Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Creative class, cities, people, neighbourhoods

This report examines perceptions of the arts and community attractiveness based on surveys of 500 Ontario-based skilled workers and 508 Ontario-based businesses with more than 20 employees. Among skilled workers, 65% of survey respondents were in agreement that “a thriving arts cultural scene is something I would look for when considering moving to a new community” (31% agree + 34% somewhat agree). Similarly, 64% of businesses agreed that “a thriving arts cultural scene is something that makes it (would make it) easier to attract to talent to the community” (35% agree + 29% somewhat agree).

Key elements, effective strategies & why it's worth pursuing

This report, based on a literature review, over 40 expert interviews, and two international focus group sessions, aims to provide a “roadmap” for the development of music, especially the commercial music sector, in municipalities of any size, anywhere in the world. The report outlines five essential elements of “music cities”:

  • The presence of “artists and musicians;
  • A thriving music scene;
  • Access to spaces and places;
  • A receptive and engaged audience; and
  • Record labels and other music-related businesses”.
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”.

Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture

The Arts Vibrancy Index attempts to identify cities that possess artistic vibrancy, which is defined to include per-capita measures of arts supply, arts providers, and government grant activity in the arts. The highest rankings among the largest cities (population of 1 million or more) went to the metropolitan areas of Washington (D.C.), Nashville, New York, Boston, and San Francisco. Among cities with a population under 1 million, three of the top five cities were in Colorado: Glenwood Springs (#1), Breckenridge (#4), and Edwards (#5). Rounding out the top five were Santa Fe (New Mexico) and Jackson (Wyoming, including parts of Idaho).

Based on interviews with 14 technology professionals as well as a literature review of evidence related to music and skills development, this report (supported by Music Canada) contends that rich music environments help attract high-technology jobs to local areas. According to the study, music helps develop many skills that are critical for high-tech workers.

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.

Based on a literature review and several case studies, this report examines culture-led placemaking and "its contributions to livability, economic revitalization, creative entrepreneurship, and cultural industries". The study indicates that creative placemaking efforts are "using arts and culture to animate downtowns and neighborhoods, to stoke their creative industries, to stabilize population and jobs, and to attract new residents and businesses" to small and large communities.

This symposium, organized as part of Winnipeg's Cultural Capital of Canada 2010 activities, was designed to "deliberate and debate the current and future relationships of art and design to city-making".

Kelly Hill recently conducted a number of presentations in smaller cities, including St. John's, St. Catharines and Barrie. These presentations provide some insights into the situation of arts and culture in smaller and regional centres.

This briefing paper, written for generalist planners, highlights how "arts and culture strategies help to reveal and enhance the underlying identity – the unique meaning, value, and character" – of a community.