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ERIC Number: ED502643
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 151
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-978-0-8330-4184-5
Cultivating Demand for the Arts: Arts Learning, Arts Engagement, and State Arts Policy
Zakaras, Laura; Lowell, Julia F.
RAND Corporation
To shed light on the decline in demand for the nonprofit arts, the authors describe what it means to cultivate demand for the arts, examine how well U.S. institutions are serving this function, and discuss whether it is in the public interest to make such cultivation a higher priority than it has been in the past. The authors propose that a strong cultural sector is characterized by three conditions: adequate amounts of high-quality artworks (supply), ample opportunities for people to encounter those works (access), and sufficient numbers of individuals with an interest in experiencing those works (demand). They argue that arts policies have long focused on supporting supply and expanding access while neglecting demand, which calls for cultivating the capacity of individuals to have engaging experiences with the arts. With this policy framework, the authors address three topics. First, they identify the knowledge and skills that enable people to have rich experiences with works of art, encounters so engaging that they will seek out more of them. They synthesize a body of arts education research that supports a comprehensive, standards-based approach to arts education as the best way to enable such experiences and stimulate long-term arts involvement. Second, they describe the infrastructure for arts learning in terms of the amount and type of learning available to youth and adults through public schools, universities, and community organizations. Third, they examine how state arts agencies (SAAs) allocate their resources in support of supply, access, and demand. The authors conclude that greater investment in comprehensive arts learning, particularly for the young, is the most effective strategy for building demand. Such an investment is not likely to be made, however, unless the arts community, including the National Endowment for the Arts, SAAs, and the leaders of arts organizations, join with arts educators to persuade the general education community--and the American public--that improved arts learning is necessary to expand and diversify public engagement in the arts. Contents include: (1) Introduction; (2) A Framework for Understanding Supply, Access, and Demand; (3) Enabling Individual Engagement with Works of Art; (4) The Support Infrastructure for Youth Arts Learning; (5) The Support Infrastructure for Adult Arts Learning; (6) The Role of State Arts Agencies; and (7) Conclusions and Policy Implications. Appended are: (A) Interviewees; (B) Taxonomy of SAA Grants by Type of Recipient, National Standard Code, and RAND Category; and (C) Taxonomy of SAA Grants by Type of Activity, National Standard Code, and RAND Category. Includes a bibliography. (Contains 9 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Wallace Foundation
Authoring Institution: RAND Corporation
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A