They do it more in the bush

Researchers have confirmed that yet another piece of common observation is really so. Country folk sing and dance together more than city folk.

And along with this revelation, comes another reminder of the definitional hoops we are constantly being expected to jump through. This time, it’s the faintly dismissive phrase ‘informal arts’, which, in the North American lexicon, lumps together all that happens away from the gaze of cultural institutions.

Three days ago, the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts released ‘Come as You Are: Informal Arts Participation in Urban and Rural Communities’. This is Research Note #100 in the NEA’s ongoing search for evidence.

Whether it be ‘formal’ or ‘informal’, the analysers have yet to make the distinction between ‘witnessing’ and ‘making’ or between individual and group – both spectra that I would have thought to be of far more interest and potential impact than attendee dress codes.

Still and all, I guess it’s useful to be reminded that relatively sparse and/or isolated communities aren’t just waiting around for Opera Company to arrive.

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