California sees drop in arts and cultural participation

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

California continues to see cultural participation dropping by its citizens overall, with the level of participation varying widely between regions, according to a new study released this week by the James Irvine Foundation.

The new study states that arts and culture participation declined nationally from 2002 to 2008, with participation among California adults falling 6 percentage points to 52% from 58%. That compares with an 8-point drop for other American adults. Markusen Economic Research conducted the study for the James Irvine Foundation.

Arts participation saw wide swings between regions of the state. The San Francisco Bay area saw participation of 66% in 2008, the highest rate of all regions. The lowest cultural participation rates were seen in the Inland Empire and the San Joaquin Valley at 42% each.

The Los Angeles metropolitan area -- which includes Orange County -- saw cultural participation of 54% in 2008.


Overall, the study found that 52% of Californians older than 18 attended at least one arts event in 2008, compared with 46% in other states. More than 14 million California adults reported participating in arts and cultural events in or outside the state for that year. In California, women were more likely to attend arts and culture events than men, with participation rates at 56% for women and 51% for men. People ages 55 to 64 had the highest participation of age groups at 66%.

The study states that white individuals had the highest arts participation rate of all ethnic groups, at 68%. The lowest group was Asians and Pacific-Islanders at 38%.

For the state, 85% of arts nonprofits work with annual budgets of less than $250,000.


California Arts Council names Craig Watson as new director

California is last in arts funding — as usual

-- David Ng