An average day in the arts

North America

Using data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey (ATUS), this note examines state-level arts participation on an average day.

Although the ATUS methodology generally bars the patent ranking of states by arts participation rates, certain state patterns emerge.

For example, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania place highly in performing arts attendance—on an average day, 1 percent of residents in each of these states attend performing arts events. Museum attendance is comparatively high in Massachusetts and Maryland, along with Michigan, Virginia, and New York. On any given day, 18,000 Massachusetts residents visit museums.

The ATUS also shows that performing arts and museum attendance are positively correlated with education and access to performing arts organizations and museums. For example, Maryland, with its comparatively high performing arts attendance, is also home to above-average numbers of performing arts organizations.

Poverty, alternatively, is negatively correlated with attendance. Texas and Mississippi, for instance, rank low in performing arts and museum attendance and high in poverty incidence.

NEA Research Note #106 is available at (10).

Publication Details