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You’re Welcome: A Guide for Arts Organisations to Increase Cultural Diversity in Our Audiences

Culturally and linguistically diverse Australians account for 39% of the Australian population yet they are still underrepresented in the arts as leaders, arts workers, artists and audiences. Despite their strong support for the arts, captured in quantitative Australian national arts participation surveys, little qualitative information is available about the barriers that they experience as audience members.

In 2019, Nexus Arts commenced a project aiming to explore the unique experiences of culturally diverse audiences, supported by the Government of South Australia through a Multicultural Affairs Stronger Together grant. The result of this study is a toolkit designed to assist arts organisations to become more welcoming and inclusive of audiences with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The Honourable Jing Lee, MLC, Assistant to the Premier, recently praised this work in a speech to the Parliament of South Australia, stating:

As honourable members are very much aware, interculturalism is very close to my heart and I am very pleased to highlight the wonderful work that Nexus Arts is doing to engage with and explore the participation of multicultural audiences for arts events across South Australia. I take this opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate…the whole team for their significant contributions to increasing diversity in our state and for presenting the most welcoming and successful launch event.

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For your copy of the Toolkit, click this link:

For a copy of Hon. Jing Lee’s Matter of Interest Speech 9 June 2021, download it here:

Ably supported by our research partners, the Research Nexus, we collected 56 online survey responses and conducted 4 focus groups targeting members of the Arabic-speaking, Mandarin-speaking and Spanish-speaking communities, in addition to offering participants comfortable using English the chance to participate in an intercultural session. From this, we were able to gather data from participants born in 24 different countries who reported speaking 22 languages in addition to English. The findings of this research offer a rich and nuanced body of data which we hope will inform arts organisations locally, nationally and beyond on how to better engage with our audiences.

Download your copy of the complete Research Report here:

Our research partners, the Research Nexus, analysed local experiences informed by a detailed review of accessible, global literature on audience engagement.

You can access this Literature Review here: