NEA Releases 2012 Public Participation in the Arts Survey
The 2012 survey on public participation scheduled to be released today by the National Endowment for the Arts, reports that one out of every three Americans, or about 78 million people, visited an art exhibition or attended a performing arts event in 2012. That figure represents a drop across the board since the last survey in 2008, but the slide was steepest for musicals and plays. For musicals, the 9 percent drop in the attendance rate between 2008 and 2012 was the first statistically significant change in that category in more than 25 years. Straight plays fared even worse, with a 12 percent drop over the same period, a figure that has contributed to a whopping 33 percent rate of decline over the past decade.
Among the good news is that a larger proportion of African-Americans and Hispanics are attending arts performances than ever before. Older Americans are also reading books at a higher rate, and a greater proportion of younger Americans are attending outdoor performing arts festivals. And every age and ethnic group found more of its members going to movies.