The headline figures of a new study into Australia’s Major Performing Arts sector in 2012 reveal encouraging growth in audience numbers, employment, new work presented and box office revenue across the 28 leading Australian companies.
The snapshot of key trends report has been compiled by the Australia Council to inform the ongoing work of its Major Performing Arts Panel. It found 3.6 million Australians attended a performance, workshop or school activity by a Major Performing Arts company last year, an increase of 118,000 compared to 2011.
Australia Council CEO, Tony Grybowski said the analysis was significant as it confirmed the Major Performing Arts sector continues to play a central and vital role in Australian cultural life.
“In 2012 artistic achievement in our Major Performing Arts sector was strong, with Australians attending almost 6,000 performances, including world premiere performances of 108 new Australian works and almost eight million people listened or watched a radio broadcast, TV or cinema screening of performances by MPA companies” Mr Grybowski said.
There is also very encouraging news around the viability and sustainability of the sector. The findings show the 28 Major Performing Arts companies posted a combined operating surplus of $12.7 million, including a healthy increase in box office income.
That is a fantastic sign for the future of a sector that employs 8,400 people, including 4,600 artists.
Other highlights of the snapshot report into Major Performing Arts companies in 2012 include:
- Combined box office income increased by $28 million to $203 million, with all artforms except theatre reporting increases.
- $65 million was contributed in private sector (sponsorship and philanthropy) income, which is steady when compared to 2011, and a 25 per cent increase on 2010 figures.
- 308,000 people signed up to be friends of followers of the 28 Major Performing Arts companies via their social media channels.
Mr Grybowski said the social media figures were an exciting sign of the evolving nature of audience engagement with the arts.
“There was a 51 per cent increase in social media engagement compared to 2010, which is validation that people interested in the arts want to have a more direct relationship with their favourite arts companies,” Mr Grybowski said. The 28 Major Performing Arts companies include dance, theatre, opera, orchestra and chamber music from across Australia. These companies are jointly funded by the Australian Government, through the Australia Council for the Arts, and by the relevant state government.
In 2012 the Australian Government provided $96 million to the Major Performing Arts companies and the State Government allocated $44 million.
Download the report.