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There is much potential for the arts to capitalise on the benefits they offer business, according to a new survey of corporate decision makers.

Business does not want the arts to compete with sports for sponsorships; they seek arts partnerships which offer a distinctive way to look at the world, to promote excellence, to reward staff and encourage tolerance.

These views are revealed in Arts and business: partnerships that work, a new report jointly published by the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF).

The survey asked business leaders from 36 major companies for their views on sponsorship and partnership relationships with the arts.

“We have an annual survey of the arts to find out how much support the sector receives from business,” says Jane Haley, CEO of AbaF. “But we wanted to hear voices from the business side, to gain deeper insights into the business perspective – what benefits do they perceive in supporting the arts?”

“We discovered that many corporates want to connect their brand with creativity, to motivate and encourage their staff, and to demonstrate their contribution to the community.”

Kathy Keele, CEO of the Australia Council says, “Business and arts partnerships are a key area of interest for us. Well-designed relationships can unlock considerable value for both parties and Partnerships that work shows us that business understands this – they’re embracing the creativity and passion of the Australian arts, and that provides a real opportunity for arts organisations.”

“The research however also reinforces that that opportunity must be approached strategically. There must be a fit between an arts organisation and a business for a partnership to work. Arts organisations need to look at themselves and ask what it is that we can offer. How could it fit with a business and which business will it fit with?”

The research also highlights reasons behind businesses not investing in the arts.

“We were interested to know why some businesses do not support the arts,” says Jane Haley. “And we were pleased to find that many of the businesses who don’t, can still see the unique opportunities for them in the arts. So there is real potential to convert some to arts supporters.”

“AbaF and the Australia Council will use the findings to strengthen the capacity of arts and business across Australia to connect more creatively.”

The report, which was conducted by Repucom International for the Australia Council and AbaF, can be downloaded here or from

Media Contacts:

Nick Gadd, 0425 862 119
Cameron Woods, 02 9215 9030, 0412 686 548 or



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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