Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pew's Cultural Data Project: Why Not Texas?

Collective Action, the blog of the Chicago League of Theatres, carries today with great satisfaction the news that the Cultural Data Project of the Pew Charitable Trust is extending its activity to Illinois. The project was pioneered in Pennsylvania and is now active also in Maryland and California.

Collective Action comments, Thursday, April 9, 2009:

Cultural Data Project

OK – this is the greatest thing. I heard about it a few years ago and thought it would never really come true, but then I heard it was in place in Pennsylvania and I was hearing good things about it and THEN, I heard it was coming to Illinois and NOW it is. What it does is simply this: it provides a data collection system. But…WE will be able to use the data.

We will be able to compare our data against other organizations of the same size or different size or geographic location or whatever. Things like salary averages, average ticket prices, annual budget, all sorts of information. Of course, the information will not be attributed to a particular organization (i.e., you will compare yourself with other theatres with budgets of between $250,000 and $500,000, as an example, not against a particular theatre). We will also be able to benchmark our own progress over the years.

Now here’s the really cool part, a lot of funders are on board with this and what will happen is that we will put the information in to this system once and then we will only have to click a button to generate a financial report for that particular funder. Uh-huh, no more rearranging the budgets to fit the particular funders needs for a report. Uh-huh click a button, that’s right. The data project WILL DO IT FOR US. The folks in Pennsylvania love it. I don’t want to oversell it but really, it sounds awesome. More in next week’s broadcast about the roll out.

Read More and access a 40-minute audio discussion with Bobbie Lipman, the Pew Trust's director for the Cultural Data Project, all at . . .

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