A! Magazine for the Arts

National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals Announced

November 7, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a first-of-its-kind report, Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals finds outdoor arts festivals attract a range of audiences, enhance their communities as creative placemakers, and are a gateway to arts attendance.

"More than 100 million Americans attend arts and cultural festivals each year. It is time that we start to examine these festivals more closely," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. In his message in the report, Landesman encouraged audiences to share their reactions to the survey on the NEA Art Works blog.

Live from Your Neighborhood is the first-ever survey of U.S. outdoor arts festivals. The survey analyzes data from 1,413 outdoor festivals in nearly every state and Washington, DC. The survey reflects a cross-section of outdoor arts festivals in artistic disciplines such as music, visual arts and crafts, dance, folk and traditional arts, theater, literature, and film. Festival audiences, programming, staffing, and finances are also reviewed.

Seven case studies profile a variety of outdoor festivals in large and small communities around the country, such as the Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, Mass. and the Tamejavi Festival in Fresno, Calif.

According to the NEA's Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, arts festivals are one of the most popular arts activities, reflecting the growing demand for informal and interactive arts experiences.