NASAA Notes: November 2020

November 3, 2020

Maine: Audience Outlook Survey

Several state arts agencies across the country have conducted surveys to study the impact of COVID-19 on arts organizations and artists, however the Audience Outlook survey led by the Maine Arts Commission is notable because of its unique emphasis on audience needs and perceptions. The Maine Arts Commission recently released results of the survey, which was designed to measure audience comfort levels and to inform the reopening of performing arts venues throughout Maine. The survey received 4,080 responses from Maine residents and arts attendees. Of these responses, 79% of the survey respondents were in the age group of 55 and above, representing 3,172 of the total responses.

The survey asked about specific safety measures that cultural groups can adopt to boost the confidence of audiences and encourage their return to arts participation. The top safety measures favored by respondents included six feet of spacing between groups, limits on the number of attendees at an event, limits on how many people can be in a line for tickets or concessions, and cleaning procedures. The top two considerations for parents to feel comfortable sending their children to an in-person class or audition were approval for schools to resume and mandating temperature screenings upon arrival. Implementing health protocols is seen as important to the survey’s respondents, however operational safety measures remain secondary to having a vaccine. The survey data reveals that almost 60% of respondents would return immediately to live performing events as soon as a vaccine is available and another 50% would return within six months.

The information gleaned from this survey helps arts organizations and the Maine Arts Commission to develop management strategies for safe operations, informs forecasting for the return of revenues and programming, and reinforces the high value that Maine residents place on being able to participate in the arts. For more information, contact Maine Arts Commission Marketing & Communications Director Ryan Leighton.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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