Art Works Blog

Come As You Are . . .

March 25, 2010
Washington, DC

The Red Cedar Trio perform Rural Outreach concerts at the tiny rural Czech community near Solon, Iowa. This concert at Sts. Peter and Paul Church featured the music of little-known 19th-century Czech composer Wenceslaus Metiegka. (Photo by Leonard Strutmann)

If you think that there are a larger number of traditional arts venues and institutions in the big cities than in rural areas, you would be right. But if you think that more art happens in big cities than in rural areas, then think again. The NEA?s new Research Note #100: Come As You Are: Informal Arts Participation in Urban and Rural Communities shows that ?informal? arts activities?such as creating your own art or attending community art events such as outdoor performing arts festivals or events at local schools or places of worship?are enjoyed in equal measure by urban and rural residents. This suggests that the desire for art isn?t determined by geography?people want the arts whether they live in Western New York or New York City. Read the full note here.

This new note uses data from the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, which for the first time asked questions about attending outdoor performing arts festivals and arts events at schools and places of worship. As we continue to refine how we ask Americans about their participation in the arts, the more we will find out?and since the survey uses information from the U.S. Census, be sure to complete your Census form.

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