The Arts debate harvested the views and opinions of a wide variety of people across the arts sector and the general public. The reports on this page document the consultation exercise, they key findings, and the Arts Council's response.

What people want from the arts

A summary report, What people want from the arts, brings together everything people told us during the Arts debate. The report is illustrated throughout with images and quotes from different stages of the research. It is based on a more detailed outline of the debate's findings, Public value and the arts in England: Discussion and conclusions.

Public consultation report

Between 12 February and 11 May 2007 we held an open consultation seeking views on the value of the arts and priorities for arts funding. The consultation addressed five key issues that had emerged from an earlier stage of research among the general public. People could have their say either through submitting a written response or by joining the debate online. A total of 1,251 responses were received - 819 comments on the online discussion forum and 432 written responses.

The Arts Council's research team collated and analysed all the written and online contributions to produce an overall account of the open consultation stage of the debate, entitled The Arts debate: Summary and analysis of consultation responses.

Open space event report

A final Arts debate event on 29 and 30 September brought together a large number of arts professionals to debate the future of public funding of the arts. The event was a collaboration between the Arts Council and theatre company Improbable. It was an Open Space event, in which the participants set the agenda and led the discussions, within a unifying theme. The overall theme was both a question and a challenge: If you were the Arts Council, how would you do it?

The full report of the event was written by the participants and provides a transcript of all the discussions that took place over the two days. The report is a collection of notes from the discussions. A few very minor edits have been made to the text to remove potentially offensive or defamatory content. Please refer to our comments policy and website terms and conditions for further information. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views and values of Arts Council England.

Navigate the documents using the hyperlinks, PDF bookmarks, or use the 'Ctrl' + 'F' search function.

Open space event report: Part I, 94 pages, Download pdf, Download Word

Open space event report: Part II, 99 pages, Download pdf, Download Word

Deliberative research report

This report by research agency Opinion Leader discusses the findings from a programme of deliberative research, which involved both members of the public and arts professionals. The report is entitled Public value deliberative research.

Deliberative research report: Full report, 62 pages, Download pdf, Download Word

Arts community and stakeholder research report

This report by research agency Cragg Ross Dawson presents the findings from qualitative research among artists, people working in arts organisations and the Arts Council's wider stakeholder community. The report is entitled The arts debate: Research among stakeholders, umbrella groups and members of the arts community

Arts community and stakeholder report: Full report, 158 pages, Download pdf, Word format

Arts Council summary

This Arts Council report summarises what we have learnt from the arts community and stakeholder research.

Summary: A seven page summary of the findings and conclusions, Download pdf, Download Word

General public research report

This report by research agency Creative Research presents the full findings of the first round of public discussion groups. It is entitled Findings of Research among the General Public and comes in three parts:

  1. General public report: Full report, 142 pages, Download pdf, Download Word
  2. Summary: A 16 page summary of the findings and conclusions, Download pdf, Word format
  3. Appendices:103 supplementary pages including recruitment questionnnaires, discussion guides and stimulus material, Download pdf, Download Word

Arts Council summary

This Arts Council report summarises the findings from the first round of public discussion groups.

Stage one findings and next steps: 12 page Arts Council report, Download pdf, Download Word