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A Closer Look at Arts Engagement in California

Jennifer Novak-Leonard, Jaclyn Wong, and Ned English

California is experiencing dramatically shifting demographics; rapid technological advances offer new opportunities for artistic expression and access; people’s expectations are changing about the structure of work and leisure time experiences — these are some of the most significant forces that are reshaping the landscape of the cultural sector and how people encounter, engage with, and participate in art.

This report is the first in a two-part study commissioned by the James Irvine Foundation to understand what California’s residents do to participate in the arts and, importantly, how that varies across the state’s diverse population. It draws on data from the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) recently released its 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, from which the NEA published detailed findings for the US in A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002-2012.