For example, “Like many cities, the rapidly rising cost of housing is pushing our creative community further away.” 11% of the responses cited a decrease in supportive City policies as a pressing issue. Most often cited were the absence of tax breaks and incentives that could help to bring art-related business into the City, restrictive noise ordinances, and the smoking ban. For example, “Rules and regulations set up by the government can either help or hinder the development of cultural life in Austin.”

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10% of the responses cited a range of community issues, such as racism, gentrification, unsupportive police officers, traffic, and poor public transportation to be pressing issues. For example, “The gentrification of the east side, which does not represent progress;” “Inadequate inclusion of and support for African American and Mexican American arts organizations and events;” “Lack of parking.” 9% of the responses mentioned the following pressing issues: (1) there are too few media outlets for the arts; (2) there is inadequate promotion of the community’s arts and culture landscape; and (3) there is uneven coverage of arts and culture events and groups by the established media outlets. For example, “Developing a public campaign that identifies Austin as a cultural destination much like the ‘Live Music Capitol’ brand;” “Not enough promotion and media coverage for the cultural arts.” 7% of the responses were concerns about how to effectively and successfully negotiate the growth and development of downtown Austin and the expanding city limits. For example, “Our development downtown is a pressing issue. Creative types love this town because it is unique, it is a bit rough around the edges and yet it is accessible. Trying to over-develop the downtown …will just take this city away.” 6% of the responses identified the community’s lack of large, established museums and performance spaces as a pressing issue. For example, “We need a real art museum;” “Completion of the Long Center is a pressing issue.” Ideas for Improving the Cultural Vitality of Austin Respondents were asked to share any ideas they had for how the community could improve the cultural vitality of Austin. Respondents provided 233 ideas that were categorized into 10 themes. 19% of the responses were ideas to improve the City’s arts and culture policies. In addition to suggestions to increase tax cuts and business incentives, respondents suggested having an arts and music parking permit that would allow artists to load and unload equipment without facing parking violations, easing noise ordinances, and creating policies to insure a living wage. For example, “Expand housing programs, perhaps provide more city-owned lots through the SMART program, or make a percentage available to artists/creatives, or give the art community a larger sort of ‘homestead’ tax exemption;” “Better healthcare for artists.” 17% of the responses were suggestions for new projects and initiatives, including festivals, gallery crawls and artist-in-residence programs. For example, “Art tours modeled after Houston’s Art Crawl;” “Do art in public places with children doing the art.” 15% of the responses were suggestions to increase the number of funding opportunities available in the city. In addition to requesting that the City government show more financial support for the arts, several respondents highlighted the need to

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develop arts-related philanthropy in Austin. For example, “More funding for artists;” “Greater philanthropy to pay artists a living wage.” 15% of the responses were requests to improve the promotion and marketing of the arts in Austin. Respondents encouraged the City to increase its promotion of the arts and to assist with the development of new promotion and marketing outlets. For example, “Help create a comprehensive media campaign;” “City-wide marketing campaign for the arts – Pittsburgh’s busses were wrapped with words and images signifying the various disciplines in the arts district – there are banners and sign posts everywhere.” 12% of the responses were requests for new and improved facilities and venues. For example, “Create affordable venues;” “Provide reasonably priced studio space and exhibition space;” “I would recommend an Austin Cultural Arts Center akin to what is developing at Palmer. It should have office space available for arts organizations to rent, a 500-1,000 seat film/theatrical space, and an event space to host fundraising events.” 6% of the responses were suggestions to increase the number and diversity of support services and technical assistance that the city offers to the arts and culture community. For example, “Work with local non-profit organizations to help them mobilize events and earn/develop operating funds.” 5% of the responses were suggestions about audience development, not only in terms of attendance, but to increase the number of art buyers in Austin. For example, “Encourage more audience participation and attendance;” “Without more audience involvement, all the public funding in the world won’t lead to success.” 4% of the responses were ideas to improve the community’s access to information about the arts in Austin. Several respondents indicated the need for a central website for locating different arts and culture events, as well as the need for a central clearinghouse where artists could find information about funding opportunities and resources. For example, “A few years back, I wanted a registry/contact database for all the various cultural organizations in Austin. I was told that there wasn’t one.” 4% of the responses were ideas and suggestions for effectively navigating and nurturing the City’s ongoing growth and downtown development. For example, “Downtown Austin should be a one-stop shopping place for the arts. There is no museum or theater district. The commercial/residential development of Austin should be balanced with the introduction of arts/culture venues and outlets.” 3% of the responses thought that the cultural vitality of Austin depended on addressing the community issues previously described as pressing issues. For example, “Be inclusive when developing the arts plan;” “Improve public transportation options;” “Provide ongoing cultural sensitivity training to Austin Police.”

