In 2020 the Australia Council for the Arts released Creating Our Future: Results of the National Participation Survey.

This fourth study in their research series explored Australians’ engagement with and attitudes towards the arts prior to the impacts of COVID-19.

Creative Victoria enlisted Lonergan Research to provide some additional Victoria-specific analysis.

Key findings for Victoria included:

  • 4.4 million (84% of the population aged over 15) Victorians acknowledged the significant positive impact that the arts had – an increase of 77% from 2016*and consistent with overall Australian data
  • There was a slight increase in the proportion of Victorians who felt disconnected from the arts, with almost 30% agreeing that the arts weren’t really for people like them (29%, up from 26% in 2016), which is a continuing national trend
  • Over two thirds of Victorians attended the arts (68% in 2019, up from 60% in 2016)
  • One in two Victorians created, produced or collaborated in the making of art (44% up from 34% in 2016). A third created using a digital platform (33%)
  • 28% of Victorians contributed time and/or money to the arts (in line with the national average)
  • More Victorians agreed First Nations arts were an important part of Australia’s culture (75%, up from 72% in 2016).
  • One in three Victorians attended First Nations arts (30%, up from 24% in 2016) and 40% were interested in First Nations arts (38%), 42% reported a growing interest
  • More than one in three Victorians connected with, and shared their cultural background through arts and creativity (36%), including attending arts events (32%)
  • Attendance of cultural events across all art forms was much more popular amongst those in Victorian metro areas (40% compared to 29% in outer metro and 22% in regional areas)
  • Most Victorians engaged with the arts online (83%, up from 76% in 2016). Listening to streamed music remained the most popular way
  • In 2019, tickets/entry costs prevented 1.7 million (or 33% ) Victorians from attending as many artistic events as they would have liked to. A further 1.2 million Victorians (24%) didn’t attend because there were no events near them
  • Those living in regional Victoria were more likely to cite events were too far away as a reason why they didn’t attend art events as much as they’d like (34% compared to 17% in metro and 25% in outer metro).

More information is available on the Australian Council website.

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