The Arts in Irish Life 2014 Report Produced January 2015 Kantar Media tgi the arts in irish life 2014 introduction

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The Arts in Irish Life


Report Produced January 2015

Kantar Media TGI



The following report presents the primary findings of a market-research study commissioned by Arts Audiences for the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and administered by Kantar Media during 2013 – 2014.

The chief remit of this study (hereafter referred to as ‘The Arts in Irish Life: 2014 – or AILF: 2014) has been to assemble up-to-date insight into how the adult population in the Republic of Ireland currently interact with the arts both in terms of their personal behaviours and in terms of their attitudes.

In response to this objective, Kantar Media designed a detailed questionnaire in collaboration with Arts Audiences covering a range of arts-focussed measurement areas. Each of these areas is explored further in the individual chapters of this report as well as in the Executive Summary that precedes them. The chapters are organised as follows:

Chapter 1: Executive Summary

Chapter 2: Levels of Arts Event Attendance

Chapter 3: Participation in the Arts

Chapter 4: The Settings and Venues for Arts Events

Chapter 5: Factors Impacting Arts Engagement

Chapter 6: Attitudes towards the Arts

Prior to the AILF: 2014 study, Kantar Media collected data on two of the areas described above (‘Levels of Arts Event Attendance’ and ‘Participation in the Arts’) as part of its own syndicated ‘Target Group Index’ (TGI) study.
It was therefore decided that the expanded set of questions designed to fulfil the brief of AILF: 2014 should be incorporated into the existing ‘Target Group Index’ questionnaire (hereafter referred to as the TGI) and analysed together for the purposes of this report.
As regards the methodology of the TGI, it should be noted that the findings of this report relate (except where stated otherwise) to the ROI TGI 2014 – a nationally-representative survey conducted between October 2013 and May 2014.
The TGI is principally conducted by means of a self-completion paper questionnaire administered to a nationally-representative sample of adults aged 15+ resident in the Republic of Ireland. In the case of the ROI TGI 2014, valid results were obtained from a total 2,971 adults.
An appendix is attached to this report providing additional detail on the general purpose and methodology of the TGI. A further appendix is attached to this report giving an overview of how to interpret results for a sample-survey such as the TGI.



Organisation of the Report:

Each chapter of this report is intended to focus on one specific measurement area and to provide a set of key findings relevant both to that area and to a wider understanding of how the public interact with the arts at an overall level.

For ease of reference and comparison, each of the chapters is therefore organised in a consistent manner and is comprised of the following contents:

  • An introduction to the key findings of that chapter;

  • An overview of the coverage of the study in that particular area;

  • A description of the primary results for that category; and

  • A set of more detailed data presentations that expand on these key results.

Within each chapter, the report also makes regular reference to ‘The Public and the Arts: 2006’ (a study commissioned by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon with a similar brief to that outlined in the introduction to this study).

The questionnaire that forms the basis of the 2014 study deliberately mirrored many of the questions and definitions of the former study (hereafter referred to as TPAA: 2006): and, as such, presentations of data for both studies have been made where comparison was judged possible.

In terms of the current questionnaire, the questions under discussion in each chapter are also collected in an appendix at the end of this report: and referenced in the overviews to each chapter.



Interpreting Data Tables:

For each chapter of this report, key findings and statistics are presented in summary form to allow these to be easily identified and reviewed by readers.

Where applicable, the report also includes some of the data tables or statistics that underpin these conclusions and which provide significantly more information to those who may wish to interrogate the detail of these findings.

These data tables typically reference a number of standard elements used in quantitative analyses and an example table and ‘key’ is therefore provided below to help readers navigate these tables.

All Adults 15+

Usually Watch ‘Chat Shows’ on TV

A) All Adults 15+
















B) All Men 15+
















C) All Women 15+
















Elements of the Table:

Sample: The actual number of respondents belonging to a given group or sub-group (e.g.

507 adults out of a total sample of 2971 overall ‘usually watch chat shows’ on TV
000s: The projected number of members of the actual population who belong to a group (e.g. the 507 respondents above represent 588,000 real individuals)
Vert%: The proportion of the column-target who have a particular behaviour (as specified by the row label). For example, amongst the ‘chat show’ group, 35% are Men
Horz%: The proportion of the row-target who have the behaviour identified in the column. For example, of all Men – 11.8% ‘usually watch TV chat shows’
Index: This is a number (greater or less than 100) that indicates how more or less likely a given group is to express certain characteristics.
In the case above, an Index of 127 indicates that ‘Chat Show viewers’ are 27% more likely to be Women than is true of the incidence of Women found in the general population. Conversely, the index of 72 says that ‘chat show viewers’ are 28% less likely (72-100) to be Men than true of the general population.



This report has been structured in such a way that each individual chapter deals with a specific aspect of arts behaviour and contains the relevant information introducing, explaining and highlighting the conclusions arising from each area of survey-measurement.

