Cost of Living

Understand the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on cultural participation, as well as the wider engagement impacts of financial inequality.

Hot on the heels of Covid, the cost-of-living crisis has become the key issue driving cultural engagement levels. It’s also the sort of issue that many data sources find difficult to handle (e.g. it’s not something asked about in long-running cultural surveys). It is included in the Cultural Participation Monitor, though – and we’ve seen strikingly high proportions of people saying that they’re worried about it, and that it’s affecting what - and how much – cultural activity they do.

In particular, we’ve seen it affecting some of the groups who were most likely to have been engaging in the post-lockdown period: families and younger audiences. It also affects those who were already less well-off – a group impacted by each of the many waves of the ‘permacrisis’ (e.g. austerity, Covid, the cost-of-living, the climate crisis).

From The Audience Agency

This new evidence confirms that arts and cultural organisations are suffering a double whammy right now. Trying to navigate these complex reasons for income being down is very challenging for organisations. Developing a really deep understanding of your audience is going to make a big difference because what's working for a peer organisation in a different place with a different audience won’t necessarily work in your community.
Anne Torreggiani, CEO, The Audience Agency

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