Americans Speak Out About The Arts in 2018: An In-Depth Look at Perceptions and Attitudes About the Arts in America


Research Abstract
Americans Speak Out About The Arts in 2018: An In-Depth Look at Perceptions and Attitudes About the Arts in America

Americans Speak Out About The Arts in 2018 is the second in a series of national public opinion surveys about the arts (the first was conducted in 2015). The poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs (the third largest survey research firm in the world) on behalf of Americans for the Arts during the week of May 9-16, 2018. To ensure precision in the findings, a sample of 3,023 adults were interviewed online (by way of comparison, the typical national political poll has a sample size of just 1,000 adults). The accuracy of Ipsos online polls has a credibility interval of ±2.0 percentage points.

The arts are a fundamental component of a healthy society—one that provides benefits to the individual, community, and the nation:

  • Aesthetic: The arts create beauty and preserve it as part of culture.
  • Creativity: The arts encourage creativity, a critical skill in a dynamic world.
  • Expression: Artistic work lets us communicate our interests and visions.
  • Identity: Arts goods, services, and experiences help define our culture.
  • Innovation: The arts are sources of new ideas, futures, concepts, and connections.
  • Preservation: Arts and culture keep our collective memories intact.
  • Prosperity: The arts create millions of jobs and enhance economic health.
  • Skills: Arts aptitudes and techniques are needed in all sectors of society and work.
  • Social Capital: We enjoy the arts together, across races, generations, and places.

The arts are significant to American life and there are many studies that document the social, educational, and economic impacts of the arts on communities. What makes this study different is that it measures the perspective of the public’s (1) personal engagement in the arts as audience and creator, (2) support for arts education and government arts funding, (3) opinions on the personal and well-being benefits that come from engaging in the arts, and (4) how those personal benefits extend to the community.

Americans are highly engaged in the arts and believe more strongly than ever that the arts promote personal well-being, help us understand other cultures in our community, are essential to a well-rounded K-12 education, and that government has an important role in funding the arts.


Americans for the Arts
September 2018

Americans for the Arts
1000 Vermont Ave., NW 6th Floor
DC, 20005