Americans for the Arts Previews National Survey on Arts Attitudes, Perceptions in America

Friday, June 15, 2018

Today at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch announced the completion of a new in-depth study of American perceptions and attitudes towards the arts and arts funding. Americans Speak out About the Arts in 2018 is an update of the study by the same name published in 2016.

We are better people with the arts in our lives. We are healthier, more creative, and actively engaged citizens who feel better about today and more optimistic about tomorrow. In a society struggling to find equity and social justice, the survey suggests the American public understands that, even in challenging times, the arts make our communities healthier, stronger, and more vibrant.

Lynch revealed three highlights of the study during his State of the Arts speech. The full study will be released to the public on Sept. 27.

Note: The full study can now be found here.


73 percent of Americans believe the arts help them understand other cultures better, up 11 percent compared to 2016—a finding that was agreed upon regardless of age, race, and ethnicity.


Not only are the arts a source of personal pleasure to participate in, but 72 percent agree the arts unify our communities, regardless of age, race, and ethnicity.


9 in 10 Americans believe that having arts spaces in their communities improve the quality of life. Related, 86 percent believe that arts spaces are good for local businesses and the economy.


The full study, infographics, and summary reports will be available on the Americans for the Arts website following the Sept. 27 release.

Americans Speak Out About the Arts was conducted for Americans for the Arts by Ipsos Public Affairs—the third largest survey research firm in the world. The survey was conducted online in May 2018. 3,023 adults were polled online on topics such as support for arts education and government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, the personal benefits and well-being that comes from engaging in the arts, and how those benefits extend more broadly to the community. The last Americans for the Arts poll (also conducted with Ipsos) was published in 2016. Those results can be viewed here.