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Posted at 12:05 AM ET, 02/24/2011

NEA reports new habits lead to broader participation in the arts

By Jacqueline Trescott

Expanding the boundaries of how and where people enjoy the arts, a new survey from the National Endowment for the Arts concludes that nearly 75 percent of Americans participate in the arts.

The federal arts agency, catching up with the delivery systems--such as the ipod--and alarmed that participation at live performances was declining, asked a group of experts to look again at the results from its own 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts.

The new analysis, released Thursday, included responses about using electronic media, attending festivals or performances at nontraditional locations--such as historic sites--and producing their own art.

The agency had asked about the use of media as far back as 1992 and in 2008 included the broad category of participation via the media.

Looking again at the data, the new report found 53 percent of all U.S. adults pinpointed electronic media as their delivery system.And 75 percent of all adults interacted with the arts, not only through electronic media, but also by attendance at art activities or creating art. That compares to 34.6 percent of adults who had attended a live performance ----opera, ballet, jazz, plays--or visited an art museum in the 2008 survey.

And classical music is winning out, with 18 percent of those adults saying they used mobile devices and the Internet to get their doses of Chopin, followed by 15 percent for Latin music. That's why Celia Cruz and Yo-Yo Ma are seeping through the ear phones all over town.

The NEA released three reports: one on the value of arts education; another on age and arts participation and the third on attendance and participation.

This is handy information for arts advocates as the Congress debates this spring about whether funding for the arts is necessary.

And apparently those who create art can't get enough. The report found 81 percent of the respondents who said they did their own creative writing also were avid readers. And 80 percent of adults who attended a dance performance were more likely to go and create their own art.

By Jacqueline Trescott  | February 24, 2011; 12:05 AM ET
Categories:  Jacqueline Trescott, National Endowment for the Arts  | Tags:  National Endowment for the Arts, arts participation, electronic delivery of the arts  
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Jackeline. How interesting are the results found in that analysis. That’s one of the advantages of the electronic media in this time. I’m a public relations student and we talk in our classes about new ways to communicate with your public and definitely the electronic media is almost the most important channel. This result should encourage local artists to promote their talent and organizations, companies and institutions to support local culture and sports. And also, these percentages can help local art to justify how important and necessary is to invest in Art, more at the Congress level.

Posted by: marielba23 | February 25, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

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