Beyond Attendance: A multi-modal understanding of arts participation

February 22, 2011 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

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

Jennifer Novak-Leonard presents a preview of her forthcoming NEA report.

How should we define "arts participation"? How should arts organizations embrace the increasingly multitudinous ways that Americans engage in artistic expression? Utilizing Survey of Public Participation in the Arts data from 1982-2008, this workshop explores the breadth of participation within and between three primary categories, or ‘modes,’ of arts activities: arts attendance, personal arts creation and performance, and electronic media-based arts participation. In addition, the workshop offers additional context for understanding arts participation, suggests that a more holistic framework for the cultural ecology is needed, and discusses implications of the SPPA data and other trends for practice, policy, and future research.

Jennifer Novak-Leonard is a Senior Consultant with WolfBrown, a leading research and management consultancy for arts and culture. She is the lead author of the forthcoming NEA monograph "Beyond Attendance: A multi-modal understanding of arts participation" and is co-author of the recent WolfBrown reports "Assessing the Intrinsic Impacts of a Live Performance," commissioned by a consortium of Major University Presenters, and "Cultural Engagement in California's Inland Regions," commissioned by The James Irvine Foundation. Jennifer is also co-author of "Arts and Culture in the Metropolis: Strategies for Sustainability" (RAND, 2007) and a contributor to "Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate about the Benefits of the Arts" (RAND, 2004).

Jennifer is completing her PhD at the RAND Graduate School, where her expertise lies in cultural policy and immigration policy research. Jennifer received her master's degree in public policy from the University of Chicago, and holds BAs in art history and international relations from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

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