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

This report explores possibilities for measuring the social impacts of organizations' activities, despite challenges such as "the lack of a common measure of how much good has been done" and the lack of an "agreed unit of social impact" that might be equivalent to financial metrics used in market transactions.

Noting that "Canada has consistently ranked as one of the happiest nations in the world", this report indicates that, on a scale from one to five, the average self-assessed rating of the happiness of Canadians is 4.26. Within Canada, happiness is highest on Prince Edward Island (4.33) and lowest in Ontario (4.23) and British Columbia (4.24). Among Census Metropolitan Areas, average happiness is highest in Sherbrooke (4.37), Brantford (4.36), and Trois-Rivières (4.35) and lowest in Toronto (4.15) and Vancouver (4.20).

This survey of 1,102 American youth between 12 and 17 years of age found that 97% of teens play computer, web, portable or console games. Teens' gaming experiences were found to be rich and varied, with "significant social interaction and civic engagement".

This report examines correlations between participation in the arts and potential civic benefits, based on data from the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, which had a sample of more than 18,000 Americans 18 years of age or older. The survey results show that adults who attend art galleries, attend live performances, or read literature are more likely than non-attendees or non-readers to vote, volunteer and take part in community events.

Based on a telephone survey of 1,000 adult Ontarians, this report highlights public perceptions regarding the value and benefits of the arts. Comparisons are provided with a similar survey conducted in 1994.

Mark J. Stern, University of Pennsylvania

According to this presentation, the cultural sector can be seen as an ecosystem "that is central to the 'architecture of community'", especially four key community dimensions: social capital, public assets, market relations, and the flows of information, capital and people.

Impacts and Insights from Three Case Studies drawn from Artspace Projects’ Earliest Developments

This report examines the social, economic and physical impacts of two artists' cooperatives and a centre for visual arts in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. The report finds that "these artist spaces have produced clear benefits for in-house arts tenants and the surrounding neighborhood and region". More specifically, the study "found evidence that these artist spaces support, attract, and help retain artist entrepreneurs who enhance the regions' economic competitiveness". Specific economic and social benefits include drawing visitors to the area (who engage in ancillary spending), increasing civic involvement and safety, as well as "providing new spaces open to the public".

An International English-Language Literature Review and Inventory of Resources

The literature review in the Creative City Network of Canada series of reports on Developing and Revitalizing Rural Communities through Arts and Creativity examines the nature of cultural activity in rural communities, the community context for arts development, the role of the arts in economic development, and governance strategies.

Summary Overview

The Creative City Network of Canada commissioned a series of reports on Developing and Revitalizing Rural Communities through Arts and Creativity. The summary overview of these reports sets the context: "As rural communities re-envision and reposition themselves, they are seeking to revitalize, diversity their economic base, enhance their quality of life, and reinvent themselves for new functions and roles."

Presentation at CAPACOA

This presentation highlights findings regarding the broad social impacts of performing arts attendance for individuals. In addition, the presentation provides key data regarding performing arts attendance in 2005 and trends in attendance since 1992.