Well, this was an attention grabbing, eye-catching headline; “Surprising Findings in Three New NEA Reports on the Arts.” I found it on the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) home page along with this second headline; “Exploration into who participates and why, as well as the arts as an economic engine.” The reports were issues within the past several days.
So, with my curiosity stoked, off I went to see what might there be. I found plenty that caused me some squinting eyes and gulps. I found data that we in the arts community should immerse ourselves in as we think about the future – and not just about funding. The world is changing, we all know that. For those of us of a certain age, what we may have taken for granted about arts attendance and arts funding, may no longer exist. It may be not just about the Great Recession but beyond as the generations and demographics change. This is national data to draw our notice.
Some quick tidbits before you click on the various links in this article:
- More Americans taking-in the performing arts and creative work on electronic devices rather than experiencing them in person.
- Audiences for arts activities have been steadily declining over the past decade and more.
- Cost and difficulty getting to a venue were often cited as reasons not to go.
Below, there are links to two news articles about the NEA reports from diverse news media for further reading. Jane Chu, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts is quoted in a number of the articles. Chu was confirmed in June as head of the NEA.
In an article from The Sacramento Bee, Jane Chu is quoted: “As cultural providers we must become more relevant to our communities and go to where our audiences are as opposed to waiting for them to come to us,” Chu said. “We think this research can spark more programmatic ideas to achieve this goal.”
Here other articles:
Federal analysis: Arts, culture add $700B to US economy Associated Press by Brett Zongker.