Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014

A Study of Orchestra Finances and Operations, Commissioned by the League of American Orchestras

Glenn B. Voss, Karen Yair, Kristen Lega, and Zannie Giraud Voss

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From the report's "Introduction":

"Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 is the first in what will become a regularly published and publicly available series of longitudinal reports commissioned by the League of American Orchestras. Drawing on multiple data sources, it looks back over a nine-year period from 2006 to 2014 to tell the story of orchestra finances and operations through the recession years and beyond.

The robust analysis it presents will help to shape public dialogue around the role of orchestras, as well as inform the work of orchestras themselves. The report provides a new breadth of data and a statistically sound approach to analysis, incorporating current year and trend panel analyses that draw on the following data sets:

  • The NCAR dataset, which incorporates Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990 and DataArts (formerly Cultural Data Project) data. This dataset, along with data from the League’s Orchestra Statistical Report, provides topline operating and financial information for the 1,224 orchestras supplying data for the financial year 2013-2014, as well as for a trend panel of 547 orchestras supplying data every year from 2006 to 2014.
  • The League’s own annual Orchestra Statistical Report (OSR), which provides more detailed operating and financial information for the 107 orchestras supplying data for the financial year 2013-2014, as well as for a trend panel of 65 orchestras supplying data every year from 2010 to 2014.
  • A supplemental League education and community engagement (EdCE) data set, which provides detailed information about the EdCE work undertaken during the financial year 2013-14, as reported on by 98 League member orchestras participating in a dedicated EdCE survey.

Please refer to the Technical Notes on page 25, which provides more detail about these datasets. Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras from Dr. Zannie Voss and colleagues from the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University. With the permission of Theatre Communications Group, Dr. Zannie Voss’s work is modelled after Theatre Communications Group’s Theatre Facts, a report on the state of the U.S. nonprofit professional theatre field that has been published by TCG and made public for over three decades."