Category: Main

February 2018

1. Victoria Atec-Amestoy and Anna Villarroya. Social Observatory of “La Caixa.” “Cultural Participation and Wellbeing.” 2018. Spain.

Culture plays an important role in constructing and consolidating the bases for social cohesion and inclusion and for individual and collective wellbeing. The fourth issue of the Dossier from the Social Observatory of “la Caixa” analyses the factors that determine the cultural participation of citizens and reflects on how to guarantee equal conditions for such participation.

 

2. John Knell and Alison Whitaker. Arts Council England. “Participatory Metrics Report.” 2016. United Kingdom.

Culture Counts, working with Arts Council England, developed a short list of cultural organisations that were invited to take part in this participatory metrics strand.  The aim was to not only improve the metrics and check their alignment with the quality principles but also to analyse the extent to which they were grouping together in natural clusters, in terms of which aspects of the participatory process and associated outcomes they were measuring. Eleven cultural organisations within this strand carried out 24 evaluations collectively.

 

3. Riikka Anttonen et. al. Sibelius Academy. “Managing Art Projects with Societal Impact.” 2016. Estonia.

This Study Book presents the multiple dimensions of societal impact of arts projects and to provide methods on areas such as impact design, leadership or evaluation. The book is particularly called a ‘study book’, aiming not to give direct answers, but to open avenues for students and practitioners to reflect and learn to create their own way of managing art project with societal impact.

 

4. Shared Intelligence, The Mighty Creatives, and Sarah Pickthall. Arts Council England. “Testing the Accessibility of Arts Council England’s Quality and Participatory Metrics.” 2017. United Kingdom.

Arts Council England’s system of Quality and Participatory Metrics is a new tool designed to gather opinion data from audiences and participants in arts experiences. Each ‘metric’ consists of a dimension, the specific aspect of a production that is being measured, and a statement which is presented to respondents who are asked the extent they agree or disagree. Each metric statement has been designed to test a particular aspect or dimension of ‘quality’.

 

5. Bronwyn Mauldin. Los Angeles County Arts Commission. “Research & Evaluation at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission: 2016-17 Report.” 2017. United States.

Report from the LA Arts commission on the 2016-17 Research and Evaluation Plan: what they did and why, and some key lessons learned along the way.

January 2018

1. Beatriz Garcia, Ruth Melville, and Tamsin Cox. University of Liverpool. “Creating an Impact: Liverpool’s experience as European Capital of Culture.” 2010. United Kingdom.

This report is a summary of the key findings and core messages of Impacts 08, the research programme evaluating the impacts of Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008 (Liverpool ECoC) on the city, the wider region and its people. Impacts 08 is a five-year joint initiative between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, commissioned by Liverpool City Council for the period 2005 to 2010.

 

2. Tony Newman, Katherine Curtis, and Jo Stephens. Community Development Journal. “Do community-based arts projects result in social gains?” 2003. United Kingdom.

Arts projects have become an important part of community development strategies. In addition to any creative achievements, projects are expected to have positive and measurable impacts on local social capital. Funding organizations routinely demand evidence for this, and formal evaluations of projects have become a condition of investment. However, quantifying the impact of the arts in terms of social gain presents considerable difficulties, arguably greater than in any other field of evaluation. These problems are not just methodological. They also raise the question of the extent to which creative processes can – or should – be managed and controlled.

 

3. Marilyn Smith, Rebecca Fisher, Joelle Mader. Department of Canadian Heritage. “Social Impacts and Benefits of Arts and Culture: A Literature Review.” 2016. Canada.

This literature review aims to summarize research in the areas of theory, evidence, measurement frameworks and indicators of social impacts. This study begins with an overview of key theories underlying and framing research in the area of social impacts of arts and culture. The review continues by looking at frameworks for measuring social impacts from critical and practical perspectives. This review concludes with the observation that while there is a preponderance of evidence that the arts and culture have wide-ranging, demonstrable positive social impacts and benefits, there is no consensus on how to measure these results.

 

4. Martin Turcotte. Statistics Canada. “Trends in Social Capital in Canada.” 2015. Canada.

This report examines trends for various indicators of social capital : social networks size and type, frequency of contacts with friends, civic engagement, trust in others and sense of belonging.

