Art Lovers Of The World Rise Up!…Now Sit And Relax In Another Gallery

Via Arts Professional UK is a Guardian story on a study that found people under 30 in the UK are twice as likely to visit a museum or gallery each month in order to de-stress.

The charity’s report, Calm and Collected, put together last year, revealed that regularly engaging with museums and galleries contributes to a sense of wellbeing. The survey of 2,500 adults showed that under-30s tend to feel much more satisfied than older visitors.

Overall, the survey found that 65% of people under 30 had felt some level of anxiety in the previous 24 hours and that they were twice as likely as others to use monthly art visits to calm down. Yet only 6% of respondents actually visited once a month or more.

Leading sources of anxiety were worry about debt and finances, at 42%, feeling lonely, and issues around social media, at 32%

Given these survey results, the Art Fund charity decided to extend eligibility for the National Art Pass discount program to people 30 and younger. Previously, only those 26 and younger were eligible.

Readers may recall that I have previously cited John Falk who wrote about recharging as one of the five identify categories motivating people to visit museums. When I have read the piece, I always assumed that rechargers which Falk lists last was the least influential motivator. It may very well have been when he did his research prior to publishing the book in 2009. Perhaps it bears re-evaluating the experience being offered in visual arts venues to resonate more with this need. (Not to mention the hours during which it is available).

While the title of the Guardian piece is “Forget yoga, under-30s use museums and galleries to de-stress,” I have come across a few museums and galleries that offer yoga classes in their spaces so they aren’t mutually exclusive.

I was still half tempted to make the title of this post “Forget Navel Gazing, Art Gazing Is The New Way To De-stress”

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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