The following research question and hypotheses are among those guiding our core research process at Createquity. They relate to our Disparities of Access editorial content theme.

Research question

  • Do economically disadvantaged/insecure people have fewer opportunities to participate fully?

 

Hypotheses

  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.

 

Open questions for focus going forward:

  • What do poor people know about arts opportunities?
  • What are poor people’s attitudes toward the arts?
  • Mapping income of neighborhoods and arts opportunities?
  • Estimates of the cost of creating art (material, rehearsal, production costs)
  • Estimates of artists’ earnings
  • How many successful artists are independently wealthy or rely economically on a spouse?
  • What do we know about how Americans spend their time?