The Public and the Arts 2006 was commissioned by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Eala on to provide up-to-date information on the behaviour and attitudes of Irish people as regards:
- What people think about the role of the arts in society and about arts funding;
- Attendance at arts events;
- Participation in the arts;
- The extent to which people purchase arts-related items;
- The extent to which people watch and listen to the arts aside from live performances;
- The obstacles people have in interacting with the arts, and with their sources of arts information.
The study is the third such study undertaken in Ireland. In 1981, a study relating to a limited number of the above topics was undertaken and, in 1994, a study of 1,200 people which covered most of the above topics was published as The Public and the Arts ? A Survey of Behaviour and Attitudes in Ireland. The 2006 study was undertaken in a way that allows comparisons with the 1994 study to enable trends to be tracked. However, this study expands the scope of data collected on public behaviour and attitudes to the arts, in accordance with developments in the arts since 1994.
The centrepiece of the research process was a survey of 1,210 people which was undertaken at 100 points around Ireland between late-June and early-August 2006. The sample was structured to obtain the views of a representative sample of the Irish population.