No Touching, Just Reaching Out: Cultural Nonprofits amid COVID-19
“Culture Track, a tracking survey from the agency LaPlaca Cohen, showed promising insights for potential program development. From 122,000 completed surveys, 40 percent of respondents who engaged with art museum’s digital content hadn’t visited in person museums over the past year.
“A working hypothesis,” said Arthur Cohen, founder and CEO of LaPlaca Cohen, in Museum Magazine, “is that digital might remove the ‘threshold’ from ‘threshold fear’—that is, digital content overcomes perceptual and other barriers that have kept people from physically crossing the threshold of the museum. This could be because they do not feel invited or included, or they do not see other people like themselves participating.”” Read more.
Nonprofit Quarterly | November 13, 2020
The Pandemic is Transforming The Arts—and It’s Not All Bad News
“…Most striking, perhaps, is the diversity of new audiences. Digital events, many free of charge, are attracting people from lower income groups. Audiences are skewing younger and have different levels of education. Many of those enjoying digital arts offerings had not visited an arts institution in the previous year, meaning they were considered new audience members, now hungry for artistic stimulation.
There were other examples of this diversity. For example, those taking in digital orchestra performances who had not attended a live concert in the previous year were 15 times more likely to be Black, and three times more likely to be from Gen Z, ages 18 to 23 years old, than those who had attended a performance. Of the people viewing digital content from art museums, those who had not visited a museum in the previous year were almost twice as likely to have a high school education or less than those who had visited.” Read more.
Wallace Blog | November 12, 2020
2020 Challenges Lead to Changes at Art Museums
“[Goeser] cited a Culture Track survey conducted earlier this year where more than 120,000 cultural consumers in all 50 states responded to questions about “the role and future of culture and the arts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
A key finding indicated that many people were hungry for meaningful dialogue around cultural connections. “People are longing for that, but finding it hard to come by,” Goeser said.” Read more.
Next Avenue | October 22, 2020
What We Need from The Arts Right Now
“As arts organizations around the country plan to reopen, strategists and researchers at LaPlaca Cohen and Slover Linett have teamed up on a research initiative to help arts leaders understand what audiences want and expect from organizations during the pandemic—and how organizations can address the hopes, fears and needs of people as they consider returning. The new study, Culture Track: Culture and Community in a Time of Crisis, based on responses from more than 120,000 survey respondents, sheds light on the current cultural landscape.
We caught up with Jen Benoit-Bryan, vice president & co-director of research at Slover Linett Audience Research and Diane Jean-Mary, partner and chief strategy officer at LaPlaca Cohen, over email to learn more about the implications of the study and how people might look to it for guidance.” Read more.
Wallace Blog | September 9, 2020
CI TO EYE WITH ARTHUR COHEN: A Massive Survey about the Arts in 2020 America
“Dive into data with the latest CI to Eye podcast episode. Arthur Cohen, Founder and CEO of LaPlaca Cohen, explores the findings from a new survey of more than 120,000 people to understand how the arts and culture fit into the lives of Americans during these uncertain times.” Listen here.
Capacity Interactive | August 20, 2020
What Does the Public Want From Art in a Post-COVID World? Here Are 5 Takeaways From a Massive New Study
“In what’s billed as one of the largest arts and culture studies ever done in the US, the new report “Culture and Community in a Time of Crisis” has surveyed some 124,000 people to take a look at their thoughts on the role of culture in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results don’t look good, but it’s good data to look at, to get a sense of the challenges the sector faces.
“The survey was conducted by the marketing and research firms LaPlaca Cohen and Slover Linett between April 29 and May 19, so the “crisis” of its title does not capture the nationwide surge of racial justice protest that has coursed through the country in the last few weeks.” Read more.
Artnet | July 8, 2020
How Boston Art Museums Are Planning Their COVID-19-Safe Reopenings
“Some of the most concerning unknowns revolve around people’s readiness to return to museums. The directors hope to get some answers through a new national survey from the cultural strategy advisory firm LaPlaca Cohen in New York.
“CEO Arthur Cohen said one of the seminal questions to participants is, ‘What are the key factors that will most impact your decision to participate again?'” Read more.
WBUR | May 18, 2020
Minneapolis Institute of Art aims for 'surprise and delight' with new escape room app
“Five years back, museums were trotting out slick new apps, trying to draw younger audiences. But these days, museums are being smarter about how they deploy such technology, drawing it closer to their collections and people to one another.
“Audiences want technology — especially at museums, a 2017 Culture Track report shows. About 81 percent of those surveyed said they’d welcome digital experiences at art and design museums, according to the national report by New York marketing firm LaPlaca Cohen, which studies cultural consumers’ attitudes and attendance. At the same time, those surveyed also spoke about how analog activities can feel more authentic and less complicated.” Read more.
