Impact Update 18, May 2009
This newsletter reviews the content that has been added to the Impact Database since the end of February 2009. 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.
We continue to encourage 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
Two studies assess the economic impact of cultural festivals. Chester Festivals 2008. Visitor and economic impact assessment. (Arts About Manchester 2009) measure the economic impacts of five festivals held in Chester in 2008 on the local and regional economy. It found that the festivals created a net total of 45.82 fte employment and an additional expenditure of GBP 930,000 to the local economy (46.03 fte and GBP 1.05m regionally); volunteer value for the local economy was over GBP 770,000 (GBP 775,000 regionally); in-kind support was to the value of GBP 79,000 (GBP 84,000 regionally) and levered funding was GBP 74,000 (GBP 86,000 regionally). The local economic impact of a North Carolina film festival was examined by Grunwell and Ha (2008). They found that over two-thirds of non-local attendees came to the area with the sole purpose of visiting the film festival, spending an average of USD 133.35 per person, with overnight visitors spending over four times more than day trippers. The festival created over USD 1m in estimated direct expenditure and a net total employment contribution of 25.4 fte ('Film festivals: an empirical study of factors for success', in: Event Management 11(4): 201-210).
Oakley, Sperry and Pratt (2008) have carried out a cohort study of fine arts graduates from London's University of the Arts (UAL), to assess their contribution to innovation in the arts and the wider economy (The art of innovation: how fine arts graduates contribute to innovation). They conclude that artists' attitudes and skills are conducive to innovation, that the specific way in which artistic labour is organised makes artists prototypes for innovation, and that the fact that cultural ideas and images are increasingly becoming part of non-cultural products and services contributes to the impact of artistic innovation.
In 'The impact of heritage tourism on an urban economy: the case of Granada and the Alhambra', Murillo Viu, Romani Fernandez and Surinach Caralt (2008) describe the economic impact of Granada's Alhambra and Generalife complex. The study suggests that the complex has a significant economic impact on the city both in terms of revenue and employment. The presence of the complex generates a total of 5,845 jobs, of which 205 through direct employment, and its direct and indirect tourism effects on the city are almost EUR 454m, with EUR 91.3m in additional induced effects. (In: Tourism Economics 14(2): 361-376).
Woo Jun and Lee (2008) have carried out a case study of the impact of various major events held in Germany on attitudes toward Germany among young Korean consumers, and the subsequent relationships between the 'brand' Germany and attitudes towards German companies, as well as visit intentions. The findings show that sports events and art events had a positively influence on attitudes towards Germany as a brand, and that these attitudes were directly related to attitudes towards German companies and visit intentions. However, no significant effect was found for less well-known business events and cultural festivals included in the study, leading the authors to suggest that only internationally renowned events have an impact on country brands ('Impacts of events on the brand Germany: perspectives from younger Korean consumers', in: Event Management 11(3): 145-153).
The economic impact of funding heritage. Case studies for 2007 (Ecotec Research & Consulting 2008) examines the economic impacts of ten projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Special attention was paid to the impact of project capital expenditure on local economies, as well as the net economic benefits associated with the direct operation of the funded asset. Total ongoing additional spend was estimated at GBP 29.8m annually, while the projects supported an estimated 1,400 fte jobs in their local areas. The estimated contribution of six of the case study sites to Gross Value Added at sub-regional level ranged from just under GBP 1.1m to almost GBP 5m. Some of the projects were found to contribute to investments in areas in need of regeneration, while others contributed to improving the tourism offer in their localities (a separate study assessing the social and community impacts of HLF-funded projects (Appleseed 2008) is included further on in this update).
Arts, Culture and Education
Catterall and Peppler (2007) have examined the relationship between participation in high-quality, sustained visual arts instruction and young children's self-beliefs and creative thinking, through case studies of two visual arts instruction programmes for third-grade public elementary school pupils in US inner-city areas with high rates of poverty and crime. The results showed that participating students made significant gains in creative thinking and their sense of self-efficacy ('Learning in the visual arts and the worldviews of young children', in: Cambridge Journal of Education 37(4): 543-560).
