Attendance and Engagement

People from a non-English speaking background are less likely to participate in the arts

People with a non-English speaking background are less engaged with the arts than the broader population. The participation rates for people whose main language spoken at home is not English are lower than the wider Australian community:

  • 5 percent lower in terms of receptive particpation
  • 8 percent lower in terms of creative participation.

·’Playing the arts game’ shows language to be the key factor in terms of multicultural engagement (as opposed to being born overseas or having parents born overseas). Those born here but with at least one parent born overseas showed similar levels of participation to other Australians.

The ABS found that those children born overseas in an English speaking country were most likely to have attended at least one cultural venue or event (82 percent), compared to children born in Australia (71 percent) and children born in countries where English is not the main language (67 percent).

Children born overseas (63 percent) were somewhat more likely to visit a public library than children born in Australia (51 percent). Children born in Australia (39 percent) or overseas in an English speaking country (45 percent) were more likely to attend a performing arts event than children born in countries where English is not the main language (23 percent).