The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) is the development and funding agency for the Arts in Northern Ireland. We distribute public money and National Lottery funds to develop and deliver a wide variety of arts projects, events and initiatives across Northern Ireland.

The Arts Council has developed this survey for arts organisations to determine which key digital skills and technologies are currently used by the Northern Ireland arts sector and which key digital areas the sector has ambitions to develop. We also seek opinions on what digital knowledge, skills, and equipment would be of benefit to meet the sector’s future ambitions.

For this survey, digital in its broad sense is considered to be using online or offline screen based technology to create, record, or distribute the artistic content that the creative sector makes. For example capturing a live performance, or online audience development.

The information gathered by this survey will inform the development of ACNI’s first digital strategy.

Privacy Note

All of the information you provide will be treated confidentially and in accordance will GDPR guidelines.

ACNI will hold personal data in line with their privacy statement: http://www.artscouncil-ni.org/site/page/privacy.

Anonymised comments may be published our website with your consent.

This survey should take 10 minutes.

Why we are consulting

The impact of Covid-19 across the creative sector has been dramatic, and restrictions have all but stopped audience attendance in person. Although a great majority of the arts sector has been able to make digital content available for their audiences, it has not been possible to replace attendance of the arts or make up for lost income.

Arts audiences have been interested in attending or participating with the arts online; with Thrive’s After the Interval – Act 2 research showing that 8 in 10 respondents interested in engaging with cultural events online. What these audience responses showed was that while online events will be different and still a satisfying experience, they won’t be as good as live events. However this study also found that 66% of audiences would be willing to pay for a cultural event online, although most would be willing to pay less than a ticket for a similar event in a venue.

The general public have been engaging in the arts through Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions; such as viewing arts performances online, social media livestreams, and taking classes online. While this cannot replace live arts, this year has forced innovation in the use of digital technology and distribution; and may influence how audiences are engaged in the future and how the arts and creative sector may use digital technology to deliver their programmes in the future.