Arts Participants are More Likely to VOTE!

"American adults who attend art museums, art galleries, or live arts performances are far more likely than non-attendees to vote, volunteer, or take part in community events."

Art-Goers in Their Communities: Patterns of Civic and Social Engagement, NEA Research Note #98, October 2009

Civic Engagement is Key to a Healthy Community

"The arts impact New Jersey communities in profoundly positive ways from bolstering the economy and creating jobs, to promoting community engagement and civic dialogue on issues of importance to us all."

--Kim Guadagno, Lt. Governor/ Secretary of State

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The Arts are Vital to Civic Engagement

From volunteering to voting, community building to community healing, issue awareness to social action- research shows that the arts engage people in civic life, and people who participate in the arts help foster community vitality in a wide variety of ways. In fact, arts participation can be seen as an indicator of civic and community health.

People who participate in the arts:

George Street Playhouse performing IRL on cyberbullying.

George Street Playhouse performing IRL on cyberbullying.

Concerns about cyberbullying escalated after the New Brunswick community was left reeling over the death the Rutgers student who committed suicide after his gay sexual encounter was streamed over the internet. George Street Playhouse, a NJ State Council on the Arts grantee, recently hosted a "Spotlight on Cyberbullying Conference," for parents and educators to connect and share resources. George Street Playhouse has been providing performances to local schools on cyberbullying for the last two school years with a play they commissioned, IRL: In Real Life. Performed for hundreds of school children each year, the play is about four ninth graders who share text messages, exploited secret photos and threatening online conversations. Each performance includes a post-performance discussion. Listen here to a podcast about IRL: In Real Life.

Learn More with Quick Links:

Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement in America. John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

For stories and examples of the arts boosting civic engagement, click here

Arts and Civic Engagement: A Tool Kit from Animating Democracy. Washington, DC: Americans for the Arts. 2009

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