Browse By Categories

The purpose of this report is to begin to quantify funding to California-based Latino arts organizations and assess how equitably funding and resources are allocated among the sector and throughout the state. Includes brochure with summary statistics from 2012: Statistics and Information about Latino Arts in California Author(s) : Latino Arts Network


The purpose of this report and reason for our interest in engaging in this study, was to  further review what we had already investigated from our own Cultural Vitality Index  Project; the seemingly disparate distribution of funds and lack of resources in the Latino  art and cultural field in the state of California. Three significant factors were at the heart of  our effort:  

  • The dramatically shifting demographics and growing Latino population in  California. 
  • The rising climate of acrimony and hate being directed at Latino people in the  United States.  
  • The belief that arts and culture is vital to the Latino community, and that equity  and access are key to a successful climate of growth and representation.  

Our goal was to use available database information to track trends and identify  opportunities and challenges. In the course of our study we encountered a number of  unexpected challenges in utilizing the data to quantify the presence of Latino arts  organizations in California, notable consistency and accuracy in the collated data and the  overall lack of participation by Latino arts groups. We veered toward evaluating the  California Cultural Data Project process itself to help understand, identify and provide a  more qualitative profile of the Latino arts community.  

The purpose of this report is to begin to quantify funding to California-based Latino arts  organizations and assess how equitably funding and resources are allocated among the  sector and throughout the state. We explored how well the California Cultural Data  Project (CDP) is able to serve the Latino Arts Community in order to improve its overall  impact and use. 

Results from this report reveal the following: 

  • Latino’s make up 40% of the population yet less than 5% of the organizations that  make up the state’s CDP roster, and in 2011, represented only 2% of foundation,  corporate and public arts funding in California according to the CDP.  
  • Of the approximately 1,700 profiles reviewed, only 79 reflect a credible presence  as being a Latino arts organization or significantly serving a Latino audience.  
  • Latino organizations average $113,000 in budget size; in essence, the majority are  small-sized organizations no matter that a dozen have over 40 years in operation.  
  • Latino arts organizations produce and present events and programming in  commensurate proportion to larger and mainstream organizations with far fewer resources. 

  • Latino organizations rely heavily on volunteers and in-kind services in proportion  to mainstream organizations.  
  • Latino organizations are multidisciplinary and multi-purpose in practice, serving as  community service organizations, destinations and hubs of activity in addition to  serving as cultural art centers.  
  • Most of the cultural centers in Latino communities do not own their space. They rent, or lease, or in some cases occupy donated space.  

The Latino Arts Network makes several recommendations to help not only the CDP, but  also the funders requiring CDP participation, get a deeper understanding of the challenges  that California-based Latino arts organizations face in order to broaden participation: 

  • Establish a structure to measure qualitative as well as quantitative data, in order to  give a more accurate profile of Latino arts organizations in the state. 
  • Create a broader range of information fields that are culturally sensitive and begin  to better measure non-financial assets. 
  • Review language and terminology in the CDP to construct a better understanding  of intent and application of terminology. 
  • Conduct further outreach to identify new and small arts organizations and assist in  supporting their funding needs. 

This report is a first attempt to utilize the data as it relates to ethnically specific Latino  organizations in California. In the course of our research we discovered that there were  some issues and flaws in the process, and our report was not only to illuminate the funding  community and general readership, but to also review the CDP in context of the study.  While recognizing the value of the CDP, we have offered some observations not for  criticism but improvement, and some recommendations not for minimization but to make  it a more effective tool for the entire field.  

We believe the vision of the California Arts Council, Cultural Data Project and Latino  Arts Network are congruent when it comes to providing access and equitable  representation to the greater arts and culture field in our state. We hope that the work  done to date is a start but also has value to all parties and most importantly the arts  organizations, communities and people we hope to serve by our effort.  

Note: This interpretation of the data is the view of the Latino Arts Network and does not reflect the views of  the Cultural Data Project. 


The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can  afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all  define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next  generation.1 

~ Michelle Obama 

In 2012-13, the Latino Arts Network of California (LAN) conducted a study to explore the  trends, challenges and impact of funding the arts and culture within the Latino community  in California. In partnership with the California Arts Council and the California Cultural  Data Project (CDP), LAN analyzed data as reported to the CDP through 2011, interviewed  key stakeholders, and reviewed several other related studies to compile these preliminary  findings.  

As detailed in the article by Talia Gibas and Amanda Keil, “The Cultural Data Project and  Its Impact on Arts Organizations” (March 2013)2 the CDP has been successful to date, but  is looking at self evaluation to improve its lasting impact with both funders and arts  groups. This report is an initial study which specifically addresses funding patterns in the  Latino community, yet recognizes there is a need for further study and a deeper  examination of the findings. These findings and conclusions reflect what can be surmised  to date, as well as evaluate the impact of the CDP in the arts and culture field within the  Latino community.  

The Growing Population and Presence of Latinos in California ¡Aquí estamos y no nos vamos! (We are here, and we are here to stay!)3 ~ José Montoya, late poet, artist and co-founder of the RCAF 

According to the Pew Research Center, Latinos are the nation’s largest minority group and  account for more than half the overall population growth in the United States between  2000 and 2010.4 In 2013, Latinos numbered 53 million people in the country, representing  17 percent of the total population. Of the top ten diverse Hispanic origins, Mexicans are  the largest segment and represent 65 percent of the overall Latino population.  

The following data for this report are derived from the Pew Research Center Hispanic  Trends Project’s “Mapping the Nation’s Latino Population: by State, County and City”  2013 report, as well as the 2012 American Community Survey, the 2010 U.S. Census,  and U.S. Census Bureau county population datasets. 

