Impact Update 15, August 2008
This newsletter reviews the content that has been added to the Impact Database since the end of May 2008. 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 email@example.com. 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 and Culture
Rhydderch, Shaw and Allen (2003) have described the arts festivals sector in Cumbria. Their study assesses the sector’s impact on the social, economic and cultural life of the county, identifies opportunities to increase these impacts, and proposes a strategy for its development. (Arts festivals in Cumbria: a description of the sector and proposals for its support and development.)
'The significance of European "Capital of Culture" for tourism and culture: the case of Kraków 2000', by Hughes, Allen and Wasik (2003), uses semi-structured interviews with key players in the local tourism and culture sectors to identify the perceived influences of the European Capital of Culture designation on local tourism and cultural life in the city of Kraków. According to the interviewees, the main justifications for hosting the event had been to raise the city's profile and promote local tourism. However, the event was not found to have had a significant impact on the city’s cultural life. (In: International Journal of Arts Management 5(3): 12-23.)
Arts, Culture and the Economy
Three studies examine the economic impact of smaller events. A short article by Brown, Var and Lee (2002) uses input-output analysis to estimate the impact of a proposed wine and jazz festival on the economy of the local county ('Messina Hof Wine and Jazz Festival: an economic impact analysis', in: Tourism Economics 8(3): 273-279). Using a similar approach, Chhabra, Sills and Cubbage (2003) have established the estimated economic impact of visitor expenditures at two local festivals in North Carolina. This study found that although both festivals contributed positively to the local economy, the magnitude of this impact was dependent on other elements, such as the duration of the festival and the presence of other attractions and linkages within the local economy ('The significance of festivals to rural economies: estimating the economic impacts of Scottish Highland Games in North Carolina', in: Journal of Travel Research 41: 421-427). Finally, in a case study of a small community-run festival, Mehmetoglu (2002) uses an economic scale approach, measuring the total attendance and expenditures of visitors who were in the area specifically due to the event. The study argues that many small-scale events have little direct economic impact on their community or region, since the audience of is made up mostly of residents ('Economic scale of community-run festivals: a case study', in: Event Management 7(2): 93-102).
National Museums Liverpool. Its impact on Liverpool and the North West, by Travers, Wakefield and Glaister (2005), examines the role that National Museums Liverpool (NML) plays within the cultural and economic life of Liverpool and the North West England region. The study’s main focus is on the NML's economic impact, which was found to be significant, especially if the wider regional economy was taken into account. In addition to this, the authors discuss NML as a cultural asset for both city and region, and it's role as a key contributor to the Liverpool's efforts to modernise its image.
Two studies deal specifically with methodological issues. In Assessing the economic impact of culture in market towns. Report on findings, Young, Fernandez Young and Parkin (2008) test a formal method to assess the economic impact of culture in market towns, through case studies of three cultural events and one cultural attraction in the East Midlands region. The purpose of their method is to measure the degree to which the cultural event or attraction caused visits to the town. This report is part of a larger study of the rural creative economy, carried out for Culture East Midlands. A scoping study by URS Europe (2007), which explores the most appropriate method for valuing the culture sector, concludes that contingent valuation is the most appropriate method for deriving the economic value of social goods and that it could be beneficial to use this methodology alongside other valuation techniques to estimate the total economic value of the culture sector (Measuring the value of the cultural sector using contingent valuation. A preliminary scoping study).
Arts, Culture and Education
Based on an extensive international survey, Bamford (2006) has established an international compendium on research demonstrating the impact of arts-rich programmes on the education of children and young people around the world. The publication’s main conclusions are that arts education can have distinct benefits for children's health and socio-cultural well-being. Education in the arts produces impacts in terms of improved attitudes to school and learning, enhanced cultural identity and sense of personal satisfaction and well-being, while education through the arts enhances overall academic attainment, reduces school disaffection and promotes positive cognitive transfer. However, benefits of arts-rich programmes are only tangible within high quality programmes. (The Wow Factor. Global research compendium on the impact of the arts in education).
Public libraries' impact on learning: children and young people. Final report, by ERS Consulting (2008) for MLA North East, contains evidence of the value of learning in libraries for children and young people. Independent use of libraries, a deeper knowledge and understanding of subject areas, independence in learning and access to learning materials and reading were found to be among the main impacts. The study found that there was more evidence of the effect of learning in libraries on personal and social learning than on achievement of levels, grades, or qualifications.
Arts, Culture and Society
Kuly, Stewart and Dudley (2006), in Enhancing cultural capital: the arts and community development in Winnipeg, investigate the role arts activity plays in building community capacity in Winnipeg's inner-city communities. The findings show that the inner city contains a wealth of artistic and cultural resources, which significantly contribute to building community capacity, energising community-based revitalisation efforts, educating young people, improving public spaces, invigorating local economies and general well-being.
