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AC’s Arts Participation Survey

Installation view of Choi Jeong Hwa’s The Mandala Flowers, Queensland Arts Gallery, APT8, 2016. Photo: Brodie Standen.

Connecting Australians: results of the National Arts Participation Survey, Australia Council for the Arts, June 2017


Connecting AustraliansResults of the National Arts Participation Survey is the third in a landmark series by the Australia Council for the Arts, following editions in 2009 and 2013. It measures Australians’ engagement with the arts in 2016 – attending arts events, exhibitions and festivals; reading; listening to music; sharing and connecting with the arts online; and creating art themselves. The arts encompass theatre, dance, visual arts and craft, music, literature, First Nations and cross-art form work. Engagement with a person’s own cultural background through the arts is articulated for the first time, along with festival attendance and community arts and cultural development activities. The survey also captures the value of the arts to Australians through their attitudes, views about the impacts of the arts, and propensity to donate time or money to the arts.

Key Findings

  • 98% of Australians engage with the arts and more people recognise the positive impacts of the arts.
  • Online and live arts experiences are both important to Australians.
  • The arts have an increasingly powerful role to play in promoting social cohesion.
  • 7 million Australians experienced First Nations arts last year – double the number in 2009.Key finding
  • Music is the most popular art form, with 97% of Australians listening to recorded music and more than half attending live music.
  • Younger Australians (aged 15-24 years) create and experience the arts at the highest rates.
  • One in four Australians give time or money to the arts, reflecting their value in our lives.

Interactive Dashboards

Scroll down or click links below to explore more findings through our eight interactive dashboards. Filter results by age, gender and location.
Impacts of the arts.
Attitudes to the arts.
Cultural diversity.
Live attendance.
Creative participation.
Listening to music and reading.
Online engagement.

Read more

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2022
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