Our Partners

Southeast Michigan

The first CultureSource survey deployment occurred on May 15, resulting in a total of 3,778 responses collected by 17 organizations in Southeast Michigan. 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

  • 75% of respondents would be comfortable walking around a museum or gallery with social distancing and other health safety measures

  • 24% of respondents would be comfortable attending a performance venue seating 1000 or more people with social distancing and other health safety measures

  • 19% of respondents are ready to return to cultural events as soon as it is legally allowed

  • 21% of respondents are waiting for the rate of new infections to drop to near zero

  • 47% of respondents are waiting for broad availability of testing and treatment, vaccination, or immunity

  • 62% of respondents trust the organization that sent them the survey to determine when it is safe for them to resume attending 


Conditions for Return

Just 19% of Southeast Michigan respondents reported being ready to return to cultural events as soon as its legally allowed. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 22% said they would not return to cultural events until they are vaccinated or have developed immunity to the virus. However, just 2% said that they could not see attending in the foreseeable future. This suggests that while almost a quarter of respondents will not be ready to return until they are immune, almost everyone will feel comfortable returning in the long term.


Comfort Levels

In Southeast Michigan comfort levels are highest at museums or galleries with 75% of respondents reporting they would be somewhat or very comfortable walking around a museum or gallery. In contrast, only 20% 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, 62% of respondents indicated they’d be somewhat or very comfortable at an outdoor festival or concert, while only 27% said they’d be somewhat or very comfortable attending a comedy club or live music venue without seats. In general respondents reported that they’d be more comfortable in smaller venues. All of this suggests that audiences are aware of risk factors and which types of logistical situations are associated with higher and lower risk.


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. 



Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings/Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival
Detroit Historical Museum
Detroit Institute of Art
Detroit Public Theatre
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Detroit Zoo
Flint Institute of Music
Michigan Opera Theatre/Detroit Opera House
Michigan Science Center
Midland Center for the Arts
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit
Pewabic Pottery
Riverbank Theatre
The Ark 
The Henry Ford
The Whiting/Capitol Theatre
Theatre and Dance at Wayne (Wayne State University)
University Musical Society
University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)

Supported by CultureSource

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 91% 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 75% of respondents are encouraged by requiring masks, 11% reported they would be discouraged by this requirement. 


A full 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 face mask. However, when we isolate responses from individuals who are more apprehensive about returning, specifically those with a health vulnerability in the home, we see higher levels of encouragement in response to more invasive safety measures. 

We will continue to update these data points as new information becomes available.


Please contact Megan Bander, Consultant and Business Manager at WolfBrown, at:

Email: megan@wolfbrown.com

Phone: (415) 796 3060 ext 0

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