The 2013 NAPAMA Performing Arts Market Study

The NAPAMA 2013 Performing Arts Market Study is the first effort of North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents to provide the field of the performing arts, especially the touring arts market, with quantitative data across many domains. The study achieved an astonishing 816 responses from the field, including close to 500 Presenter responses. 

The study focuses on groups within the touring field, including the roles of Presenter, Artist/Producer, and Agent/Manager. NAPAMA received enough response from each group to speak with confidence (statistical significance) on each of these groups. 

The study captures how often genres of the arts are found on presenters’ seasons as well as how often the genres are produced or represented by Artist/Producers and Agent/Managers. 

We look at practices of Agent/Managers including rates of commission, exclusivity with Artists, and diversification. We divide the group into levels of gross commissions, and, by cross referencing the practices mentioned above, we discover clear trends in practices between those who gross more and those who gross less. 

We study Presenters’ preferences including which values Presenters prioritize when considering an artist for their seasons. We look at the investment and practice of showcasing. We have contrasting data between Presenters’ perception of the showcases they see and Agent/Managers’ confidence in the showcases they produce. We identify a critical matrix between artistic quality and marketability, and suggested that the difficulty of determining where artists fall on this matrix could be the core challenge for all in the performing arts! We measure people’s best estimates on how showcases return in terms of immediate bookings- both juried and non-juried, and how showcases return in later years and with continued investment. 

The study includes a major conference review, with comparable data analyzed for Arts Midwest, Performing Arts Exchange, Western Arts Alliance, and Association of Performing Arts Presenters. 

Finally we look at organizational health and financial stability. We have data on how groups are affected by the recession, how much longer they expect their organization to be in business and the extent that our arts jobs provide us with full time employment. We seek to understand just how tough the times are in order to gain perspective on our careers, our hard work and our futures in the arts market. 

We hope that you will enjoy reading our report, that it serves as a worthwhile contribution to the industry, and that it promotes critical thinking and answers some of your lingering questions about the market for the performing arts. On behalf of the Board of Directors of NAPAMA, I thank you for your time, participation, and interest in this effort. 

David Wannen
Executive Director, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
V.P. Membership, NAPAMA Board of Directors