Age and Arts Participation: A Case Against Demographic Destiny

There is a rumor that one can tell an individual's likelihood of participating in art by his or her age. And according to Mark Stern, it is little more than that: a rumor. A report by the National Endowment of the Arts acknowledges that while there is a small statistical relationship between age and arts participation (with middle-aged adults more likely to be involved in arts than either the youth or older adults), the relationship is modest at best. "Knowing someone's age or year of birth provides very little power in explaining his or her level of arts participation. In this specific sense, age does not seem to matter," writes Stern.
Grantmakers in the Arts Reader, February 2011

Written By: Mark J. Stern

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