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Women are craftier than men – it’s official!

Monday 5th September 2005 at 11am 0 Comments

It has long been suspected that women are more crafty than men, and now it’s official - according to the first large-scale survey carried out in a decade on attitudes to the arts in Northern Ireland. Women in Northern Ireland are, in fact, five times more likely to participate in crafts than men, with men preferring to make their own entertainment through singing or playing a musical instrument.

The survey, commissioned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, also highlights what a cultured lot the people of Northern Ireland are. 80 percent of those interviewed believed that their quality of life was enriched by the arts, and expressed support for government funding of local arts and culture. Many felt that their confidence had grown as a result of participation in the arts, and there was almost universal agreement that every school child in the region should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and be involved in various arts activities. And there was widespread agreement that our arts and cultural activities play an invaluable role in attracting visitors and tourists to Northern Ireland.

There are marked differences in the types of arts activities generally enjoyed by people from different religious backgrounds, as well as some striking variances between the young and the old, with young people being almost twice as likely to attend arts events. And these are precisely the sorts of findings which, according to Nick Livingston, Director of Strategic Development at the Arts Council, will help the arts sector to further broaden the appeal of the arts. “The research that we’ve just published yields up-to-the-minute data that helps us to identify current barriers to the arts in Northern Ireland, whether physical or social. It provides answers to key questions of who is attending or participating in arts activities and why – or more importantly, perhaps, why not – and this will help us to address areas of weakness as well as build on our strengths”.

A downloadable version of the arts survey, Arts and Culture in Northern Ireland – 2004 Baseline Study is available online from the link below, or on request from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Tel: 028 90385200.

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