When Createquity relaunched in October 2014, we identified two broad focus areas for our research investigation: disparities of access and the capacity of our field to create change. In the time since then, we’ve begun to dive into the literature around the first of these topics, and more specifically the relationship between arts participation and economic disadvantage.

Our investigation is guided by three hypotheses, reproduced below:

  1. Poor and economically insecure adults are significantly less likely to have access to “common” opportunities to participate in the arts as producers or consumers for a variety of reasons including inability to afford the cost of participating (e.g., tickets, materials, rehearsal space), inability to afford indirect costs (e.g., transportation, child care), lack of time (due to the need to earn a living), and lack of awareness of opportunities (including awareness of opportunities designed for the poor).
  2. Poor and economically insecure adults are significantly less likely to have access to “scarce” opportunities to participate in the arts as producers for a variety of reasons including inability to afford the cost of participating (e.g., materials, rehearsal space, training), inability to afford indirect costs (e.g., transportation, child care), lack of time (due to the need to earn a living), lack of awareness of opportunities (including awareness of opportunities designed for the poor), and lack of ability to take the financial or social risks often necessary to pursue many “scarce” opportunities (e.g. debt from MFA or BFA programs, moving to an urban area, need to care for children or other family members with few resources), particularly in the absence of a strong social safety net.
  3. Many people who would benefit from common or scarce opportunities to participate in the arts do not take advantage of them due to pressure from social and/or professional environments that treat participation in the arts as an unwelcome distraction from economically productive activities.

An initial scan of the literature, begun in summer 2014 and enhanced in early 2015, turned up 61 sources of potential relevance to the above hypotheses. Since December, we’ve completed initial thirty-minute reviews of 28 of these that appeared to have the most to offer in terms of building our understanding. These studies and publications are listed below. Note: if you are familiar with any of these sources and/or know of additional research that you think may be pertinent to this investigation, we welcome your thoughts in the comments!

Sources Reviewed: Arts and Economic Disadvantage (December 2014-February 2015)

Almudena, S., Gimenez-Nadal, J.I. & Gershuny, J. (2012). Leisure Inequality in the United States: 1965-2003. Demography, 49(3), 939-964. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23252678.

Bird, S. & Scott, L. (2006). A Statewide Report on Participation in the Arts. Arts Queensland Report. Retrieved from http://www.arts.qld.gov.au/publications/barriers.html.

Blume-Kohout, M.E., Leonard, S.R., & Novak-Leonard, J.L. (2015). When Going Gets Tough:Barriers and Motivations Affecting Arts Audiences. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved from http://arts.gov/sites/default/files/when-going-gets-tough-revised2.pdf

Burton, C. & Scott, C. (2003). Museums: Challenges for the 21st Century. International Journal of Arts Management, 5(2), 56-68. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41064787.

Charlton, A., Potter, M., McGinigal, S., Romanou, E., Slade, Z., & Hewitson, B. (2010). Barriers to Participation: Analysis to Inform the Development of the 2010/11 Taking Part Survey. Department for Culture, Media, and Sport. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/137997/TP_Barriersrreport.pdf.

DiMaggio, P. & Useem, M. (1978). Social Class and Arts Consumption: The Origins and Consequences of Class Differences in Exposure to the Arts in America. Theory and Society, 5(2),141-161. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01702159#page-1.

DiMaggio, P. & Mukhtar, T. (2004). Arts Participation as Cultural Capital in the United States, 1982–2002: Signs of Decline? Poetics, 32(2), 169-194. Retrieved from https://www.princeton.edu/~artspol/orchestras/suggested_readings/dimaggio%20and%20mukhtar%20paper.pdf.

Goodin, R.E., Rice, J.M., Bittman, M., & Saunders, P. (2005). The Time-Pressure Illusion: Discretionary Time vs. Free Time. Social Indicators Research, 73 (1), 43-70. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27522213.

