Conducted by the international arts consulting firm WolfBrown, and sponsored locally by the non-profit arts marketing and advocacy group ArtsBoston and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, the Audience Outlook Monitor (AOM) is a longitudinal survey to keep tabs on arts attendees thoughts, concerns and intentions as the pandemic — and the state’s reopening guidelines — evolve.
The pandemic has been devastating for arts organizations hit from all sides. The survey proves what we know arts organizations and artists are already grappling with — it’s going to be a long road back and it won’t be an easy one. Pre-COVID, the cultural sector brought $2 billion of direct and secondary annual economic impact to Greater Boston. The arts employed as many people as the pre-pandemic retail industry, and kept the city a vibrant place to live, work and visit. In the past, arts goers outnumbered sports fans four times over. And arts visitors spent more money in restaurants, retail stores and other places than any other category of tourist.
We are an industry that is critical to the state’s economic comeback and overall emotional recovery.
More than 3,000 Boston-area arts goers from 16 Boston cultural organizations were surveyed in June 2020. Phase One has been completed and the results are in.
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Specific survey questions include:
ArtsBoston is deploying the survey bi-weekly to its email list of local arts attendees starting on May 15. In addition, ArtsBoston is supporting the participation of a cohort of 15 arts organizations of varying genres/sizes, which will deploy the survey to their patrons in June, August and October. Results will be analyzed and shared in comparison to other participating cities, including Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, as well as regionally to provide a local, real-time lens.
Many thanks to the City of Boston, Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture for its support of the cohort participation.