Arts education / Theatre / Social benefits of the arts

Volume: 16 Issue: 1

In this issue: A focus on arts education and benefits of the arts, including a Canadian examination of the situation of theatre for young audiences, a United Kingdom report on the benefits of cultural learning, an American summary of the benefits of the arts and culture, and an American report on the audience impact of choral music concerts.

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Articles

  • Based on a literature review, existing statistics, two focus groups, and a targeted survey of 30 stakeholders, this report examines “the patterns of attendance and cultural participation by young people in the theatre for young audiences (TYA) and the children’s festival sector in Canada”.

  • Summarizing secondary research into the value of the arts and arts education, this report from the United Kingdom finds that “arts and culture are a life-enhancing and essential part of our existence". An accompanying report (Key Research Findings: The Case for Cultural Learning) provides further details about the research highlighted in ImagineNation.

  • This review article, a work in progress from an American cultural research group, evaluates and summarizes evidence regarding the benefits of the arts for individuals. The researchers examine research evidence in four categories: physical and mental health; education and personal development; economic vitality; and social cohesion. While the researchers recognize that existing research is not definitive, they do conclude that “arts participation really does improve lives”.

  • Based on a survey of over 14,000 attendees at performances by 23 choirs (including the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and 22 American choruses), this report examines the experiences of audiences at live choral concerts. The goal of the research was to spur “critical reflection on how audiences construct meaning and memory from concerts of choral music, and how choruses can curate impacts through thoughtful program design”.