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Facility Needs Individual artists and respondents representing non-profit organizations were asked if they had any facility needs that were not being met. Respondents were provided a list of six possible facility needs and they were instructed to select as many of the needs as applied. As seen in Table 3, non-profit organizations have the greatest facility needs for performance and exhibition space (41%), followed by needs for office space (26%), storage space (23%), rehearsal space (21%) and workspace (14%). Thirty-eight percent of respondents indicated that they had multiple facility needs. Table 3 Facility Needs Facility Needs

Percent of Percent of NPOs* Individual Artists* Performance / Exhibition Space 41% 19% Office Space 26% 6% Storage Space 23% 6% Rehearsal Space 21% 9% Workspace / Studio 14% 12% Living Space 3% 3% N = 133 non-profits and 329 individual artists * Percentages exceed 100% because respondents had
multiple needs

Also seen in Table 3, individual artists appear to have less facility needs than the non-profit organizations. Although the degree of their needs differed, they face similar obstacles in trying to secure the needed facilities. When asked, non-profit organizations and individual artists cited three factors that prevent them from securing their needed facilities: 1. Inadequate funds to purchase a facility; 2. A lack of affordable venues and facilities to rent; and 3. The venues and facilities that are available to rent are often booked several months in advance. The following comments further describe these obstacles: “Space is expensive. We have currently brokered an agreement with a landlord for a reduced rate on office space but the setting has limited parking, thus discouraging dropins and does not offer adequate meeting space.” “The facility does not exist. Our only possibilities are AISD schools, and though some theaters are well-suited, they are impossible to reserve even a few months out.” “We currently manage a venue, but because we are dedicated to keeping our rental rates affordable, we must keep the venue booked year-round, and often find ourselves with no where to rehearse and no place for year-round creative development of our own work.”
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Individual Artists This section addresses the subset of survey questions that were asked of the individual artists. Of the 329 respondents who identified as individual artists or arts workers, 30 percent were working full-time in the arts and 14 percent were working part-time in the arts. Ten percent were students and two percent were unemployed. The remaining artists were working either full-time or part-time in non-arts related fields. Based on the 166 individuals who responded to the question, half of the individual artists (51%) rent their studios and half (49%) own their studios. Sixty-four percent of the 138 respondents own their homes and 68 percent have health insurance. The individual artists were asked what percentage of their income is derived from their art. One hundred eighty six artists responded to the question and approximately half of the artists (51%) said that less than 10 percent of their income comes from their art. 51% derived less than 10% of their income from their art. 12% derived 11-25% of their income from their art. 14% derived 26-50% of their income from their art. 11% derived 51-75% of their income from their art. 12% derived 76-100% of their income from their art. Individual artists were asked to describe whether or not the community offers them the necessary resources to work at, support or show their art. While some artists felt that they had the resources they needed from the community, the majority of individual artists felt that they would benefit from additional resources. The individual artists described a wide range of resources, both general and specific, that they would like to receive from the community. The following are representative examples of the types of resources that are lacking: “People do not buy art in Austin like they do in San Antonio and Dallas.” “Appropriately zoned studio space is a problem.” “As a musician, there are plenty of clubs to play in Austin. The frustrating part is the pay.” “Austin has a lot of available venues. They are just not managed well.” “It would be nice if there was more access to start-up funding or loans.” “I feel that the community supports my art but the city does not. I have been trying to find a place to show my work for a while now and either it is too expensive or everything is booked a year to a year and a half out.”

