Fairfax Regional Artist Survey

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The Fairfax Regional Artist Survey was created with artists, for artists, to identify the opportunities and resources local artists need to thrive. We want Fairfax and its surrounding areas to become a place where artists want to live and where artists can share their work. Count yourself as a Fairfax Artist and help ArtsFairfax understand the network of individual artists in the region. 

We know that the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is rich with cultural activity. We also know that local artists live, work, and travel throughout D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and beyond to share their talent. To better identify and understand the artist network here in Northern Virginia, we created the Fairfax Regional Artist Survey.  

a purple graphic with all capitalized text in gold that reads "Introducing the first ever artist survey in the county"
Survey Goals: ArtsFairfax Goals:
Understand how many Fairfax area residents identify as artists Connect artists to each other and to professional networks
Define what artists need professionally to succeed Make informed decisions about future programs and services for artists
Define what artists need for livability in Fairfax Advocate for the needs of Fairfax artists

The survey is anonymous. Your personal identity will not be linked to the data you submit. All individual records will be kept private.  

Upon completion, you will have the opportunity to voluntarily share your work on our new Artist Directory through which ArtsFairfax will promote local artists.  

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is the Fairfax Regional Artist Survey? 

The Fairfax Regional Artist Survey is an anonymous, online 3-minute survey designed to identify artists, their needs, and the obstacles to producing and presenting their work in Fairfax. The Fairfax Regional Artist Survey is a chance for artists to tell us how ArtsFairfax can better serve as advocates and a resource for area artists.  


Why did you create the Fairfax Regional Artist Survey? Why now?

ArtsFairfax exists to help artists build knowledge, share resources, and cultivate audiences. Despite a long history of serving individual artists with opportunities for funding and professional development, much of our work has focused on arts organizations.

The development of this survey provides the opportunity to hear directly from artists and will directly inform future ArtsFairfax services, programs, and resources in the jurisdictions we serve.  Since this will be the first data set of its kind, we also have an opportunity to track and collect measurable information, successes, and ongoing needs through future data collection.


Who made the Fairfax Regional Artist Survey? 

ArtsFairfax worked with several partners to make the survey a reality.  

First and foremost, the survey was developed in collaboration with artists for artists. The Artist Advisory Group shared their first-hand experiences, which captured the nuances of living and working as artists in Fairfax. Their knowledge directly informed the survey design and questions. These artists were compensated for their time, but their contributions were invaluable.  Thank you to:


Ken Avis

Sarah Berry

Shu Chen-Cuff

Brunilda Herring

Mike Maggio

Nancy Sausser

Caroline Weinroth

Barbara Zamora

We are working with AMS Analytics–consultants specializing in arts sector intelligence, planning and research, and performance analytics—to design the survey and analyze the data. Thank you to Lauren Frankel and Meg Friedman.

Program accessibility and equity remains a key priority for ArtsFairfax. To better reach “hidden artists” and underserved communities in Fairfax County, we worked with a cohort of the Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI), a program of Leadership Fairfax. This volunteer cohort comes from a variety of sectors, and helped us research and execute outreach strategy for survey deployment.

Thank you to ELI cohort members Karen Bigelow, Michael Dykes, Agata Fallon, Grace Lee, Victor Morales, Tsega Netsanet and Roconia Price.


What does the survey entail? 

The Fairfax Regional Artist Survey is an anonymous, 3-minute online survey to assess the strengths and needs of local artists. 

The Fairfax Regional Artist Survey is available in English, Farsi, Hindi, Korean, and Spanish, and conducted on Qualtrics, an online survey tool, administered by AMS Consulting. 


What kind of questions are you asking? 

To better plan future services for artists, ArtsFairfax set out to assess who our artists are and what factors impact their ability to live and work in Fairfax—is it access to housing, to venues, to healthcare? The survey asks demographic information, what art forms they practice in, and questions around the quality of life as an artist in the Fairfax region.


Are the answers really anonymous?

Yes! The Fairfax Regional Artist Survey does not collect any personal identifiers or IP addresses. Survey respondents do have the opportunity to contribute to the ArtsFairfax Artist Directory, but IP addresses are not collected and participation is completely voluntary.


Who should participate?  

The Fairfax Regional Artist Survey was created with artists and is designed for any self-determined artist who is 18 years or older and earns, has earned, or aspires to earn a portion of their income from their art. If you contribute to the cultural vitality of your community and you share your skills and talents with others, including on a part-time or infrequent basis, we want to hear from you. 

How long is the survey available? 

The survey is available now through December 31, 2024 so please share it with others! We want to cast a wide net to capture artists of all disciplines and experiences, no matter where they are on their artistic journey.   


When will you share survey outcomes?  

Our goal is to complete survey data gathering and evaluation by the end of the calendar year, and share survey data and outcomes in 2025.  


What will you do with the results?  

Survey data will directly help ArtsFairfax and other civic organizations better understand and serve the artist population. We plan to use the data to define and celebrate the network of artists in the area, and prioritize artist needs for future programming and advocacy efforts. As this will be the first data set of its kind, we have an opportunity to track and collect success and ongoing needs through future data collection.


Why is this survey for the Fairfax region only?  

Because the survey outcomes will directly impact ArtsFairfax services, the survey is intended for artists in the jurisdictions we serve, which include Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, and the City of Falls Church.  

The Fairfax Regional Artist Survey was made possible with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a private foundation with additional support from Fairfax County and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.