Impact Update 24, November 2010
This newsletter reviews the content that has been added to the Impact Database since the end of August 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.
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, Culture and Audience Development
Arts in Wales 2010: Attitudes, attendance and participation, a large-scale audience review by TNS Research International (2010) for the Arts Council of Wales, measures public attitudes towards and engagement with the arts in Wales. It finds that between 2005 and 2010 there has been a significant increase in arts engagement, both in terms of attendance and participation, in particular in relation to attendance at live music events, art galleries and musicals, and participation in visual arts and crafts, music and dance. Those in the AB social grades, those aged 16-24 and those with a higher education are most likely to attend or participate, while those in the DE social grades and those with no educational qualifications are least likely to do so. A significant relationship was found between level of education and intensity of arts engagement. Residents of Mid and West Wales1 are more likely to attend or participate once a year or more than those living elsewhere. Since 2005, levels of attendance and participation have increased in the majority of Local Authority areas. ‘Entertainment or enjoyment' has become increasingly important as a motivation for attending arts events and performances. Reasons for participating have remained similar over the past five years, with 'enjoyment or pleasure' and 'developing creativity and self-expression' continuing to be the key motivations for taking part.
A literature review by Elsley and McMellon (2010) assesses research that has examined the extent of childhood exposure to, and experience of, culture and science at events or museums, and subsequent adult cultural or science participation (Starting young? Links between childhood and adult participation in culture and science: a literature review). The review has found that childhood exposure to arts and culture can demystify experiences and have positive benefits on children’s education, emotional well-being and behaviour as well as wider benefits for society. Findings from the Scottish Household Survey Culture (and Sport) Module indicate that there may be a correlation between the differing experiences of arts and culture in childhood and participation in these activities in adulthood. Factors with an impact on participation include: family background, exposure to arts education, frequency of attendance at events, being from a black and minority ethnic group and socio economic status. There are a number of drivers for engagement in arts and culture. Encouragement from parents, positive early experiences and being from advantaged backgrounds are shown to result in greater exposure to arts and culture.
Arts, Culture and the Economy
‘Consumer spending on culture in Canada, the Provinces and 12 Metropolitan Areas in 2008’, a recent addition to the Statistical insights on the arts series (Vol. 9 No. 1) of Hill Strategies Research Inc. (2010), examines the spending of Canadians on cultural goods and services in 2008. Using data drawn from Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending, this study shows that in 2008, Canadian consumers spent over CAD 27 billion on cultural goods and services. Consumer spending on culture was three times larger than consumer spending on hotels, motels and other travel accommodations and also three times larger than spending on culture by all levels of government in 2007/08. The amount spent on live performing arts (CAD 1.4 billion) was more than double spent on live sports events (CAD 650 million). Cultural spending increased by 28% between 1997 and 2008. This increase was lower than the 37% increase in spending on all goods and services between 1997 and 2008. In this period, consumer spending on art works and events grew by 59%, more than any other category of cultural spending. Cultural spending per capita varies significantly between the provinces and is highest in Alberta (CAD 963). The five western-most provinces have per capita levels of cultural spending that are above the Canadian average. Among the provinces, Alberta had the highest growth in consumer spending between 1997 and 2008, both on cultural goods and services (40%) and on all goods and services (69%), after adjusting for inflation. Among 12 metropolitan areas, Calgary and Saskatoon have the highest per capita consumer spending on cultural goods and services.
Research on non-metropolitan festivals in Australia by Gibson, Waitt, Walmsley and Connell (2009) considers how these events provide constrains as well as opportunities for economic planners. It discusses how cultural festivals have a significant cumulative impact on non-metropolitan places and a definite link to economic development, even with modest employment and profits at the scale of individual events. Cultural festivals are strongly interconnected to nonmetropolitan communities through employment, volunteerism, networks, and participation. Some cultural festivals (in particular large music festivals) can be economically lucrative, but most are small-scale, modest affairs, geared around community goals (‘Cultural festivals and economic development in nonmetropolitan Australia’. Journal of Planning Education and Research XX(X): 1-14).
Economic impact of the arts and cultural industry in the Blue Ridge Region of Virginia (Roanoke Valley - Alleghany Regional Commission and The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, 2010) offers a quantification of the economic impacts and contributions of arts organizations and arts businesses in the Roanoke Valley and the larger Blue Ridge Region of Virginia, USA. It reveals that the regional arts and cultural industry generates over USD 11.5m annually in new sales activity in the region as a result of new dollars attracted through art sales, visitation/tourism, and other funds attracted from external sources. The 37 artists who responded to the artist survey reported over USD 270,000 in annual sales. The activities of arts and cultural non-profits and artists responding to the survey translate roughly to USD 6.3m in new wealth brought in to the region each year. A total of 175 employees are supported each year as a result of the funding and economic activity attracted to the region by the arts and cultural industry of the Blue Ridge. The sector enhances state and local tax revenues by an estimated USD 760,000 per year.
