NEA Study: Many People Don’t Just Enjoy Art, They Make It

Drummers perform at Parade the Circle in Cleveland.
Drummers perform at Parade the Circle in Cleveland. [Roberto Galan / Shutterstock]
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People in greater Cleveland are more likely to attend arts and cultural events than in other cities in Ohio and across the U.S, according to a recent National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) study.

“In Cleveland, about 62 percent of adults in the course of a year attended some kind of performing arts event, dance, theater, music,” said Sunil Inyengar, director of research and analysis for the NEA.

Nationally, about 50 percent of adults said they attend at least one arts event a year. Live music performances, fairs and festivals are the most common activities of those attending arts and cultural events.

The NEA study of national arts participation explored both how people engage with arts and culture and what motivates them to do it.

People are just as inclined to create art as they are to go to performances, fairs or exhibits. Singing and dancing are some of the most popular activities, and many people do those to socialize with friends and family based on study results.

But motivations can depend on the art form. People creating visual art often do so “because they feel creative or creatively inspired,” Iyengar said.  

Survey results show the majority of art making takes place in people’s homes, no matter what the art form. Another popular place for performing: church, synagogue or another place of worship.

About half of the population reads at least one book a year for leisure, and 30 percent of those adults read 12 or more books a year. People are also reading more poetry, according to the data.

“This growth in poetry reading seems to have been sustained for younger adults, in particular age groups that maybe had not been associated with reading a lot of poetry in the past as well as many different racial ethnic groups,” Iyengar said.

Thirty-five percent of adults surveyed did not believe there are “plenty of opportunities to take part in arts and cultural activities” where they live.

Meanwhile, 74 percent of adults reported consuming artistic or arts related content digitally, on TV and the radio or through other electronic devices.  

Read the full report NEA report on arts particpation

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