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This document reports on the analysis of a longitudinal series of surveys designed to track the Western Australian community’s participation in and attitudes towards culture and the arts. It is based on a set of five annual independent surveys, conducted over the period of 2007 to 2011 inclusive.

Each iteration of the series was based on a sample of 400 quota controlled random dial telephone interviews conducted with adults resident in Western Australia – 2018 interviews in total. The sampling for each iteration was structured to reflect the approximate age and gender profile of the adult population, as defined by the 2006 Census. The accumulation of random samples over five years produced a sample of 2018 interviews, which produces a theoretical survey error of +/- 2% at the 95% confidence level.

Key findings

The exercise has produced a set of five segments based on their attitudes towards and exposure to the various elements of culture and the arts. The five segments are described in detail in section three. They are:

The “Advocates” (16% of respondents)

  1. The ”Culturalists” (15% of respondents)
  2. The “Casuals” (34% of respondents)
  3. The “Ambivalents ” (12% of respondents)
  4. The “Disinterested” (24% of respondents)

It is interesting that all but the “Disinterested” segments showed very favourable attitudes towards culture and the arts, in terms of supporting government investment, the benefits of exposure in school programs and the notions that the arts “make me feel good” and “help us understand our culture”.

Whilst the “Advocates” and “Culturalists” showed the greatest levels of involvement in arts activities, we believe that the “Casuals” segment shows the greatest potential for increased activity in attendance at arts performances and events. They are the largest segment, and display positive attitudes towards the arts, though with relatively modest levels of involvement in the arts compared to the most active segments – the “Advocates” and “Culturalists”. Compared to the other segments they appear to be quite likely to be influenced by promotions through the social media and the internet generally.

Page reviewed 11 September 2023