Denver Performing Arts Survey Results
5/19/08 / Geoff Urland
The survey we recently completed for the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs has received two nice write ups in the local press after a great public presentation of the results by DOCA director Dr. Erin Trapp.
This extensive survey of Denver residents consisted of 814 interviews with residents, including 205 with self-identified African Americans and 204 with self-identified Latino Denverites. The final survey answers for the entire city were demographically weighted to ensure they are representative of the population of Denver.
The results show both positives and negatives for the performing arts in Denver. Primary among the positives is that 80 percent of residents are interested in live performing arts performances and a good number actually attend them, as within the past year 58 percent attended live theater, 41 percent went to a festival, 34 percent saw a live musical concert, and 11 percent attended a dance performance.
To read more about the results and their implications for performing arts in Denver click over to the Denver Post article* or to the article in the Rocky Mountain News. In addition, DOCA has released selected findings from the survey into a report available on the Denver City website.
*The Denver Post article begins “You can’t always trust surveys commissioned by people with a vested interest in the results.” We completely agree! When consuming data and survey results, you always need to be aware of who commissioned the research, who completed the research, and how they carried it out. And when you conduct research, this is why it is important to have someone (like us!) who is aggressively neutral, ethically unimpeachable, and methodologically sound.
Erica, thanks for the kind words , and thanks for being the first person to comment on our brand new blog!
The 48 percent of those aged 65 and over who’d prefer to watch performing arts “virtually” was a surprise to me too. However, it’s still less than half of that age group, and I would suspect that it has less to do with preference for the virtual media and more about other external factors like ticket prices, no one to go with (which was a driver of attendance across age and racial/ethnic groups), safety concerns, or mobility or sensory limitations.
As for your question about oversight of the results, it’s very rare that a client prepares their own report – less than 1 percent of the time, based on our past history. In this case, the client had a strong background in survey research, and significant portions of this report came from an informal report that we prepared. Nonetheless, we firmly believe that the data we collect, analyze, and report on belongs to the client who pays for our services (which is why you haven’t seen an avalanche of “Corona’s Greatest Analytic Hits” on here as of yet), so they can conduct further analysis without consulting us if they wish.
That said, however, if a client ever did misrepresent data or research findings, I believe that we would protest LOUDLY. Protest not only because they would be trading on our good name for deception (thereby tarnishing us in the process), but also because it’s just the right thing to do. And (strangely for an office disproportionately full of lefthanders) we like to do the right thing at Corona.
Good luck on your case study!