SINGAPORE: The 2011 National Population Survey on the Arts has found that more Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) see personal benefits in the arts. Close to 70 per cent of respondents showed a strong appreciation of the value of the arts.
A total of 2,038 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) were interviewed between October and December 2011.
The survey showed there has been a steady increase in audience numbers — with one in two Singaporeans and PRs having attended at least one arts—related activity in the last 12 months, compared to one in three in 2002.
Attendance has also increased across all art forms, with theatre and music being the two top choices among respondents.
Over the last decade, the National Arts Council (NAC) also noted that arts attendance has become more evenly distributed across the demographic and income groups. However, while youth participation in the arts is higher compared to other segments, it has dropped significantly from 40 per cent in 2009 to 28 per cent in 2011.
The National Population Survey on the Arts is the seventh edition published by NAC.
This is the first time the report is published in full and is part of the council’s ongoing efforts to provide arts practitioners, partners and industry stakeholders with useful resources to help plan and implement their programmes and activities.
For the first time, the survey also examined the interest, habits and attitudes towards the arts and culture of four profile segments — youth, PMEBs, those married with children, as well as seniors and retirees.
It found that the involvement of youth in the arts far exceeds that of the average respondent, where 61 per cent of youth attended at least one arts and cultural activity, and 28 per cent have a more active participation.
61 per cent of PMEBs surveyed have attended at least one arts and cultural activity, but only 19 per cent have a more active participation.
Arts involvement among those married with children was lower than the average respondent by five per cent for consumption and nine per cent for more active participation.
Retirees and seniors have the lowest level of involvement in the arts.
The NAC said a broad definition of arts and cultural activities was adopted for the survey as it recognises the diversity of lifestyles, cultures and communities that now make up the Singapore population.
Arts and cultural activities included in this survey range from classical and traditional arts performances, and fine art exhibitions, to more mainstream and urban genres, which include street dance performances, as well as pop, independent and rock music concerts.
This broad approach allows for a comprehensive snapshot of the current level of interest, attitudes and perceptions towards arts and cultural activities, as well as audience habits and their influencing factors.
"The survey provides a snapshot of the behavioural patterns of our population in terms of their involvement in, and perception of the arts. We hope such information and insights will help our artists and partners plan their work more effectively and efficiently," said Mr Benson Puah, chief executive officer of the NAC.
He added: "NAC also uses the research findings to guide our work. For example, we identified groups that may have been overlooked or under—represented in the past, and are seeing how we can work with our artists to fill the gaps.
"In recent months, targeted programmes such as Silver Arts and Arts@Work have brought quality arts experiences to specific demographic groups, namely the silver generation and PMEBs respectively."
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