Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals

Street festival

May 17, 2011 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Harris School of Public Policy Studies
1155 E. 60th St.
Room 224

Carole Rosenstein, Assistant Professor of Arts Management at George Mason University, will present her recent NEA report on outdoor arts festivals.

Scholars and policymakers know that, as a whole, audiences for performances and exhibitions of canonical fine arts forms are better educated, wealthier, older, and whiter than the U.S. population. However, a somewhat different portrait of the audience for the arts in the U.S. was drawn in the 2010 National Endowment for the Arts study of outdoor arts festivals. This audience appears to be very highly educated while at the same time being markedly racially and ethnically diverse. In this paper, Prof. Rosenstein uses the NEA data to present detailed profiles of African American, Latina/o, and Asian American festival attenders, and discusses both why we might find diversity among festival audiences and what lessons this research may lend to the arts and cultural sector about how to diversify our audiences.

Carole Rosenstein is Assistant Professor of Arts Management at George Mason University and an Affiliated Scholar at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. She has co-directed numerous cultural policy studies including "A Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals in the United States" (for the National Endowment for the Arts) and "Assessing the Effectiveness of Various Methods Used to Distribute Public Funding to U.S. Museums" (for the Institute for Museum and Library Services). Her most recent policy brief, "Cultural Development and City Neighborhoods," was listed in the UNESCO Knowledge Network and can be found at Dr. Rosenstein holds a PhD in Anthropology and was 2007 Rockefeller Humanities Fellow in cultural policy at the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

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