In California, Latinos comprise 40 percent of the population, making it the largest segment  of any demographic groups living in the state. Estimates by demographers and social  scientists vary, but it is projected that by no later than 2050, and possibly as early as 2025,  the state will be 50 percent Latino. Also, the percentage of Latinos in the state will 

continue to rise into a growing majority segment until leveling off over the coming 80-85  years. 

Nationally and statewide, the Latino population is getting younger as the rest of the nation  is getting older, with a median age a full 15 years younger than the majority population.  Presently, the majority of the Latino population is well under the age of 21. By the year  2040, the United States will be a minority majority, and at higher levels of actual  population, a larger number than previously seen in density, diversity and youth. 

In 2012, Latinos in California averaged only half the annual income ($20,000) of the  Anglo population ($40,000), ten thousand less than the African American population  ($30,000). Fifty-two percent of the total Latino population is under 18 years of age. At  least 30 percent of the under-18 population of Latinos lives at, or below the federal  income and household poverty levels. 

Even as immigration is now declining, California has led the way, with a full 40 percent rise in Latino population over the past thirty years, making it the home to the largest  homogeneous and Latino population in the United States. 

Although representative of every Latino country in the Western Hemisphere, the  overwhelming percentage of the Latino population in California is of Mexican descent. 

In California, 12 of the 58 statewide counties are majority Latino, including all major  urban areas, notably Los Angeles County, (with nearly 5 million people, or close to 10 percent of the total Latino population). Five of the top ten largest Latino populations by  county are in California. Also, 17 more counties have populations that are at least 25 percent Latino and 6 more counties are about to turn 25 percent Latino. 

The distribution of the Latino population is statewide, with massive concentrations in the  Southern part of the state and in the big cities. There are also very large Latino  communities in all the agricultural regions, (notably Imperial County in the southernmost  region of the state.) All 58 counties have a reported minimum Latino population of at least  7-8 percent, trending toward at least 10 percent in a very short time. (Exhibit A.) 

Significantly only 15 of 58 counties overall in the CDP database are reported to have  received funding. This equals only 26 percent of counties receiving funding for the arts.  If we break this down further, since the 79 Latino organizations represent 5 percent of the  total CDP database, we can extrapolate the breakdown of sparse demographic access even  more dramatically when we recognize that 60 percent reflect zero funding in 2011 and  those that were funded are located in only one quarter (1/4) of the entire state. 

To restate, the Latino population represents 40 percent of the state, but in arts funding only  about 2 percent, and in only one out of every four parts of the state. 

What José Montoya affirmed in his “Aquí estamos…” statement is underscored by the  dramatically shifting demographics of the largest state in the union. Latinos, mostly  Mexicans, have been a significant part of the California population since the beginning,  dating back to 1852 following the Mexican American War. As it has been the case with all  the other states who border Mexico, a consistent stream of new immigrants have come to  California since that time, particularly after the Mexican Revolution in 1910, and has only  been tailing off in the past few years.  

The Southwestern United States is indelibly Latino/Mexicano in the rooted culture and  environment, for both Latino and non-Latino denizens, and has been an aesthetic influence  upon artistic and cultural production despite a history of purposeful neglect or lack of  recognition by the mainstream. Our state has not only been ground zero for the changing  population trends; it will be the leader in forging a new composition of our national  identity between now and the end of the century. The creation and presentation of Latino  culture is vital to the future of the state for a variety of critical reasons. 

The Value and Benefits of Arts & Culture: 

La Cultura is la locura, y la locura is la cura. (Culture is the madness, and the madness  is the cure.)5 

This report operates with the premise, based upon a growing body of research over the  past 25 years, that the Arts and Culture are vital assets and resources with great benefits and value for all Californians.  

For the purpose of this study, with emphasis upon the Latino community, those benefits  and values include: 

  • The arts and cultural traditions of a community hold an essential core value to connecting with the legacy, pride and identity of the people from that community,  and play a major role in fostering a healthier and enriched environment for  everyone.6
  • The arts nurture children and youth to develop creative thinking, discipline, group  interaction, enhanced motor and cognitive skills, responsibility, communication,  self-identity and pride.7
  • Students with an arts education perform at a higher level academically overall and  demonstrate greater social participation and citizenship. California educational  leadership is adopting arts learning and creativity into all disciplines and instruction, including history, social studies, math and science.8

  • The arts have been proven as a successful deterrent to youth-at-risk behavior and  juvenile delinquency, and have stimulated positive and creative alternatives for  participants in arts education and programming.9
  • The arts have proven to be successful in providing creative and innovative  solutions to non-arts challenges and social issues. The arts have often been asked  to trigger or invent means of communication and dialog, seek tolerance, mutuality and stimulate a sense of unity and identity.10
  • Multiple economic impact studies over the past 10 years have established that for  every dollar invested in arts in California the return to the local community is 4 to  1. The Arts stimulate local economies, generate revenue and create jobs.11

Thus, Arts and Culture in California are not only essential to a healthy future but also vital  toward preparing a prosperous and engaged population in the century to come.  


Working with the California Cultural Data Project database, we first reviewed a data set of  1,746 California arts organizations. Composing an initial vetting, we culled the number of  organizations down to 147 entries who identified themselves as Latino organizations, and  finally, 79 ethnic-specific nonprofits who we identified as core Latino organizations. The  basis of our selection of the 79 was by reviewing each group to determine if at least 50 

percent board membership or staff was Latino, reviewing mission statements and by  utilizing census information to confirm the geographic location of an organization in  traditionally Latino communities. Several multicultural organizations were included in the  79 due to significant Latino programming and/or percentage of audience as reported.  

