In ground-breaking research which measures the real value of arts spending by the City of Melbourne, RMIT academics have quantified the economic and social impact of the Council’s arts investment.
The joint study by City of Melbourne and RMIT University – which measures the economic impact of arts investment – found that Melburnians love the arts and see public spending on the arts as vital.
The Economic Impact of the City of Melbourne's Investment in the Arts report found respondents thought the arts were essential to Melbourne’s identity, creative edge and reputation.
From July to November last year, RMIT researchers interviewed more than 1000 people, including artists, audience members who attended City of Melbourne arts events and the general community, to determine the value of the investment in the arts.
Some key findings include:
- Artists who were initially supported by City of Melbourne either secured paid work (65 per cent) or further funding opportunities (45 per cent).
- Seventy per cent of audience respondents said their main reason to visit Melbourne that day was to attend the arts event.
- Even when researchers sought out people who had not been to an arts event in a year, Melburnians still believed the arts were essential and wanted them preserved.
- Ninety per cent of audience respondents agreed the arts should be preserved for future generations.
Dr Meg Elkins, lead researcher at RMIT University School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, said the research team worked hard to measure both the tangible and intangible value of the Council’s arts programs.
“Our comprehensive survey of artists, audiences and the general public provided a unique perspective on the true worth of the City of Melbourne’s arts programs to a broad range of people,” Ms Elkins said.
“The cultural importance of the arts is well known. What is less well understood are the financial and social impacts,” Elkins said.
Professor Calum Drummond, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, said the partnership between the City of Melbourne and RMIT University was beneficial for both organisations.
“By collaborating with the City of Melbourne, RMIT has been able to apply our research expertise to provide answers to issues that contribute to society’s well-being.”
The full report is available here.
Story: Jane Kenrick