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New Zealanders and the Arts - Survey

New Zealanders continue to enjoy and support the arts despite the difficult economic environment, according to Creative New Zealand's latest survey.

Most New Zealanders (80%) agree the arts help define who we are as New Zealanders.  Engagement in the arts also remains strong, with 85% of New Zealanders attending or being actively involved in the arts in the past 12 months.

The results are included in Creative New Zealand's triennial survey, New Zealanders and the Arts: Attitudes, Attendance and Participation in 2011.

''As a nation we continue to value the arts highly and young New Zealanders, in particular, gain a strong sense of wellbeing from being creative,'' says Creative New Zealand's Chief Executive, Stephen Wainwright.

''This is despite the devastating Christchurch earthquakes and the difficult economic climate, both creating challenges for the arts sector.''

The triennial survey also revealed some new findings:

Young New Zealanders are increasingly involved in the arts: four out of five young Kiwis (80%) like to do at least one creative arts activity in their spare time.  And the arts makes them feel good about themselves, with nearly half (46%) saying they feel "brilliant" when being creative and a further third (38%) saying they feel "really good". 

  • Young New Zealanders rate being creative as a favourite pastime (80%), ahead of playing computer or video games (77%) and alongside watching TV and DVDs (80%).

  • Online engagement with the arts has grown significantly.  In 2011, 51% of New Zealanders watched a performance or looked at art online, compared to 38% in 2008. This had a flow-on effect for attendance at live events, with 23% of online arts viewers attending the live event as a result, compared to just 15% in 2008.

  • Maori and Pacific arts events appeal to a broad range of New Zealanders.  Almost three-quarters (74%) of those who attended a Maori arts event in the past 12 months did not identify as Maori and 88% of people who attended a Pacific arts event did not identify as from a Pacific Island ethnic group. "This strong interest in Maori and Pacific arts reflects both our changing demographics and who we are as a nation,'' said Mr Wainwright.

New Zealanders and the Arts: Attitudes, Attendance and Participation in 2011 aims to provide insights that help the arts community and its supporters identify new trends in a changing environment and take up new opportunities. The research was conducted by independent research company Colmar Brunton and involved just over 3300 New Zealanders.   It builds on previous research in 2005 and 2008.

More facts and figures:

  • The market for arts and culture in New Zealand is large, with 95% of those surveyed saying that they have been to at least one cultural event within the last three years – compared to 87% in Australia and 85% in the United Kingdom according to similar surveys in those countries.

  • Attendance at arts events in Christchurch has been severely affected by the earthquakes, with two-thirds of Christchurch residents saying they attend the arts less frequently.

  • Ninety per cent of Christchurch people agree that arts and culture are vital to the re-building of the city, and 94% agree it is important for the city to be recognised for excellence in the arts.

On a lighter note: 
Godfrey got hurt in the earthquakes but,
thanks to artist Judy Rogers, he has received much needed first aid and a repaint.

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