Friday, March 23, 2018

64% of Older Americans Create Art

Most older Americans participate in the arts. A study for the National Endowment for the Arts examines arts participation by people aged 55 or older and, using 2014 data from the Health and Retirement Study, determines whether participation is linked to better physical and mental health. It is. Those who participate in the arts and/or attend arts events have higher levels of cognitive functioning and less physical disability than those who do not.

Few older Americans are not involved in the arts. Just 16 percent of people aged 55 or older neither created art nor attended arts events in the past year. Another 20 percent attended events but did not create art. The 64 percent majority of people aged 55 or older created art—49 percent both created art and attended arts events and another 15 percent created art but did not attend events. Here's what the 64 percent of doers create...

27% crochet, knit, quilt, sew, weave, do needlepoint, or make jewelry
24% dance, including social dancing
19% sing or play a musical instrument
13% do photography, graphic design or filmmaking
12% do woodwork, leatherwork, or metal work
7% paint, sculpt, or make ceramics
7% write stories, poetry, or plays
1% act in theater or film

Fully 43 percent of women aged 55 or older crochet, knit, quilt, sew, weave, do needlepoint, or make jewelry compared with only 4 percent of men. Conversely, 26 percent of men participate in woodworking, leatherwork or metal work versus only 3 percent of women.

Source: National Endowment for the Arts, Staying Engaged: Health Patterns of Older Americans Who Participate in the Arts

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