Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies - A Program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Arts Exposure of Children in the Silicon Valley

As part of the Creative Community Index: Survey of Silicon Valley Residents [2002], parents of children between 5 and 17 years old were asked a series of questions regarding their children's exposure to arts and culture. In addition, researchers measured the attitudes of all survey respondents, whether parents or not, toward childhood arts exposure.

What is the state of arts instruction for children in Santa Clara County?

The Creative Community Index found that residents of Santa Clara County, California almost universally (94%) supported arts education as a requirement for school children. In addition, nearly every parent surveyed (96%) agreed that arts education classes should be required for all school children. However, in the 12 months prior to the survey, only 76% of households with school-aged children had even one child who took lessons in art, dance, theater, or music, either privately or in school. The difference between the percentage of parents who supported arts education (96%) and the percentage whose children received arts education (76%) suggests that the arts education needs of children in Santa Clara County were being underserved at the time of the survey.

Are Santa Clara County children participating in arts and cultural events?

In addition to measuring arts instruction, the researchers asked parents of school-aged children whether any of their children had attended a museum or a live performance in the prior 12 months. If a child in their household had attended such an event, they were then asked whether they had attended with family, a school group, a religious group, or some other organized group.

In most households with school-aged children, at least one child had attended an arts or cultural event such as visiting a museum (88%) or attending a live performance (77%). The majority of parents whose children attended museums stated that their children attended with a school group (87%), but families also played a large role (49%) in taking children to museums. Parents whose children attended live performances stated in similar proportions that their children were accompanied by school groups (60%) and by the family (65%). With regard to both museums and live performances, less than 10% reported attendance with religious groups and 1% (n=1) reported attendance with other organized groups. It is important to note that these percentages are not necessarily indicative of individual children; the questions tracked only whether any child in the household had attended a museum or a live performance.

Bar Graph: Children's arts and cultural participation in Santa Clara County. (Source: Creative Community Index: Survey of Silicon Valley Residents 2002)

Data from Creative Community Index: Survey of Silicon Valley Residents [2002] are available to all users through CPANDA's Quick Analysis tool.


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