Welcome to the Dashboard for the City of Madison Arts Consumer Survey

Overview of Survey

In early 2013, the City of Madison commissioned a study to assess the challenges and opportunities facing the local performing arts sector. As part of the study, an online survey of arts patrons was conducted to better understand current patterns of performing arts participation. The survey including questions on preferences for different types of art, barriers to increased attendance, opportunities for increasing participation, and other topics.


The survey was fielded through an online methodology, and was promoted through two primary channels: 1) an email message was sent to a list of 139 Madison-area performing arts groups with a request to forward the survey to their ticket buyer email lists; and 2) a similar request to community partners (e.g., neighborhood associations, BIDs, etc.) via a message from Mayor Soglin. Several incentives were offered, including a drawing to win a new iPod Touch or tickets to performances by local arts organizations.


The survey was open for approximately two weeks, and yielded the following final sample sizes:

  • 2,696 responses were received through arts groups' promotional efforts (it is not known which groups cooperated)
  • 152 responses were received through community partners' efforts.

The two samples were combined and uploaded to the publicly accessible online dashboard.

Limitations of the Data: Results are not scientifically representative of any population, but do represent a large cross-section of arts-going adults in Madison. Results should be considered to be exploratory in nature, and caution should be used in drawing conclusions. Ultimately, the results largely reflect the audiences of the arts groups that promoted the survey.

Dashboard user guidelines can be accessed on the Madison Arts Commission's website. Click on the link below.

Madison Arts Comission