Study shows more Australians participating in the arts

WomadelaideNew Australia Council research shows 95 per cent of Australians have engaged with the arts in the past 12 months. Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said The Arts in Daily Life: Australian Participation in the Arts survey told a great story about the way Australian’s engage with the arts, and their appreciation of its capacity to enrich their lives.

“The survey measured public attitudes and participation in the arts, both as consumers and creators. It is an example of the Council’s commitment to providing a stronger evidence base for how we understand and talk about arts and culture in Australia,” says Mr Grybowski.

“I am delighted that the report provides tangible evidence that the arts are an intrinsically important part of Australian’s lives. The 2013 findings are compared to those from the first iteration of the study conducted in 2009, and I’m pleased to say there have been positive changes in most categories.

“The survey covers visual arts and crafts, music, theatre, dance and literature, as well as community and Indigenous arts. It is particularly exciting to see more Australians valuing the central role Indigenous arts and culture play in our nation’s cultural fabric.”

Some of the key findings include:

  • 85 per cent of Australians think the arts make for a richer and more meaningful life;
  • 92 per cent of Australians think Indigenous arts are an important part of Australia’s culture;
  • 66 per cent of Australians think the arts have a big impact on the development of children; and
  • 48 per cent of Australians are creating art, compared to 41 per cent in 2009.

“The research also demonstrates how important Australians consider the arts to a child’s development and how their engagement with the arts when young influences their participation as an adult,” says Mr Grybowski.

“It is a testament to the strength and vitality of Australian art and culture that not only are attitudes about the arts increasingly positive, but the depth of engagement has increased, with more Australians making art as well as being inspired by the work of others.

“The 2009 findings were widely referenced and we anticipate that this new report will also provide valuable insights for a broad set of stakeholders, as well as affirming the fundamental place the arts have in our lives.”

The research is based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 3,000 people from around the country and was conducted in late 2013.

For more information including the report and fact sheets, visit: The Arts in Daily Life: Australian Participation in the Arts for details.

Image: WOMADelaide