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Cultivating Demand for the Arts

Cultivating Demand for the Arts: Arts Learning, Arts Engagement, and State Arts Policy

Laura Zakaras
Julia F. Lowell
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 150
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  • Book Info
    Cultivating Demand for the Arts
    Book Description:

    What does it mean to cultivate demand for the arts? Why is it important and necessary to do so? What can state arts agencies and other arts and education policymakers do to make it happen? The authors set out a framework for thinking about supply and demand in the arts and identify the roles that different factors, particularly arts learning, play in increasing demand for the arts.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4637-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Spurred in part by a large influx of both philanthropic and government funding, the number of artists and nonprofit arts organizations in the United States has multiplied since the founding of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and most state arts agencies (SAAs) in the mid-1960s. Demand for their output has not kept pace, however, as evidenced by declining rates of arts participation for Americans, particularly those age 30 and under.¹ Despite more than four decades of public support, the financial health of the U.S. arts sector has seen little to no improvement (McCarthy et al., 2001).

    One explanation...

  9. CHAPTER TWO A Framework for Understanding Supply, Access, and Demand
    (pp. 9-16)

    This chapter addresses our first research question: What role does demand play in a vibrant nonprofit cultural sector? We begin by describing the interaction between those who create works of art and those who respond to them as a communicative cycle that creates benefits for those engaged in the cycle and for the public at large. We then describe the different individual and institutional actors that sustain both the demand and the supply components of the cycle. Finally, we identify the conditions that need to be met for the cycle to function effectively and propose that cultural policy focus on...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Enabling Individual Engagement with Works of Art
    (pp. 17-26)

    This chapter examines how individuals develop the capacity for aesthetic experiences, which we define as responses to works of art marked by heightened awareness and emotional and cognitive engagement. To examine this issue, we drew on a range of sources: studies based on small-scale surveys of participants in various arts activities, statistical analyses of the relationship between youth arts learning and adult arts participation, behavioral models of arts participation, and, most relevant to the question at hand, a body of theoretical works by arts education scholars. The research supports the view that early positive experiences with the arts in the...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR The Support Infrastructure for Youth Arts Learning
    (pp. 27-54)

    In the last chapter, we described the knowledge and skills that enable individuals to experience deeper engagement with works of art. In this chapter and the next, we examine the extent to which children and adults have access to the kind of instruction that develops that capacity. Although we focus on schools and colleges, where most of the instruction and resources exist, we describe the entire institutional infrastructure for arts learning.¹ Data shortcomings are always the key limitation in such analyses. We used whatever data were available and relatively current to describe the amount of instruction delivered, populations reached, and...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE The Support Infrastructure for Adult Arts Learning
    (pp. 55-70)

    In this chapter, we describe the institutional infrastructure that supports arts learning for adults (individuals 18 and older). As we did in the previous chapter for youth arts learning, we identify the kinds of organizations with which the infrastructure is populated and characterize them, as much as possible, in terms of their quantitative and qualitative dimensions. Our objective is to understand the extent of their reach into the adult population and the nature of the arts instruction they provide.

    We begin by acknowledging two important points about adult versus youth arts learning. The first is that there is no formal,...

  13. CHAPTER SIX The Role of State Arts Agencies
    (pp. 71-94)

    In the previous two chapters, we broadly described the institutional support infrastructures for youth and adult arts learning and identified areas having significant gaps. We also suggested that because of these gaps, many children and adults lack the tools they need to fully engage with works of art. In this chapter, we look at the role of SAAs in promoting arts learning. Using both quantitative and qualitative data, we assess the extent to which SAAs have sought to cultivate demand for the arts rather than to expand supply or improve access. We also point to recent initiatives by SAAs and...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusions and Policy Implications
    (pp. 95-102)

    We have proposed that healthy demand for the arts is critical to a vibrant nonprofit arts sector, that demand is stimulated by a certain kind of arts learning, and that arts policies focused on supporting the supply of and access to works of art are not sufficient for developing demand for the arts. We have described what public schools and other institutions are doing to provide arts learning, as well as the strategies SAAs have adopted to support such learning. Overall, we found that despite some progress over the past 30 years, neither education policies nor arts policies have made...


    • APPENDIX A Interviewees
      (pp. 103-104)
    • APPENDIX B Taxonomy of SAA Grants by Type of Recipient, National Standard Code, and RAND Category
      (pp. 105-106)
    • APPENDIX C Taxonomy of SAA Grants by Type of Activity, National Standard Code, and RAND Category
      (pp. 107-108)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 109-126)