Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Kelly Page Werder, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Williams, Ph.D.


Marketing, Participation, Public Relations, Value


The Arts in the United States has been a thoroughly studied topic, largely trying to substantiate its value to society, resulting in a plethora of research that positively correlates the arts and a more healthy and successful society. Findings from various studies over the years have shown declines in arts support in the form of funding, advocacy, education, and participation (National Endowment for the Arts, 2009). Additional studies have suggested that millennials are redefining what participation means in the arts, and even the definition of the arts. The primary research question of this study is why are support for the arts declining? This study reviews the industry, the current definition of the arts and how two theories could help examine the question. The mass communications theory, the Situational Theory of Publics and the psychology theory, the Theory of Reasoned Action, were chosen to learn more about communication behavior toward arts support. The variables were examined within a proposed model. The data suggested that low problem recognition toward the arts in this sample was an integral factor. A key finding of the study was that respondents who value arts support may be more likely to behave. An experiment to test the model would be the next best step for research.