Arts Employment

This section provides information on employment in the arts in general as well as how artists with disabilities can advance their careers in the arts.

Career Information for Artists and Related Workers
By: Westwood College
Employment of artists and related workers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations through the year 2014. However, the competition for jobs is expected to be keen for both salaried and freelance jobs in all specialties, because the number of qualified workers exceeds the number of available openings. Also, because the arts attract many talented people with creative ability, the number of aspiring artists continues to grow. Employers in all industries should be able to choose from among the most qualified candidates. This website lists valuable information about nature of the work, working conditions, training, other qualifications, advancement, employment, job outlook, earnings, related occupations, and sources of additional information.

Creativity Connects: Trends and Conditions Affecting U.S. Artists
By: The Center for Cultural Innovation,  2016
The purpose of this report is to update the findings of the Urban Institute’s 2003 study, Investigating in Creativity, which identified support systems necessary for artists, including materials supports, validation, markets, training and information. The National Endowment for the Arts collaborated with the Center for Cultural Innovation to explore the major changes and trends affecting artists. 

Crossover: How Artists Build Careers across Commercial, Nonprofit and Community Work
By: Ann Markusen, Sam Gilmore, Amanda Johnson, Titus Levi & Andrea Martinez, The James Irvine Foundation, 2006
A large portion of artistic creation and dissemination has always taken place in the commercial sector. In the 20th century, an innovative nonprofit sector began to offer alternative routes for artists to develop their work and reach larger publics. In the past few decades, previously under-appreciated community artistic practices have won recognition for novel new art forms, some based on traditional ethnic or immigrant art. Many people inside and outside the art world perceive significant divides among commercial, nonprofit and community sectors. In this study, we report how artists in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay metros develop their work and careers across the three arenas, how each sector affects their artistic development, and what barriers could be eliminated to facilitate greater crossover.

Cultivating Talent: Improving Access to Arts Careers for Artists with Disabilities
By: The Tarjan Center at UCLA, National Arts and Disability Center, 2014
A review of the Statewide Forums program from 2002-2013 demonstrated that the Statewide Forums increased confidence, artistic skills and business/marketing skills, connections to other artists and arts employers, and led to sales or short term employment of artists with disabilities. State arts agencies discovered artists with disabilities, including those that were already part of their networks; developed new partnerships with arts and disability organizations; and increased their knowledge about the needs of artists with disabilities and how to include them in their programs. Executive Summary available here. 

National Dialogue on Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities, 2016
A new report has been released from The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the UCLA Tarjan Center's National Arts and Disability Center (NADC) summarizing the ideas and recommendations made by 401 participants from the arts and disability communities in response to the key question posed - what ideas do you have to increase the career preparation and employment of people with disabilities in the arts? – The online dialogue garnered 112 ideas, 587 comments and 1,095 votes in five main topic areas: challenges and opportunities for Careers in the Arts; education and job training for artists and arts administrators; identity, disclosure, and representation in the arts; disability-specific or arts specific issues; and success stories and positive change. 

NEA Roundtable: Creating Opportunities for Deaf Theater Artists
By: The National Endowment for the Arts, 2016
This report summarizes a roundtable conversation hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts on creating opportunities for Deaf theater artists. More than 50 artists, administrators, academics and funders gathered in New York City to discuss barriers, needs and opportunities for American Deaf theater artists. The primary focus of the discussion was the development and production of plays 1. Written by deaf playwrights, 2. Featuring themes focused on the lives of Deaf individuals, and 3. That can expand meaningful employment opportunities for Deaf artists. 

Self Employment among People with Disabilities: Evidence for Europe
By: Ricardo Pagán, 2008
This paper examines the use of self-employment among people with disabilities in Europe. Using data from the European Community Household Panel for the period 1995–2001 for 13 European countries we found that people with disabilities were more likely to be self-employed than people without disabilities. Self-employment provides flexibility and a better adjustment between disability status and working life. Moreover, the levels of satisfaction with job, type of job and working conditions of self-employed disabled people are higher than those reported by disabled people who are wage and salary earners. Policy-makers must encourage self-employment to increase the levels of well-being and employment of people with disabilities in Europe.

The Employment of Performers with Disabilities in the Entertainment Industry, Executive Summary
By: Olivia Raynor, Ph.D., and Katharine Hayward, Ph.D., 2005
There are approximately 54 million Americans with disabilities, and yet they remain virtually invisible in the media. Until now, information about the employment of people with disabilities in film and television in the United States was virtually unknown. Annually, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) publishes a Casting Data Report that provides the industry with an analysis of the hiring practices and employment trends in film and television related to ethnicity, age and gender. The industry does not currently report information about the hiring of SAG actors with disabilities; hence, little is known about their employment. In response to this need, SAG commissioned this report, “The Employment of Performers with Disabilities in the Entertainment Industry,” to create a comprehensive profile of the employment of SAG members with disabilities in 2003.