This is an encouraging piece of research: Almost all Australians “engage”with the arts. (I expect, similar figures would hold for New Zealanders)
When I first read the heading I was a little sceptical: OK so pretty much every one listens to music, watches film or video or reads; I can believe that. But what does this really mean. Then the author details the complicating factors: not so much interest in publicly funded “elite” arts, or attending live venues but more personal art making. That I find encouraging, although I find the authors findings that “young people” are engaged “using platforms such as Youtube, Instagram and Spotify.” a little off-centre. These are sharing platforms. To me the important point is the art making: music, drawing, photography and so forth. That is the point of engagement with the arts, not the platform for dissemination. Plenty of Australians are making art. There is much that is encouraging here.
So… here are the concluding comments. I encourage reading the whole article and the comments. The Conversation is worth a regular look too.
“The survey demonstrates the changing way that people now engage and participate in the arts. Researcher John Holden has talked at length about this with his framing of three forms of culture – publicly funded, homemade and commercial.
One of the survey researchers notes that the boundaries between art appreciation and art making are increasingly blurred. This is evidence of greater engagement in art making, especially by young people, using platforms such as Youtube, Instagram and Spotify.
Technology has been a democratising force in encouraging and enabling more people to both appreciate and participate in all forms of arts practice. It is likely this will continue and that is good for both arts engagement and how we value arts practices.”