Are We Preparing Arts Students for Entrepreneurial Careers?
The self-employment rate among artists in 2012-2016 was 34%, which was 3.6 times higher than the US workforce on average. How can postsecondary arts education prepare students with the skills required to launch self-reliant entrepreneurial careers? This session will examine potential gaps between institutional offerings and career demands among entrepreneurial career paths for arts graduates. SNAAP data also reveals the underrepresentation of specific demographic populations in the arts and illustrates how limited access to career training and opportunities could become potential career barriers.
Art History Alumni, Advancing from Training to Trade
Art history as a discipline utilizes certain teaching methodologies and research methods that differ from studio or design-based art education. As such, it stands to reason that learning outcomes affiliated with art history may differ as well. Additionally, art history education cultivates distinct ways of thinking about visual and material culture and creative production within the context of geography and history. Graduates of art history programs often pursue different career paths than other arts students. The job market in which art history student operates has different professional requirements in terms of skills and duties, available jobs, and pay expectations. Descriptive analysis of demographic variables will be presented on art history alumni current employment, job satisfaction, and income. This presentation will also demonstrate the underlying dimensions of job satisfaction and skill acquisition by art history graduates. Findings state that being employed in the arts makes no difference in art history graduates’ monetary satisfaction, income, or opportunity for advancement. Final analysis will explore the delta between the skills that arts alumni reported to have learned in their art program and the skills that they report to require as part of their current professions.
Artists Who Leave the Field: Where Do They Go and How Do They Create?
It is evident that the critical and creative thinking skills at the core of arts degree programs are attractive to employers outside the field. As the nature of work changes and innovation becomes paramount, practicing artists are finding stimulating jobs in other fields that draw on their ingenuity. According to the SNAAP study Careers in the Arts: Who Stays and Who Leaves?, 84% of respondents found work in other industries. This led us to ask, “When arts graduates exit the arts and culture field, where do they go and what skills do they use?” Through a series of data briefs, the findings are presented to challenge the deficit-mindset attached to artists who exit the field by ‘working in other industries.’ Session attendees will gain new insights into SNAAP data about those who exit the arts sector and the dynamic relationships between skills acquired in their training and the skills required to succeed in their occupation outside the arts industry.
Beyond Employment—An Exploration of the Post-Collegiate Outcomes for Dance Majors
The available research on the educational experiences and post-collegiate outcomes for dancers is limited. Using 2015-2017 SNAAP data, this session will provide an overview of outcomes for bachelor’s degree-level dance majors. While there have been prior studies focusing on the experiences of dance majors, these studies have been limited in their focus and scope, focusing primarily on employment-related outcomes. This study expands current conversations regarding the benefits of the arts--and dance in particular--to include non-financial outcomes such as perceived growth and skill development and post-collegiate engagement in the arts.
Diversity in Leadership Among Arts Graduates—Aiming for an Inclusive Leadership
This presentation will examine the magnitude of diversity reflected among leaders with an arts degree based on gender, ethnicity, and age. This study includes managers, arts administrators, curators, arts educators, theatre producers, and stage directors. In this quantitative study, I use the SNAAP aggregate data of arts alumni (n=64688) from three consecutive years (2015, 2016 & 2017) in the United States at a national level. I analyze the data using descriptive analysis. This study will answer the following research questions: (1) How many arts graduates are currently in management or leadership roles? And (2) How diverse are these leaders based on gender, ethnicity, and age? The findings show a lack of diversity in leadership roles and advocates for an inclusive leadership style in organizations/institutions.
