NEA report examines reasons for barriers to attending arts events

Posted on: January 28, 2015

“A report published last week by the National Endowment for the Arts contained this telling statistic: 31 million American adults said they wanted to go to an arts event in the past year but chose not to. The study’s purpose was to examine the motivations behind this data,” write Brian Wise and Naomi Lewin at Thursday’s (1/22) Conducting Business blog at New York classical radio station WQXR. The blog includes a podcast featuring Sunil Iyengar, the NEA’s director of research and analysis, who says that “key barriers” noted in the study were lack of time, issues of access (“disabilities, other health issues or simple inconvenience”), and lacking someone to go with. “The NEA’s General Social Study, as the report is called, also explored some class distinctions that appear to create barriers. Americans who say they are in the ‘upper’ or ‘middle’ class were much more likely to have attended an artistic presentation … than those who say they’re ‘lower’ or ‘working’ class—regardless of actual income.” Iyengar also discusses “trends in online access to the arts, and how the data can be useful for arts presenters and advocates.” The podcast features Juilliard faculty member and Artsjournal.com blogger Greg Sandow discussing the National Symphony Orchestra’s successful recent concert in a Washington, D.C. nightclub.

Posted January 28, 2015

Pictured: The National Symphony Orchestra drew an audience of 2,000 when it performed at Washington D.C.’s Echostage nightclub on January 9. Photo by Yassine El Mansouri