 

5. Meredith J. Ludwig, Andrea Boyle, and Jim Lindsay. American Institutes for Research. “Review of Evidence: Arts Integration Research Through the Lens of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).” 2017. United States.

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) is a sweeping, 391-page law that transforms the federal government’s role in public education. This literature review explores research available on arts integration activities and finds 44 that could qualify for ESSA funding. Interventions, include those that use music to teach students fractions, drama to help improve vocabulary and dance to teach kindergarteners to read.

Everything you (n)ever wanted to know about theory of change: an advanced workshop on theory of change applications in the arts

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, USA;  Time: 1-2:30pm PT (4-5:30pm ET); 9-10:30pm London, UK
Thursday, March 1, Australia, 8-9:30am (east coast)

REGISTER HERE

Theory of change is a framework and methodology for articulating how and why a desired change or outcome can be expected to happen. It originated in the field of evaluation in response to the challenge of understanding causal factors that lead to desired community change. In the decades since, theories of change have gained widespread adoption in fields outside the arts, to support program developers and managers to be clear what they are doing and why. Even so, many arts funders, organizations, and practitioners have yet to make use of this tool, despite seeking and spending public and philanthropic resources on the basis of change they seek to instigate or support.

In this hybrid workshop/discussion, presenters Ian David Moss and Kim Dunphy will share insights from their experiences using theory of change as researchers and advisors to cultural organizations, in different countries and professional contexts. Kim and Ian will discuss innovations in theory of change methodology and use that they have encountered or pioneered and welcome a lively dialogue with audience members throughout. The session is primarily aimed at researchers and others interested in introducing or deepening the use of theory of change into their practice.

 

Chair/Moderator: Dr. Natalia Grincheva, Research Fellow, Research Unit in Public Cultures, University of Melbourne.

Presenters:

Ian David Moss one of the US arts sector’s leading practitioners of theory of change.  As a consultant working with grantmakers, government agencies, and impact investors, he specializes in the alignment of evidence and strategy within large institutions and across complex ecosystems. Over the past decade, strategic frameworks that Ian helped create have guided the distribution of nearly $100 million in grants by some of the largest arts funders in the US. Ian was also a significant influence guiding Cincinnati-based ArtsWave in aligning $10 million/year in regional arts funding with a transformative new focus on impact. ArtsWave is still using a version of this framework to drive its grantmaking seven years later. Ian is the founder of Createquity, a think tank and online publication investigating the most important issues in the arts and what we can do about them, as well as the Cultural Research Network. He holds BA and MBA degrees from Yale University and is based in Washington, DC.

 

Dr. Kim Dunphy is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne (Australia)’s, Creative Arts Therapy Research Unit. Her research interests focus on change that can be effected through arts participation and how that can be understood and measured. Recent publications include chapter in Oxford Handbook of Community Music on theorising arts participation as a social change mechanism, her PhD thesis on the participatory arts in social change in Timor-Leste and co-edited collection Making Culture Count: the politics of cultural measurement (Palgrave, 2015) including her chapter proposing a holistic approach to evaluation of outcomes of arts engagement. Kim also works as consultant for the Cultural Development Network (CDN), Melbourne, Australia, an organisation that supports local government to assist local communities to make and express their own culture. CDN leads a national project across Australia on cultural development planning, where arts agencies, including state and local governments, are supported to develop theories of change for their arts program delivery and funding programs.

December 2017

1. James Doeser and Melissa Nisbett. King’s College London. “The Art of Soft Power: A study of cultural diplomacy at the UN Office in Geneva.” 2017. United Kingdom.

This enquiry explores how art and culture are deployed by diplomats to influence the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of others in the negotiations that take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).

 

2. Chrissie Tiller. Creative People and Places. “Power Up.” 2017. United Kingdom.

A think piece on mapping cultural patterns and uncovering the role of cultural in all citizens’ lives, from high culture and “ordinary,” everyday culture.

 

3. Christopher Walker and Anne Gadwa Nicodemus. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). “Arts, Culture, and Community Outcomes: What Four LISC Projects Accomplished.” 2017. United States.

Commissioned by LISC, this report uses programs in four cities to analyze what arts and culture add to community development efforts, particularly insights to how these programs had an impact on economic and social change.

