Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts attendance & participation

Culture Track summarizes survey findings related to Americans’ cultural engagement as well as the “attitudes, motivators, and barriers to participation”. The top motivators for cultural participation are having fun (chosen by 81% of respondents), interest in the content (78%), experiencing new things (76%), feeling less stressed (also 76%), and learning something new (71%). Across all types of cultural activities, the top barrier to participation is the belief that “it’s not for someone like me”. Survey results indicate that “audiences have different needs and wants at different times – or even simultaneously”.

This international literature review attempts “to better understand whether research has shown that arts experiences of any kind – whether conventional audience experiences or newer “engagement” experiences, learning in the arts, or making art itself – affect civic engagement”. A key finding of the report is that “correlations between arts participation and the motivations and practices of civic engagement are substantial and consistent.” However, “the effects of the arts are likely to be cumulative over significant time and difficult to document: a slow drip rather than a sudden eruption, and easy to take for granted”.

The nine video presentations in this series outline findings “from three years of strategic experimentation and shared learning” by seven arts organizations, with the overarching goal of better understanding “how to engage with audiences and build communities”.

This brief article, based on data from various American sources, argues that “cultural organizations are not (primarily) asking for money when they aim to secure visitation. Cultural organizations are asking for an investment of time – and that is much more complicated and a bigger ask than many leaders may realize.”

(La fréquentation des arts de la scène au Québec en 2016, Optique culture #56)

This recent report from Quebec’s cultural observatory analyzes performances, paid attendance, and box office revenues related to theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, and magic performances in 2016, based on a census of Quebec-based performing arts presenters. The 17,200 performances with an admission fee in Quebec in 2016 (a 1% increase from 2009) attracted 7.1 million paid attendees (a 5% decrease from 2009).

Based on a survey of more than 2,000 Canadians (including substantial samples of youth and Indigenous residents), this report highlights information about arts and heritage attendance, personal arts participation, as well as perceptions of cultural activities and government arts support. The report concludes that there is “robust public engagement with arts and culture in Canada”.

Based on a “national mapping of the publicly available programs of 135 mainstream presenters across Australia” in 2015 as well as a custom survey of 44 presenters and interviews with 40 performing arts producers and presenters, this report outlines “the level and types of First Nations performing arts programming in Australia’s mainstream venues and festivals; the presenting of works to audiences; and the motivations and obstacles for presenters and producers”. The key finding of the mapping exercise is that “First Nations performing arts are under-represented in Australia’s mainstream venues and festivals”, comprising only 2% of the nearly 6,000 works that were programmed in 2015.

An In-Depth Look at Perceptions and Attitudes about the Arts in America

Based on an online survey of 3,020 American adults in December 2015, this report summarizes responses to a series of questions about arts engagement, education, government funding, and the benefits to individuals and communities.

Summary Report

Based on five research streams (two online public surveys, two sets of focus groups, and key informant interviews), this report summarizes the “current attitudes of English-speaking Canadians about the cultural and economic value of written work”. Many English Canadians spend a significant proportion of their leisure time reading: 80% spend about five to eight hours reading each week, “representing about one-quarter of their overall leisure time”. One-half of respondents indicated that they read books in digital formats. Spending on books is about $300 per purchaser per year, or $250 yearly for each English-Canadian adult, including those who did not buy books during the past year.

(Les arts et la culture au Québec : Portrait de la perception des Québécois)

Based on an online survey of 1,410 Quebec residents (18 and older) in September 2015, this report highlights the public’s perceptions of artists, their role in society, impacts of the cultural sector, and the governmental role in supporting culture. In general, 77% of respondents believe that the arts and culture are important to them. Annual arts participation rates are 78% for cinemas, 71% for the performing arts, and 49% for museums.