Arts, Culture and Education
Two evaluations taking into account the impact of the Creative Partnership scheme have been included.
The impact of Creative Partnerships on school attainment and attendance. Final report by Durbin et al. (2010) for the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) presents the findings from the third follow-up study on the comparative impact of Creative Partnerships on attainment and behaviour. It finds that the results of the scheme are largely consistent with the findings of previous years, although analysis at school level resulted in fewer statistically significant results than those at individual pupil level. The analysis reveals an interesting pattern of relationships between involvement in Creative Partnerships and outcomes for attainment and attendance. In particular, involvement in Creative Partnerships was associated with slightly higher average attainment at KS4 in 2007 and 2008. Primary and secondary schools taking part in Creative Partnerships had slightly lower rates of fixed-term exclusions. There were also some indications that length of participation in Creative Partnerships and the amount of Creative Partnerships activity reported by schools were important. The same relationship was found in school exclusions where higher numbers of Creative Partnerships' project days in a given period of time were associated with greater levels of fixed-term exclusion and lower levels of school attendance.
The Ofsted (2010) report Learning: creative approaches that raise standards evaluates how schools have used creative approaches to learning and assesses the impact on pupils' academic achievement and creative development. Of the 44 schools visited for this evaluation, 18 participated in the Creative Partnerships scheme. The report findings reveal that schools in low-income areas, with low pupil attainment on entry, showed the greatest improvements in literacy, communication skills, collaborative working, problem solving and personal development. Open-ended questioning was shown to encourage independent thinking and decision-making. Less effective teaching reflected a lack of teacher confidence in creative work and teacher anxiety about whether such an approach would help them meet targets, pointing to a poor understanding of creative practices and their disjointed integration into the school curriculum. Pupils' progress was also hampered when the objectives set were not challenging enough, or when the guidance was insufficient. Some teachers interpreted 'creative learning' as allowing pupils to follow their own interests, and failed to plan adequately for the debate, enquiry, speculation, experimentation, review, and presentation stages to be effective.
Lonie (2010) has carried out a systematic literature review to explore the effects of music-making on children in their early years (0-5) (Early Years Evidence Review: assessing the outcomes of early year’s music making). The studies concerning musical perception indicated that children have sophisticated musical understanding and engagement skills from an early age and that delivery of music making should be designed with this in mind. Studies on musical behaviour showed how music was often integrated with other tasks and that pre-school children develop tastes and preferences determining their musical choices and actions. Research also indicated many benefits from music making for parent-child communication. Further research showed how music making in the early years can lead to developments in phonological awareness and brain development that has been linked to improvements in reading and language skills. Reports focused on an increase in musical confidence and improvements in language and integration for children with English as a second language. Many reports also highlighted how music making was often most successful when integrated with other arts and that many organisations had developed music based learning resources as a consequence of funding.
“Wow, it’s music next”. Impact evaluation of Wider Opportunities Programme in Music at Key Stage Two (Bamford and Glinkowski, 2010) includes a wide range of impacts of the Wider Opportunities programme, for both children and schools and teachers. Impacts for children included: enhanced motivation to learn the musical instrument; acquisition of musical knowledge and skills; increased self confidence; raised esteem; increased musical confidence; enjoyment; pride and achievement; enhanced aspirations; increased empowerment and responsibility; greater respect for instruments and music; improved behaviour and discipline; improved school attendance; a more positive attitude to learning (especially in boys); more and longer focus during lessons; longer intervals of concentration and task perseverance in WO lessons; a calming effect (especially on children with behavioural needs); improved collaborative learning and teamwork skills; increased happiness; enhanced instrumental learning; and, for some children, accelerated educational development.
Arts, Culture and Health
Stevenson and Biggs (2010) have evaluated the impact of “Survivarts”, a project aiming to provide adult survivors of sexual abuse with regular arts activities to improve their general wellbeing. In terms of the impact on participants, they note that, amongst other things, learning new skills improved participants’ confidence and pride, and that participation resulted in improvements in feelings of well-being. Although many of the projects’ participants found it difficult to try new activities, the project took them out of their usual environment into a safe place where they can meet new people and try new things. The creative process in particular allowed participants to express themselves. Participating in these diversionary activities with a different focus to their daily life was seen to have a therapeutic benefit; making something tangible delivers a certain sense of achievement, which in turn builds confidence (Survivarts Evaluation).
Research report. Mapping arts, health and higher education collaborative projects in London, by Sheridan and Pring (2007), provides an overview of collaborative projects between the arts, health and higher education institutions that have taken place in London between 2002 and 2007. The report also provides an in-depth analysis of twelve case studies of collaborative projects.
