The Sunshine Coast Arts Foundation (SCAF) and Sunshine Coast Council jointly commissioned leading research company Patternmakers to conduct research with the aim of increasing participation in the arts across the region.

Download the final research report here.

Key findings include:

  • 9 in 10 people agree that arts and culture makes the Sunshine Coast a better place
  • Most respondents attend the arts, and many are getting creative themselves
  • Pre-pandemic, most people attended Sunshine Coast events occasionally and there is interest to see more on offer
  • The Sunshine Coast is still developing its reputation as a ‘creative region’
  • Awareness of local venues and events varies, and many don’t know what’s on
  • There is appetite for regular, outdoor and ‘incidental’ events

Recommendations include more coordination and collaboration within the sector, best practice marketing to maximise audiences and strategic programming to fill gaps in what’s currently on offer.

The research is delivering on goals set in the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038:

  • Goal 2: Arts audiences and creative opportunities flourish through investment and development
  • Goal 4: Art and creativity is embedded in the identity and experience of the Sunshine Coast

Overarching objectives

  • Increase attendances to arts events and venues in the region
  • Develop new audiences and markets for the arts on the Sunshine Coast
  • Develop audiences for specific art forms
  • Enhance the profile and positioning of the Sunshine Coast as an arts and cultural tourism destination.

Objectives for this research

  • Finding out more about our audiences – and being prepared when people want to come out.
  • Profile existing audiences. Building on existing, long-time supporters (e.g. gallery friends, theatre groups)
  • Clear audiences framework or segmentation, and shared language for working together
  • Identifying new opportunities for artists and new experiences
  • Identifying ways to deepen engagement, strengthen relationships, cultivate support.

Professor Jennifer Radbourne, SCAF Board Chair said the Foundation invested in the audience research project to deepen understanding of the creative possibilities on the Sunshine Coast through those who watch, engage, enjoy and enliven the arts – that is, the audience.

Arts organisations can use this timely data to develop strategies and harness opportunities.

Patternmakers is a research agency specialising in culture, creativity and community and have vast experience in audience development, particularly in regional Australia.

Image: A viewer enjoys the interactive experience of Carley Cornelissen’s artwork presented as part of [In]Place, Horizon Festival 2019. ben vos productions courtesy of Sunshine Coast Council.


We invite you to support us to promote the development and prosperity of the arts in our community. Donors to the Sunshine Coast Arts Foundation will be recognised at the following levels:

  • Donor – $2 to $999

  • Fellow – $1000 to $24,999

  • Benefactor – $25,000 to $249,999

  • Principal – $250,000 and greater