Arts, Culture and Health
'Evaluating the impact of participatory art projects for people with mental health needs', by Hacking et al. (2008), discusses the findings of a study into the effects of arts participation for people with mental health problems. The study found that participation led to significant improvements in empowerment, as well as in mental health and social inclusion (in: Health and Social Care in the Community 16(6): 638-648).
Arts, Culture and Regeneration
'Arts-led regeneration and community cohesion: a study of Folkestone, Kent', by Kennell (2008), presents the results of an exploratory qualitative case study on the effects of an increase in arts activity on community cohesion in the town of Folkestone. The first findings of this study indicate that the relocation of artists and an increase in arts activity had a positive impact on local cohesion in the regenerated area, it was also seen as having a negative effect on overall community cohesion in the town, by displacing social problems and intensifying the spatial aspects of exclusion (in: M. Collins, K. Holmes and A Slater (eds.), Sport, leisure, culture and social capital: discourse and practice: 139-154)
Grodach (2008) has explored how urban design and context affect the ability of flagship cultural institutions to act as catalysts in urban regeneration, through two case studies of contemporary arts museums in Los Angeles and San Jose (CA) ('Museums as urban catalysts: the role of urban design in flagship cultural development', in: Journal of Urban Design 13(2): 195-212). He concludes that certain urban design characteristics can negatively affect the ability of a project to attract visitors and generate commercial activity, and that factors beyond the local context may be an overriding factor in project outcomes.
Arts, Culture and Society
Social impact of Heritage Lottery funded projects. Evaluation report on research conducted for Heritage Lottery Fund during 2006-2007 (Applejuice (2008) evaluates the social impact of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) projects carried out during 2007, examining whether and to what extent social benefits have been delivered through community members' participation in these projects. HLF-funded projects were found to create opportunities for the achievement of a variety of positive outcomes, including increasing knowledge and understanding of heritage (99%), increasing the enjoyment of participants in, and visitors to, heritage projects (97%), providing opportunities to learn about heritage (93%) and opening up heritage to wider audiences (91%).
Flinn and McPherson (2008) explore the role of artistic and cultural engagement in developing social capital in the economically and socially deprived community of North Glasgow ('Culture matters? The role of art and culture in the development of social capital', in: M. Collins, K. Holmes and A. Slater (eds.), Sport, leisure, culture and social capital: discourse and practice: 119-138). The findings of the case study indicate that cultural and artistic engagement may result in a variety of social benefits at both the personal level (e.g. improving communication and social skills, stimulating levels of confidence, widening social (support) networks) and the community level (e.g. community capacity building, increasing community involvement, empowering the community to take collective action, integrating migrant groups within the indigenous population).
Capturing the impact of libraries, a report by BOP Consulting (2009), contains evidence of the type of data and research that can be used to measure the impact of libraries on their local communities. It shows that the intrinsic benefits of the use and consumption of what a library has to offer resides primarily in the value of learning and the acquisition of knowledge, enjoyment and participation, and that extrinsic benefits are largely founded in the particular intrinsic qualities of the library experience as informal, self-directed, non-threatening, inclusive, etc. Libraries can contribute towards various short term, intermediate outcomes, which in turn indicate progress towards longer term outcomes socio-economic outcomes. The evidence base for the impacts of libraries is relatively strong with regard to long term outcomes such as increased life expectancy, higher earnings, reduced cost of health and social care, due to the centrality of literacy and learning to the public library offer, and the level of research resources devoted to investigating the wider socio-economic effects of these skills and capacities from outside the libraries sector. In terms of short term/intermediate outcomes, the contribution of libraries is strongest with regard to cognitive and non-cognitive skills development, health and well being and social capital formation. However, the ability to provide evidence of this contribution varies according to different sub-groups of the population.
