The National Endowment for the Arts has recently released a “Research Note” highlighting some geographic differences in arts participation based on the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA). While the full SPPA offers statistics for the U.S. as a whole and a few large regions, this report goes into more depth, including arts participation rates for 32 states. For example, Oregon ranks highest among classical music attendance, with nearly 17% of its adult attending a classical concert in 2008, as compared to 9.3% of the population of the U.S. Massachusetts also ranks highly, with 14.3% attendance. To quickly find the percentage of people who report attending classical performances in your state, look at the sixth column in the data tables which start on page 20 of the report.

The paper also shows a relationship between the number of arts organizations per capita in a state and arts attendance.  Not surprisingly, as there are more organizations per person, attendance rates tend to go up.  New York leads the number of arts organizations per capita, with 7.3 organizations per 100,000 people. This is more than twice the average in the U.S. (3.1).


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