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In addition to using libraries and visiting art museums, historic site visitation is another common form of public engagement with the humanities. According to the National Endowment for the Arts’ Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), the percentage of people making at least one such visit fell steadily from 1982 to 2012, before rising somewhat in 2017. Visits to historic sites managed by the National Park Service (NPS) were substantially higher in 2018 than 1980, despite a decline in recent years.

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Source: National Endowment for the Arts, Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. Data analyzed and presented by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).

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Source: National Endowment for the Arts, Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. Data analyzed and presented by the American Academy of Arts Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).

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U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, “Annual Visitation Summary Report (1979–Last Calendar Year),” under “National Reports” at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/. Data analyzed and presented by the American Academy of Arts Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).

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