Art museums are one of the vital centers of the visual arts world. Even as museum organizations expand and continually redefine their missions and objectives, museums are still most often based in permanent facilities, and are often closely aligned with the identity of communities. Visiting an art museum is among the basic experiences of elementary arts education, and art museums remain one of the central ways in which the art of the past and present are conveyed.
This indicator estimates the percentage of adults – those 18 and over – that attended art museums in the prior 12 months. It uses data from 2009, 2010, and 2011 from Scarborough Research. It is limited to the 525 counties where Scarborough had data from a minimum of 180 respondents over the three years.
Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 12.46%. Median county indicator value = 11.15%.
Fast Facts from the Arts Index
International cultural tourism proves recession-proof. Arts travelers are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend more. The U.S. Dept of Commerce reports that the percentage of int’l travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown annually since 2003 (17% to 24%), while those including concerts and theater performances have increased five of the past seven years (13% to 17% since 2003).