Since 2010, the National Endowment for the Arts' research grants portfolio has focused on generating new knowledge about the value and impact of the arts. Now, through a series of cooperative agreements, the Arts Endowment is establishing a national program that permits transdisciplinary research teams, grounded in the social and behavioral sciences, to engage with the Arts Endowment's five-year research agenda. The National Endowment for the Arts Research Labs (NEA Research Labs) program will yield empirical insights about the arts for the benefit of arts and non-arts sectors alike.
Each of the NEA Research Labs will design a research agenda, conduct a program to implement its own agenda, and prepare reports and other products that contribute substantively to a wider understanding of one of three areas of special interest to the Arts Endowment. Sustained methods of inquiry into these topic areas will have distinctive benefits for the arts community, but also for sectors such as healthcare, education, and business or management. The three topic areas that our Labs are covering are:
- The Arts, Health, and Social/Emotional Well-Being
- The Arts, Creativity, Cognition, and Learning
- The Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation
As the federal agency of record on arts research, the National Endowment for the Arts, through its Office of Research & Analysis, produces accurate, relevant, and timely analyses and reports that reveal the conditions and characteristics of the U.S. arts ecosystem and the impact of the arts on our everyday lives. The NEA Research Labs add important cross-sector resources to the agency’s collection of publications such as, A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings From the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002–2012, funding opportunities such as Research Grants in the Arts, leading the Federal Agency Taskforce on Human Development, and producing other data resources. The NEA Research Labs initiative will help to fulfill milestones of a five-year research agenda, available on the Arts Endowment's website.