Arts Survey Finds Drop in Movie, Museum Attendance

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NEW YORK, NY (AP).- If you haven’t gone to a movie, jazz concert or an art exhibit in recent years, you are in steadily growing company. A new study from the National Endowment for the Arts finds a notable decline in theater, museum and concert attendance and other “benchmark” cultural activities between 2002 and 2008 for adults 18 and older, and a sharper fall from 25 years ago. The drop was for virtually all art forms and for virtually all age groups and levels of education. The NEA‘s senior deputy chair, Joan Shigekawa, listed a few possible reasons: The rise of the Internet; less free time; and cuts in arts classes. “These numbers definitely represent a challenge,” Shigekawa said. Released Thursday, the NEA’s 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts is the sixth such report to come out since 1982, when 39 percent of adults attended a “benchmark arts activity” at least once in the previous year. The percentage peaked at 41