It should be noted here that several important or well-known Latino organizations that are  known to us through our own membership roster or through research, were not included in  the core of 79 groups we studied, due to lack of CDP review-complete data or lack of  participation in the CDP for reasons we cannot identify.  

Additional methodology included:  

  • Reviewing and analyzing data collected from LAN’s Cultural Vitality Index  Survey, an ongoing data-collecting vehicle established in 2011.  
  • Utilizing other databases and studies for reference and analysis, such as the U.S. Census and The James Irvine Foundation’s 2011 “Arts Ecology” study of  California nonprofit art organizations.12 (A complete list of references is attached.)  
  • Extensive interviews with key arts leaders and organizations in Latino arts in  California.  
  • Interviews with representatives of funding and philanthropic entities.

  • Interviews with arts leaders from the mainstream community.  
  • Interviews with elected and public officials, including arts deputies or other staff  representatives.13


The issue of equity and inclusion, which often gets left as the last thing you bring to the  table, ought to be the first thing you bring to the table in order to engage the upcoming  demographic. 

~Dr. Manuel Pastor, Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at  the University of Southern California 

Arts Funding and Latinos in California: 

The California Cultural Data Project details financial and other numerical data about 1,746 non-profit arts organizations in California of its members between the period 2006 and  2011. In our detailed analysis of arts organizations: 147 of these art organizations were  self-identified Latino organizations and of that sub-group, only 79 were identified as  ethnically-specific Latino organizations from our review.  

In accordance with the information reported to the Cultural Data Report, the majority of  Latino nonprofit organizations operate under $249,000 annually, with an annual average  of $113,000 (2010).  

To compare this to the macrocosm of nonprofits in California at large, we use the overall  base figure of 11,000 arts and cultural nonprofits in the state measured by the Markusen  Economic Research report “California’s Arts Ecology,” commissioned by The James  Irvine Foundation.14 According to this study, California is home to 11,000 and by income  breakdown: 4,950 of the nonprofits, or 48 percent earn less than $25,000 a year; 37 

percent earn between $25,000 and $249,000 a year; 6 percent earn between $250,000 and  $499,000 a year; 7 percent earn between $500,000 and $1.99 million a year. Overall, 85 percent of the almost 11,000 nonprofits in California, earn less than $249,000 a year. 

In 2011, 44 percent of Latino organizations reported receiving zero income; or reported  received no funding to the CDP. Those that do reflect income are found in only the most  populous regions. Our assumption is that it is possible many of the organizations reporting  did not correctly report income or were not able to report income in a timely manner,  perhaps a reflection of vulnerability, staff availability or the economic downturn overall.  

Nonetheless the figure is an indication of the capacity of the organizations to respond and  utilize the CDP. Because the data is self reported and in the Latino arts organization  subset, mostly un-audited, the figure underscores a flaw in the process to be addressed and  reconciled. 

In 2011, of those organizations reporting income, less than 35 percent of the total reported  income was from traditional sources, including foundations, corporations and public or  governmental sources. Approximately 15 percent came from foundations, 10 percent from  the private sector and 10 percent from government (local/municipal, state, or federal)  grants.  

Again, some of the more well-known and larger Latino based arts organizations are  notably missing from the roster of 79 we studied, and we were not able to use their data in  calculating funding sources. This also indicates a concern with the CDP database  regarding the completeness and inclusion of organizations in their membership.  

Volunteers and In-kind Contributions: 

Latino organizations reported a slightly higher level of volunteer participation in their  organizations (15 percent). Data alone does not reflect the impact upon organizations, but  we surmise that this number indicates a greater reliance on donated (in-kind) time and  participation from at-large community members. In-kind contributions were also slightly  higher than mainstream reporting, also indicating a higher level of impact from non-cash  contributions upon Latino arts organizations.  

Audiences and Programming: 

A comparison of programming between Latino organizations and the mainstream arts field  in California demonstrate a commensurate level of annual activity, including the number  and frequency of public programs. However, working with far fewer financial resources,  Latino arts organizations demonstrate an extraordinary efficacy at maintaining their  activities and projects. (It was not possible to review the amount or cost of programming  with the present database, and although we do not ascribe to the notion that the cost of  programming is an indication of the quality of programming, it is a potential indicator of  cost per event and percentage of annual programming that is part of the organizational  budget and activities.)  

Further, Latino arts organizations work with a smaller percentage of admissions and  subscriptions revenue, given the limited capacity of their core audiences to invest in  ticketing at the same level as mainstream audiences. At least 50 percent of the  programming from the 79 core groups was free or low cost, fostering access as a priority  over subscriptions, memberships and ticket sales.  

Latino Youth and Virtual Media: 

There is a substantial difference between Latino arts organizations and mainstream arts  organizations regarding reporting of their virtual audience. According to CDP data, the  virtual audience numbers of children for non-Latino organizations were almost 13 times 

greater than the virtual audience reporting by Latino arts organizations. This reflects the  gap in access to technology and virtual programming that exists for the Latino community.  

