This study of compensation for entry-level arts administrators in Los Angeles County reveals troubling disparities between those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and their White counterparts. Entry-level arts staff, no matter their race or ethnicity, were found to have annual earnings lower than a living wage for LA County. This study highlights how they experience and manage low earnings. Further, this study finds differences in education levels and debt, including student debt, between these groups.

Jointly published by the Department of Arts and Culture and Claremont Graduate University’s Center for Business and Management of the Arts (CBMArts), this report continues a series of studies aimed at building knowledge related to equity and inclusion in the arts. It concludes with a series of recommendations to arts organizations and arts funders for how they can work together to address low compensation and inequities for entry-level workers, including the following:

  • Conduct a demographic analysis of salaries, contracts, fees, and other payments to determine whether certain groups may be experiencing lower pay than others
  • Reevaluate job requirements for entry-level positions, especially for education, experience, and mobility, and eliminate those that are not relevant to job-specific tasks
  • Explore how your organization can support debt relief and advocate for expansion of student debt relief programs
  • Implement recommendations in the Full Cost Project to ensure arts nonprofits have the resources they need to pay the full cost of employment, including benefits

This report is available in PDF and forthcoming in audio recorded format.

Make Or Break - PDF

View and Download a PDF of Make or Break: Race and Ethnicity in Entry-Level Compensation for Arts Administrators in Los Angeles County.

Make or Break - Audio Recording

An audio version of Make or Break: Race and Ethnicity in Entry-Level Compensation for Arts Administrators in Los Angeles County via SoundCloud.

Make Or Break - Executive Summary

View and Download a PDF of the Executive Summary for Make or Break: Race and Ethnicity in Entry-Level Compensation for Arts Administrators in Los Angeles County.