Creating our future. The National Arts Participation Survey Results are here!

Posted 27 August 2020

Creating our future. The National Arts Participation Survey Results are here!

The results of the latest National Arts and Participation Survey are out now. This survey is the fourth edition in the research series.

Arts and creativity are critical as we seek to bring life back into our cities, regions, culture and economy. An increasing majority (84%) of Australians recognise the positive impacts of the arts across a range of areas including child development and education, health and wellbeing and the future economy.

Nearly every Australian – 98% of us – engage with the arts in some way, whether it be through listening to music, reading, engaging online, creatively participating, attending arts in person or engaging with the arts of our cultural background or community.

See below some of the key findings extracted from the survey results.

  • 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.


To find out further information from the survey visit Australia Council for the Arts 

Featured image attributed to: Colossus by Stephanie Lake Company. Arts Centre Melbourne 2018. Mark Gambino

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