The Dynamics of Social Exclusion and Economic Mobility Across Three Decades of Undergraduate Arts Alumni
This paper combines SNAAP data with the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data to study key pipeline impediments for socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inclusion in the arts. The arts industry is both a microcosm for the invisible hurdles of constructed social and cultural knowledge and an acute case study for the ways in which an industry with elitist roots (Bennett, 1995; Coleman, 1939; Feldstein, 1991; Murray, 1904; Whitaker, 2009) continues to reinforce longstanding structures of racial/ethnic exclusion (Alper, 1996; City of New York, 2019; DiMaggio & Ostrower, 1990; Harper & Hendrick 2017; Holmes, 2020; LaBouvier, 2020; Mabuchi, 2019; NEA, 1978; Nie, 2019; Schonfeld, el al., 2015; Sweeney & Schonfeld, 2018). It is also a uniquely interesting time to study the arts—a time of new economic supports for artists (Callanan, 2018; Cullinan, 2017; Huttler, 2018; Whitaker & Grannemann, 2019; Whitaker & Kräussl, 2020), yet also of organizational hardship brought on by the coronavirus pandemic (AAM, 2020; Gold & Jandl, 2020) and its problematic consequences for hiring practices and fair pay (Conrardy, 2020). In initial empirical work that we develop more fully in this paper, we have identified an attrition effect of students leaving the arts and a privilege effect of arts alumni whose individual earnings are supported by larger household income. We aim in this paper to elaborate on the attrition and privilege effects and to present empirically an intersectionality matrix of the various contributors to lower representation and greater economic precarity of artists and arts workers.
Entrepreneurial Education and Career Satisfaction in Alumni of Arts Undergraduate Programs
In an analysis of over 27,000 alumni of arts undergraduate programs who pursued careers in arts, learning entrepreneurial skills as part of their undergraduate program was associated with increased career and income satisfaction. However, respondents who found entrepreneurial skills to be important to their work named business and entrepreneurial skills as the areas in which they were least prepared. This analysis could contribute to understanding the place of entrepreneurship and business education within arts programs.
Ethnomusicology and Higher Education: Challenges, Trends, and Lessons from the Humanities
This presentation synthesizes literature on trends within the humanities and considers its potential relevance for ethnomusicology. Then, based on interviews with faculty as well as a SNAAP data and a separate 2018 survey circulated to current and former ethnomusicology students, it briefly considers the state of our discipline in terms of core training, student support, student placement, and other topics. The data suggest that many issues confronting ethnomusicologists resonate with those in other disciplines and that we would benefit from engagement with nationwide dialogues involving the future of graduate studies. Suggestions proposed are many and include an orientation of research towards issues impacting communities near one’s university; greater focus on team-based inquiry rather than individual scholarship; on more active collaborations across disciplines; on diverse professional training; more attention to shaping the content of K-12 education; on communication with diverse audiences; and a research focus on areas of broad public concern whenever possible.
The Internship Divides: Historical Patterns and Growing Inequalities in the Transition from Arts School to Career
This presentation will extend the two SNAAP internship reports (“The Internship Divide” from 2015 and “Growing Divides” from 2021) by mapping the rise of the intern economy, how access to these experiences has varied by gender and socioeconomic status, and how internships lead to uneven career outcomes. For these analyses, we will combine the 2011-13 and 2015-17 SNAAP datasets and run a series of multilevel regressions to predict outcomes such as time until first job and current job satisfaction and income. The presentation will pay particular attention to differences in alumni experiences by institutional characteristics (private/public, Carnegie classification), demographic characteristics, and major.
The Intersections of Creative Access: Impact of Race, Ethnicity and Gender on Career Development in the Visual Arts and Design
In this presentation, the researcher will highlight SNAAP data from undergraduate students within the visual arts, design, and applied arts disciplines to analyze and to illustrate the ways in which race, gender and ethnicity has influenced student access to high-impact educational experiences. Specifically, the research will explore the significance of identity upon one’s access to career-specific marketable skills and community engagement, art supplies and technology, unpaid internships and volunteer work, and professional connections within the field. In addition to highlighting data from art and design students of color and women within the dataset, the presentation will comparatively explore observations and possible uses for the data at various art and design institutions.
Looking at Creative Coursework Across Alumni, Students, and Faculty
This presentation will summarize research on creative coursework from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) using a set of common items. Results from several studies show that for current students, exposure to creative coursework is related to several aspects of student engagement, perceived skill development, plans for nontraditional careers, and differs across major fields. For alumni, creative coursework is related to many positive institutional, career, and community involvement outcomes. For faculty, there are some relationships between emphasizing creative coursework and other approaches to encourage student engagement, as well as some differences by demographic characteristics.
