Cover: The Performing Arts

The Performing Arts

Trends and Their Implications

by Kevin F. McCarthy

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Abstract

This research brief describes work documented in The Performing Arts in a New Era (MR-1367-PCT).

Excerpt: Media coverage of the performing arts in America paints a contradictory picture. On the one hand, the arts appear to be booming: The number of organizations offering live performances continues to grow, Broadway plays and live opera performances are bringing in record audiences, and the demand for commercial recordings is stronger than ever. Other stories, however, focus on theater groups, symphony orchestras, and dance companies that are cutting costs or closing their doors because they are unable to attract the audiences and contributions needed to meet expenses. How can these stories be reconciled? What are the overall trends affecting the performing arts in the last few decades, and what do they imply about the future of arts in America?

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This report is part of the RAND Corporation research brief series. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of a body of published work.

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