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With homelessness week starting today, Milk Crate Theatre releases their first Interim Impact Report with new figures showing the impact of the arts on community members with lived experiences of homelessness; mental health; disability; domestic violence or those who come from First Nations and/or culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Over the last two years, we have invested in maturing our Theory of Change and building our Impact Framework to ensure we have a meaningful and rigorous approach to measuring impact of our work on both participants and broader society.

This report shares the first output from the pilot of our new framework, incorporating survey and interview results from 32 community members who participated in Milk Crate Theatre programs in the first half of 2022. Whilst this is a small number to start, we are now looking to roll-out the impact measurement framework across all participants in our programs.

Milk Crate Theatre Interim Impact Report shows the following measures:

· 67% have gained skills to help them manage their life needs.

· 93% feel more confident.

· 77% have a more positive outlook on their life.

· 73% feel more positive about the future.

· 87% have made new friends.

· 90% are ready to take on new opportunities like, volunteering, further education and employment.

Whilst these are very early results, in some instances our results are stronger than existing funded programs supporting job readiness and community engagement. It’s really time as a country that we start looking at the arts more seriously as a solution to some of society’s greatest challenges.

We are seeing other countries such as New Zealand and Scandinavia invest in the arts as a solution to social issues with concepts such as Arts on Prescription. The Australian Council for the Arts is looking at policy around Arts and Wellbeing, however we are yet to see cross portfolio funding opportunities that invest in the arts and wellbeing at a level that would support engagement for all, regardless of financial circumstances.

This homelessness week, we are looking to start a conversation around the impact of the arts on wellbeing.


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