2020 Trends That will Affect Arts

As we turned the corner to 2020, the Americans for the Arts Team put our heads together to Develop 10 Big trends that we think are worth paying for. Some of them you will certainly already know about–it’s an election year, after all! Have a read and let us know what you think–what resonates most with you?

What’s top of your mind that’s missing here? And what exactly are you planning to do to prepare? We’ve recorded the high points of every trend here–but if you are interested in digging deeper, click on the link for a lengthier discussion of each one. Demographics in the USA are changing faster than ever.

We are becoming older, living and working more, using the internet and social media in a greater speed, and becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. What we care and worry about is changing–and remaining the same. Whether you’re referring to the overall population, mayors, or businesses, the best things that they care about are changing –in large part based on what gets discussed in the media, what challenges communities are facing, and what approaches for solving problems are top-of-mind.

A better comprehension of the value of creativity, better data capture, and an overall desire for future-proofing all imply that projects in the creative industries are on the increase. We are living through a moment of deep uncertainty and distrust. The continuing erosion of”fact,””trust,” and a belief in shared values, paired with excellent doubt about the national and international economy, has us at a cautionary and anxiety-ridden moment. Outlandish weather changes, major natural disasters, and the rising presence of a young corps of climate activists have brought new light and fresh urgency to issues of climate change, both inside and outside the arts–even as miniature dollars going towards climate change struggle to catch up.

The arts industry is demonstrably, if slowly, shifting towards equity. We are seeing progress towards equity in institutional leadership turnover, efforts to unionize, new procedures of field liability, and a push for cover transparency and more equitable grantmaking and investment. A struggle is looming over who gets counted and who gets to vote. 2020 is shaping up to be a challenging year for anybody who cares about or will be impacted by politics–with problems of voter rights, voter suppression, and gerrymandering all.

The manners that dollars flow to arts and culture are changing. Government dollars are up, private philanthropic dollars are stagnant (and access to them is changing ), and people are showing signs of giving less. Meanwhile, a change towards going neighborhood and cutting out the middleman makes it a tricky moment for intermediaries. Artist collectives are forming powerful political bodies, which can be eliciting great work and manifesting organizational, political, and field changes. Information is driving the dialog concerning arts education greater than previously.

Greater accessibility (and simpler use) of information on K-12 arts education access continues to illuminate the situation and expose gaps in accessibility and impact–that urges are using to great benefit. Collectively, these ten trends will notify Americans for the Arts’ next strategic planning process, which will happen this season to push our work from 2021 to 2023.

More on that shortly –in the meantime, we would like to hear from you!