New Data Alert: Arts Basic Survey, 2020, United States

social distancing in a movie theater

The National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture (NADAC), a data repository funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), is pleased to announce the release of data from the 2020 Arts Basic Survey (ABS). The public-use data and documentation files are freely available for download and online analysis on the NADAC website.


About the ABS: The Arts Basic Survey (ABS) is an annual survey jointly produced by the Arts Endowment’s Office of Research & Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. It is conducted as a supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) and consists of responses from two sets of survey questionnaires, the basic CPS and a supplement survey on the topic of public participation in the arts in the United States.


The ABS captures data on American's participation in the arts through attendance at arts events and personal performance and creation of art. The respondent 18 years of age or older and his/her spouse as well as a second randomly selected person and his/her spouse/partner as applicable were asked the supplement questions. The 2020 ABS sample size was 34,995. Questions asked included the following:

  • Do any leisure activities such as working with pottery, ceramics or jewelry, leatherwork, woodwork, or any weaving, crocheting, needlepoint, knitting, or sewing.
  • Play a musical instrument.
  • Perform any acting, dancing, or singing. Take part in any visual artistic activity or creative writing.


About NADAC: The National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture (NADAC) is a repository that facilitates research on arts and culture by acquiring data, particularly those funded by federal agencies and other organizations, and sharing those data with researchers, policymakers, people in the arts and culture field, and the general public. It is one of several topical archives hosted by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the largest social science data archive in the world and part of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, NADAC provides arts-related data and related resources completely free of charge.

Contact: Anna Ovchinnikova

May 20, 2021

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