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“I have had great support of my work at the non-profit and museum level. Unfortunately, there are not enough commercial gallery spaces in Austin. Non-profit alternative spaces are not equipped to provide important ongoing representation of artist work. Individual artists were asked to describe what could make the community a more desirable home for working artists. One hundred forty responses were categorized into six themes. 39% of the responses indicated that the community would be more desirable to individual artists if Austin were more affordable. Respondents cited the rising cost of housing and property taxes, low pay in the arts and the absence of health insurance as impediments to being a working artist in Austin. 24% of the responses indicated that the community would be more desirable if the City provided more support in terms of funding and policies. 23% of the responses said that the community would be more desirable if there were a greater number of affordable facilities and venues in which to create and present one’s work. As previously discussed, the facility issues include cost, suitability, and availability. 8% of the responses indicated that the community would be a more desirable place for artists if the community provided more support in terms of audience attendance and a greater number of art buyers. 6% of the responses said that the community would be more desirable to artists if there were better press and media coverage of the community’s arts and culture events. For-Profit Businesses This section addresses the subset of survey questions that were asked of the individuals representing for-profit businesses. Table 5 shows the different types of businesses that the respondents were representing. Respondents were asked to select as many as applied from a list of business types. The percentages are small and 38 percent described their for-profit business as another type of business. The 38 percent of respondents who described their business type as “other” represented a wide range of businesses, some of them similar to the types listed in Table 5, others very different including architecture, design, and for-profit artisan work. Due to the large number of respondents who selected “other” for-profit business type, it is recommended that further analysis be undertaken to better understand the for-profit creative industries.

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Table 5 For-Profit Businesses Percent of respondents 38% 11% 7% 7% 4% 2% 2% 0% 1%

“Other” (e.g., architecture, design, artisans) Film Production Studio Music Recording Studio Digital Media Studio Gallery Graphic Design Studio Video Game Development Wireless Technology Nanotechnology N = 86 *Percentages do not total 100% because not every for-profit respondent answered. The representatives from the for-profit businesses were asked to identify their position or role in the business. The majority of respondents were Business Owners, Directors and CEOs, with some Business Development Specialists, Business Managers and Administrative Associates completing the survey. Each of the three groups of respondents (i.e., individual artists, non-profit organizations, and forprofit organizations) were asked to describe the strengths that their organization or business had to build on for future development. The individual artists and non-profit organizations cited strengths that were synonymous to what they described as assets of the community (see page 12 of this report). In contrast to the individual artists and non-profit organizations, the forprofit businesses distinguished the community’s assets from their businesses’ strengths. Respondents provided 80 strengths that their business could build on for future development. The 80 responses were grouped across four themes. 40% of the for-profit businesses said their greatest strength was that they provided a high quality product or service, and as a result, they had a strong reputation in the field. 23% of the for-profit businesses described their greatest strengths as creativity, innovation and flexibility. 21% of the for-profit businesses described their greatest strength to be their network of contacts and their customer base. 16% of the for-profit businesses said their greatest strength to build on for future development was their access to resources, including money, property investments and a talented workforce.

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Delving more deeply into the for-profits resource base, respondents from for-profit businesses were asked to describe the resources they would need in order to accomplish their goals over the next 5-10 years. Seventy-seven responses were categorized according to five themes. 36% of the responses indicated that businesses would need to build their audience and/or customer base through networking and promotion. 30% of the responses mentioned the need for more money and funding. 14% of the responses said the businesses would focus on acquiring and/or retaining a talented workforce. 12% of the responses indicated needing to invest in buildings, property and equipment. 8% of the responses described needing to use more technical assistance. Interest in Participating in the Planning Process Returning to the full sample of respondents, 41% of all survey respondents expressed interest in participating in the Cultural Assessment and the Community Cultural Planning Process. Respondents were asked to indicate their willingness to participate in one of three ways, or to be kept informed of the process if they weren’t sure how they wanted to participate. Of the 263 individuals who expressed interest in participating, 31 people wanted to participate on the advisory group, 27 people wanted to participate on a discipline-based focus group, 7 people were interested in participating on an issue-based committee, and 65 respondents expressed interest in multiple forms of participation. One hundred thirty-three people wanted to be kept informed about the process, though they didn’t know specifically how they wanted to participate. Interested respondents were asked to share their name and contact information so that the City could invite them to participate in the future. In addition to this survey question asking about individuals’ interest in participating, the City is collecting the names of other interested people through alternative methods.

Conclusions
This report summarizes the responses to a Cultural Assessment Survey that was completed by members of Austin’s arts, culture, and creative Community. The goal of this survey was to provide EGRSO’s Cultural Arts Division with an analysis of Austin's cultural environment and to identify key strengths and issues to inform the launch of the two-year planning process that will lead to the Austin Community Cultural Plan. The following conclusions were drawn from the 642 Austin community members who completed the survey between December 2005 and January 2006.