Star Tribune | November 29, 2018
The Neuroscientist in the Art Museum
“’The fact is, the culture is changing dramatically,’ says Monroe. ‘When asked what people want out of cultural activities today, and this is across all age ranges, the number one priority people want is fun,’ he says, in reference to findings from the 2017 Culture Track study, which listed fun as respondents’ ‘single greatest motivation’ for attending cultural activities. ‘That’s not what we were all thinking about five or six or 10 years ago as the most important criterion for the success of a cultural event or activity, and what fun means is obviously an interesting question,’ he allows, ‘but the whole definition of culture is changing, and the idea that cultural organizations are immune from the incredible changes that are occurring— at dramatically faster speed than ever before— would be incredibly dangerous and naive.'” Read more.
Smithsonian.org | June 19, 2018
From Beyoncé To Bach: Culture Has Democratized And Museums Are Adapting
“‘It’s an awesome party. But it’s an awesome party that can only happen in an art museum,’ Katie Getchell, the MFA’s chief brand officer and deputy director, tells me. ‘They can see performing art. They can look at visual art, they can eat great food, they can drink, they can dance. They can make art. It’s kind of like a feast of all the things we offer all year round.’
“Museums like the MFA know that the definition of culture in the U.S. has drastically changed in less than a decade. The latest findings from Culture Track, one of the largest surveys of cultural audiences in the U.S., show that Americans no longer distinguish between what was once high and low culture. Those categories are obsolete because people want cultural experiences that feel relevant. That could be Drake and Diego Velázquez; Beyoncé and Bach.” Read more.
WBUR | March 28, 2018
What is a 'Cultural Experience' in Minnesota?
“As survey participants describe their motivation for cultural engagement, the top reason is ‘having fun.’ They also are seeking exposure to ideas and personal development. The desire for self-improvement through cultural activities ‘is consistent across.’ Further, a whopping 76 percent of respondents say they engage in cultural events for stress relief.
“Kristin Prestegaard, Mia’s chief engagement officer, says in the previous Culture Track survey, stress relief was something that showed up for millennial audiences on what they’re seeking from cultural experiences. ‘Now, we see that the whole world is stressed out,’ she says. ‘It’s across all the age groups. People want a ‘shoulder-drop moment’; it’s a time when you can just be present where you are.'” Read more.
Twin Cities Business | January 31, 2018
Why this Indianapolis museum wants you to go down to the woods today
“Maggie Hartnick, the managing director of LaPlaca Cohen, stresses that institutions should interpret Culture Track’s data in ways that are relevant to their individual context. ‘It’s important for everyone to understand that for audiences, for better or worse, entertainment is really number one,’ Hartnick says. ‘That doesn’t have to mean that they aren’t shown challenging content.’
“’Excellence and visitation are not necessarily divorced,’ says Julián Zugazagoitia, the director and chief executive of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, another encyclopedic museum with similar demographics to Indianapolis. Annual attendance has risen by 200,000 since he took the helm in 2010, which Zugazagoitia attributes to the overall quality and scholarship of the exhibitions programme as well as an effort to widen access.” Read more.
The Art Newspaper | January 2018
State of the Culture, Part I: Museums, ‘Experiences,’ and the Year of Big Fun Art
“Here’s how that Culture Track study summed up the trends facing museums this year: ‘For today’s audiences, the definition of culture has democratized, nearly to the point of extinction. It’s no longer about high versus low or culture versus entertainment; it’s about relevance or irrelevance. Activities that have traditionally been considered culture and those that haven’t are now on a level playing field.’
“Such cultural flattening echoes the effects of capitalist globalization and information technology on labor markets, where the ‘disruption’ of old ways is pushed as a dogma and local borders no longer defend workers from competition from half a world away.” Read more.
Artnet | December 27, 2017
'Culture Track '17' Finds American Definition of Culture Changing
“It was bound to happen in the pop culture capitol of the world; a vanishing distinction between high- and lowbrow art. In their new Culture Track ’17 study, New York City marketing and design firm LaPlaca Cohen found that the difference between opry and opera has become blurred among American audiences. With so many TV shows and movie options available to the average consumer, theater, opera, dance and the philharmonic have become choices on a menu that might include Star Wars: The Last Jedi or the latest episode of Game of Thrones.” Read more.
