In 2023, Creative Australia released Creating Value: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey, 2022. This study, the fifth in their research series, explores Australians’ engagement with the arts and creativity throughout 2022. Using this data, Creative Victoria enlisted Lonergan Research to provide some additional Victoria-specific analysis.

Key findings for Victoria include:

Engagement with arts and creativity
  • Experiencing arts and culture is not a pastime of the elite. The Survey found that 97% of Victorians aged 15 years and over, engage in creative and artistic events, the same proportion of engagement pre-COVID, reinforcing the importance of the arts in our everyday lives.  Refer to Figure 1.
  • 84% of the Victorian respondents acknowledge the significant positive impact of the arts and creativity on areas such as;
    • wellbeing and happiness,
    • child development,
    • our understanding of other people and cultures,
    • shaping and expressing Australian identity and
    • building creative skills necessary for the future workforce.

This is consistent with 84% in 2019 and aligns with the overall national results.

  • Consistent with national results, there has been no significant change in the proportion of Victorians that are disconnected with the arts, with almost three in 10 Victorians agreeing that the arts are not really for people like me (28%, down from 30% in 2019).
  • Victorian regional respondents were less likely than metropolitan respondents to strongly agree or agree that, there are plenty of opportunities for me to get involved in cultural and creative experiences (38% compared to 44% respectively). Inner metropolitan respondents reported greater rates compared with Melbourne’s outer growth corridors (52% compared to 39% respectively).


One of the major themes to emerge from the latest Survey was the relationship between the arts and wellbeing.

  • More than half of Victorians believe the arts benefit our wellbeing (56%, consistent with pre COVID-19 results).
  • Nearly half (48%) of Victorians aged 15 or over believe creative activities and experiences helped with their mental health or wellbeing during COVID-19.

First Peoples art and creativity

  • There is widespread agreement that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts are an important part of Australia’s culture, with 73% of Victorian respondents agreeing.
  • Victorians are also interested in First Nations art (40%, up from 38% in 2019).
  • 26% of Victorian respondents attended First Nations art, cultural activities, or festivals.
  • Despite such art being valued, less than half of Victorian respondents believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts are well represented in Australia (44%). This is a similar sentiment from 2019 (48%).

Connecting to culture

  • Survey results show that an estimated three in ten Victorians connected with and shared their cultural background through arts and creativity (31%).
  • One in four (26%) also attended arts events focused on their own cultural background, language group or community.
  • These Victorians who attend creative, cultural, and artistic events focused on their own cultural background, language group or community see great value in doing so, with almost all (95%) citing at least one benefit.
Live attendance at art events

The survey confirms that attendance at creative events is recovering, and Victorians are back attending different types of arts events, with overall live attendance at pre-pandemic levels (68%) in 2022. This includes attendance at mainstream events and festivals, First Nations events and festivals, and cultural events and festivals.

  • Victorian regional respondents are less likely to attend live arts events and festivals, 57% compared to 72% of metropolitan respondents.
  • Furthermore, live event and festival attendance rates were significantly higher for inner metropolitan Melbourne (81%) when compared with Melbourne’s growth corridors (65%).

Proportion of Victorians who attended a live event or festival in 2022 by artform includes:

  • Music was the most popular artform for live attendance with 46% of Victorians attending a Music live event or festival in 2022
  • Two in five Victorians attended visual arts and crafts events or festivals (40%).
  • Two in five Victorians attended theatre events and festivals (40%).
  • One in four Victorians attended dance events and festivals (25%)
  • One in five Victorians attended literary events and festivals (19%)

While the same proportion of Victorian respondents attended arts and cultural events in 2022 compared to 2019 (68%), generally there has been an overall decrease in attendance frequency at live events across artforms.

  • Almost half of Victorian respondents would like to attend more creative, cultural, and artistic events (48%, up from 41% in 2019), with cost and location continuing to be the main barriers to arts attendance.
  • While there are no longer COVID-19 restrictions impacting engagement with creative experiences and events in-person, two in five Victorian respondents (41%) are concerned about in-person attendance.
Creative participation in the arts 

In 2022, 43% of Victorian respondents created, produced, or collaborated in the making of art, (consistent with 44% in 2019), with young people having a higher propensity to participate of all age groups.

  • A third (34%) also discovered new creative experiences and arts during COVID-19 and stay-home restrictions.
  • In 2022, 87% of Victorians aged 15 or over engaged with the arts online or through digital platforms. However, almost two-thirds missed the atmosphere of a live event, exhibition and/or experience when viewing online (61%).
  • Figure 1 shows that in 2022, 90% of Victorian respondents listened to and/or watched music. This remains relatively consistent with 92% in 2019.
  • 68% of Victorian respondents read at least one printed book, e-book or listened to an audio book for non-work and study purposes, a decrease from 2019 (71%).
Figure 1: Victorians overall engagements in creative and artistic activities and events in 2022. Source: Lonergan Research and Creative Victoria
Support for the arts

In terms of allocation of funding for the arts, there are clear preferences.

  • 68% of Victorians acknowledge that cost may be a barrier for some people and believe that ensuring accessibility for all, regardless of financial circumstance is the highest priority when it comes to investment in the arts.
  • 62% of Victorians prioritise ensuring children and young people have access to art and creative experiences to support learning and development.
  • Regional Victorians place higher importance on support for free or low-cost events, 72% compared to 67% metropolitan respondents.
  • In 2022, 23% of Victorian respondents contributed time or money to the arts (which is consistent with the national average). However, the Victorian rate has dropped from 28% in 2019.
  • Inner metropolitan Melbourne respondents had a higher propensity to contribute to the arts (32%) when compared to the Melbourne growth corridors (20%).

To find out about the National Arts Participation Survey please visit Creative Australia

Download National Arts Participation Survey  reports