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The Listening Project

August 2009 - Arts & Culture

The August survey focused on the topic of arts and culture, driven by a block of ideastream programming in late June that featured the Cleveland Museum of Art’s new East Wing expansion, and an examination of the future of art museums in the region.

Below are the five questions from the August survey, and selected responses. There were 139 participants in August’s questionnaire.

Question #1
Have you seen and/or heard any of the following ideastream broadcasts this summer (choose all that apply)?

August Question 1

There were many responses to the “other” choice in this question, including these highlights:

“Around Noon highlights of specific events and performances going on in the region. Also broadcast interviews of various performing artists – the New Barleycorn, International Piano Competition interviews, etc.”

“I consider the arts to include music and theater. If you’re using the same definition, I’ve caught a number of Around Noon broadcasts focusing on those two categories. Examples are a recent interview with Apollo’s Fire, and the writers/cast of Mary Poppins.”

“I cannot recall the program I heard; since I work regular business hours, I can only hear small segments as I go from here to there. However, I did hear about the East Wing on ideastream and I did visit, to my great pleasure, right after that.”

“There are so many I can’t recall all of them. Lots of authors. Some programs to do w/ dance and theatre. The Wegman exhibit in Akron.”

Question #2
Has ideastream’s arts-related coverage this summer led you to… (choose all that apply)

August Question 2

Two out of three respondents visited a regional art museum in response to the late June broadcasts on ideastream channels. Another 50% chose to find other art-related options.

Here is a selection of responses from the “Do Something Else Not Listed Here” option:

“With my artistic senses somewhat awakened, I visited the Lakewood Art Fair this weekend; I savored the creativity and richness of texture and color and design.”

“Participate in classes available from local artists; i.e., glass-blowing, pottery.”

“Go to the arts festival in Ann Arbor Michigan.”

“Encourage others to enjoy the arts available to us in Cleveland.”

“Check out the details of some arts-related program online.”

Question #3
There has been a lot said about the arts as an economic engine for the region. Can you suggest something you have seen or experienced in your community that would support that concept?

Here is a sampling of the responses:

“There are more people crafting jewelry, DIY, gifts, home improvements, etc. to earn extra income or start a business. Also, more people are turning to the arts as a form of entertaining and getting together with friends.”

“Hmmm, it seems to me that economic activity is the engine for the arts.”

“Guests from out of town showing interest in Cleveland’s arts and cultural assets.”

“Major events such as Parade the Circle and the Ingenuity Festival among others do attract attention and participation from area residents as well as visitors. Their impact extends beyond the events themselves by increasing public awareness of the myriad cultural resources within Northeast Ohio.”

“The economy is terrible in this region and the art scene (including music) that represents the hardships is poorly represented in the media. The arts seem to always be viewed in some positive light that, often times, ruins why the art was created in the first place. Your coverage of Amy Casey was great, but I want to see more things that represent where we live.”

“I see it from the other side. I am a musician and should be working; But most weekends I am doing non-paying gigs just so I keep my chops ready.”

“I’ve seen several plays this year at PlayhouseSquare. Both times my husband and I have had dinner beforehand at a downtown restaurant and have seen others at the restaurant who were also at the play. The arts bring people downtown for a whole evening of entertainment – not just the main event.”

“Most people outside of Cleveland do not know what a comprehensive art museum and other arts we have in the area. Visitor Bureau campaigns should make sure information gets out, as well as the museums themselves.”

“Even such small events as the Lakewood Art Fair are a respite from the world of the office--they refresh the mind and the soul; beyond that, the spirit of creativity generates new thought. I am here in my office today working on a project with energy renewed, a mind refreshed and a new approach that may have arisen simply as a result of resting while the mind was engaged in creative awareness elsewhere.”

“The summer theater program and related programs in Oberlin. The Friday evening band concerts. Each event results in an upsurge in the number of people in town visiting stores and eating at local restaurants.”

“Gordon Squares efforts would be a good example. I also think it wise to look at the Short North in Columbus since it is an amazing example of how the arts can revitalize a city.”

“People say we have a world class symphony, but I don’t see them replacing the jobs we lost when the steel mills shut down.”

“It’s my opinion that to be an ‘economic engine for the region,’ our arts scene would need to bring in money from outside the community. Obviously The Cleveland Orchestra is doing this with their Miami residency, and PlayhouseSquare surely attracts audiences outside of the region, but I would like to see more developed in terms of making Cleveland a destination.”

Question #4
Has the current economic situation changed your relationship with the arts? Please explain.

Here is a sampling of the responses:

“We are less likely to spend money on concerts and theater tickets than we have been in the past – and I miss it sorely!”

“Yes –we are more likely to seek out entertainment closer to home. We have three young children and have taken them to the newly-remodeled art museum, botanical gardens, natural history museums, etc.”

“No, we enjoy the arts as a way to forget about stresses for a while.”

“The current economic situation has increased my desire to buy American. I support the arts through membership in the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Designer Craftsmen. I frequent the museums, galleries and Art Fairs of Ohio.”

“Harder to justify ticket purchases. On the lookout for free or reduced admission. Lots of guilt about this because the institutions need us more than ever.”

“Yes, I really enjoy buying pieces from local artists (from artists, boutiques) but haven’t lately since I’ve been unemployed for over four months.”

“Yes - we would love to get downtown more often, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase tickets, pay for parking, buy dinner, etc. And that’s not including paying for a babysitter!”

“Yes. I’m more selective about which arts performances or venues I attend and FREE! really gets my attention.”

“Yes. I see little point in contributing to art foundations that are run by the region’s elite, who also dominate business and commerce in this city, and don’t care about hiring local talent.”

“Yes. I was recently laid off and have no extra money to commit to the arts events I would like to go to. I am always interested in CMA’s Viva and Gala around Town, but the tickets are always WAY out of my price range. Also I have historically given money to arts organizations and I probably won’t be doing that this year.”

Question #5
Out of the following, please choose the statements that most closely align with your thoughts on ideastream’s local arts coverage.

August Question 5

Some of the “Other” responses include:

“Cannot ALWAYS listen at noon, so support the idea that coverage should be spread around more (or repeated at another time).”

“It feels like some things are off limits. Only bands/artists with some kind of accolade to their name get press. The majority of time, they’re not interesting or worth the attention. Get more involved in the scene and your coverage will be better. Great survey, by the way.”

“I occasionally win tickets to arts events from Around Noon, and end up attending an event I probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. So aside from the cost savings, I think the ticket giveaways are a great idea as they also broaden my cultural horizons. Thanks for making these available!”

“I think that the coverage provided by Around Noon is outstanding and I often hear of events I am sure I would not have known about otherwise. Keep it up!”

“I recently moved from Berea to Brunswick and would love to hear more coverage of the Medina County area.”

“I enjoy everything I hear. Though I cannot hear Around Noon very often I always find interesting what I do hear; Dee Perry has a very companionable interviewing style. In my mind I can see her and see the interviewee and just feel right there.”

“Incorporate some of the Applause programs into morning coverage for children rather than continuous (and often below the mental capacity) ‘entertainment’ programs purporting to be ‘educational.’”

“I rarely find this part of your program to be interesting. The “artists” seem to be self absorbed and assume the rest of us just don’t get it.”

“Dee Perry makes all guests captivating – whether they are or not! She is a talent.”

“The promise of follow-up notes and visuals on the web is super.”

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