National studies confirm that Latinos, specifically children 5-18, lag 25 percent in access  and use of Internet technology. The disparate gap in virtual audience also indicates the gap  in capacity of Latino organizations to offer online arts services such as podcasts, webcasts,  instant streaming and website media content downloads. As electronic/online venues are a  changing trend, it is obvious that Latino youth audience members are not keeping up with  virtual attendance, due to a lack of computer access in the home.15 

However, according to a new analysis of three surveys by the Pew Research Center,  “Latinos own smartphones go online from a mobile device and use social networking sites  at similar—and sometimes higher—rates than do other groups of Americans.” According  to this study, in 2012, “86 percent of Latinos said they owned a cellphone, up from 76 

percent in 2009 and the gap in cellphone ownership between Latinos and other groups  either diminished or disappeared.”16 

According to another NEA study, mobile devices appear to narrow racial/ethnic gaps in  arts engagement. “Whether listening to music, looking at a photo, or watching a dance or  theater performance, all racial/ethnic groups show roughly the same rates of engagement  via mobile devices.”17 This trend reflects an opportunity for further engaging Latino  youth in interest-driven arts creation and activity through smart phones, mobile devices  and tablets. 

Latino Arts Venues: 

Of the 79 organizations we studied, only four indicated that they owned their own space,  and the majority rented, leased, shared space or operated in donated spaces. The majority  of the organizations utilize the space for a wide range of needs, but within arts disciplines,  most of them operate as a multi-disciplined organization, whether they identify themselves  as a single or sole discipline group or not. That is, they host partners, present other arts  disciplines, collaborate with sister organizations, or rent use of space to more than one  discipline. The majority of organizations also operate within their space with shared uses  for educational, social or community services, non-arts related.  

The Nonprofit Models of Operation in the Latino Arts:  

Latino Arts Network was founded by a statewide network of arts organizations in  traditional Latino communities, each with a range of 25 to 45 years of service, established  during the apex of the Chicano art movement in California in the early 1970’s. They have  been the backbone of a cultural connection between communities and artists, surviving  transition of leadership and shifting demographics, growing audiences, and in some cases, 

suffering, gentrification in their communities. In most cases, these cultural centers or  ‘centros’ endeavor to serve newer and more generations without a commensurate growth  in funding resources. 


The majority of these ‘grandfather’ centros were established out of a necessity and a  cultural mandate, given the creative and political explosion throughout the California  Chicano communities of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. They have been the hubs of  activity in the Latino Arts Network and remain vital to their respective communities.  

Their most profound role today is to serve as proof that when there is such a center, a  nexus or gathering place, there is greater cultural arts activity generated by the  surrounding community. Thus the preservation of their role in the future of California is  essential and warrants additional study and strategy to address the specific needs of these  community-based cultural centers as a network connecting the cultural values of the entire  state like a modern day version of the old El Camino Real.  

Centros have also become the template for the standard contemporary Latino arts and  cultural organization in California. For many of them, in order to survive (but also in line  with a cultural aesthetic that comes from a non-Eurocentric point of view), they have  become the new ‘peña,’ multi-user, multi-purpose, collectivized in operation,  multidisciplinary and in collaboration with community interests that range from social  services and youth organizations, to public partners and entities delivering family services,  counseling, and in some cases, educational programming. The destinations or centers are  arts meccas, but they often fortify their operations with the resources from non-arts  delivery partners. 

These organizations are cultural ‘farmers markets,’ one location addressing many needs.  Their structure is like a tree with many roots and even more branches, which is how the  arts are in context within the Latino aesthetic, a part of the overall culture and not apart from it. Thus their model is both a pragmatic invention and cultural design, reflective of  cultural values and emerging of necessity. And in the Latino communities in California,  their practical cross sector profile enhances their value as arts and cultural resources, a  variation from the mainstream ideal of arts organizations, and difficult to capture using  only quantitative data.  

It has also been our experience and the result of our research through the LAN Cultural  Vitality Index and other sources that there is a thriving presence of informal venues of arts  and cultural production operating within the Latino community. In most cases, the  informal groups (non 501c3), either created as a private entity by a small collective, or an  interest-based arts group (such as a community-based ballet folklórico), is oriented toward  preserving cultural legacy and practices from various Latin American mother countries.  They are important grass roots cultural vessels, particularly in Latino communities with a  large immigrant base. In most of these models, Spanish is the primary language.18 

The formal, or established 501c3 arts organizations, such as those identified as the core 79  members represented in our study, are more aligned with traditional arts organizations  profiles, usually chartered nonprofit models and operating in English as the primary  language. 


It should be noted that in either model, Spanish and English are not superior to one or the  other, but merely the practical language as reflected in the core membership. In both  profiles, Spanish and English are both necessary languages.  

We have also learned that there is a growing number of newer organizations modeled in  the standard nonprofit profile but are led by Latino entrepreneurs and self-starters, coming  from a new generation of artists and practitioners. These organizations are straddling a  line between nonprofit and for-profit, acting as small businesses but with community  service or nonprofit mission, a hybrid model of operation.  


We have not required applicants to our programs to complete the 11-section online form  requiring annual updating because we feel it creates a barrier to accessing the grants  process, especially for the small and mid-sized organizations we serve. In a state where  over 44% of the state’s population speaks a language other than English at home, and  the digital divide is still an issue according to income and education levels, we offer  alternatives to foster greater access to our grants programs. 19 

~Amy Kitchener, Executive Director, Alliance for California Traditional Arts 

Reviewing the California Cultural Data Project: 

The essential value of the California Cultural Data Project (CDP) is to provide a singular  source of financial reporting that can be accessed by a range of users and for several  applications or uses, in particular, reporting income and activity to a pool of funders  within the philanthropic community.  