 

4. Thomas H. Sander and Kathleen Lowney. Harvard University. “Social Capital Building Toolkit.” 2006. United States.

A central challenge for those desiring more local social capital is how to build it. The goal of this Toolkit is to briefly describe the social capital concept and its dimensions, and then outline and illustrate some effective ways to build social capital among individuals and groups.

 

5. J.A. Dewald. Open Buffalo. “Social Justice and the Arts: Arts Organizations Partnering with their Communities to Advance Social Justice.” 2015. United States.

This document is designed to provide a concise but representative sampling of the many arts programs, projects, networks, and individuals involved in creative, progressive change in their diverse communities.

November 2017

1. Scott Dickinson and Fiona Tuck. SDG Economic Development. “Exploring the role of arts and culture in the creative industries.” 2017. United Kingdom.

Arts Council England commissioned SDG Economic Development to carry out case study research that explores the relationship between the arts and culture sector and the creative industries. The case studies explore partnerships and alliances, the transfer of skills and staff, and the trading of goods and services between organisations in the arts and culture sector and businesses in the creative industries sector.

 

2. Jennifer Novak-Leonard and Rachel Skaggs. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts. “Public Perceptions of Artists in Communities: A Sign of Changing Times.” 2017. United States.

Novak-Leonard and Skaggs developed and pilot tested survey indicators to gauge public perceptions of artists within communities. In this article, they describe the indicators, report on the national pilot test topline results, and discuss the indicators’ merits to be used over time drawing from the pilot test results. Understanding public perceptions of artists within communities can inform and influence policies supporting artists’ work and offer a means to monitor shifts to the larger arts and cultural policy paradigm in the U.S.

 

3. Anne Gadwa, Rachel Engh, and Christopher Walker. Metris Arts Consulting. “Not Just Murals: Insights into Artists’ Leadership in Community Development.” 2017. United States.

Not Just Murals draws upon a literature review, interviews with 15 artists leading in different facets of community development, and conversations with experts who have unique insights into regional and national context and trends. The interviews and examples draw heavily from two locales in the LISC network that are exceptionally fertile ground for artists taking up the mantle of leadership in community development, Minnesota’s Twin Cities and Philadelphia, as well as several projects and artists in the South that have received support from Alternate ROOTS, a regional arts service organization that provides artist leaders with training and resources at the intersection of arts and social justice.

 

4. Nick Wilson and Jonathan Gross. A New Direction (A.N.D.). “Caring for Cultural Freedom: An ecological approach to supporting young people’s cultural learning.” 2017. United Kingdom.

Building on our programme of research on creative ecosystems, this report makes a significant contribution to recent debates concerning the value of understanding the cultural sector ecologically and provides new ways to interpret how cultural opportunities operate for young people within cultural ecosystems. It focuses on young people within the London Borough of Harrow, showing how issues related to space, place and mobility, relationships and institutions, knowledge production and cultural agency impact on young people’s cultural learning.

 

5. Miriam Jorgensen and Miskodagaaginkwe Beaudrie. Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. “Progressing Issues of Social Importance Through the Work of Indigenous Artists.” 2017. United States.

The executive summary of our social impact evaluation of the four pilot projects of our Community Inspiration Program (CIP). From this report you will learn how our CIP artists and communities carried out these outstanding projects.

October 2017

1. Troyd A. Geist. North Dakota Council on the Arts. “Sunflowers and Sundogs: An Art for Life Program Guide for Creative Aging, Health, and Wellness.” 2017. United States.

The North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA), with the support of the Bush Foundation, has released an arts and creative aging toolkit. Reaching 1,200 organizations, it is one of the largest efforts of its kind. Based on the NDCA’s nationally-recognized Art for Life Program, it represents a five-year effort to develop a program guide with associated materials to increase capacity and bring together a community’s folk and fine artists, local arts agency, a participating elder care facility, and a partnering school to conduct creative aging, health, and wellness work. The Art for Life Program seeks to improve the emotional and physical lives of elders in care facilities with intensive art and artist interaction.

