10/30/2018 12:45:00 AM

Alabamians Speak Out About the Arts in 2018

      Montgomery, ALA - Americans for the Arts, a leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America has released Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018, one of the largest national public opinion surveys of American perceptions and attitudes towards the arts and arts funding. The new research demonstrates that Americans continue to be highly engaged in the arts and believe more strongly than ever that the arts promote personal well-being, help us understand other cultures, are essential to a well-rounded education, and that government has an important role in funding the arts.

      According to Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the arts, “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 American public understands that, even in challenging times, the arts make our communities healthier, stronger, and more vibrant. The survey also makes clear that positive attitudes and opinions toward the arts have intensified in recent years when compared to results from 2015.”

      A national sample of 3,023 adults were polled online by Ipsos in May 2018 on topics such as the importance of arts education, support for government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, and personal and community benefits that come from engaging in the arts. The last public opinion poll by Americans for the Arts was conducted in 2015.

Key findings from Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018 include:

      Alabamians show overwhelming support for arts education across all education levels.

·        77 percent believe the arts in Alabama help students perform better academically.

·        Nine in ten adults from Alabama think it is important for students to receive an education in the arts, including dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts. This remains true whether asked about elementary school (93 percent), middle school (93 percent), or high school (92 percent) education. 

      Government funding for the arts in Alabama is viewed favorably. 

·        Alabama residents agree that the arts have a social impact and improve the quality and livability of their community (73 percent) and that the arts industry is good for the economy and support jobs (71 percent).

·        In Alabama, there is a consensus when it comes to how the arts impact tourism, with eight-in-ten adults in agreement that the arts attract travelers and are good for tourism (83 percent).

      Donna Russell, Executive Director of the Alabama Arts Alliance stated, “Research shows that Arts education enables all children from all backgrounds to have a more level playing field. Years of research show that arts education is connected to everything that we say we want for our children and expect from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.”

      The Alabama State Council on the Arts sees this report as confirming assessments regarding the positive impact of the arts in Alabama and how its citizens support and welcome the quality of life that the arts bring to all.

      The Alabama State Council on the Arts is the official state arts agency of Alabama. The staff of the Council, directed by Al Head, administers the grants programs and provides financial assistance in arts planning and programming. The Council receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

      For Additional information, please contact: Barbara Reed, Public Information Officer at (334) 242-5153 or by email: barbara.reed@arts.alabama.gov.