The Impact Database is managed by the Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow. It is funded by the Scottish Government and has its origins in A Literature review of the evidence base for culture, the arts and sport policy (Scottish Executive, 2004). For further information and feedback, please contact the database administrator at email@example.com
Arts and Culture
Our creative talent: the voluntary and amateur arts in England (Dodd, Graves and Taws 2008) gives an overview of the size and make-up of the voluntary and amateur arts sector in England. It describes how formally organised voluntary and amateur arts groups account for one fifth of all arts participation in England and generates a yearly income of around GBP 543 million. In 2006/07 a total of 710,000 performances or exhibitions were put on, attracting a total of 159 million attendances. The voluntary arts sector is embedded in the grass roots of local communities and has a complex impact on developing vibrant and inclusive communities. Voluntary arts groups provide opportunities for people who would not otherwise participate in the arts to do so within their local community and are particularly well placed to engage new audiences and participants in the arts and to draw in people who might otherwise feel excluded. The sector plays an important role in sustaining cultural traditions and developing new artistic practice.
Arts, Culture and the Economy
An economic impact study of the 2009 edition of the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas (Greyhill Advisors, 2010) found that the festival was directly and indirectly responsible for injecting almost USD 98.9 million into the local economy, of which USD 78.8 million in visitor expenditures from the festival’s 210,000 attendees and USD 20 million resulting from the year-round expenditures from the festival and its sponsors. An estimated 90% of attendance expenditures were dollars from outside Austin. Despite a significant increase in attendance numbers, the total economic impact was USD 4 million lower than in 2008. The fiscal impact of SXSW’s media coverage was estimated at USD 21.4 million (SXSW ‘09. Economic impact study).
Markusen and Gadwa (2010) have reviewed the state of knowledge about arts and culture as a tool for urban or regional development. The review covered published research, cultural policy case studies of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis-St. Paul and some smaller jurisdictions, and extensive interviews and discussions with city cultural planners and policy makers across the US and abroad. Two strategies (designated cultural districts and tourist-targeted cultural investments) are studied in depth to illustrate how better research would inform implementation. The authors argue that in guiding urban cultural development, researchers should examine and clarify the impacts, risks, and opportunity costs of various strategies and the investments and revenue and expenditure patterns associated with each, so that communities and governments avoid squandering “creative city” opportunities (‘Arts and culture in urban or regional planning: a review and research agenda.’ Journal of Planning Education and Research XX(X): 1-13).
Culture in Montreal: Economic Impacts and Private Funding, a study by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal (2009), describes the cultural sector’s power as a lever of economic development for MontrÃ©al. It found that Montreal’s cultural sector had an overall annual economic spin-offs of CAD 12 billion and makes a direct contribution to the economy of CAD 7.8 billion, about 6% of the GDP of the Greater Montreal region. In 2008, the sector created 96,910 direct jobs, revealing a growth almost three times more than the total labour market average over the last ten years. The cultural sector generates more indirect jobs than the majority of companies in the service industry.
Impacts 08 (2009) has published a new report on the impacts of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture (ECoC) on the creative industries sector in the sub-region. It finds that the size of the creative industries sector in Liverpool has grown between 2006 and 2008, with the total number of enterprises increasing by 10% and total employment by 14%. Within the Liverpool sub-region, the number of creative industries enterprises increased over five years, peaking in 2007 and dropping slightly in 2008. Over the same period, the sub-region saw a 7% growth in the overall number of workplaces, a steady increase up to 2007 in the numbers of organisations in the size bands of between 1-5 employees and between 6-10 employees (with a small decline in 2008) and a decrease in the average business size, although an upward trend appears to be emerging. The sub-region has a sustained base of creative industries enterprises, which suggests that the city region is considered a viable context for existing and start-up businesses. According to the sector, the Liverpool ECoC has improved Liverpool’s profile and external perceptions, helped to improve the ‘local morale’ of the creative industries in the sub-region, and helped to increase the credibility of the creative industries sector in the sub-region. Some creative industries enterprises reported a growth in their client base which they viewed partly attributable to the ECoC. After 2008, nearly three quarters of creative industries enterprises felt that the ECoC would create long-term positive impacts for their businesses (Liverpool’s creative industries: understanding the impact of Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008 on the region’s creative industries).
