New research from the Australia Council shows that increasing numbers of Australians recognise the positive impact of the arts across a range of areas including child development and education, health and wellbeing, and the future economy. A growing number also support public funding for the arts.

Nearly every Australian – 98 percent – reported that they engaged with arts and culture during 2019, be it listening to music, reading a book, going to a gallery or museum, or visiting live theatre or dance. Acknowledgement of the positive impact of the arts has risen to 84 percent from 75 percent in 2016, while 63 percent of those surveyed supported public funding for the arts, up from 51 percent in 2016.

Colossusby Stephanie Lake Company, Arts Centre Melbourne. Photograph © Mark Gambino

The data comes from Creating Our Future, the fourth report in the National Arts Participation Survey – a research series conducted by the Australia Council – and follows previous surveys in 2009, 2013 and 2016.

The latest research was conducted online in November and December 2019, before the devastating bushfires and the coronavirus...