ArtsWave/Greater Cincinnati area
Summary of May 19 (Initial) Deployment
By Benjamin Geibel
The first ArtsWave survey deployment occurred on May 19, resulting in a total of 2,950 responses collected by 19 organizations in the Greater Cincinnati area. These results represent a baseline and we will track change in attitude as responses are collected in subsequent months.
Key Figures to Track Over Time
• 83% of respondents would be comfortable walking around a museum or gallery with social distancing and other health safety measures
• 27% of respondents would be comfortable attending a performance venue seating 1000 or more people with social distancing and other health safety measures
• 21% of respondents are ready to return to cultural events as soon as it is legally allowed
• 26% of respondents are waiting for the rate of new infections to drop to near zero
• 44% of respondents are waiting for broad availability of testing and treatment, vaccination, or immunity
• 59% of respondents trust the organization that sent them the survey to determine when it is safe for them to resume attending
Conditions for Return
21% of Greater Cincinnati area respondents reported being ready to return to cultural events as soon as it is legally allowed. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 19% said they would not return to cultural events until they are vaccinated or have developed immunity to the virus and 1% said that they could not see attending in the foreseeable future. This suggests that while one in five respondents will not be ready to return until they are immune, almost everyone will feel comfortable returning in the long term.
In the Greater Cincinnati area comfort levels are highest at museums or galleries with 83% of respondents reporting they would be somewhat or very comfortable walking around a museum or gallery. In contrast, only 22% reported that they would be somewhat or very comfortable using hands-on exhibits at an interactive museum.
Comfort levels at performance venues were lower overall. On the high end, 64% of respondents indicated they’d be somewhat or very comfortable at an outdoor festival or concert, while only 26% said they’d be somewhat or very comfortable attending a comedy club or live music venue without seats. Respondents report being gradually more comfortable in smaller and smaller venues. They also reported higher levels of comfort in outdoor venues or other scenarios where distancing is likely to be easier. These findings suggest that respondents are keenly aware of the risks associated with different arts and cultural settings.
Respondents who reported being ready to go out as soon as it is legally permitted report being more comfortable in all types of venues than those who are waiting for conditions to change.
Response to Proposed Safety Measures
The survey tested audience attitudes towards a list of measures that organizations can take to reduce risks of virus transmission in their venues. Respondents were asked whether these measures would encourage or discourage their comfort attending the cultural organization that sent them the survey. Overall, respondents felt encouraged by safety measures.
The less invasive safety measures like disinfecting facilities on a daily basis are most salient with 92% reporting that this measure is encouraging. More invasive safety measures like taking attendees’ temperatures at the door and not allowing individuals with elevated temperatures to attend, or requiring masks, can be polarizing. For example, while three quarters of respondents are encouraged by requiring masks, one in eight reported they would be discouraged by this requirement.
One quarter of respondents who report being ready to attend as soon as it is allowed reported that they would not attend mainstage performances or exhibitions if they were required to wear a facemask. The majority of respondents reported they will return when they are confident the risk is minimal and in this group only 4% reported they would not attend if masks were required. Finally, in the most apprehensive group, individuals who will not return until there is no risk, 19% reported they would not attend if masks are required. Based on the comments that respondents left, it seems that many of the individuals in this apprehensive group do not feel that masks offer enough protection for them to feel safe returning.
Aronoff Center for the Arts
Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati Landmark Productions
Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Cincinnati Symphony, Pops and May Festival
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
Fitton Center for Creative Arts
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
Memorial Hall OTR
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center