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In response to broad social, economic, and technological trends that have affected the arts environment over the past 15 years, arts organizations are increasingly reaching out to the communities they serve and encouraging individuals to participate in their programs. To successfully increase participation, they must identify and understand their potential audiences and develop programs and marketing approaches that will appeal to them.

To assist in those efforts, this report presents an introduction to the best of the growing body of literature on participation-building. It is not an annotated bibliography that summarizes the contents of specific articles and books; rather, it analyzes the key contributions of the literature and provides lists of the most important books and articles on specific aspects of arts participation.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Summary

  • Acknowledgments

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The Empirical Literature on Participation

  • Chapter Three

    The Theoretical Literature

  • Chapter Four

    The Practitioner Literature

The research described in this report was prepared for Wallace Reader’s Digest Funds and was conducted by RAND Education.

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