 

2. NYC Cultural Affairs. NYC Office of the Mayor. “CreateNYC: A Cultural Plan for All New Yorkers.” 2017. United States.

CreateNYC is the first comprehensive cultural plan in New York City history. With CreateNYC, the City of New York established the first cultural plan in the United States with disability-specific strategies for expanding cultural access, including a new fund for disabled artists, cultural workers, and audiences. In this and other ways, the city is modeling the kind of leadership that is urgently needed at all levels of government.

 

3. Ceri Wilson, Jenny Secker, Lyn Kent, and Jo Keay. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion. “Promoting mental wellbeing and social inclusion through art: six month follow-up results from Open Arts Essex.” 2017. United Kingdom.

A new study published in The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion suggests that active participation in the arts can improve wellbeing and social inclusion for a period of at least six months after the activity.

 

4. Frances Richens. Arts Professional. “Pulse report: Local authority arts funding – what should be done?” 2017. United Kingdom.

As budgets tighten, many local authorities feel they have little choice but to cut spending on arts and culture. But how is the sector reacting? Frances Richens shares the findings of ArtsProfessional’s latest Pulse survey.

 

5. Harder+Company Community Research and Edge Research. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “Peer to Peer: At the Heart of Influencing More Effective Philanthropy.” 2017. United States.

In 2015, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Foundation commissioned Harder+Company Community Research, in partnership with Edge Research, to conduct a field scan to inform its own strategies in this area as well as those of other organizations working to increase philanthropic effectiveness. The Foundation was interested in learning more about how foundations find knowledge and how it informs their philanthropic practice.

September 2017

1. Isabelle De Voldere and Kleitia Zeqo. European Commission. “Crowdfunding: Reshaping the crowd’s engagement in culture.” 2017. Europe.

The study “Crowdfunding: reshaping the crowd’s engagement in culture” maps and analyses how crowdfunding is currently being used for the benefit of cultural and creative activities, and evaluates to what extent barriers hamper the further integration of crowdfunding in the financing mix and broader practice of cultural and creative sector (CCS) actors. As the topic of crowdfunding for CCS touches upon the interest and activities of several stakeholder groups (CCS actors, intermediary organisations supporting CCS actors, crowdfunding platforms, backers and policy makers), the research combined the perspectives of each of these stakeholder groups to come to a 360° analysis. The research involved literature review, stakeholder interviews, data and case study analysis, surveys, expert workshops and crowdsourcing on barriers and options for policy action.


2.
Kumar B. Rajan and Rekha S. Rajan. National Endowment for the Arts. “Staying Engaged: Health Patterns of Older Americans Who Participate in the Arts.” 2017. United States.

Staying Engaged examines data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative sample of older adults (in this case, aged 55 years and older) who are tracked longitudinally. The authors find that older adults who both created and attended art in 2014 reported better health outcomes that year (lower rates of hypertension and greater cognitive and physical functioning) than did adults who neither created nor attended art.


3.
Roland J. Kushner and Randy Cohen. Social Stanford Innovation Review. “Creating a Policy Index for the Arts.” 2017. United States.

On January 20, 2010, an audience of 200 business leaders, mayors, members of the US Congress, directors of large urban arts commissions, and media gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. They launched the National Arts Index, a new research and policy initiative that promised to do for the arts what the Dow Jones Industrial Average did for stock ownership.


4. Ecorys. Creative People and Places. “Creative People and Places: End of Year 3 Report.” 2017. United Kingdom.

Ecorys, a research agency, was commissioned to create the overarching evaluation (the meta-evaluation) for the first three years of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places (CCP) programme.

 

5. David A. McGranahan, Timothy R. Wojan, and Dayton M. Lambert. Journal of Economic Geography. “The rural growth trifecta: outdoor amenities, creative class and entrepreneurial context.” 2010. United States.

The presence of creative class workers in rural communities has been shown to impact economic growth, particularly in places with outdoor amenities and entrepreneurial support. Tests confirm that the interaction of entrepreneurial context with the share of the workforce employed in the creative class is strongly associated with growth in the number of new establishments and employment, particularly in those rural counties endowed with attractive outdoor amenities.

 

August 2017

1.  Holly Sidford and Alexis Frasz. Helicon Collaborative. “Not Just Money: Equity Issues in Cultural Philanthropy.” 2017. United States.

