Indicator Cultural Citizenship Indicator Framework


The Cultural Citizenship Indicator Framework presents a conceptual model of cultural citizenship. While citizenship is defined as the formal, legal frameworks that underpin belonging to a nation, cultural citizenship refers to the informal, cultural dimensions that facilitate belonging and enable one to contribute to, and shape, the dominant culture. These informal dimensions of citizenship can include participation in the workforce, experiences of inclusion or exclusion, the ability to take part in a range of cultural activities, or having access to knowledge or resources that makes one an active and equal member of the community. In this model, cultural citizenship is made up of three key components - cultural participation, capacity and belonging.


Cultural citizenship captures more than just formal belonging to a nation state. It reflects the multiple connections people can have to the nation, as well as to local communities, subcultures or transnational diasporas. Thse are not exclusive forms of belonging - people can belong to the nation at the same time as they belong to other kinds of communities.

The cultural citizenship indicator framework:

  • Highlights the relationship between cultural participation, and the forms of capacity and belonging that are generated by, and in turn enable, meaningful participation in Australian life
  • Moves beyond linear frameworks that suggest a direct, causal relationship between cultural participation and its social impacts. Rather, this framework reflects a circular relationship between participation, capacity and belonging, where each facilitates the other, and all contribute to cultural citizenship.
  • Aims to measure participation in a range of domains that are overlooked by other indicator frameworks. This framework does not suggest that any kind of cultural participation is more important or valid than others. Rather, a range of activities and practices can contribute to cultural citizenship.

The framework presents a conceptual model of cultural citizenship that guides policy thinking on arts and cultural evaluation. It highlights areas that have previously been overlooked by evaluation and indicator frameworks, that we believe should be emphasised more strongly in order for policymakers to better facilitate cultural participation, generate cultural capacities and enhance belonging. The framework does not present a definitive list of measures but offers a starting point for more rigorous thinking about cultural citizenship, and how the arts and culture should engage with diversity.

Digital resources

Cultural Citizenship Indicator Framework


Research Unit in Public Cultures