Arts Nation is the home for the Australia Council’s research and knowledge management. In 2015 the Australia Council published Arts Nation: An overview of Australian arts, establishing a set of indicators and measures of arts and culture in Australia. In 2017 Arts Nation became an interactive web presence. Online, Arts Nation continues and expands the work of the original publication, presenting the full range of Australia Council research in an interactive and accessible format.ABOUT

Latest Research

The arts are central to the lives of Australians and have a critical role as the nation navigates accelerated technological and social change. In order to maintain this value, it is vital to understand the changing economic conditions faced by practising professional artists and their evolving role in society.

Making Art Work: An Economic Study of Professional Artists in Australia by David Throsby and Katya Petetskaya is the sixth in a series carried out independently over thirty years by Professor Throsby at Macquarie University, with funding from the Australia Council. The series tracks trends in the lives and working conditions of Australian artists over 30 years and identifies challenges and opportunities for artists’ careers into the future.

For the first time the Council has produced a companion report which provides a summary and response to the artist survey. Making Art Work: A summary and response by the Australia Council for the Arts places the findings alongside other literature and analysis to explore the wider context for Australian artists.


UNBROKEN LAND, Alice Springs Desert Festival 2015. Credit: Oliver Eclipse

The arts in regional Australia: A research summary

The stories of Australia’s regional and remote communities are integral to the fabric of a culturally ambitious nation, and the artistic excellence among regional artists is critical to a vibrant arts sector that reflects Australia’s depth and diversity. Engagement with the arts enriches the lives of regional Australians and creates stronger, healthier and more cohesive communities.

This webpage brings together findings from a number of the Australia Council’s research publications to build the evidence base about regional arts and artists, and engagement with the arts in regional Australia.


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Festival of the Brolga 2016, Beyond Empathy. Credit: Raphaela Rosella

Living Culture: First Nations arts participation and wellbeing

Living Culture presents arts and culture data from the ABS’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) about Indigenous Australians’ engagement with First Nations arts, festivals, languages and broadcasting, and attendance at arts and cultural venues and events. The data can be explored through interactive dashboards, or downloaded in detailed tables with breakdowns by a range of characteristics including by state/territory and remoteness areas.

Living Culture contributes to the growing body of evidence about the critical role of culture as the foundation of First Nations wellbeing.READ MORE



What are Australians’ relationships with the arts at this point in time? Do Australians recognise the impacts of the arts in their lives? What are their attitudes about artists and freedom of expression? How is engagement with the arts changing, and how is the digital revolution driving this change?

These questions are explored in Connecting Australians: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey. The 2016 survey is the third in a landmark series by the Australia Council for the Arts, following editions in 2009 and 2013.

This series provides a comprehensive picture of Australians’ evolving relationship with the arts in their daily lives. It encompasses engagement with the broad gamut of arts offerings across Australia, including from both commercial and not-for-profit organisations; engagement with free accessible public art; and creative participation at all levels from the hobbyist to the arts professional.READ MORE


National Arts Participation Survey: State and Territory results

The state and territory results provide detailed data on arts engagement in the ACT, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

Explore the data through interactive dashboards, downloadable data sets and fact sheets for each state and territory.Installation view of Choi Jeong Hwa’s The Mandala Flowers, Queensland Art Gallery, APT8, 2016. Credit: Brodie Standen



National Arts Participation Survey: Culture Segments Australia

Culture Segments Australia, was compiled by Morris Hargreaves Macintyre using data collected through the National Arts Participation Survey. This report presents a set of tools to expand our knowledge of arts audiences and participants, and to assist the arts sector with specific information about how audiences can be developed.

Download the report and explore the data through interactive dashboards, searchable by Culture Segment, state/territory and detailed art form.The Stance, choreographed by Liesel Zink, Performance Space Liveworks Festival, 2016. Credit: Liesel ZinkREAD MORE