Whilst each chapter can therefore be read independently, it is possible to draw out a few key conclusions from each of the five primary content-areas that will be of general interest to all readers of this report.

These conclusions are reproduced below organised by the chapters from which they originate. As well as providing insight related to each measurement area in turn, they also stress some of the most interesting juxtapositions in the data between these different areas of coverage (for example, comparing, attitudes and behaviours) and together constitute an overview of the overall impact of arts on Irish life in 2014.

Levels of Arts Event Attendance:

  • A total of 65% of the adult population indicate that they attended at least one arts-related event in the previous twelve months. This marks an increase of 9% over the figure of 56% recorded in 2013.

  • The increase in arts-event attendance in 2014 has been driven – in particular – by increased attendance amongst lower-income respondent-groups. Notably, attendance has increased by 11% for those with household incomes of under €30,000.

  • Arts attendance has not just increased over time but is, more generally, also higher amongst the Irish adult population than for other countries. Arts attendance in the Republic of Ireland is 9% higher than in Northern Ireland and 13% higher than in Great Britain for comparable events by % of the population over 15.

  • The results of the survey indicate that traditional arts-events were attended by a total 24% of the population in the previous year. ‘Traditional or Folk Dance’ events are the most popularly attended form of dance-event. Similarly, 21% of the population attended a ‘Traditional Irish/Folk’ music event in the last twelve months.

Levels of Participation in the Arts:

  • 18% of the population have regularly participated in ‘artistic or creative activities’ in the last year and a total of 36% have been either regular or occasional participants in one or more such activities.

  • Alongside relative stability in participation levels between 2013 and 2014, there has been a drop in the proportion of the population who ‘consider [themselves] to be creative’ over the same period. Whilst regular participants in arts activities are more likely to agree with this statement (62% versus 48% in the general population) – a significant minority do not self-identify in this way. This report explores the variation in agreement to this statement across a range of different activities.

  • There is a positive correlation between levels of personal participation in the arts and event attendance. Of the 18% of the population who are regular participants in arts/creative activities – 40% of this group will attend an arts-event ‘once a month or more’. This makes this group 115% more likely than the average adult to be heavy arts-event attenders.

  • The correlation between participation and attendance is particularly strong for 15-24 year-olds amongst whom regular participants in creative activities are 150% more likely to also be heavy attendees of arts events. This is a group who, in more general terms, are likely to be lighter event attendees.



The Settings of Arts Events:

  • The average arts attender will indicate use of 2-3 different arts-related venues in the last year (2.7 as average across all adults). The Cinema is the most popularly used arts-venue with 76% of respondents having been in the preceding year.

  • Non-specialist venues represent a significant proportion of all venues used for art-attendance. Of particular note, 29% have attended some manner of arts event in a Pub/Hotel in the last year and 24% in a Church.

  • Use of different venues typically varies significantly according to the ‘life-stage’ of respondents. In particular, parents and older ‘sole’ respondents will make greater use of non-specialist venues – amongst which the ‘School Hall’ and ‘Community Centre’ index most highly. These groups typically also have lower levels of arts attendance in general terms.

Factors Impacting Arts Behaviours:

  • 55% of respondents indicate satisfaction (Satisfied or Very Satisfied) with the arts information available to them. In particular, heavy arts attenders are most likely to indicate satisfaction with available information. This group are also most likely to source information from direct-mail channels (specially, Mailing Lists both by E-mail and Post).

  • The report notes that those indicating dis-satisfaction were 49% more likely to be in the 15-24 age-band. This group tend to be heavier users of the Internet as a source of information on arts events/activities.

  • There is a strong correlation observed between the proportions of an individual’s family or friends attending arts events and that same individual’s own weight of personal attendance. Those amongst whom ‘all/most’ family members attend similar events will themselves be 201% more likely to be in the heaviest personal attendance category.

  • 29% of the population indicate some difficulties attending or taking part in those arts activities that interest them. Although “Can’t afford/cost” is indicated as the most significant difficulty, only 8% of all those reporting difficulties indicated that the only factor affecting their engagement was cost.

Attitudes towards the Arts:

  • The arts are considered an ‘important part of a modern society’ by a majority of the population. 71% of respondents to this indicated that they definitely agreed or tended to agree with this position. This compares to 86% agreement to the same statement in 2006.

  • Arts education is adjudged to be ‘as important as science education’ by 76% of the population and arts amenities ‘as important as sports amenities’ by 63% of the population. Whilst heavy art-attenders were more likely to agree to these statements, a majority of light event-attenders also concurred with these positions.

  • 60% agree that ‘even in current economic circumstances local authorities & central government should maintain their level of funding to the arts’. 53% also agree that it is fair that they should ‘pay for entry into museums and galleries’

  • 40% agreed that ‘The arts and cultural sector is a worthy cause to give money to’. A majority of those indicating this view on personal donations (85%) were also of the view that ‘local authorities and government should maintain their level of funding of the arts’.


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