Impact Update 25, February 2011
This newsletter reviews the content that has been added to the Impact Database since the end of November 2010. As always, many of the studies are recently published but we also include earlier research that is relevant to the themes of the database. Full bibliographical details of the references highlighted below can be obtained from the database.
It is with sadness that we have to announce that this will be the final newsletter to be sent out. Since 2004, the Impact Database has been managed by the Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow, on behalf of the Scottish Government. Since then, nearly 800 publications have been included. As of March 1, our funding will seize and the Impact Database will no longer be updated. However, the existing database will continue to be available at a new address. More information about this will be sent out in due time.
Until then, we continue to encourage out users and their networks to use the online facilities of the Database to submit their own research, which will then be considered for inclusion. Alternatively, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Research should relate to the main themes of the database (as listed in the ‘Advanced Search’ section) and should have stated aims/objectives, methodological approach and findings/conclusions.
Arts, Culture and the Economy
Economic value of arts activity in the district of Lancaster. Economic impact study, by GENECON LLP (2011), attempts to capture the scale and economic value of arts activity in the district of Lancaster. Its findings show that Lancaster district’s arts sector generates GBP 50m across Lancaster district. 600 businesses and organisations are directly or indirectly involved in the arts and cultural sector, supporting between 1,400 and 2,400 jobs. Direct and indirect activities of the seven member organisations of the Lancaster Arts Partnership generate GBP 7.5m annually, support a total of 200 jobs, produce GBP 800,000 of marketing/promotion value through media coverage outside the district, and provide more than 20,000 separate activities for young people each year. For 85% of visitors attending arts events in the district the event itself was the prime reason for their visit. More than 80% of respondents agreed or agreed strongly that the arts are 'a very important part of my quality of life'; 71% thought that the arts 'enhance the quality of life in Lancaster District'; and almost 50% thought that ‘the range of arts activities in Lancaster District differentiates it as a place to live’. Of people living within 30 minutes drive from central Lancaster, the most popular attended activities include the cinema, any performance in a theatre and pop/rock.
Lawton & Rowe (2010) have quantified the economic impact of 14 museums in the state of Maine (Maine Museums: an economic impact study). Their study shows that in 2009, visitors spent nearly USD 71m. Direct visitor spending created a sales impact of an estimated USD 148m and generated more than USD 7.5m in tax revenue for state and local governments. One in five visitors identified the museum visit as the primary reason for their trip and the spending associated with their trip. The average overnight visitor spent USD 243 per day, twice the amount spent by other overnight visitors who came for leisure purposes and three times the amount spent by those visiting family and friends. Visitors who did not stay overnight still spent USD 92 a day.
In a report for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Lanier & Spruck (2009) quantify the way in which spending in the arts supports a broad range of important segments of the economy in the state of New Jersey. The study’s findings reveal that in 2007 the state’s nonprofit arts spent USD 247.6m on operations and USD 51.4m on capital improvements. The sector generated USD 717.7m in total impact, USD 265.5m in earnings, 6645 fte jobs, and USD 17.8m in state income and sales taxes. The economic impact in 2007 represents a 1.7% increase from 2001, the result of a slight decline in operating expenditures and a significant increase in capital spending. Spending by nonprofit arts organisations supports a broad range of sectors in New Jersey, led by professional, scientific and technical services; real estate, finance and insurance, health care, manufacturing, and construction. Visitor spending during trips to New Jersey arts events is estimated at USD 283.8m, generating an economic impact of USD 501.9m in total impact, USD 131.4m in earnings, 4408 fte jobs, and USD 23.1 million in state income and sales taxes. (The economic impact of New Jersey’s nonprofit arts and associated audience spending on the state’s economy – 2009. )
Culture and creative industries in Germany 2009. Monitoring of selected economic key data on culture and creative industries. Research report No 589, a study for the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (Soendermann, 2010), provides data on the economic value of the culture and creative industries in Germany. In particular, it investigates the development potential of the culture and creative industries. This research report provides a follow-up to earlier reports by Fesel & Soendermann (2007) and Soenderman et al. (2009), already included in the Impact Database.
Arts, Culture and Health
Four recent health impact studies have been included in the database. Goldblatt et al. (2010) have published the findings of a pilot study attempting to reduce negative ruminating thoughts in patients with Parkinson’s disease engaged in a creative art therapy experience. Their hypothesis was that participants would significantly lower measures of depression, obsessive–compulsive symptoms, and phobic anxiety as a result of the manipulation of modeling clay. Quantitative results showed a positive outcome with a significant decrease in all three areas at a level similar to the average adult norm. (‘Understanding clinical benefits of modeling clay exploration with patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease’. In: Arts & Health 2(2): 140-148.)
A new publication by Harrison et al. (2010) reports on the development and implementation of a music intervention protocol for use with older people with dementia and the exploration of its effect on engagement. Participants became more actively and passively engaged in song-singing over time. There was no increase in engagement during the reading control sessions over time. The authors conclude that the method by which the music protocol was developed offers a framework and an example for similar, controlled trials. The participant engagement observation checklist also provides an exemplar of how engagement may be captured and illustrates the importance of using one, given participants became more engaged during song-singing. (‘Development of a music intervention protocol and its effect on participant engagement: Experiences from a randomised controlled trial with older people with dementia’. In: Arts & Health 2(2): 125-139.)
