Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Benefits & Impacts

29 (3), 379-391, January 2010

The authors of this article argue that, despite increasing attention to creative cities and cultural planning, “knowledge about what works at various urban and regional scales is sorely lacking”. The authors highlight the relative lack of research “evaluating the efficacy of specific cultural strategies” designed to improve local cultural development.

The report is based on four large-scale surveys of Canadians, Americans, and overseas visitors to Ontario, including basic information about travel (data from 2010) as well as travel motivations (2006). One of the key findings of the report is that the 9.5 million overnight cultural tourists have a substantial economic impact on Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product ($3.7 billion). This economic impact generated about 68,000 jobs and $1.7 billion in taxes for all levels of government.

(2007, 7:226)

Based on a survey of 1,244 American adults, this research article finds that there is “significant association between cultural activities and self-reported health (SRH)”, even controlling for demographic factors.

Connections between Cultural Activities and Health, Volunteering, Satisfaction with Life, and Other Social Indicators in 2010

Based on Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey of 2010, an in-depth telephone survey of about 7,500 Canadians 15 years of age or older, this report examines the connections between cultural activities and eight social indicators. A key finding of the report is that participants in 18 cultural activities have significantly better results than non-participants for 101 out of 144 cross-tabulations with social indicators. Cultural participants have significantly worse results for only 10 of the cross-tabulations.

The Value of Presenting: A Study of Arts Presentation in Canada

In addition to providing a profile of performing arts presenters and summarizing research into arts attendance in Canada, this report examines potential benefits of the arts, including impacts on the quality of life, well-being, social engagement, health, education, and communities.

Based on a survey of 1,001 Canadians 18 or older in June and July of 2012, this report examines Canadians’ attendance and personal involvement in the arts, culture, and heritage, as well as their perceptions regarding cultural activities and government support of culture.

Value of Presenting Study
The bulk of this presentation provides information about key demographic trends in Canada: a growing and aging population, differences in average age by location, increased immigration from Asian countries, and an increasing Aboriginal population. The report compares census data with attendance data to see whether different age groups are over or under-represented among performing arts audiences. The presentation indicates that classical music and theatre audiences skew older than the overall population, while popular music skews younger. The presentation also provides information about perceived benefits of the performing arts.

Based on a literature review, a review of four organizations' mandates, direct observation, and semi-structured interviews, this study examines how socially-engaged visual arts organizations in the United Kingdom "bring about change in individuals and communities". The report argues that socially-engaged visual arts organizations, with strong social or civic missions, coherent philosophies of engagement, and clarity of purpose, have "a key role to play in placing the arts at the centre of civil society."

Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies

Based on four longitudinal datasets, this American report examines the association between in-depth arts engagement and academic or civic outcomes for at-risk youth. The report notes that high-arts students fare at least as well as low-arts students on almost all indicators of academic achievement and civic engagement, and significantly better than low-arts students on a number of indicators.

Attitudinal Research

Based on a telephone survey of 1,000 New Brunswickers, this report examines their arts participation activities and attitudes. The report found that 96% of "New Brunswickers participate in the arts at least once a year", including reading books (86%), attending concerts or live music events (62%), going to plays (55%), visiting art galleries (37%), attending an arts festival (28%) and going to dance performances (26%). The report indicates that the typical margin of error of the survey results is 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.