Arts Events on the Rise

The Arts Council/An Chomhairie Ealaion have published a report showing that a significant number of the Irish public attend arts events nationwide. The reports states that of those questioned nearly one third believe that there are barriers to attending or taking part in arts activities.

Sixty percent of those questioned stated that they had attended some form of arts events in the last 12 months. Many felt that cost and distance prevented them from attending many events.

Arts events are evenly distributed across Ireland according to the report. Those who attend events in their local community or arts centre are more likely to have attended a greater number of arts events. The Arts Council believe that local arts development is an important part of ensuring access to the arts.

Cinema is the move popular art-form in Ireland with 75% of adults attending the cinema in the last 12 months, it is followed by pubs and hotels, the local church, theatre and libraries.

The more activities available in the local community the more likely people are to attend, with distance considered the most important factor when deciding to attend such events.

Speaking today at the launch in Create in Temple Bar, Director of the Arts Council Orlaith McBride said that ‘the Arts Council believes that the more people who engage in the arts, either as audience or participant and the greater their social and geographic diversity, the more significant the impact of public investment in the arts. This research allows the Arts Council to better understand who and where people are participating in the arts, giving us better insights into the public value placed on the arts. As a consequence of this research, the Arts Council will launch a Creative Place Programme in 2018 that will generate more access to the arts across the country in local communities. The emphasis will be on allowing communities to develop, create, generate and participate in arts experiences in the places where they live. The programme will be developed in places where people have fewer opportunities to get involved in creative activities’.

The Arts Council has also increased its investment in a range of arts participation programmes and organisations in 2017 based on evidence from this research over the last number of years.

The Arts in Irish Life: 2016 sets out the results of market research for the Arts Council into levels of public engagement with the arts. These findings were derived from questions incorporated into Kantar Media’s TGI study. The questions sought to capture information on patterns of attendance at arts events and participation and attitudes of the Irish adult population. Since this study runs on a repeating annual basis the Arts Council is now able to receive an up to data snapshot of the behaviours, attitudes and participation levels as they relate to the arts and use these insights and trends in its policy and investment decisions.