American Perceptions of Artists Survey 2002 (ICPSR 35571)

Published: May 31, 2015

Principal Investigator(s):
Urban Institute

Version V1

The American Perceptions of Artists Survey 2002, sponsored by the Urban Institute and conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI), was a benchmark study of the general public's opinions about the lifestyles and work of artists in the United States. The purpose of the study was to examine public perceptions of artists from several angles, including general interest in news or current events related to artists; awareness of different arts disciplines; artists' contributions to society and their local communities; personal work as an artist and interaction with artists. The series consists of a national survey of adults in the continental United States and nine local surveys conducted in the following metropolitan areas: Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) were conducted from May 21 to August 18, 2002. The number of respondents across the data files ranges from 500 to 5,507.

Urban Institute. American Perceptions of Artists Survey 2002. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-05-31.

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Urban Institute

metropolitan statistical area

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2001 -- 2002

2002-05-21 -- 2002-08-18

Quick facts for this data collection, "How does the American public feel about artists?" and "How do attitudes towards artists vary across communities?," are available from the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies (CACPS) at Princeton University.

Funding for this study was provided by the Urban Institute.

This data collection was previously distributed by the Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA). The CPANDA Identification Number (study number) for this data collection is c00003. The CPANDA Identification number for the Aggregate File is a00202, for the National Sample is a00203, for the Boston survey is a00204, for the Chicago survey is a00205, for the Cleveland survey is a00206, for the Houston survey is a00207, for the Los Angeles survey is a00208, for the New York survey is a00209, for the San Francisco survey is a00210, for the Seattle survey is a00211, and for the Washington, DC survey is a00212. CPANDA conducted the following processing steps for release of this collection: produced a codebook, checked for undocumented codes, performed consistency checks, provided frequencies, performed recodes, and reformatted the data.

To protect the anonymity of respondents, all variables that could be used to identify individuals have been masked or recoded. For details regarding these changes, please refer to the Codebook Notes provided in the ICPSR Codebook in this data collection.

For all data files, there were too few or no cases to report responses to Question 18b ("Using your own words, tell me why you feel that way. [That artists make your area a WORSE place to live.]"); therefore the responses were not coded in the final data set.

The American Perceptions of Artists Survey 2002 consists of a national sample of 1,000 telephone interviews with adults, aged 18 or older, living in the continental United States, and local samples of about 500 adults in each of nine U.S. metropolitan statistical areas. At least 10 attempts were made to contact every sampled telephone number. Calls were staggered over times of day and days of the week to maximize the chance of making contact with potential respondents. Each household received at least one daytime call in an attempt to find someone at home. Spanish language interviewing was offered in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York. Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted the interviews from May 21 to August 18, 2002.

The number of respondents for each sample is as follows:

  • Aggregate: 5,507
  • National: 1,000
  • Boston metropolitan statistical area: 500
  • Chicago metropolitan statistical area: 502
  • Cleveland metropolitan statistical area: 500
  • Houston metropolitan statistical area: 500
  • Los Angeles metropolitan statistical area: 504
  • New York metropolitan statistical area: 501
  • San Francisco metropolitan statistical area: 500
  • Seattle metropolitan statistical area: 500
  • Washington, DC metropolitan statistical area: 500

This survey used random samples constructed by list-assisted random digit dialing (RDD). Eligible respondents were adults aged 18 or older. Interviewers asked to speak with the "youngest male, 18 years of age or older, who is now at home." If there was no eligible male at home, interviewers asked to speak with "the oldest female, 18 years of age or older, who is now at home." This systematic respondent selection technique has been shown to produce samples that closely mirror the population in terms of age and gender.

The margin of sampling error for the national sample is plus or minus three percentage points for results based on total sample. The margin of sampling error for each of the nine city samples is plus or minus five percentage points.


Adults in telephone households in the continental United States.


survey data

This data collection contains variables about background on arts attitudes, personal contact with and perceptions of artists, participation in arts activities, support for artists, weights, and administrative and demographic information.

For each sample, the response rate was calculated by taking the product of three component rates: contact rate -- the proportion of working numbers where a request for interview was made; cooperation rate -- the proportion of contacted numbers where a consent for interview was at least initially obtained and; completion rate -- the proportion of initially cooperating and eligible interviews that were completed. The rate formula used by PSRAI is consistent with the American Association for Public Opinion Research standards. The response rate for the national survey was 37.1 percent. Response rates for city samples were as follows:

  • Boston: 34.9 percent
  • Chicago: 31.4 percent
  • Cleveland: 32.7 percent
  • Houston: 32.5 percent
  • Los Angeles: 33.2 percent
  • New York: 35.0 percent
  • San Francisco: 34.5 percent
  • Seattle: 37.4 percent
  • Washington, D.C.: 37.5 percent

The rate formula used by PSRAI is consistent with the American Association for Public Opinion Research standards.



The national sample was weighted to match national parameters for sex, age, education, race, Hispanic origin and region (U.S. Census definitions). These parameters came from a special analysis of the March 2001 Current Population Survey (CPS) that included all households in the continental United States that had a telephone. The city samples were also weighted to match parameters based on 2000 Census of the Population and Housing. A final adjustment was made to the city sample weight to put all the cities in their proper proportions relative to one another.

Weighting was accomplished using Sample Balancing, a special iterative sample weighting program that simultaneously balances the distributions of all variables using a statistical technique called the Deming Algorithm. Finally, weights were trimmed to prevent individual interviews from having too much influence on the final results. The use of these weights in statistical analysis ensures that the demographic characteristics of the sample closely approximate the demographic characteristics of the population.

Each dataset contains three weight variables: a national weight, a city weight and an overall weight. The variable called WEIGHT is the default weight for each dataset. See the following weight variable naming conventions.

DS1 American Perceptions of Artists Survey 2002 [Aggregate File] contains:

  • WEIGHT - Weight
  • CITYWT - City weight
  • NATWT - National weight

DS2 American Perceptions of Artists Survey 2002 [National Sample] contains:

  • WEIGHT - National weight
  • CITYWT - City weight
  • WGHTALL - Weight

DS3 through DS11, which represent individual cities contain:

  • WEIGHT - City weight
  • NATWT - National weight
  • WGHTALL - Weight


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Data on Arts & Culture (NADAC). NADAC is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.