Benefits of the arts

Volume: 14 Issue: 6

In this issue: Four reports that take different perspectives on the benefits and impacts of the arts in society, including a Canadian summary of the benefits of music education, a survey of Toronto residents on the value of the arts, an article examining the arts and our shared values, and parallel research from the sports sector regarding the integration of new Canadians via sport.

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  • An Overview of Current Neuroscience Research

    This document provides a useful summary of recent neuroscience research on the impacts of music on mental health and well-being. The report indicates that “neuroscientists are demonstrating that there is a causal connection between music study and cognitive growth”.

  • Based on a non-random online survey of about 500 Toronto residents as well as three focus group sessions, this report indicates that 97% of respondents “see at least one benefit of the arts to the City of Toronto”. The two most commonly selected benefits to the City were attracting tourists (79%) and highlighting the city’s cultural diversity (71%).

  • New Citizens, Sports & Belonging

    While not related to the arts, this report is an interesting example of research into new citizens’ participation in Canadian life, in the world of sports. The report is based on a survey of 4,157 new citizens residing in urban areas who have participated “in the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Cultural Access Pass program”, focus groups in eight Canadian cities, and a literature review of sports organizations’ focus on immigration and diversity.

  • 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”.