Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Benefits & Impacts

Primarily based on a survey of over 7,500 Australians 15 and older (as well as similar surveys in 2009 and 2013), this report outlines key data on Australians’ arts participation, recognition of the value of the arts, and attitudes toward the arts. A key finding of the report is that 98% of Australians engaged with the arts in some way in 2016.

This international literature review attempts “to better understand whether research has shown that arts experiences of any kind – whether conventional audience experiences or newer “engagement” experiences, learning in the arts, or making art itself – affect civic engagement”. A key finding of the report is that “correlations between arts participation and the motivations and practices of civic engagement are substantial and consistent.” However, “the effects of the arts are likely to be cumulative over significant time and difficult to document: a slow drip rather than a sudden eruption, and easy to take for granted”.

Based on a survey of more than 2,000 Canadians (including substantial samples of youth and Indigenous residents), this report highlights information about arts and heritage attendance, personal arts participation, as well as perceptions of cultural activities and government arts support. The report concludes that there is “robust public engagement with arts and culture in Canada”.

Based on a custom-designed 2016 Survey of the Inuit Arts Economy and Statistics Canada’s 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, this report outlines the economic impacts of Inuit arts in Canada. Overall, the report finds that “the Inuit arts economy contributed $87.2 million” to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and “sustained over 2,700 full time equivalent jobs” in 2016.

An In-Depth Look at Perceptions and Attitudes about the Arts in America

Based on an online survey of 3,020 American adults in December 2015, this report summarizes responses to a series of questions about arts engagement, education, government funding, and the benefits to individuals and communities.

(Les arts et la culture au Québec : Portrait de la perception des Québécois)

Based on an online survey of 1,410 Quebec residents (18 and older) in September 2015, this report highlights the public’s perceptions of artists, their role in society, impacts of the cultural sector, and the governmental role in supporting culture. In general, 77% of respondents believe that the arts and culture are important to them. Annual arts participation rates are 78% for cinemas, 71% for the performing arts, and 49% for museums.

This report presents the results of a random telephone survey of 1,004 Ontario residents (18 and older) in early March 2017, bearing a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Respondents were asked a series of questions about their perceptions of the arts in Ontario, with specific questions regarding the quality of life, well-being, identity, belonging, and public arts funding. A vast majority of Ontarians believe that the arts are somewhat or very important to their own lives (85%) and to life in their community (90%).

This report examines “the relationship between cultural engagement and momentary wellbeing” using a United Kingdom dataset called Mappiness, which collects information from a mobile app that captures people’s ratings of their happiness and relaxation as well as their activities at the time (including certain cultural activities). The authors caution that the dataset “is not fully representative of the UK” and that “causation cannot be directly inferred”.

Quality Metrics National Test

The Quality Metrics National Test attempted to measure the value and impact of 374 events, exhibitions, or performances produced by 150 arts and culture organizations in England between November 2015 and May 2016. The National Test used ratings from surveys of three groups of respondents: 1,358 self-assessments by cultural organization representatives, 921 peer assessments, and 19,800 public responses. Given that public respondents self-selected whether to participate in the survey, there is uncertainty as to whether the respondents provide a representative sample of the overall population of arts-goers in England.

This report, “developed by artists with ally evaluators and funders”, identifies and examines 11 characteristics of excellence in artistic work that aims to achieve social goals. “Arts for Change” projects exist “at the intersection of artistic creation and civic engagement, community development, and justice”. The report was prepared to help counter the “assumption that artistic quality is compromised by social intent”.