Arts and culture play a significant role in the daily lives of Californians. The state is noteworthy for the avid participation of its people, the diversity and abundance of its arts organizations and the varied regional characteristics of its arts sector. California's regions reflect distinctive populations, participation rates, numbers and types of arts and culture organizations, and levels of arts funding.
These points are drawn from a new report, California's Arts and Cultural Ecology, created by Markusen Economic Research for The James Irvine Foundation. The report is based on data gathered from multiple sources describing the California arts and culture sector and public involvement, and includes a detailed technical appendix. Access the full research at www.irvine.org/ArtsEcology.
Presented here in highlight form, this information is intended to guide the approaches of arts and culture leaders, funders and policymakers. It invites further investigation by interested researchers, and offers Californians deeper understanding of how they and their communities fit into the state's arts and culture ecology. Plus, it encourages the growing practice of integrating arts into initiatives in education, housing, health care and other areas of community well-being.
The research featured here affirms, and extends well beyond, the economic benefits of arts and culture. It sheds new light on the role of this sector in the lives of Californians, illustrating its significance to people and communities throughout the nation's most-populated and diverse state.
A note on participation. As new data sets and measures become available, future studies can more fully describe participation by including emerging ways people experience arts and culture, for example, through digital technology and via online communities. They may also further distinguish forms of deep engagement; for example, making art and practicing cultural traditions, versus attending events or exhibits.