Research Finds Varying Racial Outcomes Among College Graduates of Art Programs

snaapA new report from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) finds racial differences among students who majored in the arts in college. The report includes a survey of more than 65,000 arts alumni of all ages from 120 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. SNAAP defines “the arts” to include a broad range of creative activity, including performance, design, architecture, creative writing, music composition, choreography, film, illustration, and fine art.

Here are some of the findings in the report:

• At both undergraduate and graduate levels, Blacks took significantly longer to complete their degrees than Whites.

• Nearly 80 percent of Whites stated that they were satisfied with their sense of belonging at their institution. For Blacks the figure was 69 percent.

• Some 60 percent of White graduates currently work as artists, compared to 53 percent of Black graduates.

• Some 36 percent of Black graduates said that debt, including student loan debt, prevented them from pursuing careers as artists. For Whites the figure is 24 percent.

SNAAP, established in 2008, is a collaboration between the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and the Vanderbilt University Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy. The report, An Uneven Canvas: Inequalities in Artistic Training and Careers, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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