Philadelphia cultural report goes against conventional wisdom

Posted on: September 22, 2009

In Monday’s (9/21) Philadelphia Inquirer, Stephen Salisbury reports, “People of color are far more likely to participate in some cultural activity during the course of a year than are white people. Ditto families with children over childless couples. Yet people who attend a performance or a museum are not likely to return within a year, or maybe even longer. These conclusions, drawn from a report scheduled for release today at the annual meeting of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, represent a particular challenge for the region’s arts organizations, alliance officials suggest. … Some findings, such as the greater cultural participation of families with children, contradict prevailing conventional wisdom. … The alliance’s 73-page report, Research Into Action: Pathways to New Opportunities, mines the data from five other studies and concludes, in the words of alliance president Peggy Amsterdam, that opportunities are out there ‘despite the economic challenges’ now confronting cultural organizations. … Based on a broad demographic study, the report notes that virtually all regional population growth between 2000 and 2020 will result from an increase in nonwhite residents. By 2020, the region’s 2.3 million people of color will represent more than a third of its population of 6.4 million. That’s up from about 28 percent in 2000.”

Posted September 22, 2009