We collect our information independently from public sources like company websites, dance publications, and Guidestar nonprofit reports. Fiscal data is derived solely from Forms-990 or from company annual reports. To ensure the most accurate data collection possible, DDP has developed the Self Report Form, an 80-question survey honed to obtain fiscal, operational, and personnel data directly from companies willing to share. Learn more about this aspect of our methodology here.
Originally founded as a project to research current and recent choreographic works, DDP grew into an organization with pending nonprofit status and a database housing over 2,300 records of choreographic work. The project has also expanded to house records of ballet festival repertoires and leadership, choreographic fellowships, ballet competitions, summer intensives, musical compositions that accompany dance works, production staff, boards of directors, and initiatives by companies to promote an equitable environment.
Our team is presently engaged in the documentation of the salaries of artistic and executive leadership of the top 50 domestic ballet companies (ranked in order of largest to smallest expenditure). Statistics detailing these leaders’ compensation will be made public in February 2019, followed by the release of research steadily over the coming months. Details and specific months of release can be found in the statistical calendar seen below.
While our database is confidential, our published findings give the community a snapshot of the data we are collecting, and our website is frequently updated with DDP announcements and ballet community news.
Below, see several articles and studies that serve as inspiration and support for our own research and advocacy.
Published by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the following article, by four female academics, Vicki W. Kramer, Alison M. Konrad, Sumru Erkut, and Michele J. Hooper, details the benefits of including women on corporate boards of directors: Critical Mass on Corporate Boards: Why Three or More Women Enhance Governance.
Another by Professor Sumru Erkut, the following research was conducted to examine why there are so few women leading theaters in America: Women’s Leadership in Resident Theaters. The article brings to mind a recent headline in the Houston Chronicle, Houston theater companies are producing titles with more women and women of color. Important progress needs to be made to bring women to the helm of companies in both theater and dance.
Published in the New York Times, the following OpEd by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant discusses the inadmissible silencing of women when they attempt to give feedback, act as leaders, or voice opinion in many professional situations: Speaking While Female.
Currently undertaking a research project that looks beyond funding, Melanie Doerner seeks answers to deeper questions of sustainable business model for arts organizations. Doerner is a trained attorney, advocate for change, and proven arts leader with 16 years of nonprofit experience. She is currently studying the habits and business practices of arts organizations in an attempt to identify and understand the sustainable business model(s) for regional theatre and ballet companies.
The Harvard Business Review, similarly, published Professor Catherine Tinsley and Robin Ely’s insight on misinterpretations of differences between men and women and perceptions of both in the workplace: What Most People Get Wrong About Men and Women.
Also from Harvard, this time from the Law School, the special report Real Leaders Negotiate: Understanding the Difference between Leadership and Management breaks down gender differences in negotiation styles. Professors John Rizzo of Stony Brook University and Richard Zeckhauser of Harvard University asked a group of young physicians about their reference groups and salary aspirations and found that men often compare themselves to those of a reference group with higher salaries than the groups women to which women compare themselves. More of the study’s findings and comparable studies can be found here.
During the 2012-2013 season, Amy Seiwert and Joseph W. Copley highlighted the lack of female choreographic work featured amongst leading companies via a cross-reference of GuideStar fiscal profile data and public data available on company websites. Their work, published in a simple table (see image) led the Cincinnati Enquirer to publish the numbers. The disproportionate amount of male work that season shown in the study of 24 companies did not make national news, unfortunately, but serves as inspiration for what we research every day at DDP. See the study here: Study of choreography by women in companies with budgets over 5 million.
Commissioned by the Australian Council for the Arts, Associate Professor Elaine Lally and Professor Sarah Miller of the University of Wollongong in New South Wales published a report entitled Women in theatre: A research report and action plan for the Australian Council for the Arts. The professors’ work “gathers together quantitative and qualitative information on the continuing gender disparities, and attempts to identify structural barriers and potential levers for addressing entrenched inequalities.” Their study is available here.
By Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, Angel Choi, and Dr. Katherine Pieper, Inclusion in the Director’s Chair: Gender, Race and Age of Directors Across 1,200 Top Films from 2007 to 2018 reveals some remarkable metrics (as well as graphics that beautifully capture the team’s findings) related to diversity and inclusion in film. The team assessed the C-suites, boards of directors, and executive teams of samples across 300 of the highest-grossing films within their studied time-frame. Particularly interesting to DDP were the positions in which gender and diversity proportions fell “below the line” – that is to say those positions were largely filled by white men. Read the full study here.
DDP also supports the mission and methodology of the Center for Open Science. To that end we honor requests for the viewing of our database as well as specific research inquiries.
We strive to maintain the highest possible levels of accuracy. For that reason, in addition to utilizing publicly available documents (such as the IRS Form 990), internet searches and direct contact, we are also encouraging companies, festivals, venues, schools, competitions and all others we survey to complete our Self Report Form. This is intended to not only double-check our work, but also to be used as an avenue to communicate new initiatives and programs of interest to the world of classical dance.