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Tuesday, 15 October, 2002, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Support for arts 'remains high'
Sculptor Anish Kapoor at London's Tate Modern
More than a third had visited an art gallery or museum
Nine out of 10 people in England have taken part in the arts in the past year, according to the most far-reaching survey of its kind in a decade.

And nearly three-quarters of those who responded to a questionnaire on attitudes towards the arts believe they play a valuable role in the life of the country.

Young people aged 16-24 are least likely to share this view, with only 43% of the opinion that the arts make an important contribution to their lives.

Library users
Support for libraries was high
But overall support for the arts, albeit through going to the cinema, reading or visiting a museum, remains high, according to the Arts Council of England survey of more than 6,000 people.

The research examined attitudes, attendance and participation in the arts in 2001.

More than half of those surveyed had been to see a film and more than a third had been to a museum or art gallery.

Further surveys

Libraries generated the most public support, with 96% of people surveyed saying they provided a valuable service to local communities.

Almost half of those surveyed had visited a library in the past year.

Survey findings
55% of people had been to see a film
45% had visited a library
27% had attended a play
35% had visited an art gallery
Arts Council of England survey 2001

Gerry Robinson, chairman of the Arts Council, said this was the "first large-scale survey of its kind in England for 10 years".

Follow-up surveys will be carried out in the next decade to track an anticipated rise in interest in the arts, he said.

The study was supported by Resource: The Council of Museums, Archives and Libraries.

Matthew Evans, Resource chairman: said: "It is wonderful news that such a large proportion of those interviewed have participated in the arts last year but we'd like to see even more people directly involved."

Only 14% of respondents had used the internet to view or listen to the arts in the 12 months before the survey.

But this was an increase on the previous year when a pilot survey recorded only 12% surfing the web for these purposes.

The majority of those using internet to access art were from managerial and professional groups.

More people bought tickets via the internet in the past year - 9% compared with 6% in the pilot survey.


In DepthIN DEPTH
BBC News Online looks at how the arts are funded in the UKArts funding
How the UK's cash for the arts is spent
See also:

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