A review of “Inspecting Carol” showed up on the T-D website yesterday and the review of “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is in today’s paper. Which is all great.
But right now I’m more transfixed by something else I’m reading. A comprehensive survey of Richmond arts patrons was done earlier this year and the results have been published by the firm Wolf Brown as the Richmond Cultural Census and are available online.
Not to be too overbearing about this but every arts professional in town should read this report. Of particular interest are the sections on live theater – and the news is NOT good. Here are two significant quotes from the report:
“Attending live stage plays or musical theatre productions was cited as “a vital activity” by less than 10% of all respondents and another 44% said that they ‘enjoy it occasionally’, a significantly lower proportion than expected based on previous cultural census studies in other cities.”
“The real story here, however, is the low percentage of respondents who cite going to stage plays and musicals as vital activities. In other areas, we have seen these figures as high as 20% to 25% 'vital activity.'"
I have to let this sink in a little bit since it contradicts many of my suppositions about theater in Richmond. I’ll probably have more cogent responses in a couple of days as these facts and figures rattle around my brain (and as I finally put to bed my graduate school paper). In the meantime, I’d be interested in what you all think out there in the blog-o-sphere.