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2010 CEI Methodology

The Cultural Engagement Index (CEI) is an ongoing inclusive measurement of cultural engagement in Greater Philadelphia. Its objectives are to:

  • Stimulate innovation
  • Track engagement over time
  • Inform cultural policy
  • Reinforce culture as a recognized and valued component of a region’s quality of life
  • Expose opportunities for increasing cultural engagement

The survey is conducted at regular intervals to track changes to the index over time. The first Cultural Engagement Index (CEI) survey was conducted during the summer of 2008 and its findings were released in March 2009. This second survey was conducted during the summer of 2010 and its findings were releases in May 2011.

The index, much like the Consumer Price Index or Consumer Confidence Index, was benchmarked the first year at 100. In the first year, the index was based on a consumer survey of approximately 3000 regional residents. Their answers to a series of questions about cultural activity were then scored and weighted, and the aggregate responses set to 100.

In 2010, 3036 surveys were collected in all 202 zip codes within a 20 mile radius of downtown Philadelphia. The survey results are a representative sample of all adults 18+ in Greater Philadelphia. Overall, frequency was stable for most activities from 2008 to 2010 but the importance that respondents placed on those cultural activities increased significantly, helping to drive the index to 111.

The CEI asks questions about audience-based attendance in traditional cultural activities (including attendance at live performing arts, visiting museums, and attending community events), as well as questions on survey respondents’ personal practice activities (including creating music or dance, painting or drawing, writing in journals or blogs, and sharing photos, music or videos online).

The 2010 and 2008 Cultural Engagement Index were conducted by the Cultural Alliance and guided by researcher Alan Brown of the research firm WolfBrown. It includes questions on demographics, cultural activities, arts learning indicators and civic engagement.

Additional information on the methodology is available in the full report.