Orientation and Preparation: 

Ideally the preparation of one comprehensive report is easier than repeating and  reformatting financial information for organizations with each funding request, and the  data reports can be used by the organization itself for tracking finances and income,  assessing its audience, and documenting its activities and programs. Our survey indicates  that at present, the CDP fulfills much of its intent and goals, but that preparing the CDP 

profile is still a greater burden in particular to smaller groups and organizations who do  not have commensurate staff time and support as do the larger organizations.  

Our research and feedback indicate that the amount of time required to fill out the CDP  that is often predicted by funding agencies and representatives is far below actual practice,  and that the amount of time to prepare and understand how to complete the CDP in order  to utilize its many benefits was often cited to us as obstacles, especially with smaller  organizations. Our conclusion is that the number of hours to complete the forms is  underestimated, and the number of hours to maintain, update and amplify each of the CDP 


years is also well under-estimated for the entire field and especially for small groups. In  turn, the capacity or even desire to use the CDP as a resource diminishes if the value of the  tool is seen as an obstacle rather than a benefit.  

Terminology, Definitions and interpretations: 

Use of templates can present unintended consequences. Although useful for simplifying  massive data, template data is sometimes rendered inaccurate by a lack of understanding  or how to apply the interpretation of terminology. As cited in their guiding principles for  “Culture Counts in Communities: A Framework for Measurement” (Maria-Rosario  Jackson, et al., 2002): 

“Definitions depend on the values and realities of the community.  Participation spans a wide range of actions, disciplines, and levels of  expertise. Creative expression is infused with multiple meanings and  purposes. And, opportunities for participation rely on arts specifics  and other resources.”20 

Our interviews with representatives in the field repeatedly referenced a need for  clarification of terminology that is cited in the CDP. The most frequent concern was not  some confusion in understanding the “art speak,” but how to interpret the meaning or  intent of data field selections utilized to provide descriptions.  

It says ‘arts service organization,’ so I figured, we do art and we serve the people with  our music instruction, so we are an arts service organization, not just a mariachi.  

~Comment from a field interview, identity with held by request 

Consistency of language and terms, and how terminology is interpreted and valued reveal  a need for further review and analysis of the language and meaning or value of categories  and definitions used by the CDP and other tools that measure only financial and other  numeric data.  

The CDP does not fit the Latino experience. It’s simply not possible to do a one-size-fits all in today’s world. The fact that Latino art organizations are not participating in CDP  should be a wake-up call to funders. 21 

~Marie Acosta, Executive Director of La Raza Galería Posada in Sacramento 

The challenge of “one size fits all” templates must be tempered with a clearer  understanding from both the CDP and the user, to determine the intent and meaning of the  terminology, size and scope of organizations, cultural sensitivity as well as the possible  variations of each. 


Alignment of Financial Information: 

I sat down with my accountant and we looked over the CDP. After ten minutes he was  cussing and saying to me, ‘One more damn thing to do!’ 

~Comment from a field interview, name withheld by request.  

The CDP is designed to parallel a standard audit format and make the transfer of financial  information easy to report. However, the audited financial statement is not a required  aspect of the CDP, and for smaller groups, would represent yet another major challenge in  fulfilling the obligation of the small organization. Because most small groups do not have  audits, they are challenged to create CDP data, based on budgets or internal information at hand, such as a profit and loss statement, and the format is often a variation of data. This  leads to painstakingly having to align how information is identified, noted or reported  from one source to another.  

Even with using a fully completed IRS Form 990, the same information is reported as  required in one format but needs to be translated to another. The organization is further  required to maintain an alignment between the internal information that is self reported,  the CDP format, a 990 form format and if possible an audited financial statement format.  The burden on smaller organizations is such that they will often elect to forego completing  the CDP profile.  

Additionally, most of the funder organizations requesting the CDP still ask for project  budget, organizational budget and audits or balance sheets in addition to the CDP, thus  compounding the requested data rather than making it easier or more streamlined for the  applying arts organization.  

We recommend a greater concentration on recruitment, orientation and help for these  organizations so that they may become more fully engaged partners in the CDP, create a  more positive profile of their operations, and enhance the capacity of arts organizations to  solicit and procure funding from the philanthropic community.  

For example, in the mid 1990’s, the Getty Foundation created a workshop series that were  labeled “barn raisers” in which organizations were invited to attend and receive direct  instruction on creating a website, at that time, a new tool to most arts groups. Utilizing the  expertise of the presenters, the comfort and sanctuary of the collegial community, and  prosaic instruction, the groups were able to construct the essence of their organization’s  first website at the conclusion of the workshop. This kind of model of orientation could be  useful for the CDP, as a supplement to the online orientation tools already in place. 


You’re trying to deal with finishing your application, and then you have to get the CDP  together? I can’t be the only one who has played with the numbers just to get rid of  those red dots so I can get a draft to go through! 

~Comment from the field, name withheld by request.  

The County of Los Angeles Arts Commission is also exploring the possibility of including  orientation to the CDP as a benefit of receiving a grant at the entry or small grant level,  rather than making the CDP as a pre requisite of the application process. As cited earlier,  the Alliance for California Traditional Arts has chosen to forgo the requirement of the  CDP as a stipulation of its regranting application in order to facilitate access to  grantmaking opportunities for its core community, also indicating a need for reconsidering  how to engage more groups in the initial process and increase their enrollment in  participating the CDP as a vital tool to gain greater access to funds.  

Evaluating Audiences and Volunteers:  

I reported subscriptions to our newsletter, which is free with membership, and then they  called and asked me for a corresponding dollar amount. FREE is the dollar amount,  FREE subscriptions with membership, and it is not earned income! 

~Comment from the field, name withheld by request. 

