Performing Arts Survey

This was a short survey about your relationship to music, theatre and the performing arts - whether you are someone who listens or watches them or someone who takes part in creating them! It’s not too late to take the survey and make your voice heard: links are at the bottom of this page.

General Survey (20 responses as of 12/28/18)

Q. Would you say that online streaming/listening is the main way you interact with the performing arts (music, musical theatre, etc.?)

Yes: 60%

No: 40%

Q. If so, are you fulfilled with streaming being the main way you interact with these art forms?

Yes: 37.5%

No: 62.5%

Q. Do you agree with this statement: Professional level creators (writers, composers, performers, filmmakers, painters, etc.) should be able to make a living wage from their work without taking on other unrelated jobs.

Strongly Agree: 60%

Agree: 25%

Neutral: 15%

Disagree: 0%

Strongly Disagree: 0%

Selected Comments:

“I think it would need to be a heavily vetted and monitored process, but I think those with the talent but not the financially stability to focus on their craft at the level needed should not be rendered incapable of having their voices heard.”

“Everyone should be able to survive without taking on any jobs at all; it is a ghastly injustice that people are forced to work or die while billionaires lounge around burning their immoral wealth on moonshots and other ghastly luxuries. But also yes, all artists should be able to survive on their art without other jobs.”

“I definitely understand someone spending lots of money to go to school to learn these things and needing to be paid for using those professional skills, but lots of folks don't make a living for whatever their passion is OR for what they go to school for.”

“Yes, depending on the quality of their work.”

“Sure, but I think it's up to them to make that happen for themselves.”

“In the last 40+ years live interaction seems to have disappeared. Too expensive to go to concerts except at the university level. If they weren’t so expensive more people would attend more times.”

Q. Do you agree with this statement: The performing arts industries are currently structured so that all professional level creators are able to find distribution, an audience, and sufficient time to create their work if they work hard enough.

Strongly Agree: 5%

Agree: 10%

Neutral: 15%

Disagree: 55%

Strongly Disagree: 15%

Selected Comments:

“This goes back to the dilemma of living wage for artists. Because then it becomes a question of giving it for all indiscriminately or something those we see promise and future in. And then who decides that? Who gets to choose what art is "good enough"? Currently, the people deciding those things suck. Not universally, but predominately.”

“I know so many artists who are STRUGGLING to make ends meet, or who take other jobs and then have no time to make their art. The "if they work hard enough" tag just feels like this toxic victim-blaming mindset of "if they *actually* worked hard enough they'd be fine, therefore if they're not making it, it's their fault, not the fault of systematic economic injustice".”

“Not saying it's easy, but it's easier than it's ever been”

“It’s all about the show today not about the music or hard work.”

Q. Agree/Disagree: The invention of streaming has saved you money on experiencing the performing arts.

Strongly Agree: 26.3%

Agree: 15.8%

Neutral: 47.4%

Disagree: 10.5%

Selected Comments:

“Without streaming, I sometimes wouldn't know what I would like to see live unless I am familiar with it, whether it be modern performers or classical works as far as music goes. Usually for ballets I see whatever I can. Theatre/musicals also depends on the internet.”

“If it wasn’t for streaming I wouldn’t have the experience of the different styles of music/theatre.”

Q. Do you personally know someone who creates work in the performing arts?

Yes: 100%

No: 0%

Q. If they sell work, do you collect their work?

Yes: 63.2%

No: 36.8%

Q. If they do not sell work now, would you be open to buying their work or supporting it financially if given the opportunity?

Yes: 60%

No: 5%

Maybe: 35%

Q. Do you think knowing this creator has given you or your family a more enriching interaction with the performing arts?

Yes: 79%

No/Neutral: 21%

Q. Knowing that it allows them to continue making their work, would you be open to collecting? This could be buying original manuscripts, limited edition CD’s, commissions, underwriting a fee for a director, sharing in the creative process, etc.

Yes: 92%

No: 8%

Q. Would you be interested in being a part of an online network that gives you access to new work and personal relationships with creators?

Yes: 50%

No: 30%

Maybe: 20%

Artist Survey (9 responses as of 12/28/18)

Q. Do you make your living entirely from your work?

Yes: 22.2%

No: 77.8%

Q. If it were possible, would you be open to making your ‘day job’ be managing yourself as a business?

Yes: 71.4%

Maybe: 28.6%

Q. If you consider yourself a hobbyist creator, do you make money from your work?

(Write in) Working on it: 20%

No: 80%

Q. Do you have a network of people who support you and your work?

Yes: 75%

No: 25%

Q. Does your network contribute financial support?

Yes: 62.5%

No: 37.5%

Q. Do you feel comfortable asking people for money to support your work in person?

Yes: 50%

No: 50%

Q. Do the current performing arts institutions, practices (contests, gatekeepers, record labels, commission from organizations, etc.) and business models fit your needs as a creator?

Yes: 22.2%

No: 77.8%


“I've started to have small amounts of success with small label releases, but music itself doesn't make money in this way. You have to tour.”

“Most of them are set up along a scarcity model that is, at best, a stopgap under capitalism. I need to know that my material needs will be met on an ongoing basis regardless of my output of ~marketable~ work, including my material needs for ongoing health care, and that is not something that contests, commissions, and labels currently offer”

“There are a lot of biases that play into things and because of my identity as a woman I get shot down a lot. People do not trust my intentions as much as a created and label me as “other.””

“Often difficult to find spaces to present work outside of school, and even within school the resources for venues and recording are limited. However, the rise of music streaming does allow for creators to get their work out there easier)”

“Needs more community based support.”

“People do like to help, they just need to be asked.”

“I haven't had the opportunity to fully explore these institutions and practices, but I do feel like there is something we aren't thinking of as creators to sustain ourselves.”

Q. If it’s not already, do you think that a network of supporters and other people who enjoy your work could become a source of basic funding?

Yes: 75%

No: 25%

Q. Could a technological platform consisting of patrons looking to collect and commission new work together with artists open to relationships with these patrons (mentoring, social ,etc.) potentially be helpful to you?

Yes: 44.4%

Maybe: 55.6%

No: 0%

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