It's a fact, Wellington loves the arts

BON IVER: Including the band on the NZ International Arts Festival bill was inspired.
BON IVER: Including the band on the NZ International Arts Festival bill was inspired.

Wellington now has the evidence to back its claim to be the creative capital.

A survey commissioned by Creative New Zealand shows Wellingtonians support more arts, attend more events, and more believe art is good for them than the national average.

"These results show Wellingtonians value creativity - as participants and audience," Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said.

"As well as attending more arts events than most, we're also buying tickets to these events online or viewing the arts on the web more often compared to other New Zealanders - showing that arts and culture is part of everyday life for our residents."

Wellington City Council commissioned Colmar Brunton to ask specific questions in the survey. It showed 94 per cent of Wellingtonians thought art was good for them, compared with 87 per cent nationally. Eighty-nine per cent of Wellingtonians had attended at least one arts event in the past year, compared with 80 per cent nationally.

Wellingtonians also had more frequent arts patrons, and more who considered the community would be poorer without arts, than the national average.

While younger Wellingtonians were more likely to be directly involved in the arts, once they were over 30 involvement was about the same as for the rest of New Zealand.

Councillor Ray Ahipene- Mercer, who has the arts and culture portfolio, said the survey showed Wellingtonians pushed through the economic downturn and still supported the arts.

"A good example is this year's International Arts Festival, where attendance was up 10 per cent on the previous 2010 festival."

While Creative NZ was last night unable to supply a breakdown of regional figures in the survey, Palmerston North City Council yesterday issued a statement saying it was "more artsy than most".

It said 89 per cent of the city's residents engaged in arts in the past year, and 85 per cent had attended a Maori or Pacific arts event in the same period. Both were above the national average.

The city's high ranking was driven by a higher than average love of the performing and written arts.


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The Dominion Post