Please note: Some of the content on this page was published prior to the launch of Creative Australia and references the Australia Council. Read more.

Creating Value: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey

Sep 19, 2023

Audience Data and Advocacy Tools

The Audience Data and Advocacy Tools are a new and interactive way to engage with the results of the 2022 National Arts Participation Survey, Creating Value.

Developed by Creative Australia and Lonergan Research, these tools provide new insights and opportunities to understand Australians’ engagement with and attitudes towards the arts.

Learn more



Creating Value: Results of the National Arts Participation Surveyis the fifth study in the landmark research series exploring Australians’ engagement with arts and creativity.  

The National Arts Participation Survey asks how Australians are engaging with arts and creativity in our daily lives. How do Australians feel about arts and creativity? How is our arts engagement changing? Do we recognise the impacts of arts and creativity in our lives and communities? How do Australians feel about public funding for the arts? 

This 2022 edition provides insights into Australians’ arts engagement following the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, reinforcing just how important arts, culture and creativity are for helping us through difficult times.  

As with the previous 2019 survey, more than half of all Australians acknowledged the benefits of arts and creativity to personal wellbeing. However, the 2022 results show that there has been a strong rise in people acting on that belief.  

It is likely that the impacts of the pandemic contributed to this shift – almost half of Australians said that creative activities and experiences helped with their mental health or wellbeing during the pandemic.  

Creating Value also shows consistency across several measures pre and post pandemic, meaning that Australians have maintained connections to arts and creativity and continue to value them in their lives and communities.  

In 2022, targeted methods were used to ensure better representation of regional and remote First Nations communities; communities for whom language might be a barrier to participation in the survey; and Australians with intellectual disability. 

We continue to capture and grow our understanding of how people from diverse backgrounds understand, participate in and value the arts.

Top 10 takeaways

  1. Despite the disruptions of COVID-19, there is much consistency in Australians’ engagement with the arts between 2019 and 2022. 97% engaged overall, 84% acknowledged positive impacts of arts and creativity, 68% attended live and 61% agreed culture and creativity should receive public funding – all consistent with 2019.
  2. Half of Australians believe the arts benefit our wellbeing (56%, the same as before COVID-19). However there has been an increase in those who are attending to improve their wellbeing (32% up from 25% in 2019).
  3. While the same proportion of Australians attended arts and cultural events in 2022 compared to 2019, they attended less frequently.
  4. Half of Australians are not attending as much as they would like to (49%, up from 42% before the COVID-19 pandemic), with cost and location continuing to be the main barriers to arts attendance.
  5. Almost half of Australians created art in 2022 (44%, consistent with 45% in 2019), with young people the most likely to creatively participate of all age groups.
  6. Australians are increasingly engaging with the arts online (88%, up from 82% in 2019). However, almost two-thirds missed the atmosphere of a live event, exhibition and/or experience when viewing online (60%).
  7. Almost all Australians listened to recorded music in 2022 (91%), increasingly through streaming services.
  8. More than two thirds of Australians read for pleasure (69%), a slight decrease from 2019 (72%).
  9. The vast majority of Australians continue to agree that First Nations arts are an important part of Australia’s culture (73%) and interest has remained steady (40%). However, fewer now think First Nations arts are well-represented in Australia (47%, down from 51% in 2019).
  10. First Nations and CALD respondents are highly engaged in the arts but are more likely to say, ‘cultural and creative experiences are not really for people like me’.

Watch the Top Ten Takeways webinar here.

Watch the webinar ‘How can you use the 2022 National Arts Participation Survey and its tools’ here.

“Cultural participation is a human right. All Australians, regardless of social, physical, geographic or personal circumstances, should be empowered to engage with cultural experiences.”

– Adrian Collette AM
Chief Executive Officer, Creative Australia


Creating Value ‘spotlight’ sections bring together findings on key themes from across the survey results. These themes highlight the value of arts and creativity to Australians and to our nation’s future.

Click on an image below to read more about each spotlight.