National Endowment for the Arts Research Agenda – FY 2022-2026
For the past decade, the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) Office of Research & Analysis has conducted, commissioned, or otherwise supported studies about the value and impact of the arts. The NEA has performed this function while working with other federal agencies to collect and report descriptive statistics about individual components of the arts ecosystem. This ecosystem, and research topics and questions surrounding it, previously have been mapped in two consecutive five-year research agendas.
For the present research agenda, the agency will rely more heavily than in the past on two award mechanisms—Research Grants in the Arts and NEA Research Labs—for the design and conduct of studies addressing priority research topics through the social and behavioral sciences. In fiscal years 2022-2026, these topics and questions are:
1) What are measurable impacts of the arts on the following outcome areas: health and wellness for individuals; cognition and learning; and U.S. economic growth and innovation? Under what conditions do such impacts occur, through what mechanisms, and for which populations and/or sectors?
2) In what ways do the arts contribute to the healing and revitalization of communities? What factors mediate these contributions, and for the benefit of which populations? What are common elements of such programs or practices, and what are appropriate measures of success?
3) What is the state of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the arts? What progress has been made in achieving these outcomes for arts administration, employment, learning, and participation? What are some promising practices and/or replicable strategies in these domains, and what are appropriate markers of success?
4) How is the U.S. arts ecosystem (e.g., arts organizations and venues, artists and arts workers, and participants and learners) adapting and responding to social, economic, and technological changes and challenges to the sector, including trends accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic? What are promising practices and/or replicable strategies for responding to such forces, for different segments of the arts ecosystem?
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