May 16, 2006
Did You Know?
Most Americans Value Arts Participation
A report from the Institute for Innovation and Social Policy, assessing the cultural attitudes and practices of Americans, found that the vast majority of children and adults participate in and value the arts.
In the Institute’s national poll of more than 800 individuals, respondents indicated that participation in the arts plays an important role in their personal happiness and the general health of their society. Eighty-four percent of Americans felt that the arts were valuable for their children and that their children valued the arts, and 66 percent of adults wished they had attended more arts events as children.
Ninety-two percent of individuals surveyed listened to music at home; 78 percent read books; 74 percent did their own creative work; 67 percent went to movies; 55 percent attended live performances; and 41 percent visited art shows or museums.
Individuals of lower income status were found to participate in arts and culture activities far less frequently than their higher income counterparts. For example, 69 percent of adults with annual incomes above $35,000 went to museums, while only 48 percent of adults with annual incomes below $35,000 did so.
Compared to the Institute’s 2002 findings individual arts participation has shown an overall decrease. The report findings make clear that Americans place great importance on the arts for themselves, their children and society, yet they also indicate that participation is becoming increasingly more difficult. Respondents cited cost, location, information, time, companionship, and physical or health problems as obstacles to participation. State arts agencies and the organizations they support are often key in helping individuals surmount such barriers to arts participation.
Source: “Arts, Culture, and the Social Health of the Nation: 2005,” Marque-Luisa Miringoff, Ph.D. and Sandra Opdycke, Ph.D., Institute for Innovation in Social Policy, 2005
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