Data = Dollars: SMU Launches New National Center For Arts Research

by Bill Davenport February 14, 2013

SketchingR. Gerald Turner, President of Southern Methodist University, announced that the Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business are leading a collaboration with the Cultural Data Project (CDP) and other partners to create a National Center for Arts Research at SMU at a panel discussion at the Nasher Sculpture Center on Tuesday evening, February 12. The panel was titled “Ending Guesswork: Using Data to Foster Thriving Arts Organizations,” which sums up new center’s mission.

Dr. Zannie Voss, the director of the new center, moderated. The panelists were: Rick Lester, chief executive officer of TRG Arts; Glen Howard, board chair of the Cultural Data Project and managing director, legal affairs and general counsel of the Pew Charitable Trusts, Rebecca Thomas, vice president of Nonprofit Finance Fund; Kate Levin, commissioner of the New York Department of Cultural Affairs; Anita Contini, program lead of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Kevin Moore, managing director of Theatre Communications Group.

“In today’s competitive environment, arts and cultural organizations, from museums to orchestras, need to do more than create great works of art. Arts organizations must have a more research-driven understanding of their markets and industry trends in order to more deeply engage existing audiences and reach new ones,” said José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts.

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