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“Arts Nation: An Overview of Australian Arts” was released on 4 March 2015 by the Australia Council. In the current climate of funding cutbacks and “rationalisation” of national Arts budgets, this document takes on added importance and significance for the understanding and evolution of the Arts industry in Australia.

Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said Arts Nation told a great story about the way Australians engage with the arts, the strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, the increase in private support for the arts, and the contribution made by arts and culture to the Australian economy.

“Understanding the arts is complex. This report creates fresh new indicators that are measured through original and existing data. This snapshot in time sets a benchmark against which we can measure future trends. It also identifies data gaps, so the report will evolve over time as new information is identified.” Mr Grybowski said.

Key facts in the report include:

  • 85% of Australians think the arts for a richer and more meaningful life
  • Geography does affect and impact attendance levels as much as you might expect, with 74% metro, 69% inner regional, 65% outer regional and 67% remote
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists are proportionally more likely to be nominated for a major Australian art award or participate in an international arts event
  • Indigenous visual arts are a major contributor to the arts economy, and remote art centres generated $53 million in art sales between 2008 and 2012
  • The cultural sector contributes $50 billion towards Australia’s GDP, including over $4.2 billion from the Arts
  • Consumers are the biggest arts funders, with 1.5 billion in live performance ticket sales in 2013
  • Crowdfunding is a small but rapidly growing area of Australian arts funding with high success rates
  • 2.4 million international arts tourists visited Australia in 2013-14, up 19% over the past four years.

The full report “Arts Nation; An Overview of Australian Arts” is available at: www.australiacouncil.gov.au/research 

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