Wright, John, Ellenbogen, Offord, Duku and Rowe (2006) discuss the findings of a 3-year longitudinal study that assessed the effects of the National Arts and Youth Demonstration Project, a structured, community-based afterschool arts programme, on the psychosocial functioning of youth from five low-income communities. The findings indicate that the programme had an significant impact on the development of participants' social and artistic skills, and led to a significant reduction in emotional problems ('Effect of a structured arts program on the psychosocial functioning of youth from low-income communities. Findings from a Canadian longitudinal study', in: The Journal of Early Adolescence 26(2): 186-205).
'Telling my story: from narrative to exhibit in illuminating the lived experience of homelessness among older African American women', by Washington and Moxley (2008), describes the use of artistic expressions in an action research project aimed at developing ways to help older homeless African American women get and stay out of homelessness, and discusses the usefulness of applying arts and humanities methodologies to a social research and development project. They conclude that the portrayal of lived experience through artistic forms can help enrich the public's understanding of such complex social issues in ways that highly structured social science research or journalistic accounts alone cannot achieve (in: Journal of Health Psychology 13: 154-165).
Mason and Beaumont-Kerridge (2004) have studied both visitor and residents' attitudes of a local festival's economic, sociocultural, environmental and community impacts ('Attitudes of visitors and residents to the impacts of the 2001 Sidmouth International Festival'. In: Ian Yeoman, Martin Robertson, Jane Ali-Knight, Siobhan Drummond and Una McMahon-Beattie (eds.), Festival and events management: an international arts and culture perspective. Pp. 311-328).
In 'The development of a generic scale to measure the social impact of events', Fredline, Jago and Deery (2003) discuss the first stages in the development of an instrument to compare the social impacts of a variety of medium to large-scale events. Residents' perception of three different festivals was recorded through the use of questionnaires, after which six key factors were identified through factor analysis: social and economic development benefits; concerns about justice and inconvenience; impact on public facilities; impacts on behaviour and environment; long-term impacts on community; and impacts on prices of some goods and services. (in: Event Management 8(1): 23-37). A second study by the same authors offers a more detailed discussion of residents' perception of the events. All three events were seen as having a substantial benefit at the community level, but the majority of respondents at each event indicated that the event had no effect at the personal level (Fredline, Deery and Jago (2005), 'Host community perceptions of the impacts of events: a comparison of different event themes in urban and regional communities', in: Johnny Allen (ed.), The impacts of events. Proceedings of International Event Research Conference held in Sydney July 2005: 250-269).
'Impact analysis of a tourism festival on tourists' destination images', by Boo and Busser (2006), examines the effect of a South Korean tourist festival on the improvement of the festival location's destination image. The findings show that the festival did not contribute significantly to the enhancement of destination image among festival participants, but rather that the festival's quality and promotion was related to negative image change. (in: Event Management 9(4): 223-237).
Two studies have analysed the economic effects of cultural tourism. Brannas and Nordstroem (2006) have studied the tourist accommodation impact of two large Swedish festivals, using an econometric count data model approach. Their findings indicate that both festivals had positive effects on tourism demand for the hotel sector. Since the average visitor stayed longer during festival periods, net tourism effects were found to be positive ('Tourist accommodation effect of festivals', in: Tourism economics 12(2): 291-302). Nurse (2004) has carried out case studies of six Caribbean festivals through an analysis of visitor data and expenditures. His study concludes that the festivals created a strong demand-pull for visitors and positively impacted on hotel occupancy levels. Furthermore, they made a significant contribution to government taxes and had a noticeable media value for their local communities. ('Festival tourism in the Caribbean: an economic impact assessment'. In: Philip Long and Mike Robinson (eds.), Festival Tourism: marketing, management and evaluation. 151-160).
Major Cultural Events
A study by Snowball and Webb (2008) examines the value of South Africa's National Arts Festival in the country's transition to democracy. It presents the festival as an arena for the expression of political resistance and argues that the arts have a value in providing a forum for debating goals and values of society, while criticising some approaches to measuring the value of this type of events ('Breaking into the conversation: cultural value and the role of the South African National Arts Festival from apartheid to democracy', in: International Journal of Cultural Policy 14(2): 149-164).
Reid (2006) uses a combination of media content analysis and interviews to examine the impact of hosting the MTV Europe Music Awards on Edinburgh's attempts to reimage itself. He concludes that while the direct economic benefits of hosting the event were apparent, public officials were more interested in the indirect benefits resulting from the opportunity to showcase the city and the wider region ('The politics of city imaging: a case study of the MTV Europe Music Awards Edinburgh 03', in: Event Management 10(1): 35-46).