Non-white K-12 Arts Educator Collaboration: Using Counternarrative as an Analysis Tool
Our project can provide an example of how institutions can use their SNAAP data by highlighting underrepresented experiences. We would also like to present this research with audience feedback and discussion. Our hopes for this investigation is to provide educators, policy makers and administrators insights into collaboration efforts of non-white K-12 Arts Educators. According to SNAAP data, 84% of arts graduates are white. By using counternarratives as an analytical tool, we can highlight the voices of non-white arts teachers. The outcomes of this inquiry can impact program and curricular change and development by centering commonly overlooked stories.
Polyoccupationalism: Occupational Identities in a Post-Industrial Era
In this paper, we report the discovery of polyoccupationalism, or the propensity of individuals to identify simultaneously with multiple occupations. This discovery was not previously possible due to our conceptualization of occupations and occupational identities as distinct and exclusive, and our reliance on single-entry occupation questions in quantitative surveys. In contrast, the SNAAP survey allows respondents to report participation in multiple occupations. We utilize this unique feature in combination with O*Net data to explore individual- and occupational-level co-variants of polyoccupationalism in the sample of SNAAP respondents who reported work in 18 of the arts occupations listed in the survey (N=14,840). First, we record an average of 1.7 occupations per respondent and a presence of 46% of polyoccupationalists in the sample, suggesting that this is a typical identity. Second, we show that the number of reported occupations is positively correlated with indicators of work diversity and work ambiguity – two features of post-industrial work. It is also negatively correlated with primary participation in relatively closed occupational communities. Third, we identify figures of polyoccupationalists, those who “status stretch” and those who “expertise stretch.” In the context of our empirical case, these figures are the “hustler,” a relatively disadvantaged worker who reports secondary occupations that draw upon a relatively similar task set as their primary occupation, but which are distant along the occupational scale, and the “entrepreneur,” a relatively advantaged worker who primarily works in a relatively high status occupation and reports similar status but functionally different occupations. We close with directions for future research to promote study into polyoccupationalism.
Reconceptualizing Arts Alumni Success
This presentation will review a 2017 article considering various facets of alumni success, examining intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction and the relationships between these factors and other demographic and occupational characteristics. We will further discuss the finding that intrinsic job satisfaction may play a larger role in how alumni perceive their career outcomes and success. We will also explore some other SNAAP items that can be used as alternative measures of alumni success, such as perceived relevance of their arts training, community involvement, avocational arts practice, and further educational attainment.
Sense of Belonging in Arts, Design, and Media: Alumni Perspectives on the Undergraduate Experience
Sense of belonging is an important factor in students’ post-secondary education and academic success, as well as longer-term career and personal outcomes. Yet relatively little is understood about how social identity constructs and aspects of campus environments affect the formation of sense of belonging (Strayhorn 2019). This study interrogates these factors within creative fields of study and training. This presentation will share insights garnered from the 2015-2017 SNAAP data and a series of interviews underway with alumni of arts, media and design undergraduate programs being conducted to capture alumni perspectives on their experienced sense of belonging in terms of their social identities in relation to those of their alma mater institution and degree program.
Service Learning and Postcollegiate Outcomes of Arts Alumni
We will present our research findings on the relationships across service-learning experience, community arts resources, and post-collegiate outcomes of art students. We hypothesized that service-learning experience is positively associated with art alumni's community engagement after graduation. At the same time, art students' participation in service-learning can be influenced by the opportunities available at the local community surrounding the institution. We employed a quasi-experimental design using the data from the two national data sources: Strategic National Arts Alumni Project data and the Local Arts Index. The findings and implications of the study will be discussed.
The SNAAP Casebook: How Institutions Use SNAAP Data for Positive Change
SNAAP has commissioned the Indiana University Center for Cultural Affairs (IU CCA) to research and compile information on how institutions have used SNAAP data over the years. The SNAAP Casebook, to be published in December 2021, will present case studies of institutional uses of SNAAP data, providing solid examples and inspiration of the different ways that arts leaders in higher education have used their SNAAP data to affect change. In this session, Doug Noonan, Faculty Director of IU CCA, will present initial findings and interview several arts leaders who will be featured in the Casebook.
