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Research Into Action: Pathways to New Opportunities

Research into Action: Pathways to New Opportunities offers specific insights into how the Philadelphia region's diverse population engages with the arts. The report also provides strategies for cultural organizations looking to build stronger audience connections.

"Despite the economic challenges facing cultural organizations, our research still reveals excellent prospects for expanded audience participation," said Peggy Amsterdam, former President of the Cultural Alliance. "Steps to success will be different for every organization, but the focus needs to be on engaging people in a meaningful and personal experience."

Highlights from the report include:

  • The importance of non-white audiences: African-Americans and Hispanics report the highest level of cultural activity, a compelling finding as virtually all population growth through 2020 in the region will come from non-white residents. 
  • The importance of children and families: Adults with children have more active creative lives than those without children, but less than half see arts organizations as “children-friendly.” 
  •  Our bucket is leaking: In 18 of 20 cultural disciplines, Greater Philadelphia’s attendance levels are above the national average, but in a study of 17 cultural organizations, 2 out of 3 new patrons did not return to any of those cultural organizations the following year. 
  • Role models are powerful: Adults who report having had mentors inside and outside their families were twice as culturally engaged as those who had no role models.