Sep 28, 2012

Two-speed performing arts sector drags down attendance

New data released by the Australia Council confirms stagnating audiences for the nation's largest performing arts organisations. But companies say it's not as bad as it looks.

Ben Eltham — <em>Crikey</em> arts commentator

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

The Australia Council has released a report detailing flat growth in audience numbers for the nation’s largest performing arts organisations. On the upside, the finances of the sector appear to be in good health.

The report, a snapshot of key trends in the best-funded part of the Australia Council’s responsibilities, covers 10 years of data for the 28 so-called “major” performing arts organisations, such as Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet, the major orchestras, and the state theatre companies. Collectively, these organisations reach more than three million Australians annually and employ over 8540 artists and cultural workers.

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