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Executive summary

Art and culture continue to be of high importance to the community.

  • 86% agree the Western Australian Government  should invest in arts and culture to ensure they are available to the public.
  • 95% agree it is important for school children to have access to arts and culture  as part of their education.

Perceptions of individual and community value remains high.  

When asked ‘how valuable is the role of arts and culture in your life?’, the Value Index Score is 65.

  • This is within one index point of the Value Index Score over recent years.
  • Regionally, perceived value is highest in Perth’s western suburbs and the Pilbara, and lowest in the Gascoyne.
  • Perceived value is higher among people who mainly speak a language other than English at home.
  • Perceived value is lower among males and people with disability or impairment.

Arts and culture is seen to have a valuable role in the community with a Value Index Score of 78.

  • This is the highest score achieved in 13 years, up from a low of 68 in 2013.
  • Community value is higher among females, people living in the other north suburbs of Perth and people with children aged 18 years or older. 
  • Regionally, community value varies between 70 points in the South West to 88 points in the Pilbara.

Most people believe the arts benefits the broader community, not just those who participate.

Only 16% agree that “the arts only helps those people who participate, not the broader community”.

  • The Agreement Index Score is 33, the lowest score achieved to date and a positive indication that fewer people think the arts only benefits those who participate.
  • Level of agreement is fairly similar across the community. The greatest variances are by location. People in the inner and outer north suburbs of Perth, and in the Kimberley are more likely to think the arts benefit people in the boarder community.

Most believe arts and culture contributes to WA’s sense of community and identity. 

When asked ‘how valuable is the contribution of arts and culture to your sense of community in WA?’, the Value Index Score is 71, on par with recent years. 

  • The Value Index Score is higher among females and people with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.
  • Regionally, the Value Index Score is highest in the Kimberley and Pilbara.

When asked ‘how valuable is the contribution of arts and culture to the identity of the state?’, the Value Index Score is 72, on par with recent years.  

  • The Value Index score is fairly consistent across the community.
  • Regionally, the Value Index Score is highest in the Kimberley and Pilbara.
  • Females rate value higher than males.

The arts continue to make people feel good. 

The Agreement Index Score is 79; the highest score to date.

  • Level of agreement is fairly similar across the community; slightly higher among females than males.
  • Regionally, perceived value is highest in the Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley.

Access to art and culture remains fairly easy, but wide gap between metro and regional.

The Ease of Access Index Score is 66, fairly consistent with recent years. 

  • Access continues to be more difficult for people living in regional WA (56 points) compared to the Perth metro area (70). Access is most difficult for the Gascoyne region (20 points).
  • It is also more difficult to access and participate in art and cultural activities for people with disability (55).

Annual participation in the arts may have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

73% of respondents participated in an arts and cultural activity over the past 12 months.

  • Participation is down slightly from 74% last year, and a high of 82% in 2019.
  • Participation over summer dropped to an all-time low of 68%, down from 71% in 2020 and 82% in 2019.
  • Overall, 96% of respondents recall attending or participating in an arts or cultural activity before which is an increase from 2020.

Frequent participation (that is, respondents who attended activities at least once a month over summer), is higher among those with higher levels of education and income.  

  • In the regions, frequent participation is highest in the Pilbara, Kimberley and Great Southern.
  • Frequent participation is lowest in the Mid West, Gascoyne and Wheatbelt.
  • The Mid West had the highest proportion of people who had never participated.

The main motivators for participating in arts and cultural activities are being interested in the content, experiencing new things, having fun and interacting with family and friends. 

The top four motivators have remained similar across the population. 

  • COVID-19 restrictions do not appear to have impacted motivators, with the possible exception of wanting to experience new things which increased by 5% points.
  • Two of the stand out variances are that respondents in the Gascoyne region are much more likely to mention fun and interacting with friends and family as the main motivators.

Government and corporate support are considered to be essential for the arts. 

Only 15% of respondents agree with the statement “all theatre, ballet and opera companies and public art galleries, etc should rely on their tickets sales alone”. 

80% of respondents would be prepared to contribute more money to expand provision of and access to arts and culture. This is an increase from 76% in 2020.

  • 57% of respondents believe a government allocation for of $2.21 per person per week for arts and culture is too low.
  • 35% of respondents would be willing to pay up to $2 more per week and 46% would be prepared to pay more than $2 extra per person per week.

Perceived value of the WA film and television industry remains high.

75% of respondents rate the industry highly. 

  • The Value Index Score is 77, the second highest score over recent years.  The high score of 80 was achieved in 2012.
  • Perceived value is fairly consistent across the community. Perceived value is slightly higher among seniors, and among those with lower levels of education and income.
  • In the regions, perceived value is highest in the Peel region and lowest in the South West.

Perceived access to WA film and TV has remained steady with continued room to improve.

Only 37% of respondents consider it to be easy to access WA produced film and television productions.

  • The overall Ease of Access Index Score is 53 points.  This is consistent with recent years, but down from a high of 61 points in 2017.
  • Ease of access is best in Great Southern (59 points) and Kalgoorlie-Esperance (56 points).
  • Ease of access is lowest in the Gascoyne region (35 points).

Extent to which arts and culture was missed during COVID-19 restrictions. 

Since March 2020, COVID-19 restrictions have impacted on opportunities to attend and participate in arts and culture activities.  

54% of respondents missed being able to attend or participate in arts and culture activities quite a lot  (giving a rating of 4 or 5 out of 5) due to the COVID-19 restrictions. 

  • Arts and culture activities were missed the most by people living in the western and outer north suburbs of Perth, by females and those on higher incomes.
  • Arts and culture activities were missed the least by people in the Gascoyne (however, they also tend to report lower levels of access to art and culture generally).
Page reviewed 11 September 2023