Following a successful 2015 pilot involving 12 organisations, Arts Queensland funded a further 11 arts organisations to use Culture Counts throughout 2016.
20 events were evaluated by the 11 organisations, capturing over 1,600 public, 91 peer and 98 self-survey responses. Here is a small snapshot of things we found:
- Over 1,100 people from the pilot sample had an excellent experience at an arts event, with 94% agreeing that it was important for the local area
- Workshops recorded the highest average scores across all metrics, suggesting that smaller-group participatory experiences may have a greater impact on those involved
- Theatre-based artforms (contemporary, physical and musical theatre) were least likely to connect audiences with others, but more likely to score strongly for Captivation and Rigour
- Arts and disability events and Indigenous events had the most success of all artforms in the pilot at connecting communities
- Peer assessors recorded lower average scores than the public for all metrics except Local Impact. Peers were the least likely to agree that work connected them to others in the community, but found the work more relevant and important for the local area than predicted by self assessors
- Females recorded slightly higher average scores than other genders
- A larger percentage of respondents were new to the artform and the organisation, suggesting that organisations had greater success at reaching new audiences in 2016
- Workshops and festivals were most likely to attract first-time attendees
- On average, audiences had a slightly more impactful intrinsic experience when they were new to the artform or organisation. This suggests that prior familiarity with the organisation does not lead to positively biased scoring. Those new to the artform scored an average of 11% higher for Distinctiveness and 10% higher for Connection
Arts Queensland has taken a strong advocacy position towards cultural evaluation, which signals to the sector that they value measurement and that the cost of the evaluation is a small investment in long-term sector learning, growth and leverage.
You can also read more about the experience of the participating organisations here.