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Art Smarts

Art smartsA bi-monthly newsletter from the Australia Council research team

Art Smarts will keep you up to date with published research, commentary and issues relevant to the arts from sources across Australia and overseas. View the current issue below or browse the archive of previous editions using the left-hand menu.

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ART SMARTS February 2014

Welcome to the February issue of Art Smarts

Happy New Year!

The first few months of 2014 have seen the release of a wealth of reports on the economic contribution of culture and creativity. Both Australia and the US have released satellite accounts: the US Bureau for Economic Analysis estimates ‘arts and culture’ contribute 3.2 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that ‘cultural and creative activity’ contribute 6.9% to GDP. These results are not directly comparable because of different definitions and measurement approaches, although the ABS has estimated that if these are accounted for then the economic contribution level is similar in both countries.

These reports contain information on employment in the arts, culture and creative sectors. We are currently updating our analysis of employment in the 2011 Census, which gives more detailed analysis by art form and by gender – look out for this publication soon.

Our CEO Tony Grybowski points out that economic data is not the only way to measure the value of the arts. At the Australia Council we are committed to providing a more comprehensive view of the arts sector through our research and data program. We have had a good start to the year welcoming the new Industry Analysis team –Manager Kristy Wandmaker and Analyst Chris Pope to the team. I would also like to farewell Maria Savvidis from the team, and recognise her inspired Art Smarts editorial work over the past year.

I hope you enjoy this edition, 

Bridget Jones
Director, Research and Strategic Analysis 



Top reading

Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts, Experimental, 2008-09
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 10 February 2014

The ABS has released the first experimental measure of the economic contribution of cultural and creative activity in Australia. It shows cultural and creative activity contributed $86.0 billion (6.9 percent) to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product in 2008-09. The estimated creative and cultural activity as a share of Australia’s GDP is similar to, or slightly below countries such as Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. The largest industries (in terms of national accounts value) are Design; Literature and print media; Fashion; and Broadcasting, electronic or digital media and film. The accounts also give data on employment and voluntary services, the value of non-market outputs, and the number of business and non-profit entities.

View the Satellite Accounts >

US Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account
US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA),  December 2013

This preliminary report is the first US federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the contribution of the arts and cultural sector to gross domestic product (GDP). Using statistical data collected by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, it estimates that arts and culture contributed 3.2 percent (US $504 billion) of the GDP in 2011, with gross output of this sector generating US $916 billion. It also gives data on imports and exports, and employment. The NEA has also released a white paper that explains the process of creating the Satellite Account report.

Read the preliminary report >

Valuing Australia’s Creative Industries
Enterprise Connect Creative Industries Innovation Centre (CIIC), February 2014

This report focuses on capturing the economic value and contribution of Australia’s Creative Industries. These industries are those where “creativity is used to create value for their consumers”, and the report estimates they contribute AUD$32.8 billion in Industry Value Added to Gross Domestic Product in 2011/12.  The size of the total creative workforce (including “embedded creatives” who have creative occupations within non-creative industries) in 2011 was 611,307 people, which represented 6.2 percent of total employment in Australia. 

Read the report >

UK Creative Industries Economic Estimates – January 2014
Department for Culture, Media & Sport, 14 January 2014

This report presents official statistics measuring the economic contribution of the Creative Industries in the UK across the areas of employment, gross value added (GVA) and exports of services. Analysis of these three areas differentiates between results for the Creative Economy (creative occupations including those outside the creative industries) and the Creative Industries (only those working in the Creative Industries including non-creative occupations). Employment figures for the Creative Economy in 2012 accounted for 2.55 million jobs, whereas employment for Creative Industries accounted for 1.68 million jobs in 2012.

Browse the statistics >


Funding and policy

Copyright and the Digital Economy
Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), 13 February 2014

This ALRC final report is the result of an 18 month inquiry into the appropriateness of exceptions and statutory licenses in the Copyright Act of 1968 in relation to the digital environment. The report contains 30 recommendations for reform, with the key recommendation being for the introduction of a fair use exception to Australian copyright law. It outlines why fair use will promote and benefit innovation in a digital age, as well as offering an alternative exception of “fair dealing”, should fair use not be enacted. The Australia Council submitted a response to the ALRC’s earlier Discussion Paper, highlighting a range of issues which a fair use model would raise for the artistic community.

Read the report > 

Meeting places: drivers of change in Australian Aboriginal cultural institutions*
Tod Jones & Christina Birdsall-Jones, International Journal of Cultural Policy, Volume 20, Issue 3, 2014
*Access to this article is by paid subscription or online purchase

This paper looks at the estimated 34 Aboriginal and Torres Strait t Islander art and cultural centres across Australia through case studies and a literature review. It considers the differences and overlapping between arts centres and cultural centres, the influence they can have on cultural policy, and the ways they are shaped by various alliances. Lastly it discusses the potential for new opportunities in participation, activism and expression amongst the Aboriginal communities.

Access the article online >

Good Practice Guide on Arts Advocacy
International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), January 2014

This Good Practice Guide aims to provide assistance in promoting the value of the arts and topics for engaging in arts advocacy discussions . It includes suggestions and standards about good campaign practice, a selection of arts advocacy campaign case studies (including the use of social media), and links to other resources.

Browse the guide >

Video: The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) National Visual Arts Agenda
National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), 11 December 2013

To celebrate NAVA‘s 30th Anniversary, Executive Director Tamara Winikoff gave a speech outlining  NAVA’s new National Visual Arts Agenda which aims to increase the capacity and strength of the arts in Australia.  The key items and strategies address valuing Australian art and artists, ensuring sustainable careers for professional artists, and national and international arts infrastructure for Australia.

