Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts attendance & participation

First edition – for consultation

This Australian report aims “to deliver a tool to enable governments, the [cultural] sector and the community to monitor the achievements of the sector, the role arts and culture play in economic and social agendas, and the vitality and cultural impact of Australian arts and cultural output”. Based on “extensive research on international developments in cultural measurement”, the study examines what indicators are available and relevant in an Australian context. Sixteen high-level cultural indicators, grouped under three main themes, are outlined in the report.

An Annual Measure of the Vitality of Arts and Culture in the United States: 1998-2010

The National Arts Index attempts to measure “the health and vitality of the arts in the U.S.” The report, released in 2012 and based largely on 2010 data, incorporates 83 equally-weighted national indicators across four key dimensions: financial flows; capacity; arts participation; and competitiveness. The report covers data from 1998 to 2010, with the base year being 2003 (when the index was set to 100). In 2010, the National Arts Index value was 96.7, the second-lowest level since 1998. The highest index values occurred in 2007 (103.4) and 1999 (103.3).

Based on data from 50 members of Orchestras Canada, this report highlights changes in the situation of orchestras between 2004-05 and 2011-12, including revenues, expenses, surplus, performances, and attendance. While overall revenues and expenses increased (by 13% and 12% respectively), the report notes that “the overall revenue mix for the 50 orchestras did not change between 2004-05 and 2011-12." A more detailed analysis of revenue sources shows that “fundraising from individuals has become an increasingly important component of orchestra revenues (41% increase between 2004-05 and 2011-12)”.

University of Waterloo, October 2012

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) aims to deliver “a measure that provides a broader depth of understanding that, when partnered with [Gross Domestic Product], gives citizens and decision-makers a more comprehensive package of information they need to assess our progress as a society and make decisions based on evidence for a fair and sustainable future”. The CIW tracks sixty-four indicators related to eight domains, including “leisure and culture”.

The Value of Presenting: A Study of Arts Presentation in Canada

In addition to providing a profile of performing arts presenters and summarizing research into arts attendance in Canada, this report examines potential benefits of the arts, including impacts on the quality of life, well-being, social engagement, health, education, and communities.

Based on a survey of 1,001 Canadians 18 or older in June and July of 2012, this report examines Canadians’ attendance and personal involvement in the arts, culture, and heritage, as well as their perceptions regarding cultural activities and government support of culture.

Value of Presenting Study
The bulk of this presentation provides information about key demographic trends in Canada: a growing and aging population, differences in average age by location, increased immigration from Asian countries, and an increasing Aboriginal population. The report compares census data with attendance data to see whether different age groups are over or under-represented among performing arts audiences. The presentation indicates that classical music and theatre audiences skew older than the overall population, while popular music skews younger. The presentation also provides information about perceived benefits of the performing arts.
An Analysis of Attendance at Art Galleries, Theatres, Classical Music Performances, Popular Music Performances, and Cultural Festivals
Based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey, an in-depth telephone survey of about 7,500 Canadians 15 or older, this report concludes that “there is an arts-interested public that transcends demographics”. For example, the report indicates that “someone with less than a secondary school diploma was not very likely to visit an art gallery in 2010: only 20% did so. However, someone with the same level of education who attended a classical concert in 2010 was much more likely to visit an art gallery: 44% did so in 2010”.
Based on large-scale surveys of English adults, this report aims to provide “a tool to inform marketing and audience development plans for arts organisations, local authorities and other agencies working in the arts”. The report outlines 13 arts consumer segments, based on patterns of arts consumption, attitudes toward the arts, leisure pursuits, socio-demographic factors, media consumption, and lifestyle elements. The segments, although tailored to English adults, might also be useful for Canadian artists and arts organizations in thinking about the possible attitudes, opinions, and motivations of their current and potential audiences.
Discussion paper
The goal of this discussion paper is to provide “a high-level overview of current thinking and practices in the sphere of public engagement in the arts”. The report indicates that public engagement is increasingly seen to be important “for cultural rights, arts education, expressive life, citizen participation, social cohesion, and cultural diversity”.