Research confirms arts and culture make Sunshine Coast a better place
  • Monday 02 November 2020
ben vos, sunshine coast arts foundation

Arts and culture play a major role in the liveability of the Sunshine Coast and make for a more meaningful life according to the findings of a major research study.

The Sunshine Coast Arts Foundation (SCAF) and Sunshine Coast Council jointly commissioned leading research company Patternmakers to conduct research that aimed to increase participation in the arts across the region.

The findings will be announced at an event on Friday 6 November, when Foundation Director Ferre De Deyne will launch the new annual giving campaign, GIFTED! with the inaugural donation.

Professor Jennifer Radbourne, SCAF Board Chair said the Foundation invested in the audience research project to deepen understanding of the creative possibilities on the Sunshine Coast through those who watch, engage, enjoy and enliven the arts – that is, the audience.

“Arts organisations can use this timely data to develop strategies and harness opportunities and SCAF’s Annual Giving program, GIFTED! will support creative development in partnership with arts organisations and donors,” Professor Radbourne said.

“We invite donations to the GIFTED! campaign to invest in our talented local artists and ensure their success and the artistic prosperity of the Sunshine Coast.

“Nine out of 10 people believe arts and culture make the Sunshine Coast a better place, they want variety and are brave, put family first and enjoy seeing the arts with friends, they want to raise the level of ambition for local talent, and they believe the arts foster a connection to the environment.

“We have learned much about the arts experience and, as in everything we do, there are opportunities – to learn, reshape and rebuild after the devastation to the arts and cultural sector caused by the coronavirus.

“Here on the Sunshine Coast we are ‘gifted’ by the fabulous environment, the sea, the sand, the trees, the mountains and a caring and enlightened community,” she said. “But mostly, we live with gifted artists and creatives, who are talented, innovative, entrepreneurial, engaging, giving us an experience of surprise, happiness and celebration,” Professor Radbourne said.

Key findings include:

  • 9 in 10 people agree that arts and culture makes the Sunshine Coast a better place
  • Most respondents attend the arts, and many are getting creative themselves
  • Pre-pandemic, most people attended Sunshine Coast events occasionally and there is interest to see more on offer
  • The Sunshine Coast is still developing its reputation as a ‘creative region’
  • Awareness of local venues and events varies, and many don’t know what’s on
  • There is appetite for regular, outdoor and ‘incidental’ events

The report recommended more coordination and collaboration within the sector, best practice marketing to maximise audiences and strategic programming to fill gaps in what’s currently on offer.

Patternmakers is a research agency specialising in culture, creativity and community and have vast experience in audience development, particularly in regional Australia.

The final research report will be available to download from the SCAF website, scartsfoundation.com/projects and from Council’s website from November 6.

Donations can be made to the GIFTED! campaign at scartsfoundation.com/support.

The Sunshine Coast Arts Foundation was established with the support of the Sunshine Coast Council.

Image: ben vos productions