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Australia Council research shows overwhelming support for the arts

Australia Council research shows overwhelming support for the arts
May 30, 2014

In the wake of cuts in its funding announced in the recent Federal budget, the Australia Council has released new research showing Australians overwhelmingly support arts and culture.

The report, Arts in Daily Life: Australian Participation in the Arts, reveals that a growing number of people (85% of Australians) believe the arts enrich their life. This compares to 71% in 1999.

The research, based on interviews with 3,000 people around the country, also found that 95% of Australians were involved with the arts in the past 12 months.

Commenting on the findings, Australia Council Chief Executive Tony Grybowski says the survey "told a great story about the way Australians engage with the arts".

"It is a testament to the strength and vitality of Australian art and culture that not only are attitudes about the arts increasingly positive, but the depth of engagement has increased, with more Australians making art as well as being inspired by the work of others," he said.

Other major findings included the impact of art on children, with two thirds believing the arts influence child development, and 89% agreeing the arts are important to education.

More than 90% of those surveyed thought indigenous arts were an important part of Australia's culture.

The survey covered visual arts and crafts, music, theatre, dance and literature, community and Indigenous arts.

In handing down the Federal budget, the Government announced cuts of more than $30 million from the Australia Council and $38 million from Screen Australia.

The funding bodies say the cuts are likely to lead to hundreds of artists being denied government grants, a reduction in arts companies' activities and fewer films and television dramas.

Click here to view Arts in Daily Life: Australian Participation in the Arts.




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