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Any serious reckoning of how Americans participate in arts and cultural activities must account for demographic and geographic diversity. Prior National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) publications, including the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, already have examined the age, race and ethnicity, gender, and education and income status of arts-goers.

Another way to understand arts participation is by asking where it takes place. Come as You Are: Informal Arts Participation in Urban and Rural Communities is the NEA’s first research publication in several years to examine the “informal arts”—such as playing a musical instrument, attending an art event at a place of worship, or visiting a craft fair. This finding is part of new research from the NEA, announced earlier this during a visit by NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman to Chelsea, Michigan, as part of the NEA’s Art Works Tour. The publication provides an analysis of arts participation in rural and urban areas.

Come as You Are: Informal Arts Participation in Urban and Rural Communities is available in print and pdf on the NEA website.

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