Arts Attendance and National Endowment for the Arts Grantmaking in 2017

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Nationwide arts participation, as partly enabled through NEA funding, contributes to the cultural and economic vitality of the United States. The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, measures the economic activity of arts and cultural industries. Based on 2015 data, the most recent report states contributions to the U.S. economy from the following selected arts industries:

  • Independent artists, writers, and performers: $22 billion 
  • Performing arts companies: $17.8 billion
  • Performing arts presenters: $10.5 billion
  • Sound recordings: $14.9 billion

Dance 

  • Attendance: 
    • In 2017, 6.3% of U.S. adults (15.2 million people) attended a dance performance other than ballet, an increase of .7 percentage points from 2012. The rate of change or the percentage of adults attending this discipline(s) grew 12.5% from 2012. 
    • In 2017, 3.1% of U.S. adults (7.6 million people) attended a ballet performance, an increase of .4 percentage points from 2012. The rate of change or percentage of adults attending ballet grew 14.8% from 2012. 
  • NEA funding of all dance projects including ballet and other dance forms in 2017: $4.2 million 
  • Non-profit dance companies contributed $573 million to the U.S. economy in 2015.

Museums

  • Attendance: 
    • In 2017, 23.7% of U.S. adults (57.5 million people) visited a museum or art gallery, representing an increase of 2.7 percentage points from 2012. The rate of change or the percentage of adults who visited a museum or art gallery increased 12.9% from 2012.
  • NEA funding of museum projects in 2017: $3.9 million 
  • For-profit and non-profit museums contributed $5.3 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015.

Music 

  • Attendance: 
    • In 2017, 8.6% of U.S. adults (21 million people) attended a classical music performance
    • In 2017, 8.6% of U.S. adults (21.1 million people) attended a jazz concert
  • NEA funding of music projects in 2017 including classical and jazz: $5.7 million 
  • Non-profit symphonies and chamber ensembles contributed $1.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015.
    • Non-profit music groups and artists (including rock, country, and jazz bands and artists) contributed $385 million to the U.S. economy in 2015.

Theater

  • Attendance: 
    • In 2017, 16.5% of U.S. adults (40.2 million people) attended a musical theater performance.
    • In 2017, 9.4% of U.S. adults (22.9 million people) attended a non-musical play.
  • NEA funding of theater projects in 2017 including musical theater and plays: $7.4 million 
  • Non-profit theater companies contributed $6.4 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015.