US Arts Attendance on a Downward Trend, NEA Studies Find

By Benjamin Sutton
Visitors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan
New studies released today by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and based on surveys carried out in 2012 claim that arts attendance in the US has continued to drop over the past two decades, but both struggle to incorporate digital activities into their findings. The attendance numbers are worrisome. The number of visitors to core arts events — opera, jazz, classical music, ballet, musical theater, plays, art museum and gallery visits — continued to decline, with just 33.4% of US adults attending one of those between July 2011 and July 2012. A decade earlier the figure was 39.4%, and in 2008 it was 34.6%. [link]