Research Resources

Dance/USA is pleased to work with The Wallace Foundation as a communications partner to disseminate Wallace knowledge. 

The Wallace Foundation

In 2015 The Wallace Foundation launched a six-year initiative, Building Audiences for Sustainability, which is providing support and funding to 26 outstanding performing arts organizations across the United States to develop, implement, analyze and learn from new audience-building practices.

Find research, reports, webinars, case studies, articles, and more from The Wallace Foundation and Dance/USA here.
Browse these resources for insights and information on building audiences for the arts.

Other sources of arts-related research are listed below.

Americans for the Arts: Information and Services: Research

Americans for the Arts provides arts researchers, advocates, administrators, patrons, and the general public access to the most current information on research regarding arts policy and practice.

The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University

The Curb Center seeks to improve the cultural life of the nation by identifying new models and approaches for nurturing art and art making in order to improve the quality of life of citizens.  The Center conducts independent research, sponsors meetings and lectures, and publishes articles and books that address pressing concerns within the field of art, media, and entertainment.

Dance Education Literature and Research descriptive index, National Dance Education Organization

The Dance Education Literature and Research descriptive index is an index of literature and research from 1926 to the present that informs teaching, learning, and future directions of research in the field of dance education. It contains descriptions of several thousand literary works including theses, dissertations, journal articles, conference proceedings and other documents from over 200+ different publications, more than 150 university dance programs, as well as other organizations, governmental agencies, and individuals.

Dance/NYC: Research

Dance/NYC conducts and commissions research on New York City-based dance. Previous research reports include Discovering Disability: Data & NYC Dance (2015), Discovering Fiscally Sponsored NYC Dancemakers (2012), and A Census of New York City Dancemakers (2007).

Dancing Wheels: Physically Integrated Dance Training

Founded in 1990, this Cleveland-based dance company and school offers the nation’s first comprehensive training materials for wheelchair dancers, their instructors, and rehabilitation hospitals.


GuideStar is the most complete source of information about U.S. nonprofits. Their searchable database of 1.8 million IRS-recognized organizations to engineered for benchmarking your own nonprofit’s performance, researching the field, and more. GuideStar’s mission is to revolutionize philanthropy and nonprofit practice by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.

National Archive of Data on Arts & Culture

The National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture (NADAC) is a repository that facilitates research on arts and culture by acquiring data, particularly those funded by federal agencies and other organizations, and sharing those data with researchers, policymakers, people in the arts and culture field, and the general public. Hosted by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, NADAC is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and, as such, users may obtain data from NADAC at no charge. NADAC contains datasets previously available through Princeton University’s Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive.

National Center for Arts Research, Southern Methodist University

The National Center for Arts Research explores and analyzes the issues of decreasing arts patronage and the declining fiscal health of arts organizations with a goal of finding ways to improve both. It focuses on shifting patterns of patronage, the U.S. arts sector’s financial health, challenges and opportunities facing the arts, arts organizations’ community engagement, and compares similarities and differences about each of these areas across arts and cultural sectors and regions.

National Center for Charitable Statistics, the Urban Institute

The National Center for Charitable Statistics is the national repository of data on the U.S. nonprofit sector. Established in 1982, it works with the Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies, private sector service organizations, and the academic community to build compatible national, state, and regional databases and to develop uniform standards for reporting on the activities of charitable organizations. 

National Endowment for the Arts, Office of Research & Analysis

The Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts provides reports, notes, and brochures regarding the factors, conditions, and characteristics of the U.S. arts ecosystem and the impact of the arts on other domains of American life. 

National Equity Atlas

The National Equity Atlas is a resource for data to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth in the United States. The Atlas contains data on demographic changes, racial and economic inclusion, and the economic gains of racial equity for the 100 largest cities, the 150 largest metropolitan regions, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States. 

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, located in the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, houses the world’s most extensive combination of circulating and non-circulating reference and research materials on music, dance, theater, recorded sound, and other performing arts. The Library is known particularly for its prodigious collections of non-book materials such as historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters, and photographs.

Place Lab, University of Chicago

Place Lab is a partnership between the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life initiative and the Harris School of Public Policy (Cultural Policy Center). It brings together artists, policymakers, faculty, and students to advance arts and culture projects that directly engage communities and enable cities to develop in more mindful and equitable ways. 

Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies

The Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies was founded in 1994 to improve the clarity, accuracy, and sophistication of discourse about the nation’s artistic and cultural life. Its programs and activities are designed to create an infrastructure of well-trained scholars who have access to regularly collected information about cultural organizations, activities, and providers, and produce timely research and analysis on key topics in arts and cultural policy.

RAND Corporation: The Arts

RAND’s research in the arts provides data and analysis to policymakers, arts practitioners, and the academic community. RAND’s findings are shared broadly as a public service. RAND is committed to a range of critical issues of particular relevance to the public policy debate.

The Research Center for Arts and Culture, The Actors Fund

The Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) provides data and information in service of artists and the arts. The RCAC’s studies examine the situation of the living artist in America, shedding light on such issues as the complex challenges facing dancers as they transition out of their performance careers, the communities and support structures that sustain jazz musicians, and the imperiled legacy of our nation’s aging artists. In addition, the RCAC conducts research into cultural policy and public spaces to labor relations and the law.


The international organization on arts and disability, VSA was founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and to increase access to the arts for all. VSA offers a range of publications, guides, and other resources regarding arts, education, and disabilities.

Please contact Dance/USA’s director of research and information services with questions concerning the specific publications listed below and/or publications contained in the Dance/USA archives.

Presenting Dance: Dynamic Dialogues from the National Dance Presenters Leadership Forum at Jacob’s Pillow. By Mindy N. Levine. 2008. 64 pp.

Dancing with Dollars in the Millennium: A Ten-Year Summary of Trends. By John Munger. 2001. 15 pp.

Mapping the Chicago Dance Community: A Benchmark Study 2002. By John Munger. 2002. 94 pp.

Dance in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Needs Assessment. By John Munger and Libby Smigel. 2002. 84 pp.

Dance in the DC Metropolitan Area: A Needs Assessment. By John Munger. 2003. 86 pp.

Alabama: Dance Flourishes in Birmingham; An Assessment of the Jefferson County Dance Community. By John Munger and the Alabama Dance Council. 2007. 40 pp.

National College Choreography Initiative; Bringing It Home: A Third Wave of Creative Collaboration. By Suzanne Callahan with Brooke Belott. 2007. 27 pp.

National College Choreography Initiative; Encore: A Second Round of Success. By Suzanne Callahan with Brooke Belott. 2005. 32 pp.

National College Choreography Initiative; Artist-College Collaboration: Issues, Trends, and Future Vision. By Suzanne Callahan. 2003. 22 pp.

National College Choreography Initiative; Supporting the Past, Present, and Future of American Dances. By Suzanne Callahan. 2002. 32 pp.

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