Americans and the arts

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John F
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Americans and the arts

Post by John F » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:11 am

If, as this poll seems to say, 91% of Americans believe that "the arts are critical part of a well-rounded K-12 education," why do they acquiesce in eliminating arts education in their public schools, rather than demanding more of it? I offer this article for what it's worth; you be the judge.

5 1/2 Things That Americans Are Saying About The Arts
Timothy J. McClimon
Oct 15, 2018

One of the nonprofit organizations I support and volunteer with is Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy and membership organization. AFTA has recently published its latest public opinion survey on the arts entitled Americans Speak Out about the Arts. The report is based on a nationally representative sample of over 3,000 adults, and it updates a similar study that was conducted two years ago.

According to the survey, Americans are highly engaged in the arts-as attendees, arts makers, art purchasers and arts advocates-and they believe that the arts promote well-being and help us understand other cultures in our communities. They also support public funding of arts and cultural organizations in their communities, and believe in the critical role of the arts in K-12 education.

Here are five (and a half) things that Americans believe about the arts:

“The arts provide meaning to our lives and unify our communities.”

Sixty-nine percent of Americans believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” and 81% say the arts are “a positive experience in a troubled world” (this is an increase of 8% from 2015). Seventy-two percent of Americans believe the arts “unify our communities regardless of age, race and ethnicity,” and 73% agree that the arts “help me understand other cultures better” (an increase of 11% from 2015).

“We enjoy arts experiences in our communities, often in unexpected places.”

Seventy-two percent of Americans attended an arts or cultural event such as the theater, a museum, a zoo or a musical performance during the previous year (up from 68% in 2015), and 70% of Americans enjoy the arts in non-traditional venues such as a symphony in the park, a performance in an airport or exhibitions in a hospital or shopping mall. Art in the parks, public spaces and sidewalks were the most popular places to have an arts experience.
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“The arts add value to our communities, but not everyone has equal access to the arts.”

Ninety percent believe that cultural facilities such as theaters, museums, sculpture parks and neighborhood arts centers improve the quality of life in communities, and 86% believe that cultural facilities are important to local businesses and the economy. But, only 50% of those surveyed believe that everyone in their communities has equal access to the arts despite the many benefits that the arts bring to individuals and communities.

“We support arts education at all grade levels, and out-of-school experiences are important too.”

Ninety-one percent agree that the arts are critical part of a well-rounded K-12 education, including 61% who strongly agree with only 5% disagreeing. This overwhelming support for arts education holds at all grade levels: elementary school (94%), middle school (94%) and high school (93%). 89% think that the arts should be taught outside the classroom in the community as well.

“The arts help me be more creative, which makes me more successful in my job.”

Fifty-five percent of Americans said that their jobs require them to be “creative and come up with ideas that are new and unique,” and 60% say that the more creative and innovative they are at their jobs, the more successful they are in the workplace. Forty-nine percent said that they would strongly consider whether a community is rich in the arts when deciding whether to relocate for a job.

“I love to sing in the shower…when no one is listening.”

Nearly half of Americans are personally involved in art-making activities such as painting, singing in a choir, making crafts, writing poetry or playing music. That includes singing in the shower when no one else is around.

Leaders of arts organizations can utilize this vital customer information to design and market programs that appeal to audiences and patrons in ways that are consistent with their beliefs. This is especially true for the issue of equal access to the arts. While 90% of Americans say they are pleased with their community as a place to live, most Americans say that they expect to get closer to “their best possible life” in the next five years. The arts should be a major part of that journey.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timothyjmc ... 6108fd41ad
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: Americans and the arts

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:18 am

The answer is clear. Most Americans think that "the arts" means The Grateful Dead and some things they might see on TV.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Belle
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Re: Americans and the arts

Post by Belle » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:26 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:18 am
The answer is clear. Most Americans think that "the arts" means The Grateful Dead and some things they might see on TV.
"The arts" is a very broad church, if I can put it that way. I'd prefer to see the term made more specific to what is actually meant. And its very easy for people to make motherhood statements about these things whilst not actually being a participant or supporter; putting their money where their mouths are. History shows that a large swathe of the population can indulge in 'the arts'; in this country more people attend art galleries than football matches!!

If 'the arts' includes the great Freed Unit at MGM during the golden years of Hollywood film then 'most Americans' were certainly participants. Just as they were for the RKO films of Astaire and Rogers in the 1930s. If singing and dancing to the music of Irving Berlin and/or the Gershwins isn't 'the arts' then what could it be? IMO the great Conrad Salinger, who arranged lots of the music for Freed, was an 'artist'. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire and was enormously skilled in the 'art' of musical arrangement.

Art music, on the other hand, was never designed for consumption by the general population. By its very nature it is essentially a 'learned' art though, of course, it's possible to 'consume' that art on the most superficial level and find it 'enjoyable'. I believe Mozart had some things to say about this in his letter/s, but offhand I cannot remember exactly.

The excellent film "School of Rock" demonstrates how people have a visceral need for music. It mightn't be our kind, but the popularity of same is far greater than for audiences of Andre Rieu - and I wouldn't rate one above the other! :roll:

John F
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Re: Americans and the arts

Post by John F » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:39 pm

I believe that when most Americans think of the arts, those who ever do, have paintings and sculpture in mind - not the performing arts, not the verbal arts aka literature. But perhaps they have a broader notion of artists.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Americans and the arts

Post by lennygoran » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:29 am

Belle wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:26 pm
jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:18 am
The answer is clear. Most Americans think that "the arts" means The Grateful Dead and some things they might see on TV.

The excellent film "School of Rock" demonstrates how people have a visceral need for music. It mightn't be our kind, but the popularity of same is far greater than for audiences of Andre Rieu - and I wouldn't rate one above the other! :roll:
We saw the bdway show from andrew lloyd weber and thought highly of it. Len

Belle
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Re: Americans and the arts

Post by Belle » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:36 am

Which show was that, Len?

lennygoran
Posts: 14059
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
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Re: Americans and the arts

Post by lennygoran » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:36 am

Belle wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:36 am
Which show was that, Len?
Belle this one. Len
https://www.broadway.com/shows/school-r ... 3EQAvD_BwE

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