Evidence to help build an understanding of how audiences have engaged with Museums, Galleries and Heritage before, during and moving out of the pandemic.

Cultural Participation Monitor Key Findings:

  • 21% said they did this more since the pandemic, 66% said they did it the same and 13% said they did it less often.
  • 58% of all survey respondents agreed/strongly agreed that the area they live in is well served with opportunities to visit historic parks, gardens and heritage places.
  • 48% of surveyed audiences agreed or strongly agreed that their local area was well served with opportunities to visit museums, galleries, while 23% disagreed or strongly disagreed.
  • During the pandemic 11% of all audiences had done a virtual tour of a museum, gallery or art exhibition.
  • Compared to pre-pandemic, 65% thought they had visited in person the same amount, 15% thought they had done it more often and 20% thought they did it less often.
  • In the future, 15% would be looking to do this activity closer to home.

Where else Museums, Galleries & Heritage Audiences engage

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Explore our findings through the Pandemic:


Culture Interests and Creative Activities

When asked about their cultural interests:

  • 56% of all respondents expressed an interest in history and heritage.
  • 46% expressed an interest in arts and culture.
  • In terms of these cultural interests, 43% were interested in visual arts.

Asked to rate the arts they are interested by certain categories from 0-10:

  • 12% rated 8-10 for ‘popular or mainstream’,
  • while 9% rated this for ‘classical or traditional’
  • and 7% rated this for ‘contemporary or modern’.

In terms of broader creative interests, since the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • 11% of all respondents had tried photography or film as an artistic activity,
  • 8% tried digital creative making
  • and 20% tried making crafts, painting, drawing, printmaking etc.

In-person Attendance

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In the 12 months before the pandemic:

Exhibition or Art Collection
  • 18% of all respondents had visited an exhibition or art collection.
Museum:
  • 35% had visited a museum.
Historic House, Castle or Heritage Site:
  • 36% had visited a historic house, castle or heritage site.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold:

Exhibition or Art Collection
  • 14% of all respondents had attended an exhibition or collection of art (30% of Metroculturals, 23% of Experience Seekers, 17% of Kaleidoscope Creativity).
Museum:
  • 25% had visited a museum (45% of Metroculturals, 33% of Experience Seekers, 26% of Dormitory Dependables).
Historic House, Castle or Heritage Site:
  • 26% had visited a historic house, castle or heritage site (33% of Metroculturals, 31% of Commuterland Culturebuffs, 34% of Dormitory Dependables, 33% of Trips & Treats; 33% of ages 65-74; 33% of rural).

Breaking that down a little further:

Exhibition or Collection of Art

  • People tended to attend exhibitions and art collections locally (33% said the journey was up to 30 mins, 27% said up to 1 hour and 23% said more than an hour).
  • The most important reasons for attending were to do something sociable, spend time with others (30%) and to be inspired or stimulated (17%).
  • 91% found the experience met these expectations and 83% said it had a positive effect on their wellbeing.
  • 92% were quite or very satisfied with the steps taken to ensure Covid-19 safety and 70% are prepare to return if these measures stay the same while 23% would with some reservations.

Museum

  • For the activity of visiting a museum, this tended to be slightly less local (27% said the journey was up to 30 mins, 27% said it was up to one hour, 22% said it took more than 1 hour and 21% said it was part of an overnight stay or holiday).
  • The most important reasons were to do something sociable, spend time with others (29%), to relax, take your mind off things (15%) and to be inspired or stimulated (12%).
  • 88% found the experience met these expectations and 82% said it had a positive effect on their wellbeing. 86% were quite or very satisfied with the steps taken to ensure Covid-19 safety and 69% were prepared to return if these measures stay the same while 18% would with some reservations.

Historic House, Castle or Heritage Site

  • For the activity of visiting a historic house, castle, heritage site, this was slightly less local (20% said the journey was up to 30 mins, 30% said it was up to 1 hour, 21% said it was more than an hour and 27% said it was part of an overnight stay or holiday).
  • The most important reasons were to do something sociable, spend time with others (30%), to relax, take your mind of things (19%) and to do something that is different from usual (15%).
  • 90% found the experience met these expectations and 84% said it had a positive effect on their wellbeing.
  • 91% were quite or very satisfied with the steps taken to ensure Covid-19 safety and 72% were prepared to return if these measures stayed the same while 21% would with some reservations.

Historic Parks and Gardens

Locality
  • Attending a historic park or garden tended to be done locally (30% said the journey was up to 30 mins, 28% said up to 1 hour and 25% said it was more than 1 hour).
Motivation
  • The most important reasons were to do something sociable, spend time with others (30%), to relax, take your mind of things (23%) and to be physically active (18%).
Wellbeing
  • 90% found the experience met these expectations and 84% said it had a positive effect on their wellbeing.
Safety
  • 87% were quite or very satisfied with the steps taken to ensure Covid-19 safety and 72% are prepared to return if these measures stay the same while 21% would with some reservations.

Online Attendance

11% of all respondents had done a virtual tour of a museum, gallery or art exhibition (17% of Metroculturals, 17% of Experience Seekers, 13% of Facebook Families and 15% of Kaleidoscope Creativity). Of these:

Frequency
  • 37% had done it one time,
  • 45% had done it 2 or 3 times,
  • 5% had done it 4 or 5 times
  • and 13% had done it 6 or more times.

Then and Now
  • 34% said they were doing it more often since the pandemic,
  • 37% said they did it the same amount
  • and 11% had done it less.

New Audiences
  • 16% did this for the first time during the pandemic.
  • 73% did it in 2020,
  • while 46% did it in 2021, showing a drop in online attendance.

Breaking that down a little further:

  • 10% had taken a virtual of a heritage building or place (16% of Metroculturals, 13% of Experience Seekers, 14% of Facebook Families and 16% of Kaleidoscope Creativity). Of these, 39% had done it one time, 39% had done it 2 or 3 times, 4% had done it 4 or 5 times and 17% had done it 6 or more times. 26% said they were doing it more often since the pandemic, 42% said they did it the same amount and 17% had done it less. 13% did this for the first time during the pandemic. 65% did it in 2020, while 48% did it in 2021, showing a less steep drop in online attendance.
  • For virtual tours of a museum, gallery or exhibition, 83% rated their experienced as good or very good. The main reasons for participating were to relax, take your mind of things (21%) and to be inspired or stimulated (18%). 77% said these expectations were met and 71% said the experience had a positive impact on their wellbeing. 59% say the activity was provided by an organisation they had attended physically in the past.
  • For virtual tours of a heritage building or place, 69% rated their experienced as good or very good.
  • The main reasons for participating were to relax, take your mind of things (22%), to learn something new, pursue new interests (18%) and to be inspired or stimulated (16%). 67% said these expectations were met and 66% said the experience had a positive impact on their wellbeing. 53% say the activity was provided by an organisation they had attended physically in the past.
  • 32% of all respondents said they had something specific they wanted to see or do or were interested but not in anything specific for virtual tours of museums, galleries or exhibitions. For virtual tours of heritage buildings or places this figure was 33%.
  • In terms of payment models, for virtual tours of museums, galleries or exhibitions, 61% were quite or very willing to make a donation, 71% to pay a fixed price for access and 40% to take up a paid-for subscription. For virtual tours of heritage buildings or places, 59% were quite or very willing to make a donation, 66% to pay a fixed price for access and 38% to take up a paid-for subscription.

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