Volume: 14 Issue: 2
In this issue: Summaries of a major Canadian report on active participation in dance, American reports on arts participation and local arts vibrancy, and a report from the United Kingdom on arts participation.
Canada Dance Mapping Study
This large-scale survey, completed by 8,124 Canadians 16 or older, aimed to develop “a better understanding of who dances in Canada, where they dance, and why”. The majority of survey respondents were identified as “leisure dance participants” (5,948, or 73%), with the remaining 2,176 respondents (or 27%) being dance professionals. Respondents identified 190 different dance forms in which they participate.
Based on a survey of 4,026 Americans 18 years of age or over, Culture Track 2014 examines cultural attendance as well as the attitudes, motivations, and behaviours of “culturally-active audiences” in an attempt to “understand what’s really driving or discouraging cultural participation”. Between a similar 2011 survey and the 2014 iteration, there was an increase in the percentage of Americans participating at least once a year in many art forms (including four types of museums, musical theatre, and classical music), but there were some decreases (including drama, classical dance, modern dance, and opera). The survey found that the frequency of participation has decreased over time, which the survey attributes to a lingering “effect of the economic downturn”. The report indicates that “cultural audiences are seeking both entertainment and enlightenment”.
Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture
The Arts Vibrancy Index attempts to identify cities that possess artistic vibrancy, which is defined to include per-capita measures of arts supply, arts providers, and government grant activity in the arts. The highest rankings among the largest cities (population of 1 million or more) went to the metropolitan areas of Washington (D.C.), Nashville, New York, Boston, and San Francisco. Among cities with a population under 1 million, three of the top five cities were in Colorado: Glenwood Springs (#1), Breckenridge (#4), and Edwards (#5). Rounding out the top five were Santa Fe (New Mexico) and Jackson (Wyoming, including parts of Idaho).
Based on a “nationally representative” online survey of just over 2,000 United Kingdom residents 16 or older, this report attempts to provide “detailed insights into the behaviour of arts and culture fans, their participation and attendance and how they consume content”. Overall, 89% of U.K. residents indicated that they have some interest in the arts, compared with 83% with some interest in sports. When asked whether they consider themselves an “arty person” or a “sporty person”, more U.K. residents chose arty (43%) than sporty (38%).