Los Angeles Artist Census

Los Angeles Artist Census addresses the lack of knowledge of the life of working artists in Los Angeles. Part research project, part public art—this project involves collecting basic financial data on LA-based artists to gain a better understanding of need versus resources-available to artists in the city.

Modeled after the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which collects data on people in the US to determine how federal and state funds are distributed each year, the LA Artist Census will provide much needed statistical information on the quality of life of artists living in Los Angeles. The data will include information like total debt, debt from student loans, monthly income and expenses, and employment status.

Similar to the American Community Survey, the objective of doing this research is to provide both artists and larger art institutions/funders with a clearer picture of what the needs are of artists in our community. An “emotional census” will also be included to assess the subjective “moods” of artists. Multiple choice questions like, “How do you currently feel about your practice?” and “How often do you worry about money?” will be included in this section.

Statistics and data that are collected will be compiled, published, and made available to artists and local institutions and can be used as a resource for those who want to push for more funding opportunities for Los Angeles based artists.