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Major performing arts companies are robust and well-managed

October 6, 2012
Australia's major performing arts companies are robust, stable and have continued to expand their city audiences in line with population growth, according to the latest Australia Council Snapshot of Major Performing Arts Company Key Trends.
They have also extended their reach and engagement in regional and remote communities. The report, drawn from an extensive set of audited data provided by the major companies, contextualises the external influences and impacts to make sense of the data.
Executive Director, Bethwyn Serow explained "given the complexity of the breadth and depth of activities undertaken by the companies it is vital we understand the big picture - and how well managed they are."
Working capital has increased across the group by $11.9 million and whereas in 2001 only nine companies had positive reserve funds, that number has more than tripled in 2011.
The report found that major performing arts companies' education programs reached out to over half a million school children last year as well as running workshops for over 28,000 attendees and other free and self-presented performances.
Although the global financial crisis (GFC) and the associated drop in national and international tourism had a negative impact on opera audience figures, opera as an art form is not in decline. New business models are generating new audiences, the results will come through strongly in the 2012 data.
The trend over the past ten years incorporates the strong growth before and after the GFC. For example, from 2002 to 2011 paid capital city attendances at performances by major performing arts companies have grown by 13%. Regional access and participation has also grown substantially, with attendances of 800,000 in 2011.

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