Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), United States, 2017 SPPA 2017 Version 1


The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) 2017 collection is comprised of responses from two sets of surveys, the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the SPPA supplement to the CPS administered in July 2017. This supplement asked questions about public participation in the arts within the United States, and was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. The CPS, administered monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau, collects labor force data about the civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 15 years or older living in the United States. The CPS provides current estimates of the economic status and activities of this population which includes estimates of total employment (both farm and nonfarm), nonfarm self-employed persons, domestics, unpaid helpers in nonfarm family enterprises, wage and salaried employees, and estimates of total unemployment. The basic CPS items in this data provide labor force activity for the week prior to the survey. In addition, the CPS provides respondents' demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race, marital status, educational attainment, family relationships, occupation, and industry. In addition to the basic CPS questions, interviewers asked supplementary questions on public participation in the arts of two randomly selected household members aged 18 or older from about one-half of the sampled CPS households. The supplement contained questions about the respondent's participation in various artistic activities over the last year. If the selected respondent had a spouse or partner, then the respondent answered questions on behalf of their spouse/partner and the spouse/partner responses are proxies.

The 2017 SPPA included two core components: a questionnaire used in previous years to ask about arts attendance and literary reading, and a newer survey about arts attendance, venues visited, and motivations for attending art events. In addition, the SPPA supplement included five modules designed to capture other types of arts participation as well as participation in other leisure activities. Questions included items on the frequency of participation, types of artistic activities, training and exposure, musical and artistic preferences, school-age socialization, and computer and device usage related to the arts. The five modules were separated by topic:

Module A: Consuming Art via Electronic Media; Module B: Performing Art; Module C: Creating Visual Art and Writing; Module D: Other Leisure Activities; Module E: Arts Education, and Arts Access and Opportunity;

Respondents were randomly assigned to either of the core questionnaires, and were then randomly assigned to two of the five additional modules so that each module was administered to a portion of the sampled cases.

The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) supplement to the CPS was conducted to examine American adults' participation in the arts and other leisure activities.

The SPPA supplement was administered to about one-half of eligible CPS households. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted in July of 2017. The SPPA survey allows proxy responses for spouses or partners and in a larger household a second supplemental interview was often conducted.

Datasets:DS1: Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), United States, 2017

The Current Population Survey universe consisted of all persons aged 15 years or older in the civilian, noninstitutionalized population living the households in the United States. The 2017 SPPA supplement universe is comprised of persons aged 18 years or older that participated in the CPS. Smallest Geographic Unit: County

The SPPA was conducted as part of the Current Population Survey, an ongoing data collection effort of the United States Census Bureau. About 60,000 occupied households are eligible for a CPS interview each month. Sample households are selected by a multi-stage stratified statistical sampling scheme. The SPPA supplement was administered to about one-half of the sample of CPS households. The SPPA surveys randomly sampled adults and accepted proxy responses for spouses or partners.

2019-02-04 This collection has been updated to include the complete technical documentation.2018-10-03 This collection was updated to include online analysis tools and fully processed data files which have standardized labels and codes. Funding institution(s): National Endowment for the Arts.

computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI)

computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)

Metadata Access
Creator National Endowment for the Arts; United States. Bureau of the Census
Publisher Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Contributor National Endowment for the Arts
Publication Year 2018
Rights Download; This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
OpenAccess true
Contact Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Language English
Resource Type Dataset; survey data
Discipline Economics