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Survey Report: 'Arts in Daily Life: Australian Participation in the Arts'

Friday, May 30, 2014   (0 Comments)
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ISPA member organization and legacy program sponsor Arts Council England published a study, Arts in Daily Life: Australian participation in the arts, which provides insight into how Australians participate in the arts today.

It provides a comparison of shifting attitudes and behaviors by bench-marking the findings in 2013 against those from the original study in 2009.

The outcomes of this study paint a positive picture. Overall engagement with the arts is up and public attitudes to the arts are highly positive. Some of the key results tell us that:


  • Australians think the arts enrich our lives
  • Australians value Indigenous arts and there are great opportunities to grow audiences
  • The arts are important in the lives of Australian children
  • More Australians are participating in the arts

Reproduced below is the article published in The Guardian on May 31, 2014 about the study. You can read the original article on The Guardian's website.

You can also access the full report in PDF here.

The number of Australians who believe the arts are elitist, snobbish and “not for people like me” has plummeted in the past 15 years, a survey shows.

The Australia Council research, published on Friday, shows Australians are not just consuming visual arts, dance, music and theatre in growing numbers, but actively creating it, too.

In 1999, half the people surveyed agreed “the arts tend to attract people who are somewhat elitist and pretentious”. That figure was down to 30% in the survey carried out last year.

Just more than one in 10 respondents agreed the arts were “not for people like me” in 2013, down from 35% in 1999.

The Australia Council’s chief executive, Tony Grybowski, said the results were “a testament to the strength and vitality of Australian art and culture”.

“Not only are attitudes about the arts increasingly positive, but the depth of engagement has increased … more Australians [are] making art, as well as being inspired by the work of others.” The survey found that almost half of Australians were actively involved in making arts in 2013, up by 7% on the last survey, five years ago.

Taking into account passive consumers – devourers of fiction, ballet aficionados, music buffs – about 95% said they were touched by the arts in some way.

However, they are less willing for taxpayers to foot the bill: support for public funding of the arts has fallen by 6% since 2009, the survey shows.

This year’s federal budget cut $87.1m in funding to the Australia Council, the arts-funding body that ran the survey, and to Screen Australia, the country’s main filmmaking organization. Australia’s arts community has warned that the country’s creative output would suffer as a result. "Our screen industries are currently thriving and this ongoing support has enabled Australian actors, such as myself, to work on great shows in our home country,” said Richard Roxburgh, the producer and star of the hit TV series Rake.

"The cuts to Screen Australia funding are significant, even if the most alarming predictions haven't come to pass. It would be a great shame if this resulted in fewer projects being funded at a time when our Australian screen industry – particularly television drama – has found its stride and is making its mark internationally,” he said.

On the other hand, the government has ignored a Commission of Audit recommendation to cut all funding to community radio and television, and has pitched in a surprise $1m one-off grant for new student accommodation at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne.

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