Volume: 13 Issue: 5
In this issue: A summary of quantitative and qualitative research into arts participation and engagement, including statistics on performing arts attendance in Quebec, a literature review of the value of cultural experiences, a discussion paper on the quality of experience in the arts, and a research article on measuring the quality of arts engagement.
(Dix ans de statistiques sur la fréquentation des arts de la scène, Optique culture no 34, September 2014)
This report examines performing arts attendance in Quebec over a ten-year period (2004-2013), including performances of theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, and magic. In 2013, the most recent year of the study, there were 17,100 performances with an admission fee in Quebec, attracting 6.7 million spectators and generating $229 million in box office revenues. Over the long term, performing arts attendance in Quebec has not grown.
This English review of “academically-robust research and influential policy papers from the past twenty years” examines two streams of research about the value and impact of cultural experiences: “1) how individuals benefit from attending and participating in cultural programmes and activities; and 2) the creative capacities of arts and cultural organisations to bring forth impactful programmes”. The report concludes that “while individual experiences are the building blocks of the value system, the literature agrees that cumulative impacts – the effects of a lifetime of involvement in arts and culture – are the fuel for larger societal outcomes”.
This English report attempts to provide a conceptualization of the quality of arts experiences that is flexible (i.e., relevant to various contexts, art forms, and levels of audience familiarity with the arts) and “meaningful in the context of Arts Council England’s role and philosophy”. The authors argue that, alongside an emphasis on accountability, a structure for learning could be an important component of an arts council’s activities. In addition to quality of experience, a learning evaluation system could include value for money, organizational strength and resilience, as well as artist development.
Volume 7, Issue 2, November 2010
Based on in-depth interviews with marketing managers from four Australian performing arts organizations, this article proposes four key indicators of the quality of audience experience in the performing arts: knowledge transfer or learning, risk management, authenticity, and collective engagement.