A newly-released study found that non-white residents are less likely to have access to arts and cultural activities than white residents. Commissioned by the Knight Foundation and conducted by the Urban Institute before the COVID-19 pandemic, the study investigated the importance of cultural activities to urban populace. While it found that access to arts and culture to be one of the most important amenities of urban life, boosting feelings of attachment and obligation to invest time and resources in communities, it also revealed a racial disparity in access to those amenities.
The study surveyed 11,000 metro residents in 26 cities across the United States. Chief among its findings is that in Detroit, 65 percent of non-white respondents felt they had easy access to cultural activites and programming versus 79 percent of white respondents. This localized disparity is the starkest representation of a national divide between white and non-white cultural access, which the study found to sit at 69 percent for non-white urban residents versus 73 percent for white residents. In addition to a relative lack of access, the study also found that Detroit’s non-white residents considered access to arts and culture of greater importance than white residents.
Nate Wallace, director for Knight Foundation’s Detroit program, said in a press release: