Engaging Art explores what it means to participate in the arts in contemporary society – from museum attendance to music downloading. Drawing on the perspectives of experts from diverse fields (including Princeton scholars Robert Wuthnow and Paul DiMaggio; Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice; and MIT scholars Henry Jenkins and Mark Schuster), this volume analyzes key trends involving technology, audience demographics, religion, and the rise of “do-it-yourself” participatory culture. Commissioned by The Wallace Foundation and independently carried out by the Curb Center at Vanderbilt University, Engaging Art offers a new framework for understanding the momentous changes impacting America’s cultural life over the past fifty years.
This volume offers suggestive glimpses into the character and consequence of a new engagement with old-fashioned participation in the arts. The authors in this volume hint at a bright future for art and citizen art making. They argue that if we center a new commitment to arts participation in everyday art making, creativity, and quality of life, we will not only restore the lifelong pleasure of homemade art, but will likely seed a new generation of enthusiasts who will support America’s signature nonprofit cultural institutions well into the future.