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ERIC Number: ED516882
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 104
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Beyond Attendance: A Multi-Modal Understanding of Arts Participation. Based on the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. Research Report #54
Novak-Leonard, Jennifer L.; Brown, Alan S.
National Endowment for the Arts
First conducted in 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA's) Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) serves as the longest-standing resource for studying U.S. adult levels of arts attendance, personal arts creation and performance, and arts participation through electronic media. The environment in which arts organizations function has changed dramatically in the 29 years since the first SPPA. Alternatives for arts and entertainment activities have proliferated, and expectations for personalization and individual control over those experiences have increased. The proliferation of new technologies for interacting with digital content is occurring at a heightened pace, while the nation's demographic characteristics grow increasingly diverse. For arts funders and grantee organizations alike, conferences and meetings have tended to focus on adapting to this new environment. Such discussions often lead to debates over what "arts participation" is and how arts organizations might best channel the myriad pathways through which Americans now engage in artistic and creative expression. Those pathways are blurring in several important respects. Using SPPA data from 1982-2008, this monograph explores the breadth of participation within and between three primary categories, or "modes," of arts activities: arts attendance, personal arts creation and performance, and arts participation through electronic media. In addition, the monograph offers a unique context for understanding arts participation, suggesting that a more expansive framework for the cultural ecology is needed, and discusses implications of the SPPA data and other trends for practice, policy, and future research. Four key contextual factors emerge from the current literature and research; they are crucial to a more comprehensive understanding of arts participation. These four factors are: (1) the skill level of the artist or participant; (2) the form of artistic expression; (3) the setting in which the activity occurs; and (4) the degree to which the individual exercises creative control over the activity. A list of recommended sources, as well as a technical appendix, are included. (Contains 18 tables, 20 figures and 111 notes.)
National Endowment for the Arts. 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20506. Tel: 202-682-5400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Endowment for the Arts