Hamermesh, D.S. & Lee, J. (2007). Stressed out on Four Continents: Time Crunch or Yuppie Kvetch? The Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(2), 374-383. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40043067.

Jahoda, S., Murphy, B., Virgin, V., & Woolard, C. (2014). Artists Report Back: A National Study on the Lives of Arts Graduates and Working Artists. BFAMFAPhD. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/N2AYyx.

Kesenne, S. (1994). Can a Basic Income Cure Baumol’s Disease? Journal of Cultural Economics, 18(2), 93-100. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41810509.

Kraaykamp, G., van Gils, W., & Ultee, W. (2008). Cultural Participation and Time Restrictions: Explaining the Frequency of Individual and Joint Cultural Visits. Poetics, 36(4), 316-332. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304422X08000284.

Levy-Garboua, L. & Montmarquette, C. (1996). A Microeconometric Study of Theatre Demand. Journal of Cultural Economics, 20(1), 25-50. Retrieved from http://www.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/IMG/pdf/theatre_demand_1996_J._Cult._Econ._.pdf.

Luftig, R.L., Donovan, M.J., Farnbaugh, C.L., Kennedy, E. E., Filicko, T., Wyszomirski, M.J. (2003). So What Are You Doing after College? An Investigation of Individuals Studying the Arts at the Post-Secondary Level, Their Job Aspirations and Levels of Realism. Studies in Art Education, 45(1), 5-19. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1321105.

McCarthy, K.F., Ondaatje, E.H., & Zakaras, L. (2001). Guide to the Literature on Participation in the Arts. RAND Corporation Working Paper. Retrieved from http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA39661

Moore, J. (1998). Poverty and Access to the Arts: Inequalities in Arts Attendance. Cultural Trends, 8(31), 53-73. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09548969809365050?journalCode=ccut20#.VNmWYlPF9fA.

O’Hagan, J.W. (1996). Access to and Participation in the Arts: The Case of those with Low incomes/Educational Attainment. Journal of Cultural Economics, 20(4), 269-282. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10824-005-0282-4#page-1.

Quoctrung, B. (2014). Who Had Richer Parents, Doctors or Artists? NPR Planet Money. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/03/18/289013884/who-had-richer-parents-doctors-or-arists.

Rampell, C. (2014). The Most Expensive Colleges in the Country are Art Schools, Not Ivies. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2014/03/28/the-most-expensive-colleges-in-the-country-are-art-schools-not-ivies/.

Robinson, J.P. & Godbey, G. (2005). Busyness as Usual. Social Research, 72(2), 407-426. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40971771.

Robinson, J.P. & Martin, S. (2009). Changes in American Daily Life: 1965-2005. Social Indicators Research, 93(1), 47-56. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27734894.

Seaman, B.A. (2005). Attendance and Public Participation in the Performing Arts: A Review of the Empirical Literature. Georgia State University Working Paper. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=895099.

Silber, B. & Triplett, T. (2015). A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002-2012. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved from http://arts.gov/sites/default/files/2012-sppa-jan2015-rev.pdf.

Simon, R. & Barry, B. (2013). A Degree Drawn in Red Ink. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324432004578306610055834952?mg=rwsj&url=http%3A%2%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB100014241278873244320045 78306610055834952.html.

Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. (2013). An Uneven Canvas: Inequalities in Artistic Training and Careers. Retrieved from http://snaap.indiana.edu/pdf/2013/SNAAP%20Annual%20Report%202013.pdf.

TNS Opinion & Social. (2013). Cultural Access and Participation. European Commission Report. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_399_en.pdf.

van Eijck, K (1997). The Impact of Family Background and Educational Attainment on Cultural Consumption: A Sibling Analysis. Poetics, 25(4), 195-224. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304422X9700017X.

Zieba, M. (2009). Full-Income and Price Elasticities of Demand for German Public Theatre. Journal of Cultural Economics, 33(2), 85-108. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41811017.