Longview Chihuly Project

Early artistic habits become lifelong habits

Public Art Findings

Highlights by a national survey on participation in the Arts commissioned by
The Wallace Survey of adults 18 and over revealed:

  • Personal enrichment is key with seven in 10 adults feel the arts provide benefits in their lives

  • Perceived community benefits of the arts are linked to civic pride--More than six of ten Americans also believe the arts provide a number of community benefits. The highest rated community benefit is that the arts make a community more attractive. Building community identity and character, making a community more understanding of other people, ideas and cultures, and bringing people together are three other top community benefits of the arts according to a majority of Americans


  • The majority of Americans – 70% – support more arts education in schools The most popular area for expansion of the arts in communities is in art and music education in local public schools – seven in ten say more emphasis and funding should be focused on early arts exposure for children.


  • Early artistic habits become lifelong habits – Three quarters of respondents report enjoying artistic activities as adults that they did as children, including performing in some way, singing, playing a musical instrument, the creative arts such as drawing or painting, or the more passive enjoyment of listening to music.

  • Americans frequently participate in a number of artistic activities – From listening to music (70% do so frequently) to reading novels, poems, or nonfiction (48%), to sewing and other crafts (24%), drawing, painting, doing pottery (23%), to playing an instrument or performing in some way (19%), Americans are involved in arts and culture. When asked about participation in 12 specific activities, respondents reported frequently engaging in one-to-three of the 12 (63%), while 25% registered as high participators, doing four or more of the 12 frequently. Only twelve percent did none of the 12 activities often in the past year.

  • The public supports local arts funding – Most Americans believe in the value of the arts for individuals and communities with broad support for local funding of the arts. Eight in ten Americans support local funding, with a third stating the arts are very important to them.


  • Early artistic habits become lifelong habits – Three quarters of respondents report enjoying artistic activities as adults that they did as children, including performing in some way, singing, playing a musical instrument, the creative arts such as drawing or painting, or the more passive enjoyment of listening to music.


  • The public supports local arts funding – Most Americans believe in the value of the arts for individuals and communities with broad support for local funding of the arts. Eight in ten Americans support local funding, with a third stating the arts are very important to them.


  • Americans take an egalitarian view of art opportunities – Six in ten want to see art for everyone to enjoy, music performances, and plays, musicals, and other dramatic works. Five in ten voice interest in gaining more art museums, galleries, art festivals, and libraries.