The present format for evaluating audience includes a detailed box office and subscription  templates that is heavily directed toward performing arts organizations with sophisticated  ticketing and season series packages. Even within the mainstream this is highly  specialized data that only large performing arts groups are capable of tracking and  reporting. There is no commensurate structure to evaluate participation from the audience  at a small organization level, and the implication of the present form is that one is valued  over the other, whereas the reality is that audiences are measured and counted differently  depending on the size of the organization and the discipline or type of programming  activity.  

Connecting audiences to box office, sales and income is one effective measure, but only  one and not the complete picture if left to it alone.  

Volunteers are counted on the CDP by condensing the raw number of volunteers into full  time equivalents. But that very practice minimizes the important number of total  community stakeholders, particularly in small organizations, and particularly within the  Latino community. 


The number of volunteers for the event, who not only brought the food but then cooked  and sold it for the feria was 30 mothers and some of the fathers, NOT 15 full-time staff  equivalents, but 30 PEOPLE who came to help us. THAT is the important number!  That’s 30 people who chose to join us, VOLUNTEER and help, not staff hours but  donated time and community spirit. The numbers don’t tell the whole story. 

~Comment from the field, name withheld by request 

Special Note: 

The majority of our interviews with arts organizations in the field resulted in three  overriding themes: 

  • The recognition of the value of the CDP as a resource to organizations. A desire to utilize the CDP tool as a means to enhance access to funding sources. 
  • A growing frustration in overcoming the obstacles and unequal resources available  for smaller groups to complete and manage the CDP. 

The criticism ranged from strident outrage to clear and thoughtful analysis of the  effectiveness of the CDP. But most of the commentary was critical, recognizing that the  concept of the CDP is good, but not effective for them in its present state.  

The majority of interviews with representatives in the funding community reflected a very  positive endorsement of the CDP, citing the practical impact upon their granting process,  particularly in tandem with a transition to online grant applications systems. One notable  exception cited the lack of usefulness for their constituency, mostly small and ethnically  specific or traditional arts practice groups. They chose not to require the CDP for applicants, citing their own research and discovering that it was keeping organizations  from asking for funds rather than encouraging grant seeking for the groups in their field of  service. Within the sum of the narrative of the funders we spoke with, several still  recognized that the CDP was more likely to be useful to larger groups who have greater  resources to facilitate the use of the data collection.  

It should be noted that a number of sources of commentary were very willing to discuss  their opinion of the CDP but only upon agreement that their name be withheld. The  concern for the anonymity of the speaker was not a fear of reprisal from funders who may  read this report; no one believes the field operates in that manner, but because they did not  want to be seen as ungrateful to the effort from the philanthropic community to sustain  their support of the arts and culture in California and in the Latino community.  


Data does not tell the whole story. In a best-case scenario, the accumulation of data is a  worthy resource to measure activity and scope of activity, including impact and trends.  But given some of the anomalies detailed in the report, and recognizing that the challenge  of uniforming information into a single template that is inclusive of such a range of 


diverse organizations, it is a daunting task. If in the end the goal of the CDP is to provide  the big picture of the field, it needs to add color to the sketch, and strive to enhance its  process to measure more than numbers.  

It has been the challenge in the arts field since the onset of how to measure quantity and  quality, but the very reason that has been a constant goal is because it is how we can best  assess the impact of the arts upon society. Certainly within the creative field there are the  resources and innovation, the creativity and the ambition to continue to explore a process  and measure by which this can be achieved. The CDP is a good start, a good idea that needs to evolve into a better platform that will then be useful and valuable to both the  funding community and the larger field. 

In its present state the CDP is not useful to small organizations, of which the majority of  Latino organizations are represented. It does not fulfill a primary objective that is  important to those organizations, to facilitate greater and equitable access to resources and  funding. The danger in not having complete information or participation is that the funders  are not getting an accurate report of the field. The number of organizations, particularly  among the smaller groups and groups representing communities of color in the state, are  being undercounted and overlooked if they are not able to sustain their presence in the  CDP, not the intent of the process, but an outcome that has become an issue.  

The CDP is a good tool, and can be a valuable tool for the Latino arts and cultural  community in procuring funds, measuring the remarkable vitality of activity of arts in  Latino neighborhoods and communities throughout the state. But there are challenges to  address to make the engagement a more accurate and meaningful partnership in the years  to come.  

This report is an initial effort to facilitate that process and recognizing the parameters and  limits of the data and resources to study. It is a good start. We feel further study and more  data is needed to delve deeper into questions regarding the per capita spending on youth in  the Latino community, and using cross references such as data from the philanthropic  community to get a more concrete indication of how much investment is in the Latino arts  community in California.  

Some nagging questions remain and require immediate attention. Given the current data,  40% of the population is getting 2% of the arts funding available in the state. If this figure  is accurate, it is alarming and distressful. But working with unscientific data neither  supports nor underscores the urgency of that condition. Can it be that of the almost 11,000  nonprofits in the state only 79 – and by that a generous roster of inclusion – serve Latino  arts and culture? These are questions, which may not be answered now, but are worthy for  future study as we head into the rest of the century and the future.  

Note: This interpretation of the data is the view of the Latino Arts Network and does not reflect the views of  the Cultural Data Project. 



Tomas J. Benitez is Chairman of the Board of the Latino Arts Network. He has been an  advocate of Chicano/Latino arts and culture for 35 years, and has served as a consultant to  the Smithsonian Institute, the President’s Council for the Arts, The National Endowment  for the Arts, the University of Notre Dame, USC, UCLA, the Mexican Fine Art Center  Museum in Chicago, and the California Arts Council. 

