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Last modified: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Latest Strategic National Arts Alumni Project survey launched

Oct. 18, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) based at Indiana University has launched its annual online survey to gather data for its data management and institutional improvement system designed to enhance the impact of arts-school education.

A personalized invitation to complete the questionnaire was sent to more than 200,000 graduates with degrees from arts-related programs at 65 institutions in the United States and Canada to report on their educational experiences and career paths.

Arts alumni of the participating 2011 high schools, colleges, and universities can go directly to the SNAAP website -- -- to log in and complete the questionnaire. The survey will remain open until about Nov. 14, 2011. SNAAP welcomes participation from all arts graduates, whether they work in the arts or have pursued other fields.

"SNAAP constitutes the largest single dataset of arts graduates in the U.S.," said George Kuh, SNAAP project director and Chancellor's Professor Emeritus of Higher Education at the Indiana University School of Education. "At a time when the creative economy is one of the most vibrant sectors of the national workforce, learning more about how arts alumni are using their training and entrepreneurial skills to make a life and a living will be instructive for people in many other fields as the number of people working in the contingent economy grows."

Knowing that arts training enhances creativity and how arts graduates use their abilities and dispositions effectively in a dynamic workplace will help arts programs and other fields to modify their curricular offerings to match the demands of the 21st century economy. In addition, the results will be used to inform cultural policy and support artists in North America.

The 2011 SNAAP survey is the fourth annual survey of arts alumni. Since 2008, more than 20,000 arts graduates from 230 institutions -- arts high schools as well as postsecondary institutions -- have participated. Findings from the 2010 survey are available at

In her Louisville (KY) Courier Journal column, Elizabeth Kramer wrote that SNAAP findings "showed how an arts education leads to gainful employment and that these graduates can be a strong support system to the local arts ecology" by taking entrepreneurial actions that contribute to that economy. Douglas Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, observed, "Knowing our graduates go into a diversity of fields and what they do with their education will also help art schools satisfy accreditors' demands for institutional data and accountability."

SNAAP is a project of the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. Lead funding is provided by the Surdna Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Houston Endowment, Barr Foundation, Educational Foundation of America and the Cleveland Foundation.

For more information about the project, visit