Economic Value and Social Benefit of the Arts Project

Since the introduction of the Creative Darebin strategy, interest in Council activities in its cultural facilities, creative spaces, festivals, events and programming, has increased. Various reports detail the current state of the arts at a national and state level, but little is known more locally in Darebin about the arts, artists and creative industries sectors.

More broadly, interest in the economic and social uplift of the arts is growing. Council initiated a project to examine and demonstrate the current state of the creative sector and its contribution to Darebin’s liveability and social cohesion. The results would provide a context for future arts planning and development.

So, in May 2016 Geografia was commissioned to conduct an impact study of the economic value and social benefit of the arts and creative sector in Darebin.

What was commissioned?

There were three primary research/impact study questions through this project:

1) What is the economic value and social impact of the arts and creative industries in Darebin? This would include the total economic value of arts activity generated by the City of Darebin’s arts programs, facilities, festivals, and grants.

2) What is the state of the arts and artists in Darebin, specifically regarding wages, housing, employment, products, practice, cultural outputs and demographics in a growing and changing municipality?

3) Specific to the live music scene in Darebin, what is the economic value and social impact in Darebin?

To download the full report (pdf), click the image below.

Economic image


Some significant findings

  • Arts and creative sector is a valuable part of developed, liveable cities. A nation building activity.
  • Local government has a recognised role in supporting the sector
  • There are 2577 jobs in Darebin’s Arts and Creative Sector (4.8% of City’s total)
  • Sector’s total contribution to GRP is $436.2 million
  • Fashion is the largest sector
  • Live music: 317 workers and 771,461 patrons accounts for 6% of sector’s GRP
  • Range of economic and social benefits includes gentrification and urban revitalisation; retail strip renewal; tourism brand value; public health benefits
  • High ‘existence value’ of the arts and creative activity to the community