Measuring Participation: Six years of Professional Development Events and Workshops at the Department of Arts and Culture

Since 2015, the Department of Arts and Culture has collected consistent data about the demographic makeup of people who attend our professional development and technical assistance (PD/TA) programs. We collect and analyze this data in order to understand whether the demographic makeup of our participants is representative of the demographics of the arts and culture workforce countywide and whether it is representative of the demographics of all LA County residents.

This report summarizes our analysis of six years of PD/TA programs offered by the department, from 2015-16 through 2020-21. Among the key findings:

  • Arts and Culture is reaching arts administrators who identify as people of color at a higher rate than their presence in the arts and culture workforce overall
  • The transition to online-only PD/TA events and the addition of new topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic were accompanied by a notable increase in total participation, and a significant increase in the share of White participants and decline in participants of color
  • Midcareer professionals consistently made up the largest share of participants

Informed by this study, the Research and Evaluation division will be facilitating a process to review and revise our department's demographic data collection practices, in order to remain in step with emerging best practices and to ensure alignment with the County’s new Cultural Policy and its Anti-Racism and Diversity Initiative (ARDI). We will continue to share information like this with the communities we serve, in the spirit of transparency and our ongoing efforts toward greater equity, inclusion, and justice.

View & Download the Report