State News

Vermont out performs national average in artistic participation

On Aug. 31, the National Endowment for the Arts released new research that, for the first time, offers a complete state-by-state perspective on how American adults participate in the arts, including activities in Vermont. The new research comes in the form of an “arts data profile,” an NEA collection of statistics, graphics, and summary results from data-mining about the arts. This profile is titled “State‐Level Estimates of Arts Participation Patterns.”
The arts data profile features two issue briefs or summary results: “Highlights of Arts Participation by State (2012‐2015)” and “Why Some States Exhibit Higher (or Lower) Rates of Arts Participation.”
The first examines U.S. adult arts participation through seven measures, comparing each state’s average results to the national average for that measure. The measures are: performing arts attendance; art-exhibit attendance; movie-going; touring of visiting buildings, neighborhoods, parks, and other sites for their historic or design value; literary reading; personal performance or creation of artworks; and consuming art through electronic media.
From the profile, arts participation rates for Vermont are listed below.

National average
Vermont state average
Performing arts attendance
31.6 percent
66.5 percent
Art-exhibit attendance
18.7 percent
35.6 percent
58.0 percent
51.6 percent
27.4 percent
20.9 percent
Literary reading
43.1 percent
62.8 percent
Personal performance or creation
45.1 percent
64.0 percent
Consuming art through electronic media
61.0 percent
62.6 percent

The second issue brief, “Why Some States Exhibit Higher (or Lower) Rates of Arts Participation” looks at three factors that correlate closely with arts participation and can provide insight into a state’s participation rates. Those factors are education, poverty, and access to arts organizations.
“This report affirms what Vermonters know intuitively: in our state ‘Art. Is. Everywhere,’” said Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Alex Aldrich. “Participation in the arts is central to our communities – large and small – and contributes significantly to the quality of life we enjoy in the Green Mountain State.”
In addition to “State-Level Estimates of Arts Participation Patterns,” the NEA issued another arts data profile titled “Results from the Annual Arts Basic Survey (2013-2015).” Analysis for this profile indicates that despite decades of declining arts attendance by U.S. adults in the performing and visual arts, more recent rates are holding steady. The arts data profile includes five research briefs examining different measures of national arts participation, not only the type of arts participation but also the influence of factors such as geography; gender, race, ethnicity, and age; and occupation.
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