Impact Update 19, August 2009
This newsletter reviews the content that has been added to the Impact Database since the end of May 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 and Culture
Iwasaki (2007) has carried out a critical review of studies on the relation between leisure and quality of life, focusing primarily on overarching themes common to sources originating within non-western contexts. The paper concludes that leisure (which is understood as including arts-related activities) provides a context for creating meanings, and as such contributes to experiencing positive emotions and well-being, and functions as a context for revealing and utilising human strengths and resilience to deal with challenges in life. ('Leisure and quality of life in an international and multicultural context: What are major pathways linking leisure to quality of life', Social Indicators Research, 82(2), 233–264).
Arts, Culture and the Economy
Culture and creative industries in Germany, a report published by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, provides an update on earlier research on the economic value of the culture and creative industries in Germany. The report shows that the German culture and creative industries in 2008 consisted of 238,000 enterprises and self-employed persons, responsible for a total turnover of 132 billion Euros and creating about 763,400 work places. Including self-employed persons, the culture and creative industries employed about one million persons. The overall contribution of the sector towards value added was estimated at about 63 billion Euros. The most dynamic growth trends were found in the software and games industry, the design industry, the performing art market and the art market (Soendermann, Backes and Arndt, 2009).
A study of the economic impact of arts and cultural activities in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County (Mitchell et al., 2007) has found that in 2004, the county's arts and cultural industries generated USD 1.17 billion in revenues, almost USD 413 million in wages and over 19,500 jobs, totaling 6% of all employment in the county. Almost half of this activity was funded by revenues originating from outside the county. Including indirect and induced impacts, outside dollars accounted for a net impact of over 14,000 jobs, USD 300 million in wages and salaries, and just under USD 1 billion in receipts. The education and hospitality sectors were the largest employers in the sector, followed by artists, artisans, designers and retailers (The economic importance of the arts & cultural industries in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County).
A study by Barringer et al. (2004) found that the state of Maine's creative economy directly provided about 10% of all wage and salary employment in 2002, a total of USD 2.5 billion in direct wages paid. The arts and culture sector directly and indirectly supported over 18,000 jobs and more than USD 545 million in wages paid. Employment in the arts and culture sector as whole grew by nearly 24% between 1997 and 2002. Employment outside of the more urban counties was found to be small, but rapidly growing (The creative economy in Maine. Measurement and analysis).
Cultural tourism in Indiana: the impact and clustering of the arts and creative activities in this recession, by Hicks and Thaiprasert (2009), found that arts and creative activities in the state of Indiana account for more than USD 4.9 billion in direct economic activity, generating more than USD 1.6 billion in value-added production and almost USD 43 million in business-related taxes annually. The study also estimated the effects of the recession on tourism expenditures, and concluded that ticket sales during the recession could be higher than normal due to negative income elasticity, but that individual venues may still suffer significant loss of revenue caused by decreases in state and local tax revenues as well as private endowments and charitable giving.
Arts, Culture and Education
NFER has published a new evaluation of the Creative Partnerships programme: The longer-term impact of Creative Partnerships on the attainment of young people: results from 2005 and 2006. Final report. (Kendall et al., 2008). Academic progress of young people that had attended Creative Partnerships activities was found to be greater than that of their peers in the same schools, although differences were relatively small. The pattern of results was consistent with the period reported in NFER's earlier report.
Arts, Culture and Health
Bygren et al. (2009) have examined the relationship between attending cultural events and cancer-related mortality. The results of their longitudinal study of over 9000 participants found that those who were rare or moderate attendees to cultural events were respectively 3.23 and 2.92 times more likely to die of cancer during the follow-up period than frequent attendees. However, this effect was observed only among residents of urban areas ('Attending cultural events and cancer mortality: a Swedish cohort study', Arts & Health 1(1): 64-73).
Mental health, social inclusion and arts: developing the evidence base, by Secker et al. (2007), contains the findings of a study evaluating the effects of participatory arts projects for people with mental health needs. Participants showed significant improvements on the indicators empowerment, mental health and social inclusion. A significant decrease was found in the proportion of participants identified as frequent or regular service users. In a second publication based on the same national research project, Spandler et al. (2007) discuss how arts and mental health projects may facilitate some of the key elements of a 'recovery approach' in mental health. The findings indicate that arts participation may be an important element of recovery, as engaging in creative activities may help to foster hope, create a sense of meaning and purpose, develop new coping mechanisms and rebuild identities. However, the study underlines that participation in arts activities is not necessarily beneficial to all individuals with mental health needs ('Catching life: the contribution of arts initiatives to recovery approaches in mental health', Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 14: 791–799).
Three studies have been included that look at the effects of singing on health and well-being. Singing and health: a systematic mapping and review of non-clinical research, by Clift et al. (2008a), reviews 35 non-clinical studies and maps them in terms of the forms of singing investigated, designs and methods employed and participants involved. Studies were found to be highly variable in terms of problem addressed, character of singing investigated, participants involved, methods of data gathering and analysis, and quality of reporting. Few studies built upon previously published research, and almost all were small scale. Choral singing, wellbeing and health: findings from a cross-national survey (Clift et al., 2008b) presents the findings of a large scale survey carried out to assess choral singers' perceptions of the effects of choral singing on health and well-being. The large majority of respondents perceived participating in choral singing to have positive effects on quality of life, personal wellbeing and health. Finally, the findings of a smaller-scale study by Grape et al. (2003) indicate that the activity of singing during a singing lesson promotes more well-being and less arousal for amateurs compared to professional singers, in whom the opposite results were found ('Does singing promote well-being? An empirical study of professional and amateur singers during a singing lesson', Integrative physiological and behavioral science 38(1): 65-74).
