Do individuals who attend the arts support public funding of the arts? Evidence from England and the USA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper studies the way social position, esthetic dispositions, and arts attendance are associated with attitudes on cultural policy. Three main research questions are addressed. First, do similar characteristics of social position shape arts attendance and attitudes toward public funding of the arts? Second, does arts attendance influence opinions on public funding of the arts? Third, do esthetic dispositions influence attitudes toward public funding of the arts? These questions are addressed using survey data from the USA and from England. Findings suggest that the answer to the first question is: no, individuals of the upper class, with higher income, and white are not necessarily in favor of public funding of the arts. The answer to the second question is: yes, those who attend the arts tend to support state funding of the art and museum goers are in particular in favor of such subsidies. The answer to the third question is: yes, individuals who are predisposed to appreciate art are more supportive of public funding. These findings are not uniform across the countries. There are interesting differences between the USA and England that could be linked to the different landscapes of cultural policy in those countries. The results are interpreted in the context of the affinity between arts attendance and distinctive social and cultural orientations, and the way these associations depend on the cultural policy model employed in each context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author thanks the reviewers for their helpful comments and Guillermo Huberman for research assistance. This research was supported by a grant from the Edelstein Foundation for Population Studies at the University of Haifa.


  • arts funding
  • consumption
  • cultural policy
  • cultural stratification
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Do individuals who attend the arts support public funding of the arts? Evidence from England and the USA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this