What is Culture Track?

Our Mission

Culture Track is a cultural innovation platform, dedicated to addressing the most pressing challenges facing the worlds of culture and creativity through research, education, dialogue, and action. We believe that studying and tracking the shifting patterns of audience behavior is critical to shaping the future of culture.

What We Do

Culture Track began in 2001 as a research study of the changing behaviors of cultural audiences, developed pro bono for the field by LaPlaca Cohen. While today Culture Track is much more than a research study, a rigorous and nuanced understanding of cultural audiences is still at the heart of everything we do.

  • A national research study of the behaviors and characteristics of 120,000+ US cultural consumers.
  • City, regional, and international studies that field the Culture Track survey in a particular geographic area to analyze the cultural proclivities of its audiences.
  • Deep-dive studies that probe key themes from Culture Track further.
  • Talks and panels across the country, inviting leaders from inside and outside the cultural world to further discuss and ideate around our research insights.

  • Presentations, guided workshops, and educational programs to help others understand the top-line insights and implications of our research.
  • A dynamic online portal, bringing our research to life through interactive data visualizations and original content.

Culture + Community: A Special Edition Of Culture Track

Conducted in Spring 2020, the first wave of research, “Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis,” surveyed more than 120,000 Americans online with the help of 653 cultural organizations from around the country. The study — one of the largest surveys focused on arts and culture ever conducted to date — sought to answer a range of challenging questions about the role and relevance of arts and culture in the lives of Americans in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Crucially, the study sought to understand attitudes toward participation in the wake of COVID and was expanded to include a greater focus on equity and racial justice.

“Key Findings from Wave 1” was published in July 2020 and has been accessed by more than 17,000 users from around the globe. Separately, the first wave of survey data was analyzed through the lens of race and ethnicity, the result of which is a policy report focused on Black, Indigenous and people of color – or BIPOC Americans: “Centering the Picture: The Role of Race & Ethnicity in Cultural Engagement in the U.S.” Over the last eight months, Microsoft has enabled ongoing access to an Interactive Tool that allows anyone to explore the Wave 1 survey responses. The tool enables comparisons by genre of cultural institution, as well as race and ethnicity to further aid cultural organizations in planning and implementation toward increased relevance, equity and sustainability.

Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation” is a national research and strategy initiative intended to support the cultural sector and help strengthen communities around the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The research findings are meant to foster discussion and provide the field with actionable insights, aimed at creating an arts eco-system more infused with equity. Wave 2 of this national survey will probe more deeply the topics of relevance, service, equity and belonging to build upon the findings of Wave 1.

Wave 2 of the “Culture + Community” study will track shifts in core questions from Wave 1 about reopening cultural institutions and audiences’ use of digital programming. Wave 2 will also expand to include types of cultural activities and organizations that were underrepresented in the Wave 1 study: BIPOC-serving organizations, cultural organizations located in rural areas, festivals (including film, food, crafts, music), libraries, for-profit arts organizations, and national and city parks. Up to 300 new organizations covering these broader categories, and all 653 organizations that participated in Wave 1, have an opportunity for inclusion in this second wave of research.

About LaPlaca Cohen

Culture Track is an initiative of LaPlaca Cohen, a strategy and marketing firm for the creative sector. At LaPlaca Cohen, culture is our passion, and our work. For over 25 years, LaPlaca Cohen has served as thought partners to leading cultural organizations across the country, navigating changes and shifts in the sector with strategic plans, compelling campaigns, and targeted advertising, as audiences evolve, age, and diversify. From performing arts organizations to museums, architecture firms to educational institutions, and botanical gardens to foundations, we have consistently worked to ensure their enduring relevance.

Culture Track: Canada

Culture Track: Canada is a landmark study of over 6,000 Canadian culture goers spearheaded by Business / Arts, with substantial support from business leaders and Canadian Arts Summit delegates.

Conducted by LaPlaca Cohen and Nanos Research, Culture Track: Canada is the first Canadian study of its kind in over two decades.

The full report, in addition to all data tabulations can be downloaded here.