Poll: Nevadans engaged in, supportive of arts
Three quarters of Nevada adults attended a cultural event in the past year and an equal percentage believe the arts improves the quality of life in their communities, according to the poll “Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018.”
The poll also found near unanimous support for arts education in K-12 schools as more than 90 percent of those surveyed saying it’s important at all levels — elementary, middle school and high school.
Seven in 10 Nevadans said that creativity enhances success in the workplace, while 60 percent said their job requires them to be creative, either individually or as part of a team.
The nationwide online poll of 3,023 adults ages 18 and older was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Americans for the Arts. The national sample was supplemented by a “boost sample” from eight states (about 300 people per state), including Nevada. The poll has a credibility interval of ±2 percentage points, and ±6.5 percentage points for the state specific surveys.
“What makes the results of this study so compelling and significant is that it measures Nevada’s perspective on their personal engagement in the arts as audience and creator,” said Tony Manfredi, executive director of the Nevada Arts Council. “It also measures the support of art education and integration into curriculum, the personal and well-being benefits that come from engaging in the arts and how those personal benefits extend into our Nevada communities.”
Nevada closely mirrored or surpassed the national average on most of the poll questions. In general, the poll found Americans are highly engaged in the arts and believe more strongly than ever that the arts promote personal well-being, help people understand other cultures in their communities, are essential to a well-rounded K-12 education and that government has an important role in funding the arts.
Here are additional highlights from the survey:
“The arts provide meaning to our lives.” 69 percent of Americans believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” 73 percent feel the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 81 percent say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
“The arts unify our communities.” The personal benefits of the arts extend beyond the individual to the community. 72 percent believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and 73 percent agree that the arts “helps me understand other cultures better.”
“Most of us seek out arts experiences.” Nearly three-quarters of the adult population (72 percent) attended an arts or cultural event during the previous year, such as the theater, museum, zoo, or a musical performance.
“We experience the arts in unexpected places.” Americans also enjoy the arts in “non-traditional” venues, such as a symphony in the park, a performance in an airport, or exhibitions in a hospital or shopping mall (70 percent).
“There is near universal support for arts education.” 91 percent agree that the arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education. Over 90 percent say students should receive an education in the arts in elementary school, middle school, and high school. 89 percent say the arts should also be taught outside of the classroom in the community.
“We support government arts funding at all levels.” Most Americans approve of arts funding by local government (60 percent), state government (58 percent), federal government (54 percent), and by the National Endowment for the Arts (64 percent).
“We will vote for candidates who increase arts funding.” 53 percent support increasing federal government spending on nonprofit arts organizations (vs. 22 percent against). Americans are twice as likely to vote for a candidate who increases federal arts spending from 45 cents to $1 per person than against one (37 percent vs. 18 percent).
“Cultural institutions add value to our community.” Whether people engage with the arts or not, 90 percent believe cultural facilities (theaters, museums, sculpture parks, neighborhood arts centers) improve quality of life, and 86 percent believe cultural facilities are important to local business and the economy.
“Not everyone in my community has equal access to the arts.” Despite many benefits that the arts bring to individuals and communities, just 50 percent believe that “everyone in their community has equal access to the arts.”
For more information about Ipsos online polling methodology, visit the Public Opinion Polling and Communication page.
The Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, was created as a state agency in 1967. Its mission is to enrich the cultural life of the state through leadership that preserves, supports, strengthens and makes accessible excellence in the arts for all Nevadans. Programs include Artist Services, Arts Learning, Community Arts Development, Folklife and Grants. The NAC has a staff of 11 and offices in Carson City and Las Vegas.