Arts, Culture and Inclusion
McCall (2009) presents the findings of an exploratory case study of local authority museums in the Scottish Borders, conducted to assess the impact of Scottish social inclusion policies. The article suggests that social inclusion policies have failed to reach museum curators, due to unclear government policy and confusion regarding terminology, strategy and guidelines. Curators found it difficult to engage with social inclusion discourse, despite employing socially inclusive actions in everyday practice. The relationship between the local community and museums was seen to be unique and multi-layered, with a perceived dimension of community ownership, which was found to have implications for social policy on central, local and individual levels ('Social policy and cultural services: a study of Scottish Border Museums as implementers of social inclusion', Social Policy & Society 8:3, 319-331).
The impact of free entry to museums presents the findings of a MORI survey on the impact on national museums and galleries in the UK of free entry for all visitors, conducted in August 2002 (Martin, 2005). It found that there was a significant increase in the proportion of people who had visited at least one museum or gallery in the months preceding the research, with visiting increasing across all age groups and across all social classes. However, the social profile of the typical population of visitors remained stable. General behavioural changes were identified, leading to the conclusion that removing entry charges has at least encouraged the audience to consider visiting a museum or gallery as alternative to something else. However, the study concludes that the scrapping of entry charges did not directly improve social inclusion.
Woods et al. (2004) have carried out a study to identify the relation between poor access to and participation in cultural activities and poverty and social exclusion. The report, commissioned by the European Commission, identifies a multitude of barriers preventing those at risk of poverty and social exclusion from accessing cultural services, and found that increased access to and participation in cultural activities can contribute to combating poverty and social exclusion in a variety of ways, for instance by leading to the acquisition of new skills and stimulating greater self confidence and self esteem (Report of a thematic study using transnational comparisons to analyse and identify cultural polices and programmes that contribute to preventing and reducing poverty and social exclusion).
Arts, Culture and Society
Museums Galleries Scotland has published a study into the social and economic value of volunteering in museums. (Volunteering in museums, Baird and Greenaway, 2009). The study found that for museums and staff, volunteering has the strongest impact on the generation of physical and economic capital, while for volunteers themselves the impact is strongest on the generation of human and social capital, as well as the providing an opportunity for skills development.
A report into the development of a conceptual framework to estimate the social and economic value of public libraries, museums, arts and sport, conducted for the Northern Irish Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (2007), found that these sectors create a public value in their own right, which contributes to a wide range of other societal and economic objectives, especially in relation to economic development, tourism, education, health, regeneration and social inclusion. The report describes the design of the conceptual model, identifies data gaps hindering its practical development, and presents the initial findings (Social and economic value of public libraries, museums, arts and sport in Northern Ireland. Phase I: designing a model. Research report No 1).
A number of studies have been included that focus primarily on the methods used in different kinds of impact studies. Tyrell and Ismail (2005) describe the development of a methodology for conducting economic impact studies of open-gate festivals. They focus in particular on issues concerning estimating attendance, the proportion of non-resident visitors, and their spending patterns. ('A methodology for estimating the attendance and economic impact of an open-gate festival', Event Management 9(3): 111-118). A report by England's Northwest Research Service (2009) discusses the model used to estimate the economic impact of the European Capital of Culture year in 2008 on Liverpool, Merseyside and England's North West (Methodology for measuring the economic impact of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture 2008).
Libraries Impact Project, a report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (2005), proposes a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to measure the impacts of public libraries on four government priority areas (children, education, health and older people). The data collected through pilot studies carried out by seven English library authorities using this approach highlight that libraries can make a significant contribution to the development of adult skills and child literacy, and demonstrate a clear contribution to government objectives on patient and public involvement in health. For the priority area older people, the data show an impact in a range of themes around quality of life and general well-being, as well as national policy priorities on strengthening independent living.
Connectivity – a research into four models for evaluating the impact of cultural policy (Kapteijn, 2009) discusses the limitations of existing impact evaluations through a review of nine reports on instrumental policies for the cultural and creative industries and a discussion of existing academic research. This study finds that research and analysis frameworks are often underdeveloped, and that data collection is often restricted by a lack of robustness and baseline levels, inconsistent methods and discontinuity. It concludes that there is an urgent need for a holistic approach to mapping the sector and exploring baseline data.
Finally, Benchmarking and understanding London’s Cultural and Creative Industries (Freeman, 2008) discusses the evidence base used to support the Greater London Authority’s strategies relating to culture and the creative industries.
Call for papers
Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Practice and Policy is now accepting submissions and new subscribers. The journal was launched in early 2009 and is published by Routledge and sponsored by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare (Washington, DC). Co-executive editors are Paul Camic and Stephen Clift at Canterbury Christ Church University and Norma Daykin at the University of the West of England. The editorial board is comprised of academics, artists and practitioners from nine countries and seeks to publish emerging research, regional and national approaches to arts and health policy as well as best practices in this multidisciplinary field. Currently the journal publishes two issues per year (March and September) but has plans to increase to three issues in the near future. Further information can be found at: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rahe