Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I blame Guitar Hero

Kidding, of course. Still, it turns out this may not be the best time to plan an unprecedentedly long, 3000-miles-from-home tour for a band that is, to put it kindly, financially unwieldy.

I mean, financial unwieldiness is bad enough. But financially unwieldiness in the middle of a massive economic downturn? Oy.

Anyway, consider:

"There are persistent patterns of decline in participation for most art forms."

"Between 1982 and 2008, attendance at performing arts such as classical music, jazz, opera, ballet, musical theater, and dramatic plays has seen double-digit rates of decline."

"Audiences for jazz and classical music are substantially older than before....Since 1982, young adult (18-24) attendance rates for jazz and classical music have declined the most, compared with other art forms."

I give you my word that I'm not turning to popular music as a reference point for the IJG out of some kind of crass desire for superficial, material success. But with stats like that, could you blame me if I was?

The Greg Sandow piece cited above is well worth reading in its entirety, as is the NEA report it riffs on.

[Photo credit: "The Smile of a Man with a Wild Fan Base," by notsogoodphotography on Flickr.]

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