You’re Welcome Toolkit
Culturally and linguistically diverse Australians account for 39% of the Australian population. Nexus Arts believes that all members of our community should be able to engage with the artistic experiences and therefore undertook a project aiming to explore the unique experiences of culturally diverse audiences. Our research project builds on findings that indicates a disproportionate underrepresentation in the arts as leaders, arts workers, artists and audiences despite strong support for the arts as captured in quantitative Australian national arts participation surveys. Our research focus addressed a gap in qualitative information available about the barriers that people from diverse backgrounds experience as audience members.
As part of this project, we engaged Research Nexus as our partners to establish a network of arts leaders from across The Chinese Welfare Services of SA, Hispanic Women’s Association of SA and Arabic Language and Culture Association of SA and Campbelltown Arthouse to facilitate the research. Over a two year period we explored the barriers, drivers and trends that impact the participation of culturally diverse audiences in arts events in Adelaide.
Informed by a global review of literature, the Research Nexus has analysed these local experiences, producing a rich research report and the user-friendly Toolkit. You’re Welcome: A Guide for Arts Organisations to Increase Cultural Diversity in Our Audiences. We celebrated the launch of the Toolkit with passionate support from our arts leaders network at the exhibition HOME, presented in partnership with Campbelltown Arthouse, brings together community artists from diverse cultural backgrounds to build connections, collaborate and to further intercultural understanding. Our exhibition presents 42 art works from 23 artists reflecting on the meaning of home, a fitting backdrop for the launch of this vital research.
The Honourable Jing Lee, MLC, 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.
Thanks to the support of the South Australian Government through a Multicultural Affairs Stronger Together grant an outcome of this research is a toolkit designed to support arts organisations to better engage with audience members from culturally diverse backgrounds.