89.1 WEMU

Art & Soul - The Visual Arts: Culture Track Study On Current Trends In Cultural Participation

Jun 14, 2018

Maggie Hartnick (left) and Omari Rush (right) at the WEMU Studio.
Credit Lisa Barry

As the leader of CultureSource, Omari Rush came across a study done about trends in cultural participation across the country.  He brought some of the people involved with the study to Ann Arbor to talk about some of their findings.

89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Rush and LaPlaca Cohen managing director Maggie Hartnick for this week's Art and Soul.


LaPlaca Cohen works with cultural and creative clients on strategic planning and mission and audience development.

The study is done every 3 years and looks for tracking patterns of cultural audiences and sees what changes and looks for opportunities within those changes.  The study found people are as engaged as ever, possibly even more in cultural activities, but not necessarily devoted to just one institution as they had been in the past.  The research also noted people are very interested in the arts and what social impact they have.

Hartnick said it was surprising to see how imperative it is for audiences to connect with what they are supporting and experiencing and want to know how it is impacting their communities.

Rush says it boils down to "being thoughtful of who is participating in cultural activities and knowing they want to feel trust, kindness and welcome by those activities."

The study also found the number one motivator for participating in a cultural activity was "fun," and participants want to know the cultural activity they are engaging with reflects who they are.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu