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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Internet & Mass Media Reaching Substantial Audiences for the Arts

According to National Survey

June 23, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. — American audiences for the arts are getting older, and their numbers are declining, according to new research released by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

However, the survey reveals that the Internet and mass media are reaching substantial audiences for the arts.

Arts Participation 2008: Highlights from a National Survey
features top findings from the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, the nation's largest and most representative periodic study of adult participation in arts events and activities, conducted by the NEA in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau.

Five times since 1982, the survey has asked U.S. adults 18 and older about their patterns of arts participation over a 12-month period. The 2008 survey reveals dwindling audiences for many art forms, but it also captures new data on Internet use and other forms of arts participation.

Although the 2008 recession likely affected survey responses, long-term trend analysis shows that other factors also may have contributed to lower arts participation rates. More detailed study results will be available later this year.

"Clearly, there is interest in better understanding of the American public's engagement in many art forms," said Acting Chairman Patrice Walker Powell. "The NEA survey will offer valuable data to both researchers and cultural arts organizations about national trends that may help shape arts programming and address the evolving habits of audiences."

To download the survey results, click HERE.