Creative and cultural engagement


Theme: Cohesive
Dimension: Having time for family and community


  • Proportion of people who participated in at least one cultural activity
  • Proportion of people who attended at least one cultural venue or event

Why does this matter

Participation in creative and cultural activities enrich people’s lives and can also have broader positive social and economic impacts.

Has there been progress

One third (32 per cent) of adults participated in creative activities in 2021-22 such as visual arts, music, dance and craft.

For children, creative activities, including drama, music, dancing, art and craft activities, creative writing and creating digital content were popular, with a participation rate of 59 per cent in 2021-22.1

Between 2017-18 and 2021-22 attendance at cultural venues or events fell from 82 per cent to 64 per cent of adults and 94 per cent to 80 per cent of children. The COVID-19 pandemic is one factor that has affected attendance rates over this period.

How does this differ across cohorts

People living in greater capital cities were more likely to attend a cultural venue or event (65 per cent) when compared with people living in other regions of Australia (61 per cent).

Most audiences continue to attend events amid cost‑of‑living pressures, but the profile of those attending and their attendance preferences are changing.  In April 2023, industry data indicated three quarters of past attendees (76 per cent) attended a cultural activity, which is consistent with October 2022 and August 2022. Older audiences (those aged 55+) are the most likely to be attending events right now (78 per cent). Younger audiences (those under 35) are least likely to have attended a cultural activity recently (67 per cent) – a notable decline since October 2022 (77 per cent).2

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2021-22) Cultural participation and attendance survey, ABS website, accessed 12 July 2023

2 Australian Council of the Arts (2023) Audience Outlook Monitor April 2023, accessed 6 July 2023

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