Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts attendance & participation

This report attempts to provide a “health check” for the arts in England. Between 2007/08 and 2013/14, the overall arts index increased from 99 to 111. Most of the increase in the index occurred between 2007 and 2011.

Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture

Arguing that “creativity is a desirable and necessary element for a thriving community”, this American report attempts to identify cities with particularly strong artistic vibrancy among 937 metropolitan areas in the U.S.A.

The 2016 report of the National Arts Index, based largely on data from 2013, highlights the “post-recession recovery” of the arts using 81 equally-weighted national indicators across four key dimensions: financial flows; capacity; arts participation; and competitiveness. The overall index value was 99.8 in 2013, higher than any year since 2009 but only back to the levels in the first two years measured (2002 and 2003). In other words, based on this index, the arts in America are in roughly the same health as in 2002.

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) looks beyond the key national economic indicator (Gross Domestic Product, or GDP) to attempt to measure “those areas of our lives that we care about the most, like education, health, the environment, and the relationships we have with others”. The health of leisure and culture is estimated using eight indicators, five of which relate to the arts, culture, and heritage.

This series of research projects included three primary research endeavours: 1) a comparison of the finances of 19 B.C. arts, culture, and heritage organizations with 38 “peer” organizations in other provinces; 2) analysis of a province-wide survey of arts, culture, and heritage organizations; and 3) a summary of 14 qualitative interviews “related to human resources, community engagement and impacts, diversity, the entrepreneurial nature of B.C. arts organizations, and the nature of success for different groups”.

(La fréquentation des arts de la scène au Québec en 2015, Optique culture no 51)

This Quebec report provides information about attendance at theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, and magic performances in 2015. There were 17,700 performances with an admission fee in Quebec in 2015 (a 3% increase from 2009), which attracted 6.7 million attendees (a 9% decrease from 2009). Box office revenues decreased from $274 million in 2009 to $233 million in 2015 (-15%).

Statistics Canada's biennial performing arts data provide information about not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in Canada. Operating revenues were $1.91 billion for all performing arts groups in 2014. Not-for-profit performing organizations had $832 million in total revenues in 2014.

(La fréquentation des institutions muséales au Québec en 2014 et 2015, optique culture no 48)

This report highlights attendance statistics at 422 Quebec museums, interpretive centres, and exhibition spaces (excluding artist-run centres). In 2015, total attendance was 14.0 million, slightly below the record level from 2013 (14.2 million). The report notes that school attendance showed a recent decrease, falling from over 1 million in previous years to 843,000 in 2015.

This aggregate profile of 184 Ontario museums “identifies the realities of operating museums in Ontario today” and provides “compelling evidence to demonstrate museum impacts and their economic, social and cultural contributions to Ontario’s communities”. The 184 Ontario museums responded to a survey designed and conducted by the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) in 2014-2015, and the survey results were analyzed by Hill Strategies Research Inc.

This Canadian survey, conducted in 2015 and capturing data from 2013, is intended “to provide aggregate data to governments and cultural associations in order to gain a better understanding of not-for-profit heritage institutions and to aid in the development of policies and the conduct of programs”. The total revenues of heritage organizations were estimated at $2.12 billion in 2013, a 2.9% increase from 2011 (figures not adjusted for inflation). Total expenditures were $1.97 billion, resulting in an operating surplus equivalent to 3.7% of total revenues in 2013.