Category: Research Sharing

Brand new research that was shared with the listserv on a monthly basis.

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.

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.

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.

July 2017

1. Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert. Culture and Social Wellbeing in New York City. “The Social Wellbeing of New York City’s Neighborhoods: The Contribution of Culture and the Arts.” 2017. New York (NY).

This report presents the conceptual framework, data and methodology, and findings of a two-year study of culture and social wellbeing in New York City by SIAP with Reinvestment Fund. Building on their work in Philadelphia, the team gathered data from City agencies, borough arts councils, and cultural practitioners to develop a 10-dimension social wellbeing framework—which included construction of a cultural asset index—for every neighborhood in the five boroughs. The research was undertaken between 2014 and 2016.


2. Nick Wilson, Jonathan Gross, and Anna Bull. King’s College London. “Towards cultural democracy: Promoting cultural capabilities for everyone.” 2017. London (UK).

The final report of King’s fourth Cultural Enquiry. On the basis of a 15-month research project, it presents a timely and distinctive vision of how to build a cultural life for the UK that is valuable for everyone, and made by all.


3. Vassilka Shishkova. IETM. “Look, I’m Priceless! Handbook on how to assess your artistic organisation.” 2017. Brussels (BE).

This toolkit aims to guide you through the key steps of evaluation, whether you have chosen to do it yourself or if a funder or decision-maker asks you to do so and provides you with pre-conceived tools.


4. Michael Etzel and Hilary Pennington. Stanford Social Innovation Review. “Time to Reboot Grantmaking. 2017. United States.

Social sector organizations need a “healthy diet” of funding to achieve maximum impact, a concept neatly captured by the Grantmaking Pyramid now used by the Ford Foundation. Bridgespan developed, and then refined with the Ford Foundation, a simple Grantmaking Pyramid that reframes how funders and their grantees should think about building successful, resilient organizations.


5. Gay Hanna, Judy Rollins, and Lorie Lewis. Grantmakers in the Arts. “Arts in Medicine Literature Review.” 2017. United States.

A growing body of research is bringing attention to how the arts — including literature, performing and visual arts, as well as architecture and design — can greatly enhance the healthcare experience. Arts in medicine contributes to improved healthcare outcomes, better patient and staff satisfaction, and lower healthcare costs. Established as a field in the 1990s, arts in medicine programming in clinical settings usually developed as part of university healthcare systems in partnership with community based artists and arts organizations.

June 2017

1. Robert Phiddian, Julian Meyrick, Tully Barnett, and Richard Maltby. Cultural Trends. “Counting Culture to Death.” 2017. Australia.

Founders of the research project “Laboratory Adelaide: the Value of Culture” argue that the emphasis on “quantifying impact” in cultural policy is not delivering on its promises and that its unintended consequences can prove to be destructive.


2. Nanos Research. Ontario Arts Council. “Impressions of the impact of the arts on quality of life and well-being in Ontario.” 2017. Ontario.

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) telephone random survey of 1,004 residents of Ontario, 18 years of age or older, between March 2 and 8, 2017, as part of an omnibus survey.


3. Scott D. Jones. Education Commission of the States. “ESSA: Mapping opportunities for the arts.” 2017. United States.

This special report highlights the ways that states and districts can engage the arts in the ongoing work of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Designed to continue growing as ESSA implementation proceeds, this report currently contains chapters exploring the opportunities for arts education within the following topics: Accountability, Assessments, Stakeholder Engagement, State Plans, Tiers of Evidence, Title I and a Well-Rounded Education.


4. Sean Thomas-Breitfeld and Frances Kunreuther. Building Movement Project (BMP). “Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap.” 2017. United States.

Building Movement Project’s leadership report highlights that the nonprofit sector is experiencing a racial leadership gap. The report finds that the nonprofit sector needs to address established practices and biases to diversify the leadership base.


5. Professor Dai Smith. Welsh Government. “Arts in Education: An independent report for the Welsh Government into Arts in Education in the Schools of Wales.” 2013. Wales.

This report by Professor Dai Smith, commissioned by The Welsh Government, evaluates the state of arts education in Wales and offers twelve recommendations for its improvement. The report generated a response from the Welsh Government and an action plan.

May 2017

1. Emer Smyth. Arts Council of Ireland & The Economic and Social Research Institute. “Arts and Cultural Participation among Children and Young People.” 2016. Ireland.

The Arts Council of Ireland commissioned this research to improve our knowledge and understanding of children’s participation in cultural life and the arts in Ireland. When researchers analyzed the distribution of cultural engagement among different groups, they found higher rates of engagement among children from more advantaged social backgrounds, and with higher levels of educational attainment by the mothers.


2. Jill Sonke, Jennifer Lee, Judy Rollins, Ferol Carytsas, Susan Imus, Patricia Lambert, Tina Mullen, and Heather Spooner. Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida. “Talking about Arts in Health.” 2016. United States.