SNAAP in 2022 and Beyond: Information Needs
SNAAP was created to respond to the need for clear and reliable data, articulated by arts training institutions over 15 years ago. At this time, SNAAP is again taking action to respond to the forward-looking information needs of the arts in higher education. To best support the use of SNAAP by the higher education field, arts professionals, policymakers, and researchers, SNAAP is gathering and critically reflecting on input from higher education leaders, arts faculty and research scholars to inform how it can best build on the strengths of its first decade and best serve the arts in higher education field in the new decade. This final session of the SNAAP Symposium looks forward to the next SNAAP survey in 2022. Dr. Jennifer Novak-Leonard, SNAAP Research Director, will lead a discussion about updates and new directions for SNAAP. She will be joined by Dr. Rachel Skaggs and Lee Ann Scotto Adams.
Unraveling Gender and Race Bias in Fashion Design Careers
Culturally constructed biases around race, gender, and SES create undue influence on aspirational youth career goals. There is a lack of policy support to provide students of marginalized backgrounds access to art education that affirms their culture, background, and identity (Kraehe, Acuff, & Travis, 2016). Policies focused on K-12 education have created fewer opportunities for students from low SES backgrounds to participate in art education (Baker, 2011). The lack of access disproportionately affects students from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, affecting potential student populations entering post-secondary arts programs to pursue art and design careers. Our presentation will discuss our process in selecting variables to address our research questions while also allowing space for intersectionality of participants within the variable groups. We will discuss unraveling the variable decision-making practices by isolating our positionality throughout the research process. Overall, we will address the question: How can we use research to better support students who make it into school? This session is geared to those looking at recruiting, admitting, advising, and educating future art and design students for entry into their respective industries. By understanding the research participant variables, we posit that programs will be better able to understand their student consumers. Gaining an understanding of the numerical imbalance that exists between the students who are recruited and students who graduate, offers an opportunity to support all students who dream of art and design careers.
The Value of SNAAP Data for Higher Education in Art & Design: Macro and Micro Perspectives
As a consortium of approximately forty institutions of higher learning throughout the United States and Canada, part of the mission of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) is to advocate the importance of arts education for the individual and for society. AICAD has long valued SNAAP data and used it to tell stories that champion the creative economy and promote the benefits of higher education in the arts. In this panel we will share how AICAD has used SNAAP data at the consortium (macro-) level to illustrate a range of positive outcomes among arts alumni, such as high levels of career success and personal fulfillment. Panelists from individual institutions of art and design (micro-level) will also discuss the various ways that they have used the data to support their own initiatives.
What SNAAP Can Tell Us About the Effects of COVID-19 on Arts Graduates
What unique challenges have artists faced as a result of COVID-19, how have they adapted and risen to these challenges, and at what cost to their careers, creative practice, health, and lives? Many effects of COVID-19 have impacted individuals regardless of occupation, but others have been especially life changing for artists. Despite the challenges that artists face, the arts are a site of resilience, innovation, and progress. To begin measuring the impact of COVID-19 in the art world, we have conducted extensive reviews of scholarly literature, grey literature, and media as well as interviewed 65 arts graduates about their experiences during the pandemic. This presentation will outline relevant findings from our research and present questions that will be fielded on the 2022 SNAAP survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on arts graduates.
When Debt Deters: Understanding Arts Graduates' Student Loan Debt and Entry into Arts Careers
Students are increasingly considering college costs and economic opportunity in their decisions about which fields to study in college and which careers to pursue after graduation. To examine how student debt influences post-graduate career pathways among arts students, we integrated SNAAP and IPEDS data to investigate how student loan debt predicts the likelihood of entering an arts career among bachelor’s graduates in the arts. We additionally explore how this relationship varies across graduation cohorts. Our presentation will feature our research design, results, and recommendations for future research and practice, including strategies for researchers interested in using SNAAP data.