Arts attendance and participation

Motivations and barriers

Volume 14 No 9 / February 24, 201624 February 2016

What motivates people to attend an arts activity? What prevents others from attending? This issue highlights four American reports that examine motivations for and barriers to arts attendance.


Free admission days do not actually attract underserved visitors to cultural organizations

Arts Research Monitor

Based largely on data from 48 cultural organizations that offer regularly scheduled free days, this article argues that “free days often do the very opposite of mission work”, in that they tend to attract higher income individuals who pro… View this resource

Why Don’t They Come?

Arts Research Monitor

This article, based on a variety of reports and data sources, indicates that “there is a significant proportion of economically disadvantaged people who do not take the initiative to experience the arts, even when time and cost are not issues…. View this resource

The Changing Landscape of Arts Participation

Arts Research Monitor

This literature review, originally created as part of a California arts participation study, explores how people participate in the arts, who participates, where participation happens, as well as motivations and barriers to participation.The report p… View this resource

When Going Gets Tough: Barriers and Motivations Affecting Arts Attendance

Arts Research Monitor

Based on the 2012 U.S. General Social Survey, this report provides a detailed examination of the motivations of arts attendees (the 54% of Americans who attended at least one exhibition or performance during the previous year) and the barriers facing… View this resource

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