Arts & Culture: Community Connections

Research Report

Arts & Culture: Community Connections

Contributions from New Survey Research
June 28, 2002


The community connections of people who participate in arts and culture are a potential resource for community organizers, funders and policymakers who are seeking ways to strengthen communities. When community builders recognize arts and cultural participation as a form of civic participation and as a potential path of engagement to other forms of civic participation, new possibilities for engaging people take shape. Arts and cultural events attract people in ways that some other types of community activities do not, and they attract people who might not participate in other types of community activities. For example, arts and cultural events are central to how people celebrate their heritage in many ethnic groups and are thus a tool for community organizing in communities where such celebrations are valued. Also, the "community connectors" who are natural marketers of arts and culture can be natural marketers of other forms of civic participation as well. These people represent a bridge between the arts and cultural sector and community builders because they are active in both worlds.

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