Dr. Deborah DeVries has an extensive record in evaluating arts programs, education and  research. She is co-founder of the Café on A / Acuña Gallery and Cultural Center and  serves on the Oxnard Arts in Public Places Commission. She is a graduate of UCLA with  a BA in History and Humanities, and holds a Master’s degree and Doctorate from USC in  Education Evaluation of Programming. She has taught and served as a consultant for  Chapman College of the Seven Seas, Golden Gate University, Park College, Embry  Riddle University and UCSB. 

Rebecca Nevarez is the Executive Director of the Latino Arts Network. She is dedicated  to promoting the work of artists and advocating for Latino Arts in California and brings  over 15 years of experience in nonprofit management to the field. She has held  development positions at several arts institutions including Plaza de la Raza Cultural  Center, California Institute for the Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Latino  Theatre Company. Rebecca is a graduate of UCLA with a BA in History and Art History, 

and her graduate studies included Public Art Studies at USC.  

Very Special Thanks ~ Muchisimas Gracias! 

Heather Bryant 

Val Echavarria 

Lora Gordon 

Karina Macias 

The California Cultural Data Project (CDP) is a unique system that enables arts and  cultural organizations to enter financial, programmatic and operational data into a  standardized online form. Organizations can then use the CDP to produce a variety of  internal reports as well as those to be included as part of the application processes to  participating grantmakers. To see a sample of the electronic data profile with a full list of  the data collected there, please visit the California Cultural Data Project’s website: 

For more information on the Cultural Data Project visit 

Latino Arts Network of California (LAN) was founded in 1997 to serve as a voice for  underserved Latino communities, and to advocate for greater awareness, inclusion,  participation, funding support and promotion of Latino Arts and Culture as an important  contribution to the national art landscape. The mission of LAN is to support and 


strengthen the presence and production of Latino arts and culture in California and to  advocate for the vitality of the artists and communities we serve. 

For more information on the Latino Arts Network visit  


This report was supported through collaboration between the California Arts  Council and the California Cultural Data Project Working Group. 

This interpretation of the data is the view of the Latino Arts Network and does not reflect  the views of the Cultural Data Project.  

Latino Arts Network of California 

1443 E. Washington Blvd., #224 

Pasadena, CA 91104 – 626/692-6560 

Copyright c 2013 Latino Arts Network. All rights reserved. 

Cover design by Val Echavarria


Exhibit A. 



  1. Michelle Obama, Remarks by the First Lady at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the  Metropolitan Museum of Art American Wing, May 18, 2009. Available at metropolitan-museum-art-american-wing
  2. Talia Gibas and Amanda Keil, “The Cultural Data Project and Its Impact on Arts  Organizations,” <> (March 2013).  

Available at arts-organizations.html 

  1. José Montoya, “Chicano Art: Resistance in Isolation “aquí estamos y no nos vamos.” In  Missions in Conflict: Essays on U.S.-Mexican Relations and Chicano Culture, 25–30.  Tübingen, Germany: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1986. 

Montoya was one of the elders of Chicano art and literature and co-founder of the seminal  RCAF artist collective, (initially called Rebel Chicano Art Front, later the Royal Chicano  Art Front and today referred to as the Royal Chicano Air Force) in Sacramento,  California. 

  1. Anna Brown and Mark Hugo Lopez, “Mapping the Nation’s Latino Population: by  State, County and City,” The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project, 2013.  Available at state-county-and-city
  2. “La Cultura is la locura, y la locura is la cura,” is a common quote among Chicano  artists in the 1960’s and 1970’s. 
  3. Maria-Rosario Jackson, Florence Kawabasa Green and Joaquin Herrenz, Jr., “Art and  Culture in Communities, Unpacking Participation, Policy Brief,” The Urban Institute,  2003. 
  4. James Catteral, Susan A Dumais and Gillian Hampden-Thompson, “The Arts and  Achievement in At-Risk Youth/ Findings from Longitudinal Studies,” University of York,  UK, National Endowment for the Arts, 2012. 
  5. “Raising the Bar: Implement Common Core State Standards for Latino Student  Success,” National Council of La Raza, 2012. Available at 

  1. Nancy M. Ritter, Thomas R. Simon and Reshma R. Mahendra, “Changing Course:  Preventing Gang Membership,” U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs  and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013. Available at


  1. “Teaching Tolerance: Art and Activism,” Southern Poverty Law Center, < > (2013). 
  2. Americans for the Arts, “Art and Economic Prosperity IV,” 2012. Available at al.asp
  3. Ann Markusen, Anne Gadwa, Elisa Barbour and William Beyers, “California’s Arts Ecology,” The James Irvine Foundation, 2011. Available at
  4. Dr. Manuel Pastor, Americans for the Arts Annual Convention keynote address, June  14, 2013. Available at 14. (Markusen et al., 2011) 

  1. Kylie Peppler, “New Opportunities for Learning in a Digital Age,” The Wallace  Foundation, 2013. Available at education/key-research/Pages/New-Opportunities-for-Interest-Driven-Arts-Learning-in-a Digital-Age.aspx
  2. Mark Hugo Lopez, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Eileen Patten, “Closing the Digital  Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption,” The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends  Project, 2013. Available at divide-latinos-and-technology-adoption/
  3. “How a Nation Engages with Art: Highlights from the 2012 Survey of Public  Participation in the Arts (SPPA),” National Endowment for the Arts, 2013. Available at
  4. Latino Arts Network’s Cultural Vitality Index Survey is an ongoing data-collecting  vehicle established in 2011. LAN CVI resources available at 

  1. Amy Kitchener, Latino Arts Network CVI interview comment, 2013. 
  2. Maria-Rosario Jackson and Joaquin Herrenz “Culture Counts in Communities: A  Framework for Measurement, The Urban Institute, 2002. 