Watch the NAVA presentation >

Dance Review Final Report 2014
Creative New Zealand, 31 Jan 2014

This report by Creative New Zealand outlines the recommendations agreed by the Arts Council and discusses issues identified and feedback received during the Dance review in 2013. The four key areas that have been agreed upon are; support for individual dance artists, investment in the dance sector and its infrastructure, audience development, and domestic touring of New Zealand dance.

Read the report >



Management and marketing

UK vs Australian arts salary surveys
artsHub, 13 January 2014

Two recent surveys of artsHub subscribers in the UK and Australia show that the average salary of British subscribers working in the arts is AUD $37,645 compared to AUD $55,000 on average for Australian subscribers. In both countries the salaries are substantially less than the national income average, with 30 percent less in Australia and 27 percent less in the UK. The surveys also show that 74 percent of Australian respondents rate their job satisfaction as ‘good’ or ‘excellent,’ compared to just 68 percent in the UK survey. This higher level of job satisfaction reported by Australia artsHub subscribers could be attributed to a higher level of sector stability that comes with perceived higher levels of direct (e.g. funding) and indirect (e.g. jobs) Government investment.

Read the article >

How to choose the best crowdfunding site
artsHub, 15 January 2014

This article looks at ten points to consider when selecting a crowdfunding platform. Questions such as funding options, currency fluctuations, campaign support and audience scope are some of the features weighed up and compared between three crowdfunding sites in Australia; Pozible, Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

Read the article >

Crowbar crowdfunding incentive program launched
Arts Tasmania & Pozible, February 2014

Arts Tasmania has announced its new partnership with the crowd funding platform Pozible to offer approved campaigns an additional investment of up to 50 per cent of a project’s successful crowd funding target. The campaign is called “Crowbar” and projects are open to artists and arts organisations based in Tasmania from 5 February and 30 October 2014.

Find out more >

National Center for Arts Research Inaugural Report
National Center for Arts Research (NCAR), December 2013

This inaugural report looks at the health of arts and cultural organisations in the US. Nine areas and 184 indices were identified as areas to investigate over time, in order to best reflect the position of these organisations. The 9 main areas are; contributed revenue, earned revenue, expenses, marketing impact, bottom line, balance sheet, community engagement, program activity, and staffing. Data will continue to be added and integrated on a quarterly ongoing basis, as well as the future development of an online dashboard for organisations to view their individual results.

Read the report >

Optimiser: online marketing benchmarking for New Zealand Arts Organisations
Optimiser, December 2013

Optimiser is a pilot project that collects online marketing data for the arts sector in order to develop benchmarks and allow other arts marketers to compare their results against other New Zealand arts organisations. An overview of the initial results of the pilot looks at figures and trends on website engagement, paid advertising, email campaign usage and success, social media and mobile usage from information given by the pilot participants.

Read more about the project >


Research and Evaluation

Thriving cultural sector pays big dividends
Tony Grybowski, the Australian, 21 February 2014

Australia Council CEO Tony Grybowski writes about the positive and numerous contributions of the creative community in Australia and overseas, and of the challenges in measuring this impact both economically and culturally. The article notes that the latest release of Art Facts will soon be published, focusing on the overall arts sector. This overview will allow for a better understanding of what is being produced and enjoyed, as well as indentifying areas of opportunity in the sector.

Read the article >

Arts Panorama: International  Overview of Issues for Public Arts Administration
International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), January 2014

This report analyses 140 responses to a SWOT analysis model questionnaire distributed amongst public arts funding agencies, cultural policy experts and other members of the IFACCA network. The purpose of this survey was to identify the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the cultural sector and governmental agencies, to provide background for discussions at the 6th World Summit.

Read the results >

Art reaches within: aesthetic experience, the self and the default mode network
E.A. Vessel, G.G. Starr and N. Rubin, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 30 Dec 2013

New research looks at how the brain responds positively to works of art, and why. In this study, 16 people were shown a set of 109 little-known artworks spanning different time periods and styles, while rating them on a scale of 1-4 of how much they were ‘moved’. Scans that monitored brain activity during this exercise showed parts most active during works rated highest (4) corresponded with self-referential mental processing (Default Mode Network or DMN). This function is normally suppressed in day to day structured tasks, but becomes active at periods of rest or when the attention is focused inwardly  (self reflection, mind wandering, personal memories). These responses show that certain works of art produce neural processes related to the self, which is why people often feel as though an artist ‘understands’ them or an artwork ‘speaks’ to them.

Read the report >



Position Vacant: Industry Analyst –Research and Strategic Analysis
Australia Council for the Arts

The Australia Council is looking for an Industry Analyst to support the Council's position as a national leader in arts and cultural research and statistical analysis. The role will contribute to the development of a comprehensive view of the arts sector, covering all art forms, using rigorous methodologies in the areas of statistics and data analysis, integration and reporting. The closing date for applications is 10 March 2014 at 5pm.

View the position description >

Vital Signs: draft cultural indicators for Australia
Statistics Working Group, February 2014

The Statistics Working Group of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers is inviting feedback and participation in an Australia-wide consultation on the value and future development of a set of national cultural indicators. Vital Signs is the first attempt to identify a set of high level cultural indicators for Australia. These indicators are based on a framework for measuring the value of the arts and cultural sector in terms of its contribution to economic prosperity, cultural vitality and social well-being. The deadline for the online survey and written responses is 17 March 2014. 

View more information >

CCI Symposium 14
ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, 1-2 April 2014, Brisbane
This symposium will look back at CCI’s contributions and achievements since 2005 as well as looking at future directions. The event will also feature the academic and industry expertise of the Centre's alumni, directly involving several graduates of our research training programs, and drawing on their postdoctoral experiences at both the national and international level.

Find out more >

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