Blog Posts for Research

10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2022

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Mar 21, 2022 0 comments

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, empathy, and beauty. The arts also strengthen our communities socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even during a pandemic that has been devastating to the arts. The following 10 reasons show why an investment in artists, creative workers, and arts organizations is vital to the nation’s post-pandemic healing and recovery. The arts are a proven contributor in keeping us mentally healthy—reducing depression and anxiety and increasing life satisfaction. Just 30 minutes of arts activities daily can combat the ill effects of isolation and loneliness associated with COVID-19—and 78% of hospital CEOs say the purpose of their arts programs is to aid in the emotional and mental healing of patients Those data points nail it. The arts are all about stories—often personal, always meaningful. This advocacy season, find your stories and pair them with the research-based findings in “10 Reasons to Support the Arts.”

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Painting By Numbers: How Cities Can Use Data to Support the Arts

Posted by David Andersson, Feb 25, 2022 0 comments

Although cities increasingly rely on data to help shape policy and identify service gaps, there is often skepticism from both the creative sector and government about whether metrics can meaningfully capture the impact of the arts. In a field where variety of creative expression is fundamental, how do you count what really counts? For cities that recognize their artists and cultural institutions as a critical part of the economy and essential to quality of life for residents, arts data can be a powerful tool to advocate for culture alongside other city services. Data can also help city leaders understand who is and isn’t being served by government arts dollars and expand access to arts experiences in every community. Through best practices and case studies, Arts Data in the Public Sector: Strategies for Local Arts Agencies aims to help arts agencies and city leaders show measurable impact, identify priority policy areas, and establish more equitable and inclusive practices to promote access to the arts across communities.

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Cultural Asset Identification & Building Inclusive Creative Economies

Posted by Jessica Stern, Jan 20, 2022 0 comments

In early 2021, we published an outline of the goals and commitments Americans for the Arts is making towards supporting the development of an inclusive creative economy nationally and in local communities. This work in 2022 will focus on helping communities build awareness of their cultural assets and how to equitably strengthen, value, and utilize them. In partnership with and under the guidance of Cézanne Charles and John Marshall, principals of rootoftwo, LLC, we will embark on a year-long process to devise a set of tools, guides, evaluations, and trainings—with ample opportunities for participation from the field in the development of these tools—that will support local arts leaders in their efforts to identify and define their unique creative economies, and help communities to identify cultural assets and understand the health of those assets. 

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The Creative Impact of COVID-19 on Intentionally Marginalized Artists and Creative Workers

Posted by Isaac Fitzsimons, Apr 01, 2021 0 comments

In the initial days of the pandemic, I—like many of you, I’m sure—imagined that I’d have so much more time to create. As a writer, I envisioned using what would have been my commute to crank out the draft of my next novel. However, my good intentions quickly faded as the reality of living through a pandemic set in. I find some comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. Our survey of artists and creative workers found that 64% experienced a decrease in their creative productivity during the pandemic. Much of this decrease is due to logistical reasons: in-person events have been cancelled, venues have been closed. Additionally, artists are finding that their time is being spent on other responsibilities: homeschooling kids, taking care of elderly parents, or sifting through grant or loan applications to supplement lost income. Plus, it’s hard to create when everything around you feels like a fire that needs to be put out. Perhaps not surprisingly, over half (53%) responded that their decline in productivity was due to stress, anxiety, and depression about the state of the world, and 19% said that their health or their family’s health had been impacted by COVID-19, preventing them from working. This last finding was true for 25% of BIPOC respondents, compared to 15% of white respondents. 

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10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2021

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Mar 17, 2021 0 comments

The effective arts advocate needs to articulate the value of the arts in as many ways as possible—from the passionately inherent to the functionally pragmatic—and to deploy the right case-making tool in the right moment. Consider these “10 Reasons to Support the Arts” as your Swiss army knife for arts advocacy. It can feel intimidating Zooming with, or walking into, a legislator’s office—even to experienced advocates. To always feel prepared, I break the advocacy process down into three questions: Who gets the message? What is the message? and, Who delivers the message? When you are preparing your case for the arts, remember The Golden Rule: No numbers without a story, and no stories without a number. The arts are all about stories—often small, always meaningful. Share yours. It is engaging and draws your listener in—and then pair it with the research-based findings in “10 Reasons to Support the Arts.” Yours will be an advocacy visit that is not soon forgotten!

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Connecting the Dots: Why the SheCession Is an Arts Story

Posted by Ms. Elizabeth B. Yntema, Hannah McCarthy, Mar 11, 2021 0 comments

Women in the United States suffered a net loss of over 5 million jobs in the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of which were held by women of color, wiping out at least a generation’s worth of progress in the workplace. As women continue to bear the brunt of childcare and domestic responsibilities, many are left wondering if their hard-won positions will ever be restored. Meanwhile, the U.S. arts and culture sector has suffered an estimated $15.2 billion in financial losses (admissions, non-admissions and expenditures), as performing arts organizations also are dealing with an additional estimated $15.5 billion reduction in sales and audience spending. These are two devastating blows to the U.S. economy, yet they are too often treated as if they are separate issues needing wholly different solutions. Federally mandated paid family and medical leave would offer women, especially women in the arts, the ability to maintain their jobs, destigmatize familial responsibility in the workplace, and pour billions of dollars back into the U.S. economy.

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