The author used the National Endowment for the Arts' 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts and previous versions of the survey to examine changes in the role of age and cohort in arts participation since 1982. The study concluded that age and cohort had a relatively minor effect on arts participation ranging from live attendance at events to personal participation as well as literary reading and media-based participation. In short, despite concern about the graying of arts audiences, the findings suggest that age is not destiny. The ability of established or emerging arts groups to attract audiences will have less to do with the age distribution of the population than with their ability to connect to the creative aspirations of potential participants.
Date Posted: 19 April 2017