The Northwest Regional Development Agency has published The economic impact of heritage in the North West (Amion Consulting, Taylor Young and Locum Consulting, 2009), which assesses the economic value of heritage in the North West of England. The report measures the direct outputs of investment in heritage as well as the wider economic effects on tourism, construction, skills, businesses accommodated in heritage buildings and the property market. The analysis suggests that overall some 39,680 jobs are supported, generating just over GBP 1.6 billion in GVA per annum.
A statistical analysis by Singh (2004) gives an estimate of the contribution of the culture sector to GDP and employment in Canadian provinces. It finds that Ontario produced the highest culture GDP and employed more culture workers than other provinces. Culture GDP in all provinces except Quebec, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island grew faster than did total provincial GDP. Of all the provinces, Ontario reported the highest growth in GDP, whereas Quebec led the growth in employment (Economic contribution of the culture sector in Canada: a provincial perspective).
Arts, Culture and Education
The Centre for Public Policy at the University of Northumbria (2007) has evaluated the first three years of Scotlandâ€™s Youth Music Initiative (YMI). It concludes that there have clearly been short-term personal, social and educational benefits for children and young people. The initiative positively contributed to making children successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors, and was perceived as contributing to acquiring musical skills and appreciation, improved concentration and group working skills. Key skills such as numeracy and motor skills have been incorporated into music tuition; improvements in behaviour, confidence and self-esteem were also noted. Evidence suggests that participation offers particular advantages for pupils with special educational needs and learning difficulties, pupils who are less well-behaved and pupils who do not excel in other subject areas (Retuning. Evaluation of Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative (2003-2006)).
Arts, Culture and Health
‘Young farmers’ photographic mental health promotion programme: a case study’, by Syson-Nibbs et al. (2009), describes a public health programme aiming to improve the self-esteem and self-efficacy of young farmers from English hill farming communities. The programme’s findings indicate that participants acquired new skills and demonstrated increased self-confidence. Photography was successfully used to engage young people and enabled them to take their views to the heart of the government. The authors conclude that empowering young farmers may mitigate against future mental health problems in this vulnerable occupational group (Arts & Health 1(2): 151-167).
Two studies have been included that result from a longitudinal study into the influence of music participation on older people. Cohen et al. (2006) measures the impact of participation in a professionally conducted chorale on the physical health, mental health, and social activities of adults over 64 years old. The study concludes that the intervention had important effects on health promotion and prevention and contributed to reducing the risk factors driving the need for long-term care (‘The impact of professionally conducted cultural programs on the physical health, mental health, and social functioning of older adults.’ The Gerontologist 46(6): 726-734). Cohen (2009) reviews the latest theories of the underlying mechanisms that explain the positive effects of music and arts on health and ageing, and discusses the latest findings demonstrating these effects. The study also summarises the full findings from the first study into creativity and ageing (‘New theories and research findings on the positive influence of music and art on health with ageing.’ Arts & Health 1(1): 48-63).
An older longitudinal study by Silverstein and Parker (2002) has examined the relation between changes in leisure activities and retrospectively assessed change in quality of life among older people in Sweden. The analysis revealed that those increasing their activity participation across domains tended to perceive an improvement in their life conditions. This effect was particularly strong among older adults who became widowed, developed functional impairments, and had relatively low contact with family. The results suggest that maximizing activity participation is an adaptive strategy taken by older adults to compensate for social and physical deficits in later life (‘Leisure activities and quality of life among the oldest old in Sweden’. Research on Aging 24(5): 528-547).
Lally (2009) reports on a qualitative evaluation of a singing-based participatory arts initiative. Qualitative evidence of the outcomes of the programme suggest that it had a positive impact on participants’ physical and social well-being as well as their creative activity. The author argues that accounts of personal experience of the programme’s participants provide the most powerful evidence of its impact. Taking into account current debates about evidence-based policy approaches, the author concludes that it is necessary to understand the complexities of evidence in cultural policy and to develop new language to talk about evidence without unnecessarily privileging quantitative or statistical forms at the expense of qualitative evidence (’‘The power to heal us with a smile and song’: senior well-being, music-based participatory arts and the value of qualitative evidence’. Journal of Arts and Communities 1(1): 25-44).
A review of more than 600 studies by Ulrich et al. (2004) considers the contribution of improved hospital design to patient and staff outcomes in reducing staff stress and fatigue and increasing effectiveness in delivering care; improving patient safety; reducing stress and improving outcomes; and improving overall healthcare quality (The role of the physical environment in the hospital of the 21st century: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity).
