Earlier this fall, we conducted an online survey on arts participation in greater New Haven. More than 300 individuals responded. Not surprisingly, many of the respondents are arts mavens, individuals who self- identified as arts supporters (51%), artists (36%), and arts professionals (26%).
Some highlights of the findings:
Over 90% of respondents rate the New Haven region as either a good or excellent place to live. 96% believe that New Haven has a vibrant arts and culture scene and 98% think that arts and cultural activities make New Haven a better place to live and work.
When asked about the types of arts activities they participated in within the past year
77% attended an art exhibit
75% attended a live musical concert
70% attended a live theater performance
Arts education is valued by this group of people. Those respondents who are parents, responded that their children have taken courses in music (62%), visual art (51%), and dance (45%).
When asked about a recent arts event that made a significant impression on them, the responses covered a wide range of experiences—Van Gogh at Yale Art Gallery, Long Wharf’s production of The Bluest Eye, courtyard concerts at the International Festival, jazz at Firehouse 12, Passion Play at Yale Rep, the Westville Art Walk, even our own Arts Awards luncheon. While most responses were from an audience perspective, some people mentioned learning experiences—Flamenco lessons, a sculpture class at CAW. Others noted the experience as participant, such as singing the Brahm’s Requiem as part of a large choral ensemble.
New Haven is perceived as a good place for artists. 95% responded that there’s an active artist community here. 87% indicated that New Haven is supportive of artists.
We also asked about what’s lacking in the arts in New Haven. Among the most frequently mentioned missing assets were more venues for live music, particularly blues and jazz; the need for more commercial galleries; and contemporary dance. Several individuals lamented the loss of the New Haven Film Festival.
And finally, why don’t folks participate in more arts activities? Lack of time (75%) and money (44%) were the main reasons.