Creating Connection is informed by a new body of research, including a national survey with oversamples in four geographically diverse locations; focus and discussion groups across the country; one-on-one conversations with leaders of communities of color; and robust dialogue with arts leaders, working artists, and others.

Key Findings

  • Connection is the key reason many people choose to express themselves creatively or engage in creative experiences. They define connection in three ways: with themselves, with people closest to them, and with others around them.

  • “Creative expression” is a more welcoming entry point for a conversation with the public than "arts and culture," which has less relevance and value for most people.

  • People identify four primary benefits of expressing themselves creatively or experiencing something creative: personal growth; health and well-being; sharing and experiencing diverse voices; and happiness.

  • People of color, women, parents of children under 18, and millennials are key groups for whom creative expression and experiences are particularly valued.

  • The “costs” associated with engaging in creative activities (including time and money) are very real for people, and need to be addressed in order to successfully motivate them to seek out such opportunities.

Banner image courtesy of Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC).