Arts attendance, participation and public perception

Volume: 9 Issue: 3

Legacy ID (armUID): 
In this issue: A summary of four major statistical reports, including a Canadian survey of arts participation and public perception of the arts, a Canadian index of leisure and culture, an American arts index, and an American survey of arts participation.
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  • While this report provides information about arts attendance, the most useful statistics might be those concerning personal involvement in the arts and perceptions of the importance of the arts. In fact, the survey findings reveal a strong consensus among Canadians concerning the importance of the arts, culture and heritage.

  • The Canadian Index of Wellbeing aims to "create a single, composite index for measuring the wellbeing of Canadians that serves as an alternative to traditional and economic-based measures such as the Gross Domestic Product. The index has eight domains, including "leisure and culture".

  • This report from Americans for the Arts synthesizes 76 national indicators into one simple index for the arts in 2008. The report notes that there has been substantial growth in indicators of arts supply, including arts employment, the number of artists, and the number of arts organizations.On the demand side, however, "the competitiveness of the arts for resources and investment is slipping", with the "Competitiveness Measure" reaching its lowest point in 2007.

  • Research Report #49

    The National Endowment for the Arts called the 2008 survey results "disappointing", because "a smaller segment of the adult population either attended arts performances or visited art museums or galleries than in any prior survey". While all forms of the performing arts saw a decrease in participation, art museum and gallery attendance remained relatively stable between 1982 and 2008. After declaring "reading at risk" in a report based on 2002 survey results, the 2008 survey found that literature reading rose between 2002 and 2008 (from 47% to 50%).