USITT Announces National Demographic Survey to Gather Concrete Data on Today’s Design and Technology Industry

March 9, 2021

USITT is partnering with SMU DataArts Workforce Demographics to collect key demographic data on the theatrical design and technology industry. David Grindle, USITT executive director, made the announcement Monday, Mar. 8, 2021 during the Institute’s 61st Annual Conference & Stage Expo.

It is the first study of its kind to focus on this industry and is expected to help us better understand the demographics of the current workforce and those of the communities in which they operate. To remain relevant to and representative of our changing society, studies such as this one, provide key information that can inform decisions that ensure all community members have access to opportunities available within the arts and culture sector.

SMU DataArts Workforce Demographics studies are conducted using a 5 to 7 minute secure and comprehensive survey to collect demographic and workplace perception information anonymously - including race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability status.

The survey will take place April 1—May 28, 2021 with results available later in the year. Grindle will announce organizational and corporate partners who will assist USITT in gathering the data in the coming weeks.

About the Study Methodology

The processes used for collection, storage, and analysis of data ensure the anonymity of respondents. Potential respondents receive a web link via email directly from a study partner, or from their employer at a participating organization. Activating the link takes respondents directly to the questionnaire, which requires about five minutes to complete. Data is not transmitted to USITT or participating organizations; data is instead stored in a secure, third-party survey data system accessible only to SMU DataArts. The survey does not collect any personally identifying information, such as name, postal address, or email address. Data analysis is conducted by SMU DataArts’ in-house research staff. SMU DataArts has successfully collected and protected data since it was established in 2004.

About SMU DataArts

SMU DataArts (formerly the Cultural Data Project) is administering the survey on behalf of USITT. SMU DataArts, a center at Southern Methodist University, has more than 15 years of experience in data collection, security, and analysis. Their mission is to empower arts and cultural leaders with high-quality data and evidence-based resources and insights that help them to overcome challenges and increase impact.

If you would like to learn more about the National Demographic Survey or how you can participate, please send us an email.