Louisiana Dance Theater and the Shreveport Symphony
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Fewer people are going to operas, plays and dance performances, according to the federal government's Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. That decline is even more pronounced among 18- to 24-year-olds.
A 2002 SPPA study found alarming drops in ballet attendance, for example, with a 40 percent decline between 1992 and 2002 for 18- to 24-year- olds. That compares with a 19 percent drop among the overall population. Neither is positive, but the study failed to measure whether young people were more active in other art forms, like digital-music composition, video game design or rock show attendance.
Most arts organizations agree that a strong participatory culture is necessary to keep them relevant, but the "attendance-only" definition of "participatory" may be in need of an update.
And, no, adding a robot conductor to your symphony won't do the trick.
The performing arts cannot simply be a gimmick or diversion, said Sandra Gibson, president of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. They need to be a part of our daily lives, both by appreciating them and getting involved.
"We need to be in the public psyche and at the dinner table conversation, not plugged-in and plugged-out," said Gibson. "I happen to think that art and culture are rights of citizens, but instead of setting the climate for debate in our field, we're reacting to the position we've been put in."
The Denver Post presents success stories to balance the somewhat gloomy overall picture.
Found the lead to the story at an essential online stop called ArtsJournal.com.