Two recently released studies (one by The National Assessment of Educational Progress and one by The National Endowment for the Arts) show that attendance at art museums is on the decline – both among students and adults. The NEA’s study also showed a drop in participation in performing arts.
The NEA attributed the decline to an aging out of the traditional arts audience and also to the increase in consumption of arts online, rather than by attending live events. Both the NEA and the NAEP call for more arts education as a way of developing the next generation of arts enthusiasts.
As we've pointed out in the past, the recession may be especially hard on arts groups which experience both declines in contributions and grants (from individuals, foundations, corporations and the government) and decreased ticket sales. So, if you're a fan of the arts like me, then consider including a visit to a museum or theatre as part of your summer plans.