The Hollywood Reporter | December 12, 2017
Diversity, making culture “fun” among challenges of Denver arts scene revealed by new survey
“The study noted major shifts in loyalty to arts and culture brands, as well as the way audiences support cultural institutions, in light of the ‘easy, informal’ examples set by crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter. ‘What we’ve found is the definition (of culture) has expanded almost to the point of extinction,’ Hartnick said, adding that a street fair or themed dinner falls under that definition these days.” Read more.
The Denver Post | November 14, 2017
Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrors reignites art's selfie debate
“A recent study by the marketing firm LaPlaca Cohen may stoke the cultural elite’s fears of the fall of western civilization as we know it. According to the research, ‘the definition of culture has democratized’, with participants placing socializing and interactivity as top priorities in cultural activities – putting Caravaggio on the same pedestal as Coachella.” Read more.
The Guardian | November 9, 2017
How Do We Define Culture? A Study Tries to Find Out
“If you’re reading Hyperallergic, you’re already well aware of the importance of culture to society, but what exactly is culture? How do we define it now? And is that definition different from what people would have thought as little as 10 years ago? These are some of the key questions for Culture Track — a survey of Americans’ views and habits in the realm of cultural activities — which made public its 2017 findings in October.” Read more.
Hyperallergic | November 9, 2017
HOW DO WE DEFINE CULTURE?
“Last week I attended the New York reveal of LaPlaca Cohen’s triennial Culture Track survey. Beginning in 2001, Culture Track has been surveying cultural audiences to determine attitudes and behaviors and makes for some really interesting reading. Since its inception, Culture Track has grown in scope and scale, but always has at its core the initial survey in order to track changing attitudes over time. I have to say, the 2017 results were pretty fantastic.” Read more.
Sarah Devine | November 3, 2017
NOTICE: The Response I Give May Only Reflect My Current Preferences
“Perhaps the takeaway is, people are more nuanced than the feedback they are giving you at the moment. Whether it is an audience survey, a comment made on social media, or to the box office a statement should be view as ‘this is how I feel right now, but in other times and situations, my preferences may contradict what I just said.'” Read more.
Butts in Seats | October 18, 2017
Survey: Massive Paradigm Shift Underway In American Culture
“A new study shows that Americans are more loyal to restaurants and retail stores than to cultural organizations, such as museums and theaters. The Culture Track study by marketing agency LaPlaca Cohen also reveals that Americans are changing the way they define culture, and social media has a lot to do with those changes.” Read more.
WSHU Public Radio | October 18, 2017
Is the Museum of Ice Cream the Future of Culture?
“The year is 2027. Your cousins are in town. You want to take them on an entertaining cultural excursion. So you pile into your self-driving car and head out, not to your local art museum—that would be so 2016—but to the Museum of Ice Cream, a grownup theme park custom-made for Instagram.
“Is this the future of American culture? A new study suggests that it might be. Audiences are more likely to view a visit to a street fair as a cultural experience than a trip to the opera or the ballet, according to Culture Track 2017, a report by marketing firm LaPlaca Cohen and research firm Kelton Global. The study’s authors say that the definition of culture—long an avenue of self-cultivation that was synonymous with refinement—has democratized so much that the word may soon hold little significance at all.” Read more.
Artnet | October 18th, 2017
Museums have a Problem with Fun (Data)
“Museums need visitors. Anyone who flips through an annual report or glances on a website can attest to that fact. But, how do you get them there?
“You entice them, of course. But, how do you do that? I can share how I did that. When I used to run programs, I would try to show ‘fun’ through the publicity photos and in the description of the activities. But, saying something was fun always seemed a signal that the experience was anything but. If you need to say is fun, it probably really isn’t.” Read more.
Brilliant Idea Studio | October 17, 2017
Attitudes Toward Arts Groups Shift, With Implications for Fundraising, Report Says
“The definition of a cultural organization has shifted, revealing potential implications for fundraising by arts and cultural nonprofits, according to a study that looked at the changing behaviors of audiences and donors. For example, more than one-third of those who visited an art museum did not consider the experience cultural, and more than 50 percent of theatergoers had the same response, according to the report. Respondents were more likely to regard a street fair or dining experience as a cultural event, as opposed to a performance of opera or ballet.” Read more.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy | October 17, 2017
37% of Art Museum Visitors Don’t View Them as Culture—and Other Takeaways from the 2017 Culture Track Report
“What do you picture when you think of a ‘cultural experience’? The white walls of a museum? The high ceilings of an opera house? The flashing lights of Broadway musical marquees?
“In reality, the image Americans have of a cultural experience is dramatically more diverse, according to the 2017 Culture Track report—the seventh iteration of the national tracking survey of cultural audiences, due to be released tomorrow. For many respondents, going to the park or eating at a food truck counts as a cultural experience, while attending a museum does not.” Read more.
Artsy | October 16, 2017