The National Endowment for the Arts this morning released the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, the nation’s largest population survey of arts participation trends. The initial numbers – the full report comes out in 2014 – offer encouraging news for jazz fans, as an NEA press release notes:
Nearly half of the nation's adults (49 percent or 115 million) attended at least one type of visual or performing arts activity. Non-white and Hispanic Americans saw no declines in their arts attendance rates from 2008 to 2012; on the contrary, they even saw increases in some categories. In 2012, African Americans outpaced whites' attendance rates at jazz events.
The percentage of Americans attending jazz events rose from 7.8 in 2008 to 8.1 in 2012. Not a huge number, to be sure, but any sign of growth is positive. By contrast, musical theater, ballet and classical all saw declines.
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