Education and Research

The Yoruba Arts Foundation along with several other groups is participating in a study by the University of Chicago’s Cultural Policy Center to measure community participation in arts programming.  We believe that a study such as this recognizes changing demographics and the diversity of particular cultural forms in how the arts are created and consumed. The goals of the study are stated below as described in their proposal:

Goals:  The term arts participation in public discourse is often used to mean attendance, and specifically at a quite limited set of arts events.  Until very recently, the National Endowment for the Arts’ Survey of Public Participation in the Arts has solely focused on attendance at seven benchmark measures of arts participation: jazz, classical music, opera, musical theater, non-musical theater, ballet and art museums.  Self-identified African Americans and Hispanics consistently report the lowest rates of participation across these limited, but commonly used, measures of arts participation.

We are interested in expanding the traditional survey questions used to capture and measure arts participation by (1) exploring multiple modes of arts participation, including personal artistic creation and creating, consuming, and engaging with art online; and (2) exploring artistic and culturally creative activities that are meaningful to ethnic minority communities, including the social and physical settings for these activities (i.e. in the home, places of worship, etc.).  We are interested in learning whether using a broader definition of cultural participation in survey research about the arts will affect participation rates for demographic groups that have been traditionally under-represented.  Our project is designed as a small pilot study, but one that we believe carries significant cultural policy implications.