Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Social benefits of the arts

Based on the 2012 U.S. General Social Survey, this report provides a detailed examination of the motivations of arts attendees (the 54% of Americans who attended at least one exhibition or performance during the previous year) and the barriers facing “interested non-attendees” (the 13% who did not attend a visual or performing arts event during the previous year but wanted to go to at least one exhibition or live performance).

Understanding How Participation in Arts and Culture Can Affect our Values

Taking the form of a core essay and a number of critical responses, the report attempts to start “a dialogue about how arts and culture impact on our values”, including “deep values” such as “self-acceptance, affiliation, community feeling, freedom, creativity, self-respect, equality, [and] unity with nature”.

New Citizens, Sports & Belonging

While not related to the arts, this report is an interesting example of research into new citizens’ participation in Canadian life, in the world of sports. The report is based on a survey of 4,157 new citizens residing in urban areas who have participated “in the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Cultural Access Pass program”, focus groups in eight Canadian cities, and a literature review of sports organizations’ focus on immigration and diversity.

Based on a non-random online survey of about 500 Toronto residents as well as three focus group sessions, this report indicates that 97% of respondents “see at least one benefit of the arts to the City of Toronto”. The two most commonly selected benefits to the City were attracting tourists (79%) and highlighting the city’s cultural diversity (71%).

An Overview of Current Neuroscience Research

This document provides a useful summary of recent neuroscience research on the impacts of music on mental health and well-being. The report indicates that “neuroscientists are demonstrating that there is a causal connection between music study and cognitive growth”.

This brief report highlights the fact that cultural practices are important for “the wellness, health, and healing of Aboriginal peoples and communities”. The report indicates that the arts may have particular importance for Aboriginal Peoples in many ways.

Based on a random telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians commissioned by the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) from Nanos Research in March 2014, this brief report and a summary fact sheet indicate that many Canadians believe in the importance of live theatre in Canadian communities. The survey results show that 84% of Canadians believe that live theatre plays an important or somewhat important role in “making communities across Canada vibrant places to live”.

Results and Recommendations

Based on site visits of grant recipients from the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” initiative, a one-day session with other grant recipients, and a focus group with creative placemaking experts, this report examines the usefulness of 23 potential indicators of the contribution of the arts and culture to quality of place and community livability. The report defines creative placemaking as processes where “partners from public, private, non-profit and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city or region around arts and cultural activities”.

Results of Business for the Arts’ 2014 Research Initiative

As the report’s title indicates, one of the key findings of this presentation of ongoing research is that many Canadians look favourably on companies that support the arts. A public survey found that 52% of respondents “feel more favourably towards businesses that support arts and culture”.

Volume 7, Issue 2, November 2010

Based on in-depth interviews with marketing managers from four Australian performing arts organizations, this article proposes four key indicators of the quality of audience experience in the performing arts: knowledge transfer or learning, risk management, authenticity, and collective engagement.