Arts, Culture and Regeneration
In ‘Cultural clusters: the implications of cultural assets agglomeration for neighborhood revitalization’, Stern and Seifert (2010) explore the role that cultural clusters have played in spurring the revitalisation of neighbourhoods in Philadelphia. They use a Cultural Asset Index (CAI) that aggregates data on cultural participants, resident artists, nonprofit cultural organizations and commercial cultural firms to identify the concentration of cultural clusters in metropolitan Philadelphia between 1997 and 2004. The authors conclude that cultural assets agglomeration may serve to reinforce and even anchor diversity in urban neighbourhoods (Journal of Planning Education and Research XX(X): 1-18).
Art at the Centre Phase II. Final evaluation report 2005-2008 (General Public Agency, 2008) evaluates a three-year initiative by Arts Council England, South East to test new methods of supporting and evaluating art within regeneration contexts. The evaluation included quantitative and qualitative strands that investigated the potential of art within regeneration to meet the instrumental aims of the three participating local authorities, complemented by a strand of reflexive evaluation emphasizing a ‘shared learning’ approach across all the stakeholders in the project. It concludes that the programme successfully achieved the majority of the tangible aims, but points out that the less tangible aims relating to social cohesion aspirations or changing perceptions were harder to measure both quantitatively and qualitatively. Aims relating to shifting perception were most successfully achieved, while aims such as ‘counter anti-social behaviour’ or ‘build confidence and self esteem’ appear to have been shied away from by projects. This raises questions around how the arts community seeks to measure impact and how it advocates for the potential role of art.
Arts, Culture and Society
Two new studies commissioned by the Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) Council have been included in the Impact Database. Community archives and the sustainable communities agenda (Jura Consultants, 2009) investigates the potential of community archive initiatives to support the Government’s sustainable communities agenda and aims to inform future discussion on how archives can be supported by agencies such as MLA and other public bodies. Volunteering in archives. A report for the National Council on Archives (Ray 2009) explores the role that volunteers play in the archive sector. Of all volunteers surveyed for this study, 81% felt that volunteering had improved their historical knowledge, 64% had learnt or improved archive skills, 24% had learnt or improved conservation skills, while just under half of those surveyed identified social benefits to volunteering in archives. With respect to the benefits of volunteering in improving general workplace skills and confidence in the workplace, 32% felt it had helped with their sense of being part of a workplace, 28% felt it had helped them learn or improve their IT or other work-related skills, and 16% felt it had improved their confidence to look for work.
The National Endowment for the Arts (2009) has published a research note on the correlations between U.S. adults’ self-reported levels of arts engagement and a range of positive civic and social behaviours. The findings of the study indicate a tight correlation between arts-going and civic engagement. American adults who attend art museums, art galleries, or live arts performances are far more likely than non-attendees to vote, volunteer, or take part in community events. Arts participants and literary readers are also more likely to be involved in their community in a variety of other ways, including sports participation, collaborative art-making and taking their children to out-of-school performances (Art-goers in their communities: patterns of civic and social engagement. NEA research note #98).
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published two reports related to its ‘Taking Part’ survey. In the first (2009a), it presents the baseline results of an extended survey on public engagement in culture, leisure and sport by children aged 5-15. This found that nearly all children aged 5-10 had participated in at least one sport or cultural activity. Reading and writing was the most popular arts activity (87.7%), followed by arts and crafts (80.0%). Within this age group girls had significantly higher rates of out-of-school arts participation than boys, but significantly lower levels of sports and museum participation. Of 11-15 years olds, 99.9% had participated in at least one sport or cultural sector. 38.3% had engaged in all five sectors. Reading and writing was the most popular arts activity (93.6%), followed by arts and crafts (83.3%). Girls in this age-group had significantly higher rates of library use than boys. Participation rates in sports and museums (5-10 year olds) and heritage (both age groups) were significantly higher for those from White backgrounds than those from Black or minority ethnic backgrounds. In libraries, those from Black or minority ethnic backgrounds had significantly higher rates of participation than those from White backgrounds for both age groups. Those in rural areas had significantly higher participation than those in urban areas in sport (age 5-10) and heritage (both age groups) (Taking Part: The national survey of culture, leisure and sport. Headline findings from the 2008/09 Taking Part child survey. Statistical release).
