Supplementary Materials Related to the NEA's 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts

The NEA Office of Research & Analysis is pleased to make available a set of resources to guide scholars and researchers in understanding and interpreting results from the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA). The office is sharing these resources in conjunction with the survey's full summary report. The intent is to allow academic, government, nonprofit, and commercial researchers to perform early, independent analyses with the data, thus widening public discourse about the survey results and their implications. Click on the highlighted text to view each of the resources below, available through the NEA website:

  • NEA Research brochureArts Participation 2008: Highlights from a National Survey

  • Arts participation trend tables (1982-2008) reporting data for individual arts activities by demographic group, and tables showing adults' self-reported preferences for various reading and listening materials.

  • The 2008 survey instrument

  • data user's guide, with information on the survey design and the procedures for properly using the raw data file (e.g., choosing weights, performing multi-variable analyses from different modules, computing standard errors, and comparing results with those of prior surveys).

  • The raw data file for the 2008 SPPA survey is housed at Princeton University's Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive along with raw data files for each of the prior five SPPA surveys ( In addition to free downloading and data analysis on the CPANDA website, researchers can find questionnaires and related technical documentation for each SPPA survey.

  • A new combined data file that aggregates data from SPPA surveys from 1982 through 2008 is now available. This data file can be downloaded from our web site in one of four data formats: SPSSSASSTATA, or ASCII. The accompanying data dictionary for the SPSS, SAS, or STATA combined files and the codebook for the ASCII version are also available. The combined data file is also available on the CPANDA website, where analysis of the data set can be performed.

For further information, please contact the NEA Office of Research & Analysis at (202) 682-5424 or