With support from the Surdna Foundation, Helicon has looked at the picture again, five years on, to see what has changed. Spoiler alert: despite important efforts by many leading foundations, funding overall has gotten less equitable. Cultural philanthropy is not effectively – or equitably – supporting the dynamic pluralism of our evolving cultural landscape.


2. Deidre Williams. Comedia. “How the Arts Measure Up: Australian Research into Social Impact.” 1997. Australia.

This Working Paper, no 8 in the series, was written by Deidre Williams, a former community arts worker and now an arts consultant, from South Australia. Deidre conducted the only substantial research into the social impact of community arts projects which we have come across, published as Creating Social Capital in 1996. She draws on, and updates, this unique Australian research to make a powerful case for recognition of the diverse benefits arising from community art, and the factors on which they depend.


3. Dr. Emmett Carson Pam Loeb and Dennis McCarthy. Blackbaud. “Diversity in Giving: The Changing Landscape of American Philanthropy.” 2015. United States.

This paper is based on a survey of 1,096 U.S. adults who say they have donated to a nonprofit organization in the past 12 months. The survey was conducted in October 2014 using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population.


4. Museums Association. “Museums Change Lives: The MA’s Vision for the Impact of Museums.” 2013. United Kingdom.

Museums Change Lives aims to enthuse people in museums to increase their impact, encourage funders to support museums in becoming more relevant to their communities, and show organisations the potential partnerships they could have with museums. Museums Change Lives follows on from earlier work by the Museums Association to encourage change in museums.


5. Michael Kaiser, Malik Robinson, Zannie Voss and Donna Walker-Kuhne. American University. “Colloquium: Addressing Funding Inequities for Arts Organizations of Color.” 2016. United States.

Several recent studies have explored issues of equity and funding for arts organizations of color. The DeVos Institute of Arts Management, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, the National Center for Arts Research, and others have all drawn conclusions and offered recommendations to define the problem and suggest solutions. This Colloquium focuses on funding for arts organizations of color, and connect these reports to current practice and current experience of cultural managers and artists.

Open and Public Data in Arts Research

On September 26th, the Cultural Research Network Steering Committee member W.F. Umi Hsu organized a Virtual Study Group to explore open data sources in arts research.

 

Open and Public Data in Arts Research from Cultural Research Network on Vimeo.

 

Arts and cultural data have been made available than ever. This Virtual Study Group explores the affordances of data sharing and public data in applied arts research. These emerging data practices result in research events like the Arts Access Datathon and tools such as open data portals, public art archive, open source cultural heritage work (Loca Preservation School), data-informed policy map (CultureBlocks), and arts programming (e.g. placemaking and public art, ex. Monument Lab). They provide open and potentially collaborative modalities for research in government agencies, public-sector/nonprofit arts research, and artist-driven projects in social practice and creative placemaking. This VSG features speakers who are arts researchers forging new paths with practices in related fields such as civic technology, digital design, and digital cultural heritage.

Panelists:

  • Monument Lab: Laurie Allen
  • CultureBlocks: Lindsay Tucker So
  • Open data in historic preservation: Eli Pousson

Produced and moderated by W.F. Umi Hsu (CRN Steering Committee Member; Digital Strategist, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs)

Arts Indexes

On July 25th, the Cultural Research Network Steering Committee arranged a Virtual Study Group  to explore the concept of Arts Indexes.

There are currently a mix of Arts Indexes (or Indices) in operation around the world. The NEA has indicators for livability. NCAR has an arts vibrancy index. The Canadian Index of Wellbeing has a cultural element as well. There is an Arts Index devised by the National Campaign for the Arts in the UK which is inspired by the one produced by Americans for the Arts. Indexes and Indicators have also been used by the cities of Chicago or Denver, to name but two.

In this VSG, Zannie Voss introduces the NCAR approach and we broaden out the discussion to include David Brownlee from the National Campaign for the Arts in the UK to ask in what ways these tools are useful, as analytical devices as well as political or advocacy prompts.

This VSG was produced by James Doeser and Jennifer Armstrong.

 

To view the entire webinar, please click below:

CRN Virtual Study Group: Arts Indexes from Alan Brown on Vimeo.