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TitleBeyond attendance
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Table of Contents
                            Chairman’s note
Table of contents
Executive summary
	Data and Analysis Methods
	Organization of the Report
Chapter 1 Context
	“Arts Participation:" Defining a  Central Term
	Measuring “Arts Participation”
	Cultural Ecology
	Considerations of Policy and Practice throughout This Report
Chapter 2 A Look within the Three Modes  of Participation
	Mode of Participation: Attendance
	Mode of Participation: Arts Creation
	Mode of Participation: Electronic Media-Based
Chapter 3 A Look between Modes: Attendance and Arts Creation
	Arts Lessons
	Civic and Social Engagement
	Rates Within Disciplines
	Rates Across Disciplines
	Effect of Attendance on Rates of Arts Creation
	Effect of Arts Creation on Arts Attendance Rates
	Exploratory Factor Analysis
Chapter 4 The relationship of Electronic Media-Based Participation to Attendance and Arts Creation
	Rates within Disciplines (Participation via Recordings or Broadcasts)
	Rates within Disciplines (Exclusively Online Participation)
	Ratios Across Disciplines
Chapter 5 How the Three Modes Intersect
	Distribution of Modal Participation Rates, by Discipline
Chapter 6 Where do we go from here?
	Implications for Practice
	Implications for Research
	Implications for policy
Recommended Sources
Technical Appendix
Document Text Contents
Page 1

National Endowment for the Arts

Beyond attendance:
A multi-modal understanding
of arts participation

Jennifer L. Novak-Leonard and
Alan S. Brown, WolfBrown

Page 52

52 National Endowment for the Arts

The SPPA has included questions about viewing and
listening to arts programming since 1982, although
the technologies to which the questions refer
have changed over the years, in effort to keep up
with technological advances. In 1982, questions were
asked about watching a program on TV; today the
questions ask about watching and listening via
iPods, cell phones, and portable DVD players, in
addition to TV and radio. Questions about Internet
usage were first included in the 2002 survey. Given
the changes in question-wording over the years,
data between 2008 and prior years are not directly
comparable. Therefore, only 2008 data are presented
in this report. Further analyses can be found in
NEA Research Report #50, Audience 2.0: How
Technology Influences Arts Participation (2010).


Approximately 70% of the U.S. adult population
used the Internet within the 12 months ending in
May 2008, and 20% of U.S. adults reported using
the Internet to watch, listen to or download live or
recorded performing arts, specifically music,
theater or dance. Fourteen percent of adults used
the Internet to access visual arts content. In sum,
approximately four in 10 adults access art via live
or recorded broadcasts.62

The highest rates of electronic media participation
were observed for listening to recordings or
watching broadcasts of music: classical music (17.8%),
Latin, Spanish, or salsa music (14.9%), and jazz
(14.2%). Broadcasts about artists, artworks and
museums, and programs about books and writers
also garnered participation rates of 15%. However,
the genres and disciplines that tend to be more
visual and theatrical in nature (opera, musical plays,
non-musical plays and dance) each have relatively
lower electronic media participation rates when
compared with the other genres and disciplines
queried.63 What drives these rates is uncertain; it may
suggest either a limitation in the availability of
these programs or a limited interest in listening to
or watching these art forms via recordings or live
broadcasts. (See Figure 3.)

Percentage of U.S. adults who accessed artistic content
via recorded or live arts broadcasts: 2008

Percentage of U.S. adults

0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20%


Non-musical plays

Musical plays




Latin music

Programs about

Programs about art

Classical music 17.8%










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53Beyond attendance: A multi-modal understanding of arts participation

Rates of electronic media-based participation,
by demographic group

In general, men and women participate via
electronic media at similar rates. Men report higher
rates for accessing performing arts content online,
and listening to or watching broadcasts of jazz
and Latin, Spanish, or salsa music. (See Table 10.)

Hispanics listen to broadcasts of Latin, Spanish,
or salsa music at levels far above other race/ethnicity
cohorts (55.2%, compared with the next highest
reported rate: 12% for American Indians).

Rates of Internet use are negatively correlated
with older ages; younger respondents reported using
the Internet at higher rates than older respondents.
For example, 42.5% of 18- to 24-year-olds reported
watching, listening to or downloading live or
recorded music, theater or dance performances,
compared with 1.3% of respondents aged 75 and
older. Similarly, 20.2% of 18- to 24-year-olds reported
viewing visual arts online, compared with 2.7%
of respondents aged 75 and older. Overall, results
illustrate a dramatic age skew associated with
accessing art online.

Educational attainment
Rates of Internet usage are positively correlated
with education. Levels of Internet use to access
performing arts and visual arts are greater with
higher educational attainment, especially at
the levels of “some college” and above. Educational
attainment and rates of accessing the arts through
recorded and broadcast electronic media are
positively correlated, except for viewing and/or
listening to Latin, Spanish, or salsa music through
media, for which individuals with “grade-school”
education levels reported the highest rates (25.8%).

Family income
Families with lower incomes report lower rates
of Internet usage. However, there is less of a range
of reported rates across income levels, compared
with rates by education level. Generally, there
appears to be less of a disparity across income levels
for electronic media usage than there is in media
use across education levels.

Citizenship status
Native-born citizens use the Internet at
significantly higher rates than either naturalized
or non-citizen U.S. adults. Native-born citizens
listen to Latin, Spanish, or salsa music at a
significantly lower rate, compared with naturalized
and non-citizen U.S. adults.

“Who” is likely to watch and listen?

People with past exposure to arts lessons (of any
discipline) at some point in their lives are 33% more
likely than those without exposure to listen to
or watch broadcasts or recordings. Again, people
with any arts lessons are more likely than Americans
who have not taken art lessons to participate in the
arts. (See Table 11.)

Adults who self-identify as Hispanic are
approximately 30% more likely than whites to
view or listen to recordings or live broadcasts.
When we control for participation in arts
lessons, African Americans are 17% more likely
than whites, and American Indians are 40% more
likely than whites to watch or listen to an arts
recording or broadcast.

Individuals who identified as non-citizens are
significantly more likely than native U.S. citizens
to listen to or watch an arts recording or broadcast
(33% more likely, controlling for arts lessons).

Controlling for arts lessons, individuals with
at least some college are 22% more likely to view or
listen to arts recordings or broadcasts, compared
with adults who have a minimal grade-school
education. Overall, results of this analysis suggest
that arts participation via recorded and broadcast
electronic media is an effective means of reaching
diverse communities as well as older Americans.




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