‘Healing architecture’, a literature review by Lawson (2010), discusses the overall pattern of the evidence of the impacts of healthcare architecture. It describes the value of a new evidence-based design approach to healthcare architecture and introduces the range of evidence available. The paper focuses on the challenge of applying empirical research knowledge to a creative design process. Examples are given of the results of such an approach and of the development of design tools to transfer complex scientific knowledge into a ‘designerly way of knowing’. (In: Arts & Health 2(2): 95-108.)
Finally, Quiroga Murcia et al. (2010) have carried out research exploring the perceived benefits of dancing on well-being. Their quantitative and qualitative analysis revealed that dancing has potential positive benefits on well-being in several aspects. In particular, beneficial effects were found related to the emotional dimension, as well as physical, social and spiritual dimensions. In addition, the positive benefits were linked to self-esteem and coping strategies. (‘Shall we dance? An exploration of the perceived benefits of dancing on well-being’. In: Arts & Health 2(2): 149-163.)
Arts, Culture and Society
Childhood, culture and creativity: a literature review (Marsh, 2010) critically explores the literature on the relationships between childhood cultures and creativity, in order to outline the implications of these relationships for researchers, educators and policy makers. In particular, the review looks at the debates surrounding how young children (up to age 8) grow up in complex, commercialised and media-saturated social worlds. It addresses developments in the sociology of childhood over the last twenty years, and explores how children are positioned within the marketplace as well as in the family and how we now understand their drives and their identities. The main focus is on identifying the way in which children’s own cultures are significant to notions of creativity and how notions of children’s own cultural constructs are central to an understanding of creativity. The review examines three prevalent spheres of study: play, multimodal communication and new technologies.
To read or not to read. A question of national consequence provides a comprehensive analysis of reading patterns in the United States. It shows that Americans read less often and for shorter amounts of time when compared with other age groups and with Americans of the past and that their reading skills worsen, especially among teenagers and young males. By contrast, the average reading score of 9-year-olds has improved. Among high school seniors, the average score has declined for virtually all levels of reading. Reading proficiency rates are stagnant or declining in adults of both genders and all education levels. Reading for pleasure correlates strongly with academic achievement. The study concludes that these declines in reading have serious civic, social, cultural, and economic implications. While advanced readers accrue personal, professional, and social advantages, deficient readers run higher risks of failure in all three areas. Nearly two-thirds of employers ranked reading comprehension "very important" for high school graduates. Yet 38% consider most high school graduates deficient in this basic skill. Good readers generally have more financially rewarding jobs, while less advanced readers report fewer opportunities for career growth. Good readers also play a crucial role in enriching our cultural and civic life. Literary readers are more likely than non-readers to engage in positive civic and individual activities, such as volunteering, attending sports or cultural events, and exercising. (National Endowment for the Arts, 2007)
Major cultural events
European Cultural Capital Report 3, by Palmer, Richards & Dodd (2011), provides an update to the existing reports on the European Capital of Culture event by Palmer & Richards as well as the original evaluation report produced for the European Commission (Palmer/Rae Associates 2004). It also addresses current trends and developments, the ECOC selection process, and ECOC legacies and long term planning strategies.
Cunningham (2011) discusses the improvements made in statistical parameters for defining the “creative” workforce and the policy implications of the differences between emphasizing industry and occupation or workforce. The article primarily discusses the contribution that the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) has made to the project to improve statistical parameters for defining the “creative” workforce. It provides qualitative case studies that provide further perspectives on quantitative analysis of the creative workforce, and also outlines debates about the implications for the cultural disciplines of an evidence-based account of creative labour. It introduces the “creative trident” methodology, which is the total of creative occupations within the core creative industries (specialists), plus the creative occupations employed in other industries (embedded) plus the business and support occupations employed in creative industries who are often responsible for managing, accounting for and technically supporting creative activity (support). The method is applied to the arts workforce in Australia. (‘Developments in measuring the "creative" workforce’. In: Cultural Trends 20(1): 25-40.)
O’Brien (2010) has carried out a literature review for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which assesses various methods for measuring the value of culture, explores debates around cultural value and considers the meaning of culture and the reasons why valuation of culture is such a difficult task. The report concludes that stated preference methods, such as contingent valuation, which are explicitly supported by HM Treasury’s Green Book, should be used for decisions about cultural policy. (Measuring the value of culture: a report to the Department for Culture Media and Sport.)
Sherwood, Jago & Deery (2005) present the findings of a review of a total of 224 special events publications that were analysed to establish what indicators are currently being used in event evaluations. A list of twenty key impacts was derived from the literature review: thirteen economic impacts, six social impacts and one environmental impact. The findings underpin the value of the authors’ Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach, which takes into account economic, social and environmental impacts at the same time. The authors argue that a 'suite of indicators' is still needed to underpin the TBL framework and account for a range of event-specific impacts. (‘Unlocking the Triple Bottom Line of special event evaluations: what are the key impacts?', in: Johnny Allen (ed.), The impacts of events. Proceedings of International Event Research Conference held in Sydney July 2005. Pp. 16-32.)
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