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

How arts and culture can tackle economic, social and democratic engagement challenges in smaller cities

This discussion paper provides British examples of how the arts and culture sector can help stimulate and sustain economic growth, build a sense of shared identity, promote community cohesion, and help address challenges regarding infrastructure and skill levels.

Canadian Cultural Labour in the Era of the Creative Economy

Acknowledging that "artists and cultural-creative workers manage complex work flows, interruptions, part-time contracts, transitions, and unpaid work" (which leads to a lack of income security), this report explores "new ideas for income security initiatives for flexible labour – a growing part of the new economy". The report argues that "the key to promoting the sector ... is a framework that contains rules for creative labour processes and offers special protection as well as employment and income security to the creative work force".

Toronto Artscape

This presentation provides lists of the "base elements of infrastructure" that may enhance creative neighbourhoods. The live/work and creation/production spaces highlighted in the report include artist live-work spaces, artist coops or lodges, artist studios, retail spaces, media or recording studios, soundstages, production workshops and rehearsal spaces.

The report provides an analysis of artists residing in various postal regions – "neighbourhoods" – in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver in 2006. The report provides lists of the ten neighbourhoods with the highest concentration of artists in each city. Nearly 22,000 artists live in the 50 neighbourhoods in the five cities' top ten lists. This represents 41% of the artists in the five cities and 16% of all artists in Canada. Since 41% of all artists in the five cities reside in the most artistic neighbourhoods, the report notes that cultural development in cities is partly an issue of neighbourhood development.

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".

This report provides an analysis of artists residing in small and rural municipalities in Canada. One-quarter of the 140,000 artists in Canada reside in small and rural municipalities (36,500 artists, or 26%). West Bolton (in Quebec's Eastern Townships) is the only municipality in Canada with over 10% of its labour force in arts occupations.

This report summarizes the results of three forums in Ontario (Brockville, Chatham and Minett / Muskoka) about municipal cultural planning. The forums were designed to "build awareness of the value and economic development opportunity" presented by cultural planning, to demonstrate community examples and success stories, as well as to identify tools and barriers in implementing municipal cultural planning.
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."