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The survey was completed by a diverse set of community members who had varying amounts of involvement and interest in Austin’s arts and culture environment. Although the survey respondents were not necessarily a representative sample of the arts and culture community, the survey responses indicate that Austin’s creative landscape can be characterized as multi-disciplinary, with nearly one-third of respondents working in more than one artistic discipline. Disciplinary crossover was cited as a source of strength for the community. The respondents’ characteristics also show that many individuals and groups in Austin’s arts and culture community operate with annual budgets below $50,000. More than half of the individual artists earn less than $15,000 a year and approximately one-third of the responding non-profit and for-profit organizations have operating budgets under $50,000. Respondents identified several strengths of Austin’s arts and culture community. The most frequently mentioned strengths were Austin’s human capital, both in terms of the artists and the audience. Respondents highlighted the value and strength of Austin’s community support for the arts, as well as the number of talented artists. In addition to Austin’s human capital, the community has several other strengths to draw on: (1) the creative climate and open-minded atmosphere of Austin; (2) the strength of having a diverse range of art disciplines in the community; and (3) the value and contribution of the many different festivals that are held in the city and the reputation that such events bring. Respondents were asked to describe the role they thought government should play in supporting Austin’s arts, culture and creative industries and nearly half said that the role of government in supporting the arts was to provide funding and grant opportunities. In addition to providing more funding opportunities, respondents thought the government should have a significant role in creating supportive policies and promoting the value of arts and culture to a community’s quality of life. Although the survey was not designed to gather feedback specific to EGRSO or the Cultural Arts Division, the survey responses highlight the need for greater community understanding about the roles and purposes of EGRSO and the Cultural Arts Division. As the planning process moves forward, it is instrumental that the community understands what EGRSO and the Cultural Arts Division can and cannot do for the arts and culture community so that appropriate expectations are established from the beginning. According to respondents, the most pressing issues facing the cultural development of Austin are: (1) the lack of adequate funding; (2) the lack of affordable facilities for the creation, production and presentation of art; (3) the increasing cost of living in Austin; (4) restrictive and/or lack of supportive cultural policies; (4) a range of community issues, including racism, gentrification, unsupportive police officers, traffic and poor public transportation; (5) a lack of media outlets and inadequate promotion of the community’s arts and culture landscape; (6) the growth and development of downtown Austin; and (7) a lack of large, established museums and performance spaces.

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Respondents cited a lack of adequate funding to be the greatest pressing issue. Although respondents indicated that they expected the City government to take responsibility for resolving this issue, respondents also acknowledged the need for Austin to develop a stronger community of arts and culture philanthropists and art buyers. Respondents are satisfied with their audience attendance, but due to the abundance of small-sized facilities and venues, individual artists and groups are limited in the size of audience that they can accommodate. Facilities presented the second most pressing issue to the community. When asked, non-profit organizations and individual artists cited three factors that prevent them from securing their needed facilities: (1) inadequate funds to purchase a facility; (2) a lack of affordable venues and facilities to rent; and (3) the venues and facilities that are available to rent are often booked several months in advance. Respondents expressed both excitement and concern about the ongoing development of downtown Austin and East Austin. While the recent growth brings potential and a renewed energy for the arts and culture community, there is concern that both areas have begun to lose their accessibility, affordability and identity. As the City proceeds with the planning process for the Cultural Arts Plan, it is recommended that the City further consider the composition of the discussion committees. In addition to having issue-based committees, it may be useful to organize separate committees for individual artists, non-profits and for-profits. If discipline-based committees are created, it is important that there be a committee that is multidisciplinary. Based on discussions the researcher has had with the Cultural Arts Division, there is interest in developing partnerships between non-profit organizations and for-profit organizations. As this interest develops, we recommend that stakeholders consider what assumptions they hold about non-profits and for-profits. As the survey findings show, the non-profits and for-profits did not differ tremendously, and when they did, the non-profit organizations tended to have larger operating budgets and had been in business for a greater number of years. The survey findings detected that there is currently a significant amount of collaboration and cooperation taking place between non-profit organizations. As efforts to encourage partnerships between non-profits and for-profits proceed, it is recommended that effective models of such partnerships be identified and referenced. In summary, the Cultural Assessment Survey was designed to assess Austin’s arts and culture landscape. By completing the survey, the 642 responding community members have provided the Cultural Arts Division with a better understanding of the creative community’s strengths and pressing issues. This information will be instrumental in ensuring that the cultural planning process achieves its goals to be community-driven and inclusive.

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