Arts attendance among American adults is declining

“Danced at a wedding? Crocheted a sweater for your niece? Posted a photograph on Facebook? Then you participated in “art making” or “art sharing,” according to the survey. Listened to music on an iPod or a radio? Then you’re among the 71 percent of Americans who consumed the arts through electronic media, by far the most popular activity recorded.”

New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen recently wrote an article about the National Endowment for the Arts’s survey on arts participation. The survey’s overall findings were that arts attendance among American adults has declined since the last survey in 2008. There were increases in attendance for Dance, Jazz, and Movies, but Ballet, Musical Theater, Art Galleries, and Classical Music all saw decreased attendance. In fact, over the past decade theater attendance has decreased by 33 percent.

A key part of this survey also took into consideration people’s interactions with technology and how that impacted arts attendance. For example, how much are Netflix, Hulu, social media, and other video on demand options affecting how people spend their time? To this Heather A. Hitchens, executive director of the American Theater Wing, said “At the end of the day, I’m not troubled by it,” said . “I believe that all this technology is fantastic, but nothing is going to replace the live experience.” <<< this is what we call denial

To add to the denial, instead of addressing the  issue or talking solutions, the NEA has just expanded the definition of arts participation to everything from listening to music on an iPod to dancing at a friend’s wedding. Are you kidding me? Expanding the definition of arts participation is all well and good until we start talking about arts organizations’ reliance on public and private dollars for survival. Buying stock in Apple is not aiding in keeping the arts thriving.

These numbers are astonishing and scary for artists, arts administrators, city planners, tourism bureaus, and arts enthusiasts who are employed by government or arts organizations. Arts are the heartbeats of cities, but citizens don’t seem to realize it. Cut arts funding and you have a trickle down effect that could eliminate millions of jobs, not only at arts organizations, but also schools, universities, and in the hospitality and service industries.  The NEA is supposed to release another report in January on the reasons people gave for decreased attendance. I’m sure the usual suspects such as no money and no time will appear, but I’ll be interested to see what reasons people gave. Until then I guess we should go about, unconcerned.


Everyone is mad that Miss America is Indian American

Everyone can get over it.

Nina Davuluri aka Miss New York is the new Miss America. She was born and raised in the USA, which makes her American with Indian descent. This whole controversy just goes to show that when people think American they think white, and that anyone who is not white is considered “other,” and therefore not American. We need to do better. Congratulations Miss America!

Here are some articles about it:

I can’t wait til they interview her on The View!

I also hope that she will have a cameo on The Mindy Project. (is that a  racist hope?) 

I’m watching Season 1 of “The Newsroom…”

…and I am incredibly underwhelmed by the way the women characters have been written. In such a typically WASP-y way, all of the men are intelligent and reasonable, and all of the women can’t use their brains on account of being too emotional. All of the women on this show are educated and in positions of power at the network for which they work. We have anchors, writers, bookers, researchers, associate producers, executive producers, and board members. However, all of them are so emotionally driven that they can’t move up in their careers, be happy in love, or hold their liquor. And how do they cope with a rough day at work? Ice cream, white wine, and crying of course. I am so surprised/upset by the portrayal of women on The Newsroom because HBO normally writes such complex women characters. And not only are these women simple, they are stuck in a script where nothing happens and everyone is a narcissist. I’m going to try to stick with watching the show. Hopefully it gets better…