Special -Topic Studies

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Audience Outlook Monitor Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (I.D.E.A)™ Study

“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” -Jesse Jackson

Over the years we’ve observed many organizations taking concrete steps towards greater diversity, equity and inclusion, but then fall short in attracting a more racially diverse audience. Does this mean that their efforts were insufficient, or for naught? Or, have we failed to develop measures that characterize movement in audience perceptions of equity and inclusion, even if those audiences are predominantly white? 

Many arts organizations have taken significant steps to address lack of diversity in staffing and board membership, adopt better HR policies and practices that will lead to greater diversity, and change organizational culture. Some organizations have moved towards more pluralistic models of artistic leadership and diversification of programming with the intent to serve a broader audience.


Many questions remain, however, as to the extent to which audiences understand themselves as a stakeholder in this work, their expectations of arts organizations in this regard, and their preferences and tastes for a more diverse palette of artistic work. Through this large-scale collaborative study we hope to learn how arts organizations can activate audiences in their “DEI” work – or, actually, if they can succeed at all without the support of their audience.




  • Assess audience attitudes about inclusion, diversity, equity and access

  • Firmly establish ongoing measurement of your organization’s progress towards IDEA goals

  • Energize and align your efforts between board, staff, volunteers, donors, and audience

  • Discover how audience members feel about efforts by arts organizations to diversify their artistic offerings and production practices

  • Discover to what degree audience members see themselves as participants in the larger societal discourse about racism and racial justice

  • Explore what changes to policy and practice have arts organizations implemented to manifest their commitment to DEI?

  • Understand your audiences’ appetites for multi-cultural artistic work that addresses sensitive topics and challenges norms.

  • Uncover to what degree audience members think individual arts organizations should go in acknowledging, deconstructing, and redressing the structures of cultural production designed to perpetuate white privilege


Suggested frequency of implementation: as needed.

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