13 July 2010: New report confirms arts as Ireland's most popular pursuit

The majority of people in Ireland go to an arts event at least once a year, with plays, art exhibitions and classical music concerts most popular in every part of the country, according to research to be published this week.

In addition, more than 1.2 million people report that they actually participate in artistic or creative activities, such as drawing, painting, performing or playing an instrument.

The report confirms previous studies showing that the arts are Ireland's most popular pursuit. It was commissioned by the Arts Council using data from Target Group Index, the largest study of consumer behaviour carried out each year in Ireland.

The report shows that 66 percent of the adult population, or approximately 2.3 million people have attended an arts event, and of these 1.8 million attend once a year or more. The age profile of attenders follows broadly that of the adult population as a whole, indicating that young people are frequent arts attenders, but there is a small gender divide.

The report is being published by Arts Audiences, a partnership between the Arts Council and Temple Bar Cultural Trust. It  provides a vital demographic picture of arts attendance across the country, and will be of great value to the Arts Council. Arts organisations across the country will benefit too, using the information to guide their marketing strategies.

Arts Audiences intends to publish updated data regularly. The latest report is drawn from the 2008-09 TGI survey, with fresh figures, from the 2009-2010 survey, due in the months ahead.

The full report is available on the Arts Audience website: http://www.artsaudiences.ie

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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