Volume: 16 Issue: 8
In this issue: Research insights from Canada, the United States, and Australia related to arts attendance, audience engagement, community impacts of the arts, and the relationship between arts participation and civic engagement.
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 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”.
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”.
Primarily based on a survey of over 7,500 Australians 15 and older (as well as similar surveys in 2009 and 2013), this report outlines key data on Australians’ arts participation, recognition of the value of the arts, and attitudes toward the arts. A key finding of the report is that 98% of Australians engaged with the arts in some way in 2016.