Audience Development and some cool arts statistics!

Yesterday the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Section of Statistical Abstract – – came out.  This is the statistics section of the census data that has been collected.  Being the audience development geek I am, I was fascinated by some of the facts and figures.  I ended up tweeting some of the more interesting facts while I was going through this report, section by section.  The arts part of the report goes through page 8.  If you are interested in knowing where we are in terms of arts participation, this report gives us some clues.

The article I found that provided the link to the report stated that there are more people bird watching than going to classical music concerts.  You will not believe what else was found out, although some data proved some of my theories correct.

The following are my tweets that follow each section of the report.  Let me know if you have any comments by replying.

  • Revenue for Museums and Historical is similar to revenue for Amusement Theme Parks (2004-2009)
  • Spectator sports is about twice the revenue of performing arts.
  • Statistics on money spent on reading by age is interesting.  The younger generations does not spend as much money on reading. There is a message for structuring marketing there.
  • Interesting numbers for memberships. For Museums and Libraries, looks like it went up in 2005-2006, but has been steady since then.
  • My question then is: What were museums and libraries doing in 2005-2006 that attracted members?
  • Broadway – playing weeks have gone up, but attendance really hasn’t.
  • Nonprofit theatres – unfortunately the data is structured with more companies reporting and would take calculations to figure out.
  • Opera – less companies reported, less audience is apparent though in relation.
  • Symphony Orchestras – up and down attendance and not in relation to amount of concerts.
  • Females participate more in the arts than males except for purchasing art. Interesting
  • Good for Illinois! Highest allocation for the arts agencies and it had a whopper of an increase from 2010 to 2011.
  • Report proves that younger generations are more hands on – higher % participation statistics as they get younger w/ few exceptions.
  • % High to Low: Reading, Museums, Live Theatre, Art shows, Photography, Other music, Rock, Play instrument., Country, Dance, Classical, Radio
Which facts and figures astonish you?  Which ones did you guess were already true? Which ones need more discussion?

There may be some more interesting data that I missed during my scan of the report. If you catch any important ones to discuss, please do reply in the comment section to get the discussion happening.

Audience development is about building relationships with people.  Just remember though that these numbers are actual people. These numbers can provide some clues, and to me they validate that audience development is vastly needed.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists


“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

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