The second DCMS study (2009b) presents baseline results on the correlation between participation in culture or sport and cohesion, empowerment and active communities (Taking Part: The national survey of culture, leisure and sport. PSA21: Indicator 6 - Final baseline results from the 2008/09 Taking Part survey. Statistical release). Its findings show that 65.9% of adults had taken part in two or more different cultural or sport sectors during the past 12 months, 20.2% of adults had participated in just one cultural or sport sector and 13.9% of adults had not participated in any sectors. Females were found to have significantly higher rates of participation than males; those from White backgrounds had significantly higher rates of participation than those from Black or minority ethnic backgrounds; adults from upper socio-economic groups had significantly higher rates of participation than those from lower socio-economic groups; and adults aged 25-64 had significantly higher rates of participation than those aged 16-24 and those aged 65 and over. Active participants were significantly more likely to say that many of the people in their neighbourhood could be trusted, had significantly higher levels of being fairly or very satisfied with their area as a place to live, were significantly more likely to have been involved in clubs, groups or organizations, and were significantly more likely to feel they had a small amount or lot of influence over the quality and variety of local cultural and sporting facilities.
Encourage children today to build audiences for tomorrow. Evidence from the Taking Part survey on how childhood development in the arts affects arts engagement in adulthood (Oskala et al., 2009) uses data from the 2005/06 Taking Part survey to analyse the effects of childhood exposure to the arts on current engagement in the arts. The analysis indicates that encouragement to attend and participate in the arts as a child is associated with significantly higher chances of being an active arts consumer as an adult, both in terms of attendance and participation. The effect of childhood experience is very strong, nearing in magnitude the effect of education. The level of parental encouragement differs by family background and personal demographics. Parents of high social status are more likely to encourage their children to engage in the arts, and girls and white children are more likely to receive encouragement than boys and children from other ethnic backgrounds.
Comparable to the first DCMS study, The Children’s Omnibus Survey 2007 by the Arts Council of Wales (2008) aims to track the frequency with which children and young people in Wales attend and participate in arts events and activities. This report reveals that over 70% of children and young people attend arts events, while over 80% participate, a level that is much higher than for the adult population. Levels of attendance and participation for most activities were highest in North Wales (attendance by 83%, participation by 90%) and lowest in South Wales (65% attending and 78% participating). The ability to speak Welsh increases the proportion of attendees and participators in the arts. For specific art-forms such as drama, visual art and craft and musical activities, the highest levels of participation were found in the Mid & West Wales region. Levels of attendance and participation were found to decline with age. 77% of 7-10 year olds attend once a year or more, but this percentage drops to 68% for 16-18 year olds. A similar pattern was found for participation: 93% of the 7-10 year old age group take part, compared to 60% of 16-18 year olds. Gender and socio-economic grouping have an effect on the proportion of children and young people attending arts events, but no impact on the proportion of participation. 80% from the ABC1 group attend arts events compared to 65% of the C2DE group. Participation in the arts is equal for both groups (83%).
Arts participation 2008. Highlights from a national survey, a report by Angus & Associates Ltd (2009) for the National Endowment for the Arts, summarises the highlights of the 2008 NEA survey on public participation in the arts in the US. In the 12 months covered by the survey, one in three adults attended an art museum or an arts performance. Between 2002 and 2008, the percentage of adults attending arts events declined for every art form except musical plays, while literary reading was the only arts activity to increase. For the first time, participation in opera and jazz showed marked decreases, with attendances dropping below the 1982 rate. The steady decline in classical music attendance (since 1982) has accelerated since 2002. After having increased in earlier surveys, art museum attendance has now almost dropped back to the 1982 level, while the proportion of adults touring parks or historical buildings has diminished by one-third since 1982. Long-term trend analysis shows an aging audience for all art forms. Since 1982, attendance rates for 18-24-year-olds have declined significantly for jazz, classical music, ballet, and non-musical plays. Performing arts attendees are increasingly older than the average U.S. adult. Between 2002 and 2008, attendance by 45-54-year-olds has shown the steepest decline for most arts events. Arts activity still rises with education level, but even among college-educated adults levels of attendance and participation have dropped in nearly all art forms. With the exception of photography, the percentage of the adult population performing of creating arts has declined for all art forms. As in prior years, more Americans view or listen to broadcasts and recordings of arts events than attend them live, with the sole exception of live theatre.
Major Cultural Events
Kennell and MacLeod (2009) have reviewed over 50 grey literature documents relating to the London Cultural Olympiad. From this review, five themes emerged: cultural development; developing institutional frameworks; social benefits; educational benefits; and promotional benefits (‘A grey literature review of the Cultural Olympiad’. Cultural Trends 18(1): 83-88).