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Understanding Wellbeing In The Waikato – New Evidence Backs Creative Impact!

Arts, culture and creativity are vital to all facets of a thriving society - and Creative Waikato can prove it.

A new community research report by Creative Waikato and Huber Social was released today with game-changing local evidence that speaks to the layers of impact that our creative communities are having on people in the Waikato region.

Developed to better understand the multi-layered benefits work by artists and creative organisations have in our communities, the digital survey was conducted over the month of June 2022, and received an overwhelming response from people with varied levels of arts engagements ranging from low to high.

As a result, we now have local evidence that speaks to the layers of impact that our creative communities are having on people in our region and insights gathered from the study can support further changes in our funding and support systems and offer powerful reasons to make time for more creativity in our daily lives.

I’m sure we can all think about a creative experience that has had a positive imprint on our lives – confidence, community connection, deeper understanding, or perhaps joy, these are all part of the profound impacts of creative activity.” says Creative Waikato CEO Dr Jeremy Mayall.

‘’We may understand these things intuitively, but it is useful to have local insights to help us tell better stories and encourage further investment and engagement at all levels.

Waikato residents recognise the value that arts, culture and creativity contribute to their everyday life, as well as that of their whānau and children, and a key takeaway is how important access to creativity is for wellbeing.

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The study shows that Waikato residents who believe they have greater access to arts, culture and creativity are more likely to have higher overall wellbeing. This exists for all people, but for those who consider themselves less engaged with the creative sector, perceived access as even more important.

“This information will hopefully support artists and community organisations to get further audience engagement, as well as encouraging increased civic and community investment to enable access and sustainability for an important part of our society.” shares Mayall.

These direct benefits for wellbeing, including improved mental health outcomes, and greater job satisfaction through creativity in the workplace, provide clear weight to the need for greater investment in arts, culture and creativity for all Waikato residents, building towards a thriving creative ecosystem.

“Art, culture and creativity are innate parts of what it means to be human, and we are excited to see what might be possible with additional support!”

Read the full report, with the supporting community feedback supplement, in the Research & Reports section at creativewaikato.co.nz

To further explore the subject, or request support in using the information contact the Creative Waikato team at hello@creativewaikato.co.nz and follow @creativewaikato for future updates and announcements.

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