National Center for Arts Research

by Kevin E. Moore

in Tools & Research

“It’s a revolution,” says Gary King, director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “We’re really just getting under way. But the march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, will sweep through academia, business and government. There is no area that is going to be untouched.” – The New York Times, “The Age of Big Data”

From our flagship Fiscal Survey and Theatre Facts to our Education Survey and Special Reports on Education, TCG has long taken an active role in theatre research, conducting rigorous surveys and translating that data into actionable reports. But as that quote from the Times above suggests, the age of Big Data is upon us, and everything is changing. How can we make sure our research keeps up with this “march of quantification?”

One answer is to partner with like-minded organizations, and so I am particularly pleased to announce TCG’s participation in Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) National Center for Arts Research (NCAR). Led by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business, and in collaboration with other organizations like the Cultural Data Project (CDP), NCAR will: assemble and analyze a cross-sector database of arts research; leverage that data to study important arts and culture issues; and disseminate that knowledge to the wider field. You can learn more about NCAR here.

As TCG continues our strategic focus on audience and community engagement, and diversity and inclusion, research will play an increasingly important role. At the Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convening in Philadelphia next week, we’ll be sharing out some of the preliminary audience engagement research from our partners, AMS Planning & Research. We’re also in the beginning stages of planning how research might establish benchmarks and measure progress in advancing diversity and inclusion. Partnerships like NCAR will be essential in fully leveraging that research to deepen our impact and widen our reach. Stay tuned for more information on these initiatives, and don’t hesitate to contact us with ideas on the we can use the age of Big Data to advance the essential connection and community building of live theatre.


Kevin E. Moore is the Managing Director of TCG and an arts professional with over 20 years experience. Mr. Moore joined TCG is 2010. Prior he served as managing director for Arizona Theatre Company, a LORT B theatre based in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona prior to joining TCG. He was with Arizona Theatre Company for ten years, starting as marketing director and finishing his time there as managing director. In addition, Mr. Moore has served in many capacities with organizations including the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix, Historic New Harmony in Indiana, Cincinnati Arts Association and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has served on grant panels for Theatre Communications Group, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the City of Phoenix and was Founding Board Chair of Alliance for Audience, a service organization for the arts in Phoenix. He has also been a guest lecturer at Arizona State University. Mr. Moore graduated from Furman University in Greenville, SC.