Kinghorn and Willis (2008) report on a case study in which choice experiment (CE) was used to estimate museum visitor preferences towards practical measures to generate increased social capital. The findings suggest that visitors prefer visiting museums with people they know and that they value opportunities for participatory activities. The study concludes that the provision of such activities, extended opening hours and locally related displays would generate more social capital among visitors and in society ('Measuring museum visitor preferences towards opportunities for developing social capital: an application of a choice experiment to the Discovery Museum', in: International Journal of Heritage Studies 14(6): 555-572).
Developing and revitalizing rural communities through arts and creativity: an international literature review and inventory of resources, a study by Duxbury et al. (2009) for the Creative City Network of Canada, assesses the state of research on the contribution of arts and creativity to the development and revitalization of rural communities. In different sections, it reviews academic and policy-related studies from Canada, Australia, the United States and Europe, and concludes with an extensive annotated bibliography.
Finally, a number of newly included studies deal with the usefulness of different methodological and conceptual approaches to measuring and understanding the social impacts of the arts.
Moscardo (2007) describes the development of a conceptual framework for examining the contribution of festivals and events to regional development. Key social impacts identified by this study include: building social capital (e.g. by offering opportunities for locals to socialise, have fun, celebrate achievements and community pride; by enhancing a sense of place and contributing to a stronger shared local identity); increasing community capacity (e.g. offering opportunities for locals to develop leadership skills, effects of need for planning networks on future events) and supporting other activities (e.g. non-tourism-related regional products and services) ('Analyzing the role of festivals and events in regional development'. In: Event Management 11(1/2): 23-32).
'Social dimensions of community festivals: an application of factor analysis in the development of the Social Impact (SI) Scale' (Small (2007) discusses the testing phase in the development of a scale to measure residents' perception of the social impacts of community festivals. This study identifies inconvenience, community identity and cohesion, personal frustration, entertainment and socialisation opportunities, community growth and development, and behavioural consequences as the underlying factors of the social impacts of community festivals (in: Event Management 11(1-2): 45-56).
White and Hede (2008) discuss the usefulness of narrative inquiry as a method to explore the impact of arts on individuals. The first findings of this study indicate that the way in which individuals experience art and its impact is far broader in scope than previous research suggests, and that the impact of art is not solely limited to social impacts, but incorporates numerous individual impacts. The authors conclude that individuals experience and understand the impact of art in widely different ways, and that narrative inquiry is an appropriate method to situate the individual as central to the research and allow participants' definitional perspective of art and impact to be recorded ('Using narrative inquiry to explore the impact of art on individuals (report)', in: Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society 38(1):19-35).
Galloway (2009) considers the limitations and possibilities of theory-based evaluation (TBE) as a research approach to understanding how and why arts engagement can result in social change. She argues that TBE approaches are ontologically best suited for studying the social impacts of the arts as they can highlight unarticulated assumptions and values, both about the arts and about types of evidence, and produce particular knowledge about how and why change happens ('Theory-based evaluation and the social impact of the arts', in: Cultural Trends 18(2): 125-148).
Major Cultural Events
Boyko (2008) has examined the effects of the 2002 European Capital of Culture event in the city of Bruges (Belgium) on the place meanings of local residents. The findings of this study revealed that many residents felt that tourists and outside initiatives were given preference at the expense of host ideas and local culture, resulting in neutral or even negative place meaning ('Are you being served? The impacts of a tourist hallmark event on the place meanings of residents'. In: Event Management 11(4): 161-177).
A literature review by Langen and Garcia (2009) assesses 50 studies on the impacts of major cultural events and festivals. It shows that the current research focuses mainly on economic impacts, measured using a variety of methodological approaches. Research gaps identified include a lack of attention for environmental impacts, negative impacts and long-term impacts (Measuring the impact of large scale cultural events: a literature review).