Art Works Blog

Taking Note

Last month saw the peer-reviewed journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly publish a “special section” devoted to the arts . The section was co-edited by my colleague Melissa Menzer and Adam Winsler, a developmental psychologist who is also a principal investigator of the National Endowment for...
As another school year begins, the National Endowment for the Arts’ research staff looks back on a summer that abounded with opportunities to learn about compelling research and evidence-based programs in the arts. Below, staff analysts Bonnie Nichols and Melissa Menzer each reflect on conferences...
A persistent shortcoming of research in the arts has been a scarcity of large, longitudinal studies that track representative groups of Americans as they engage not only with the arts, but with other life-changing events and behaviors. Even when such data are available, the studies often do not...
A growing body of research suggests that arts education can contribute to positive outcomes in childhood and youth development. We know, for instance, that training in classroom drama can strengthen verbal skills, while music training has been found to improve word decoding skills and may...
In recent months, I’ve come across various news articles and at least one press release declaring that social media has contributed greatly to poetry’s readership. Some of these sources even attribute to the technology a bump in 2017 poetry book sales. While it remains unknown how much of that...
Not long after joining the National Endowment for the Arts in the summer of 2006, I was asked to help research the origins of the NEA’s Office of Research & Analysis (how’s that for meta?) for an official history of the agency. Plowing through the archives, I unearthed a 1977 report titled...
During a January 2017 research workshop held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), participants rapidly became aware that at least two different expert groups had converged on a shared agenda. Working together, music therapists and neuroscientists sought to identify research needs and...
And the Oscar Goes To… On Sunday, March 4th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will host the 90th Academy Awards ceremony. In addition to the event’s glamour and celebrity, the Academy Award season is an opportune time to consider something else about the film/video industry—its value...
This year, the NEA will commission a series of monographs about arts participation, drawing from two or more nationally representative data sources. It's all part of the agency's five-year research agenda , now in Year Two . Among topics to be examined by those reports is the relationship of tastes...
In July, households across the nation will get a call from the U.S. Census Bureau. They’ll be asked to discuss such matters as their present employment, their income and education levels, and—as if to enliven the conversation—how much they participated in the arts in the past year. The Survey of...

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