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Creating our Future: Results of National Arts Participation Survey

Creating Our Future: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey is the fourth in the National Arts Participation Survey series, conducted by Australia Council for the Arts.

The National Arts Participation Survey asks how Australians are engaging with arts and creativity in our daily lives. How do Australians feel about arts and creativity? How is our arts engagement changing? Do we recognise the impacts of arts and creativity in our lives and communities? How do Australians feel about public funding for the arts?

Australia Council released results of the 2019 survey in August 2020.


Key findings 

  • 84% of Australians recognise the positive impacts of arts and creativity, and there is growing recognition of the value of the arts across a range of areas including: 
    • child development (63%, up 13 percentage points) 
    • our sense of wellbeing and happiness (56%, up 11 percentage points) 
    • dealing with stress, anxiety or depression (56%, up 11 percentage points) 
    • understanding other people and cultures (60%, up eight percentage points)  
    • bringing customers to local businesses (41%, up nine percentage points)  
  • One in two Australians believe the arts build creative skills that will be necessary for the future workforce (47%, new in 2019). 
  • Nearly every Australian – 98% of us – engage in the arts in some way. 
  • Prior to COVID-19, live attendance at arts events was thriving. More than two in three Australians attended the arts in person in 2019 (68%), up nearly ten percentage points since 2016. 
  • More than one in three Australians connect with, and share, their cultural background through arts and creativity (36%), including by attending arts events (31%). 
  • A growing majority of Australians (75%) feel that First Nations arts are an important part of Australia’s culture, and both attendance (32%) and interest (40%) are increasing. However only half feel that First Nations arts are well represented. 
  • Young people (aged 15-24 years) are highly engaged, more likely than other age groups to recognise the impacts of the arts and creativity, and more willing to give time and money to the arts.  
  • Support for public funding for the arts is strong and growing (63%, up 12 percentage points) and Australians have clear priorities for investment, including ensuring access to the arts and creative experiences for young people to support learning and development. 


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About the research

Creating Our Future: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey is the fourth study in the Australia Council for the ARts research series that explores Australians’ engagement with and attitudes towards the arts, following editions in 2009, 2013 and 2016.

The 2019 National Arts Participation Survey was conducted by Lonergan, a Sydney-based research consultancy.

The survey was administered online and via face-to-face interviews with selected groups from 24 September to 4 November 2019.

It involved 8,928 Australians aged 15 years and over. The survey was sampled and weighted to be nationally representative based on age, gender and location (by states and territories and metropolitan/regional Australia). 


Previous reports 

National Arts Participation Survey - Queensland Highlights


Banner image: Photo by Paul Carmona on Unsplash