Survey of Public Participation in the Arts 2008 [United States]

Study Summary

Produced By: National Endowment for the Arts, 2008, Washington, D.C.

Author: National Endowment for the Arts

Abstract (CPANDA): This data set offers information on Americans' participation in the arts, including ballet, opera, plays, museums, and concerts, during 2007. The sixth in a series of national studies on arts participation sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts since 1982, the 2008 SPPA was conducted by the Census Bureau as a supplement to the May 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS). Respondents were asked a core set of questions about their participation in, and frequency of attending, art performances and events in the following categories: jazz music, classical music, opera, musicals, plays (nonmusical), ballet, other dance, art museums, arts-crafts fairs, and historical park/monument sites. The questionnaire also included questions about exposure to the arts via the media, both broadcast and recorded. Other questions measured the amount and type of leisure reading in which respondents engaged in the last year, measured separately for plays, poetry, novels and short stories. A series of questions measured art making and performance. Questions were also asked about training and exposure to the arts, musical and artistic preferences, length of travel to artistic events, school-age socialization in the arts, and computer usage related to artistic information. Although the sample sizes and response rates to the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) are comparatively high, caution should be exercised when attempting to estimate arts participation for small population groups. For example, calculating arts attendance by two demographic characteristics such as age and race will likely yield estimates with high standard errors. Similarly, SPPA sample sizes determine which states and metropolitan areas for which arts participation can be estimated with confidence. For researchers interested in calculating arts participation for states, sample sizes are considered sufficiently large for the following: Alabama; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Iowa; Kansas; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Nebraska; Nevada; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Texas; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; and Wyoming. At the metro area, SPPA sample sizes support the calculation of arts participation for the following 2008-defined metro areas: Boston-Worchester-Manchester; Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City; Dallas-Fort Worth; Denver-Aurora-Boulder; Detroit-Warren-Flint; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside; Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Miami Beach; New York-Newark-Bridgeport; Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland; San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland; and Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia. For 2008 SPPA estimates by region, please see NEA Research Report #49, available at Additionally, the SPPA is a complex sample that employs statistical clustering. The 2008 SPPA, for example, had an overall average design effect of 2.9. For more information about the survey design and the calculation of standard errors, please see the NEA’s 2008 SPPA data users guide, available at

Methodology (CPANDA) : The sample was selected using a stratified multi-stage design and drawn from Census Bureau population counts. All non-institutionalized adults living in the U.S. were eligible. Rather than attempt to interview all adults in the household, the 2008 SPPA randomly sampled adults in selected households, and accespted proxy responses for spouses or partners. The Current Population Survey is an on-going national household sample survey of about 60,000 eligible households every month.

Citation Requirement: Users of CPANDA data collections are requested to acknowledge these sources by means of bibliographic citations in the footnotes, endnotes or reference apparatus of publications.

Deposit Requirement: Users of CPANDA data collections are requested to forward citations or copies of publications resulting from analysis of CPANDA data collections to the archive.

Access Conditions (CPANDA): For detailed information about conditions for use of CPANDA data collections, please see the End User Agreement posted on the CPANDA web site.

Cite the Study or Data Set [APA format]

National Endowment for the Arts. 2008. SURVEY OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE ARTS 2008 [MRDF]. Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Arts [producer]. Princeton, NJ: Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive [distributor].

Cite the Codebook [APA format]

National Endowment for the Arts. 2008. SURVEY OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE ARTS 2008 [codebook file]. CPANDA ed. Princeton, NJ: Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive [producer and distributor].