Available at 21. Marie Acosta, Latino Arts Network CVI interview and survey comments, 2013.



Acosta, Marie and Jeff Jones, “The City of Sacramento: A Case Study in Municipal  Support of the Arts,” prepared for Latino Arts Network of California, 2013. 

Aguilar, Orson, Tomasa Duenas, Brenda Flores, Lupe Godinez, Hilary Joy and Isabel  Zavala, “Fairness in Philanthropy, Part I Foundation Giving to Minority-led Nonprofits,”  The Greenlining Institute, November 2005. Available at 

Aguilar, Orson, Tomasa Duenas, Brenda Flores, Lupe Godinez, Hilary Joy and Isabel  Zavala, “Fairness in Philanthropy, Part II Fairness from the Field,” November 2005.  Available at 

Americans for the Arts, “Art and Economic Prosperity IV,” 2012.  

Available at al.asp 

Americans for the Arts, “National Arts Index,” 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Available at 

Bronson, P.O., and Ashley Merryman, “The Creativity Crisis Newsweek,” 2010. 

Brown, Anna and Mark Hugo Lopez, “Mapping the Nation’s Latino Population: by State,  County and City,” The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project, 2013.  Available at state-county-and-city 

California Department of Education, “Common Core State Standards,” accessed  September, 2013. Available at 

Catteral, James, Susan A Dumais and Gillian Hampden-Thompson, “The Arts and  Achievement in At-Risk Youth/ Findings from Longitudinal Studies,” University of York,  UK, National Endowment for the Arts, 2012. 

Foundation Center, “Foundation Funding for Hispanics/ Latinos in the United States and  for Latin America,” Hispanics in Philanthropy, December 2011 and updated February  2012. Available at 


Gibas, Talia and Amanda Keil, “The Cultural Data Project and Its Impact on Arts  Organizations,” <> (March 2013). Available at organizations.html


Jackson, Maria-Rosario and Joaquin Herrenz “Culture Counts in Communities: A  Framework for Measurement, The Urban Institute, 2002. Available at 

Jackson, Maria-Rosario, Florence Kawabasa Green and Joaguin Herranz, “Cultural  Vitality in Communities,” The Urban Institute, 2006. 

Jackson, Maria-Rosario, Florence Kawabasa Green and Joaquin Herrenz, Jr., “Art and  Culture in Communities, Unpacking Participation, Policy Brief,” The Urban Institute,  2003. 

Jackson, Maria-Rosario, Florence Kawabasa Green and Joaquin Herrenz, “Art and Culture  in Communities: Systems of Support, Policy Brief,” The Urban Institute, 2003. 

Kauh, Tina J., “After Zone: Outcomes for Youth Participating in Providence’s Citywide  After School System,” The Wallace Foundation 2012. 

Kitchener, Amy and Ann Markusen, “Working with Small Arts Organizations How and  Why It Matters” Grantmakers in the Arts Reader, Vol. 23, No. 2, Summer 2012.  Available at 

Lopez, Mark Hugo, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Eileen Patten, “Closing the Digital Divide:  Latinos and Technology Adoption,” The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project,  2013. Available at latinos-and-technology-adoption/ 

Los Angeles Stage Alliance, “Art Census Report,” 2011. Available at 

Lucero, Debra, “Art and Economics (Arts in Chico California),” Friends of the Arts, 2011. 

Markusen, Ann, Anne Gadwa, Elisa Barbour and William Beyers, “California’s Arts  Ecology,” The James Irvine Foundation, 2011. Available at insights/publications/arts/arts-ecology-reports 

National Center for Arts Educational Statistics, “Art Education in Public Elementary and  Secondary Schools,” 2009-10. 

National Council of La Raza, “Raising the Bar: Implement Common Core State Standards  for Latino Student Success,” 2012. 

National Endowment for the Arts, “How a Nation Engages with Art: Highlights from the  2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA),” 2013. Available at 

National Guild for Community School Education, “Engaging Adolescents: Building  Youth Participation in the Arts” 2011.


National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families, “Strengthening  Partnerships and Building Public Will For Out of School Time Programs,” Wallace  Foundation 2012. 

National Museum of Mexican Art, “Crescendo Cultural,” 2011. Available at 

Peppler, Kylie, “New Opportunities for Learning in a Digital Age,” The Wallace  Foundation, 2013. Available at education/key-research/Pages/New-Opportunities-for-Interest-Driven-Arts-Learning-in-a Digital-Age.aspx 

Ritter, Nancy M., Thomas R. Simon and Reshma R. Mahendra, “Changing Course:  Preventing Gang Membership,” U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs  and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013. Available at 

Southern Poverty Law Center, “Teaching Tolerance: Art and Activism,”  <> (2013). 

Stevenson, Lauren, Joe Landon and Danielle Brazell, “A Policy Pathway: Embracing Arts  Education to Achieve Title I Goals,” California Alliance for Arts Education, 2013.  Available at 

Taylor, Paul, Mark Hugo Lopez, Jessica Hamar Martinez and Gabriel Velasco, “When  Labels Don’t Fit,” Pew Research Hispanic Trends, 2012. Available at of-identity/ 

U.S. Census Bureau, “American Community Survey,” 2012. 

Washington State Arts Commission, “Creative Vitality in Washington State,” 2010.