Sunil Iyengar directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Since his arrival at the NEA in June 2006, the office has produced over 20 research publications and revised the major federal survey about arts participation. What does this mean for administrators, audiences, and musicians? Hard data on some of the thorny issues we think about everyday.
As we gear up for Sunday’s Talking About Audiences event, one recent NEA study certainly helps quantify a trend we’ve been exploring in the last few months—how technology is changing the orchestra’s relationship with its audience. From CDs and DVDs to music downloads and live streaming, audiences have more options than ever for how and when they choose to listen to music.
A recent study from the NEA entitled “Audience 2.0—How Technology Influences Arts Participation” found that people are embracing these technologies faster than you might think. Over half of US adults participate in the arts through electronic or digital media.
But, as Sunil Iyengar writes, what might be not as obvious is that:
The two distinct forms of arts engagement are statistically correlated… According to our analysis, people who view or listen to arts via electronic media are 2 to 3 times as likely as non-media arts participants to attend live performances, exhibits, and to create or perform their own art. They attend twice as many arts performances per year than non-media users, and they attend a greater diversity of events. Importantly, this pattern holds even after we control for people’s education level and other characteristics. Read the full blog post.
So rather than replacing the live concert experience, it seems that digital media enhances and encourages it? That’s good news.
Sunil Iyengar joins us on Sunday for our free “Talking About Audiences” event in San Francisco—register today. Not in San Francisco? Watch the webcast live at sfcv.org/amorchforum.