We asked respondents specific questions about their attitudes to financial support for the arts, either personally or politically:

1. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

  • Arts and cultural organisations are 'good causes' that deserve support from individual members of the public

  • Arts and cultural organisations are 'good causes' that deserve support from government funding”

2. Thinking about the digital events you are interested in, how willing would you be to....

  • Pay a fixed price for access

  • Make a donation or pay-what-you-like contribution

  • Take up a paid-for subscription for this sort of content


General Findings

Overall the evidence suggests that people who are inclined to consider the arts 'good causes' that are deserving of both government funding and public contribution are more likely to be:

  • Vaccinated
  • Covid-cautious
  • Politically left-leaning
  • Already arts engaged
  • Younger (under 45)
  • Parents / carers of under 16s


Not dissimilarly, people who are more likely to have engaged with online content during the pandemic and be willing to financially support it in future are generally:

  • Younger (25-34)
  • Urban
  • Parents / carers of under 16s
  • Pro government arts funding

Explore the Findings in More Detail:


Covid Confidence Commensurate with Support Levels

Support from Members of Public.png

Those that were happy to attend arts events at the time of the survey, or would consider attending with reservations, were more likely to think that arts and cultural organisations deserve support from members of the public.

  • Breaking that down, that's 91% of those happy to attend, 87% of those willing with reservations, and 80% of those not happy until virus effectively eradicated.
  • However, those who had booked in-person activities for the next two months were about as likely as those that hadn’t to believe members of the public should support these organisations.
  • Those who said that the pandemic had made them want to support arts and cultural organisations more tended to be more cautious about Covid-19.
  • 52% of people who think we should do everything we can to reduce the risks said this that they also want to support the arts more post-pandemic, compared with 40% of those who think it’s something we have to accept.
  • However, people who expressed an increased intention to support the arts also, unsurprisingly, tended to be more willing to attend and to have attended in-person and online.

Political Affiliation

Government Support x Political Affiliation.png

Of the two most popular political parties, Labour supporters were more likely than Conservatives to think that arts and cultural organisations deserve government funding.

  • 79% of Labour supporters vs 62% of Conservative supporters believe in government funding for the arts.
  • A similar difference emerged over whether the pandemic had made respondents want to support arts and culture more than they did before: 56% of Labour supporters agreed compared to 41% of Conservative supporters.

Public and Personal Support

AS x Public Support.png

Audiences are slightly more likely to strongly agree or agree that “arts and cultural organisations are ‘good causes’ that deserve support from individual members of the public” (86%) than that they are “’good causes’ that deserve support from government funding.” (84%).

  • These numbers are fairly consistent across the high/medium/low engaged Audience Spectrum groups.
  • Heydays the least likely Audience Spectrum segment to think these organisations deserve support from members of the public (78%).
  • Rural audiences were more in favour of offering public support (89%) than urban audiences (86%).
  • Respondents who had been vaccinated were more likely to believe in members of the public supporting arts and cultural organisations than those who were unsure or unwilling.

AS by Worthiness of Support.png

Over half of all people surveyed felt that the pandemic has actually increased their sense of the arts as a worthy cause for financial support, as well as being more inclined to offer personal support than they were before.

  • 50% of respondents strongly agree/agree with the statement ‘the pandemic has made me want to support arts and cultural organisations more than I did before’
  • 57% strongly agree/agree that ‘the pandemic has made me feel that arts and cultural organisations are more worthy of support than I did before’.
  • Medium-engaged audiences were the least likely to find the pandemic has made them want to support arts and culture more than they did before (46% compared with 52% of high-engaged and 53% of low-engaged).
  • Younger audiences below 45 were also more interested in supporting arts and cultural organisations than audiences over 45: e.g. 71% of 25-34s agreed that this is an interest for them, compared with just 30% of 65-74s.
  • Respondents with children under 16 were also much more likely to agree: 67% compared with 45% of those without.

Online Audiences

Willingess to pay x Payment Type.png

For online audiences, the most favoured future payment method was ‘make a donation or pay-what-you-like contribution’, followed by ‘pay a fixed price for access’. The least favoured was ‘take up a paid-for subscription for this sort of content’.

  • The medium-engaged Audience Spectrum groups were the least willing to pay for future online activities.
  • The group aged 25-34 was the most willing to pay for all payment methods.
  • Those with children were considerably more willing to pay, and urban audiences were also more willing.

Willingess to pay x Online Activity Type.png

The online activity for which audiences were most willing to pay was workshops (71% would pay a fixed price for access, 71% would make a donation and 48% would take up a paid subscription.) The online activities for which audiences were least willing to pay were:

  • Taking a virtual tour of a heritage building or place (59% would pay a fixed price, 66% would make a donation and 38% would take-up a subscription)
  • Watching a recording or stream of music, performing arts or literature event (60% would pay a fixed price, 66% would make a donation and 38% would take up a subscription).

Online Activity x Belief in Public Support.png

Those who had booked or were interested in online activities in the next two months were more likely to believe that cultural organisations deserve the support of members of the public (88% compared with 83% of those with no future plans).

  • They were also more likely to say that the pandemic had made them want to support arts and culture more personally (58% vs 35%).
  • Online audiences who said they were willing to take up paid subscriptions were more likely to say they the pandemic made them want to support arts and cultural organisations (76%, compared with 69% of those willing to pay a fixed price and 66% of those willing to make a donation).