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6 reasons to celebrate the arts in Queensland Week

It’s Queensland Week and we thought we’d celebrate why the arts matter to Queenslanders….


Number one in maroon circleArts make Queenslanders happy and increase our wellbeing

There is increasing evidence that arts and culture impact positively on our happiness and wellbeing. Almost 9 in 10 Queenslanders (85 per cent) agree that the arts make for a richer and more meaningful life1

An award-winning study, The Art of Being Mentally Healthy, quantifies the arts-mental health relationship providing evidence of an association between mental wellbeing and two hours per week of arts engagement in the general population2

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in remote areas have higher participation in arts and cultural activities3 and those who do participate have markedly better physical and mental health and self-reported happiness and are more likely to complete secondary school and be employed 4

Rachel Smithies’ and Daniel Fujiwara’s analysis on subjective wellbeing suggests that engagement with the arts correlates with higher life satisfaction – the amount of money required to produce an increase in life satisfaction equivalent to arts engagement is $4,349 per person per annum. Across the Australian population this is equivalent to $66 billion a year 5


Number two in maroon circleArts develop our creativity

Creativity is considered a vital skill in today’s society. According to the World Economic Forum it is one of the top three skills required for employment in 20206.The arts play a key role in developing our creative skills and helping us be creative and in expressing ourselves. 

Six in 10 Queenslanders believe that the arts can have a big impact on our ability to express ourselves. Five in 10 believe that the arts can impact our ability to think creatively and develop new ideas1.


Number three in maroon circleArts play a role in shaping Queensland communities 

Nine in 10 Queenslanders agree that artists make an important contribution to Australian society1. Regional Arts Australia’s Stats and Stories reports the arts tick all the boxes in making regional Australia a better place. According to the report:

‘They engender civic pride, encourage us to connect to society, give us a sense of place, lift employment and provide alternative ways to foster regional development.’

Volunteers know this, which is why more than one in four (27 per cent or 1,169,840) Queenslanders in 2013 donate time or money to the arts. Over half of these (53 per cent or 620,000 Queenslanders) volunteered their time. Volunteers, do this to support the arts, to help others and the community, for personal satisfaction, because of personal or family involvement and to do something worthwhile. Not surprisingly, volunteers report higher levels of happiness than non-volunteers7.


Number four in maroon circleArts are an important part of every Queenslander’s education

Arts education can transform lives8. Nine in 10 Queenslanders agree the arts should be an important part of the education of every Australian1.



Number five in a maroon circleArts contribute to the economy

A conservative estimate of the economic contribution of the arts is that the performing arts, music recording and publishing and arts education together contribute $4.2 billion to the Australian economy (0.3% of GDP). This does not include the value of volunteer services, which are estimated to be worth an additional $0.8 billion across arts and heritage organisations5


Number six in a maroon circleArts drive tourism

In 2015, 56.3% of all international visitors and 11.8% of domestic overnight visitors to Queensland were cultural and heritage visitors9. Cultural and heritage visitors were found to stay twice as long and spend twice as much than other tourists10



For other data and research posts on the AQ blog see:

And the medal goes to the Gold Coast

Is mental health linked to arts engagement?

10 facts – Queensland Cultural jobs 

Valuable volunteers

Data piñata

Arts in Daily Life



  1.  Arts in daily life: Queenslanders and the arts, 2014 Arts Queensland in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Arts in Daily Life: Queenslanders and the Arts, 2014, Brisbane, Australia.
  2. Christine Davies, Is mental health linked to arts engagement?, AQ Blog (16 March 2016)  
  3. ABS 2010, ‘The city and the bush: Indigenous wellbeing across remoteness areas’, in Australian Social Trends, Sep 2010, (cat. no. 41020.0), 29 September. See Australia Council for the Arts 2015, Art Nation, p.31.
  4. Dockery AM 2011, ‘Traditional culture and the wellbeing of Indigenous Australians: An analysis of the 2008 NATSISS,’ in Social Science Perspectives on the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 11–12 April 2011, CAEPR, ANU, Canberra in Australia Council for the Arts 2015, Art Nation, p.31.
  5. Arts Queensland, Data pinata, AQ Blog (17 March 2015) 
  7. Arts Queensland, Valuable volunteers, AQ Blog (13 May 2015)
  8. Margie Moor, The art of arts education, Arts Queensland Blog. (30 April 2015) 
  9. According to Tourism research Australia who conducts tourism surveys a cultural tourist is someone who experienced an Aboriginal performance, site or community, arts/ craft or cultural display, attended theatre, concerts or other performing arts, festivals, fairs, or cultural events, visited museum and galleries or a history/heritage buildings, monuments or sites or visited an art or craft workshop or studio.
  10. Tourism Research Australia, Snapshots 2009 Cultural and Heritage Tourism in Australia.