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USITT/SMU Demographic Survey Gathering Data until May 28

PLSN Staff • News • May 24, 2021

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. — USITT is continuing its campaign to learn as much as possible about the theatrical design and technology industry. The Institute has partnered with SMU DataArts Workforce Demographics to collect key demographic data. The Entertainment Design and Technology Workforce Demographics Survey is a first-of-its-kind data gathering instrument to focus on the industry and is expected to help better understand the demographics of the current workforce and those of the communities in which they operate.

More details from USITT (

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

The survey launched on April 1 and will continue to gather data through this Friday, May 28, 2021. Survey results should be available later in the year.

USITT asks that anyone working in live entertainment design and technology — from students to professionals to retirees to hobbyists — take the short survey found here.

Pre-pandemic employment is an area of particular interest. USITT encourages anyone who was involved in the industry prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown to make sure they are represented by taking the survey.

“To remain relevant to and representative of our changing society,” said USITT Executive Director David Grindle upon the launch of the survey, “studies like this will provide key information that can inform decisions that ensure all community members have access to opportunities available within the arts and culture sector. It will inform us about the current status of our industry and we plan to use this survey as a baseline to a follow-up survey in 2025 to reveal changes over time.”

About the Study Methodology
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, address, or email. 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.

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