Arts Funding Information
The latest estimates from the 2009/10 Taking Part Survey produced by DCMS were released on 19 August. The survey measures engagement and non-engagement in culture, leisure and sport in England and provides data at the national and regional level.
The Taking Part Survey is a continuous annual survey of adults and children living in private households in England, and carries the National Statistics badge, meaning that it meets the highest standards of statistical quality.
The survey showed that 75.7% of adults have engaged with the arts at least once in the last year. Proportions ranged from 69.7% in the West Midlands to 84.9% in the South East.
The research also establishes that people living in the most deprived areas of England are less likely than people in the least deprived areas to engage in the arts.
However, there has been an overall increase in the number of people taking part in artistic practices including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture - up to 11.6%. Of the 6,097 respondents, 31.9% said they took part in these activities at least once a week.
The data also shows that 18.7% of the population visited an exhibition in the last 12 months. More specifically, 12% visited a craft exhibition, an increase of 1% from last year. In the same period 18% of the population took part in a craft activity, again an increase from last year.
Data also shows that 14.5% of adults bought original/handmade crafts in 2009/10, which represents a 1% increase from the previous year.
Although these figures provide useful statistics when arguing the case for the arts it is worth noting the sample size was almost half that of last year. The DCMS has been criticised for this and has confirmed a larger sample size will be re-instated next year.
Nonetheless, the survey does prove the general public's passion for these activities remains undiminished - crucial in the campaign against arts funding cuts.