Hearts and Minds: The Arts and Civic Engagement

Nick Rabkin

The James Irvine Foundation asked Nick Rabkin to take a close look at links between arts and civic engagement. As Nick reports from his wide-ranging study, there is ample evidence of compelling connections. The headline is that people who participate in arts, especially those who go beyond traditional arts audience experiences, are more likely to be active in their communities and to be making a difference in the lives of others.

All arts nonprofits, not only those in the New California Arts Fund, have natural advantages in helping people achieve new levels of understanding, empathy, and adaptation — critical capacities for acceptance and connection across class, race, heritage, or immigration status. Nick Rabkin’s study shows that, for many, arts experiences fuel civic engagement, enabling people to apply these levers for greater good.

Source: Report Foreward