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Building Public Engagement with the Arts in New Brunswick

Attitudinal Research

March 27, 201227 March 2012

Arts attendance and participation / Provincial and local information

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Based on a telephone survey of 1,000 New Brunswickers, this report examines their arts participation activities and attitudes. The report found that 96% of “New Brunswickers participate in the arts at least once a year”, including reading books (86%), attending concerts or live music events (62%), going to plays (55%), visiting art galleries (37%), attending an arts festival (28%) and going to dance performances (26%). The report indicates that the typical margin of error of the survey results is 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Despite the fact that 46% of New Brunswickers could not or would not name a local arts organization, 89% of respondents indicated that the arts are either “moderately important” or “very important” to the quality of their community. Similarly, 80% of New Brunswickers “agree that the arts are at least moderately important to their quality of life”. A similar percentage (85%) believes that government funding for the arts in their community is moderately or very important.

When asked to rate how impressed they are with the arts events and activities in their community, respondents gave, on average, a rating of six out of ten (with one meaning “not at all impressed” and ten meaning “very impressed”).

Regarding sources of information on the activities or events that are taking place in their local community, most New Brunswickers obtain information from newspapers, followed by radio, word of mouth, the internet and television.

A range of factors would “greatly influence” respondents’ decisions to attend arts events, including “material that makes me laugh” (29%), “interest in the subject matter or type of art” (26%), “quality of the performance or artist” (23%), “having someone to go with” (also 23%), “friends or family recommended it” (17%), “ease of access to the event or activity” (16%), “material or content that makes me think” (also 16%), and “cost of the event or activity” (15%).

Regarding value-added elements that would encourage them to participate more in the arts, most respondents requested greater interaction with artists: 77% indicated that they would like to have the opportunity to see an artist at work, and 61% said that they would like to attend a “meet the artist” type of event. Other activities include pre or post-show chats (44%) and introductory classes in an art form (40%).

The report also provides detailed demographic information as well as profiles of certain demographic segments, including separate profiles of women and men in three age ranges (16 to 34, 35 to 54, and 55 or older).

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