Arts, Culture and Regeneration
How artist space matters: impacts and insights from three case studies drawn from Artspace Projects’ earliest developments (Gadwa, 2010) examines the social, economic and physical impacts of three arts development projects in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. It shows that the spaces have produced clear benefits both for in-house arts tenants and for surrounding neighbourhoods and regions. Artists have accessed career boosts through shared synergies, enhanced reputations, and time and productivity gains; the general public and members of the larger arts communities have increased access to arts offerings; the artists spaces have resulted in the rehabilitation of historic warehouses and are seen as catalysts for other development and providing the neighbourhoods with on-going cachet. Spending by artist residents and visitors provide boosts to neighbourhood businesses. Interviewees also credited the artist spaces with modest social benefits including spurring artists’ civic involvement, providing the public with new places to gather and helping increase safety. However, there is some variation in the nature and strength of the impacts between the three sites. Distinct neighbourhood contexts, specific objectives for each project, and differences in physical design and operational structure account for many of the variations.
An article by Plaza (2008) focuses on four conditions for cultural heritage investments to become effective economic re-activators. It concludes that the effectiveness of a large heritage investment in developing a city depends on at least four variables: heritage investments become effective employment creators only to the extent that they become effective tourism magnets; if the heritage industry is a big portion of the whole economy, the impact of investments on cultural heritage could be negative; the more the redevelopment zone’s markets are integrated, the easier the absorption of price tensions caused by urban revitalization; and the greater the productivity of the city’s economy, the greater the absorption of price tensions (‘On some challenges and conditions for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to be an effective economic re-activator’. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32(2): 506-517).
Arts, Culture and Society
A new report by the Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services (CSES) and ERICarts (2010) provides a comprehensive account of the ways in which culture-based programmes and projects supported by the European Union’s Structural Funds have contributed to economic and social development at a regional and local level. The findings indicate that culture makes a substantial direct contribution to the economy and society in terms of income generated and people employed. It also makes a major contribution to social wellbeing and to the development and maintenance of social capital. Culture is the dynamo of the broader creative economy, but its contribution is under-valued both in a technical and a more general sense. The study identifies a number of particular impacts, ranging from increases in visitor numbers and the take-up of facilities, through the number of businesses and employment created, increases in value-added, productivity and profitability to an estimate in one case of local multiplier effects. Social impacts include direct increases in employment, training, improvements in skills and competencies and the promotion of social inclusion and social capital (Study on the contribution of culture to local and regional development - Evidence from the Structural Funds. Final report).
Making Value: craft & the economic and social contribution of makers, a report by Schwarz and Yair (2010) for the Crafts Council, focuses on the social and economic value of the craft sector which can be found in activities carried out 'beyond the making, exhibition and sale of a craft object'. It shows that portfolio practice is widespread, with 65-70% of makers working in this way. Of those interviewed, three quarters work in other industry sectors, just over a third work in education settings, and nearly a third are making across at least two of these sectors. According to the report, the value of 'craft' is not limited to the value produced by those identifying themselves as makers, or solely held within the objects they produce. Craft is increasingly understood as a distinctive set of knowledges, skills and aptitudes, centred on a process of reflective engagement with the material and digital worlds. Makers are engaged in this process across industry sectors and community and education settings.
Measuring the contribution of culture and sport to outcomes. The current context: stage one research. Final report, by Barker and Watson (2010), presents the findings and recommendations from stage one of the ‘Measuring the Contribution of Culture and Sport to Outcomes' Project. The overall aim of the project is to develop and provide an appropriate form of guidance and support to assist the culture and sport sector to better measure and evidence its contribution to local priority outcomes as efficiently as possible from April 2011. The report shows that a wide range of activities is taking place across the culture and sport sector that can be defined as ‘outcome based approaches’ and that seeks to demonstrate the impact of culture and sport on wider socio-economic outcomes. There is no single consistent outcome based approach in use in the sector, although similarities exist between many of the approaches being developed and implemented. Differences can be found between the overall approaches (frameworks, models, tools, repeated or longitudinal research), the level they are being used (project/programme, individual service, cross cultural service/directorate, whole organisation, sub regional/regional/national), and the types of outcomes being measured. Furthermore, the study found that common terms and definitions are being used inconsistently and that the findings of outcome based approaches have been reported in a patchy manner. Reasons for using outcome based approaches for culture and sport include supporting advocacy and positioning the sector, responding to financial pressures, improving performance management, driving better commissioning of culture and sport, and showing accountability for public funding. Challenges to measuring outcomes include the question how to collect and collate consistent data and interpret it, as well as the sector’s capacity to do so; the weakness of the existing evidence base in culture and sport; the length of time needed to show impacts on life outcomes; and the fact that reporting arrangements may not lend themselves to showing the impact of culture and sport.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org