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An Australia Council for the Arts survey of over 3000 Australians has revealed that 15-24 year olds are vastly more creative than any other age group.

An impressive 60 per cent of 15-24 year olds have creatively participated in the arts in the past year. The second highest were 25-34 year olds with a 44 per cent participation rate.

Young people are also set to participate even more, with younger age groups more likely than others to say their involvement in the arts had increased in the last year.

“With younger people embracing the arts so eagerly, itís likely that this is the beginning of a strong trend. It suggests that future surveys may reveal a yet higher level of interest and participation in the arts,” said Kathy Keele, CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts.

Young people have also embraced the internet as a creative outlet with 28 per cent of 15-24 year olds using the internet to create or share some kind of art in the past year.

“We can see that the internet generally is having a big impact on people’s attitudes to the arts and to their accessibility. People online are researching shows or exhibitions on their own terms. But this younger generation is also using it as a creative launching pad – they’re writing online, creating visual arts such as digital images, interactive artwork and many are working collaboratively with others.”

The research, released today, provides the most comprehensive picture this century of the way Australians are involved with the arts. It covers both creative participation and attendance in all major art forms, including visual arts and crafts, music, theatre, dance, reading, writing and music.

“Visual arts and crafts is the most popular creative activity – 22 per cent of all people did some form of painting, sewing, woodwork or art photography, for example,” said Ms Keele. “Literature is also popular with 7 per cent  of people writing a novel or short story, and 5 per cent of people have written poetry – that’s almost 900,000 Australians writing poems!”

The research also shows that the arts are becoming more inclusive. Most Australians perceive the individual, social and community benefits of the arts, and agree they make life more meaningful. A comparable Australia Council survey in 1999 showed that over half of Australians felt that the arts attracted the somewhat pretentious and elitist – but this number has now dropped to a third.

Based on focus groups, stakeholder interviews and 3,000 Australians surveyed, this landmark research reveals that nearly three quarters of Australians attended the arts last year and, impressively, four out of ten creatively participated in the arts – thatís over 7.2 million people exploring arts around the country.”We have also identified a significant new interest in Indigenous arts.  And we now know the reasons why some Australians haven’t attended the arts in the last year.”

“This research will help our arts organisations understand their audiences better and help make what they do even more welcoming and accessible.”

More than bums on seats, Australian participation in the arts was conducted by instinct and reason. To find out more, or view the full report go to

For interviews with Kathy Keele and media information, please contact Cameron Woods,
02 9215 9030 or 0412 686 548 or



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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