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Arizonans understand meaning of art, support government funding

A tourist stops to look at a mural of “Searchlight Sally” in downtown Kingman. Arizonans believe the arts improves the quality of life in their communities, according to recent survey.(Photo by Hubble Ray Smith/Daily Miner)

A tourist stops to look at a mural of “Searchlight Sally” in downtown Kingman. Arizonans believe the arts improves the quality of life in their communities, according to recent survey.(Photo by Hubble Ray Smith/Daily Miner)

PHOENIX – A recent survey shows Arizonans have strong feelings about the value and meaning of art in their lives and communities, exceeding national averages.

Arizonans are especially likely to agree (74 percent) that creativity enhances success in the workplace, compared to the national sample (60 percent), according to the Americans for the Arts survey.

Arizonans are also more likely to say their job requires them to be creative, either individually or as part of a team, and come up with ideas that are new or unique (60 percent vs. 55 percent).

Residents voiced strong support for federal, state and local public funding for the arts with 38 percent saying they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the arts.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs during the week of May 9-16, and asked a sample of 3,023 adults across the country and more than 300 Arizonans questions across various arts-related categories.

Other survey results:

• 80 percent believe the arts help students perform better academically (74 percent nationally); 70 percent believe the arts improve healing and the healthcare experience (68 percent nationally), and 54 percent agree the arts are helpful to military personnel transitioning back to civilian life (46 percent nationally.

• Arizona residents stand out as being especially likely to agree that the arts have a social impact and improve the quality and livability of their community (79 percent vs. 71 percent nationally).

• People in Arizona also are more likely to be personally involved in artistic activities as arts makers (63 percent) than American adults nationally (47 percent).

• About half of adults in Arizona think federal spending per person on nonprofit arts organizations is not enough (48 percent), and most disapprove of government proposals to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, including 50 percent who strongly disapprove.

“The responses from Arizonans are particularly heartening and exciting,” said Becky Daggett, interim executive director at the Flagstaff Arts Council. “Arizona enjoys a wealth of creative talent and a wonderful diversity of culture, thought, and artistic traditions. I count Flagstaff as one of the drivers of this creative culture.”

Catherine Foley, executive director of Arizona Citizens for the Arts, said the survey underscores that Arizonans are highly engaged in the arts, which are key to a solid K-12 education.

“Clearly, Arizonans also believe that state and local government has a critical role in funding the arts, and political candidates that support the arts are more likely to earn their vote,” she said.

For more information about Arizona Citizens for the Arts, visit www.azcitizensforthearts.org.

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