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OUR PUBLICATIONS > The Arts and Civic Engagement

OUR PUBLICATIONS > The Arts and Civic Engagement

CCE Research

The Arts and Civic Engagement


November 9, 2007

Institution: National Endowment for the Arts

Full reference: National Endowment for the Arts (2007) The Arts and Civic Engagement. Washington: NEA

Summary of key findings

The report finds that Americans who experience art or read literature are more active in their communities than non-readers and non-participants. Their levels of volunteering, exercising and outdoor activities were similar to sports event attendees. The report concludes that literary reading and arts participation rates can be regarded as sound indicators of civic and community health. It acknowledges that causality is not demonstrated.

The report finds that arts participation had declined among young adults and that volunteering amongst young adults had declined slightly since 1982.

Research Questions & Methodology

Data on arts participation, volunteering and other leisure activities were collected through a survey conducted in 2002 by the U.S. Census Bureau. 17,135 adults, aged 18 and over were interviewed. Three categories of arts participants: performing arts attedndees, literary readers and classical or jazz radio listeners were surveyed. Levels of creative and cultural activity, sports and other physical activity and volunteering or charity work for these participants are compared to those for the rest of the survey population. Levels of volunteering amongst young people were also examined and compared to those recorded in 1992 and 1982.

Go to the journal article.