Report on Arts Participation in Victoria

In 2020 the Australia Council for the Arts released the report Creating Our Future: Results of the National Participation Survey. This study provided insights into arts engagement across the nation, prior to the impacts of coronavirus (Covid-19), and is the fourth report building on the 2009, 2013 and 2016 editions. Creative Victoria enlisted Lonergan Research to provide some additional Victoria-specific analysis.

Key findings

  • 4.4 million Victorians acknowledge the significant positive impact that the arts have, or 84% of the population aged 15 years and over. This is a large increase from 77% in 2016*. This is consistent with the overall Australian data.
  • However, there has also been a slight increase in the proportion of Victorians who are feeling disconnected from the arts, with almost three in ten agreeing that the arts are not really for people like me (29%, up from 26% in 2016), which is a continuing national trend.
  • Over two thirds of Victorians attend the arts (68% in 2019, up from 60% in 2016).
  • One in two Victorians now create, produce or collaborate in the making of art (44%, up from 34% in 2016). A third create using a digital platform (33%).
  • 28% of Victorians contributed time and/or money to the arts (in line with the national average).
  • Following national trends, more Victorians now agree First Nations arts are an important part of Australia’s culture (75%, up from 72% in 2016).
  • One in three Victorians are attending First Nations arts (30%, up from 24% in 2016) and four in ten are interested in First Nations arts (38%). Among those interested, 42% reported a growing interest.
  • More than one in three Victorians connect with, and share, their cultural background through arts and creativity (36%), including by attending arts events (32%).
  • Attendance of cultural events across all art forms is much more popular amongst those in Victorian metro areas (40% compared to 29% in outer metro and 22% in regional areas).
  • Most Victorians engage with the arts online (83%, up from 76% in 2016). Listening to streamed music remains the most popular way to engage.
  • In 2019, the cost of tickets/entry to artistic events prevented 1.7 million Victorians from attending as many events as they would like to, or 33% of the population aged 15 years and over. A further 1.2 million Victorians (24%) are prevented from attending because there are no events near where they live.
  • Those living in regional Victoria are more likely than those in metro areas to cite events are too far away as a reason why they’re not attending art events as much as they’d like (34% compared to 17% in metro and 25% in outer metro).


* For consistency with the 2019 methodology, 2016 figures are reported for the online sample only and may differ from those published in the previous National Arts Participation Survey report.