This white paper from the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida addresses the language used to describe “arts and health” from a higher education perspective.


3. Zannie Giraud Voss and Glenn B. Voss. SMU National Center for Arts Research. “NCAR Arts Vibrancy Index: A Heat Map.” 2015. United States.

NCAR presents an interactive map depicting the level of artistic activity in different areas of the U.S. based on different “scores.” Scores include arts dollars, arts providers, government support, and other characteristics.


4. Miriam Steiner. Arts Professional. “Transforming Young Minds.” 2017. United Kingdom.

According to Miriam Steiner of Rhythmix, music-making sessions for young people with mental health issues have had a recognized impact, and commissioning an independent evaluation has enabled the knowledge and experiences gained to be shared.


5. Robin Pogrebin. The New York Times. “Arts Groups on Edge as New York City Re-evaluates Cultural Funding.” 2017. United States.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his lieutenants are deep into a re-examination of New York City’s $178 million arts budget to try and give a higher profile to smaller institutions in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

April 2017

1. Caroline Sharp and Adam Rabiasz. National Foundation for Education Research (UK). “Key Data on Music Education Hubs 2015”. 2016. United Kingdom.

This report provides quantitative insights measuring the effectiveness of Music Education Hubs (MEHs) in 2015, employing five key performance indicators such as musical instrument lessons, ensemble performance, and organization partnerships.

2. Creative Industries Federation. “Brexit Report: The impact of leaving the EU on the UK’s arts, creative industries, and cultural education – and what should be done”. 2016. United Kingdom.

This report assesses the impact of the “Brexit” referendum, for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, on the arts and culture sector. Additionally, this analysis proposes responsive solutions to stabilize and improve upon existing challenges.

3. Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research. “Understanding the Arts Ecology of Saskatchewan from the Artist’s Perspective: An Overview of Results from the Artist Survey of 2014”. 2015. Canada.

This report is the first comprehensive survey of artists across all arts disciplines in Saskatchewan, initially conducted in April 2014 with a subsequent survey of the public in May, dedicated to understanding the working conditions of artists.

4. Zannie Voss, et al. The League of American Orchestras. “Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014”. 2016. United States.

This report is the first in a longitudinal series focusing on the finances and operations of American orchestras; the current installment details the period from 2006-2014, covering the field’s challenges throughout the recession and recovery.

5. James Bau Graves, et al. Americans for the Arts. “African in Maine. Case Study: Center for Cultural Exchange”. 2005. United States.

This case study focuses on the “African in Maine” program’s work to develop appropriate cultural programming for refugee communities of color in Maine, emphasizing contention surrounding ideas such as dialogue, identity, representation, and democracy.

March 2017

1. UNESCO. “Culture: Urban Future. Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development”. 2016. International.

This report makes recommendations linking the implementation of the UNESCO Culture Conventions with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, employing insights from scholars, NGO partners, and urban thinkers.

2. ECORYS. Department of Culture, Media, and Sport (UK). “Local economic impacts from cultural sector investments”. 2014. United Kingdom.

This literature review examines 40 different culture-sector economic impact studies in both the UK and abroad (2004-2014), assessing the commonality and variability in the methodologies of these studies, and describing their frequent lack of rigor.

3. Arts Council England. “Equality, Diversity, and the Creative Case: A Data Report, 2015-2016”. 2016. United Kingdom.

This is Arts Council England’s second annual report on diversity within their National Portfolio Organizations (NPOs), concluding that while diversity metrics have improved since the first assessment, privileged participants are still over-represented.

4. Jeffrey Chapline and Julene K. Johnson. NEA Office of Research & Analysis. “The National Endowment for the Arts Guide to Community-Engaged Research in the Arts and Health”. 2016. United States.

This guide describes best practices for collaboration between researchers, organizations, and artists investigating the arts’ impact on healing and health outcomes, as well as assesses the efficacy of applying this knowledge to arts therapy programs.

5. Kelly Hill and Hill Strategies Research, Inc. British Columbia Alliance for Arts + Culture. “British Columbia arts, culture, and heritage organizations in 2015”. 2016. Canada.

This report analyzes the financial, operational, governance, and program capacity of 206 arts organizations in British Columbia, Canada, and compares this field’s situation with the metrics of other neighboring provinces.

February 2017

1. Matthew Stromberg. California Arts Council. “Nonprofit Media Coverage of the Arts in California: Challenges and Opportunities”. 2016. United States.

This report summarizes activities from the California Arts and Public Media Summit (June 23, 2016), convened to evaluate the flaws in the California Arts Council’s “Arts on the Air” pilot program which was suspended due to stakeholder criticism.

2. Olsberg SPI and Nordicity. British Film Institute. “Economic Contribution of the UK’s Film, High-End TV, Video Game, and Animation Programming Sectors”. 2015. United Kingdom.

This report examines the economic impact of the United Kingdom’s “screen sectors” comprising film, high-end TV, video games, and animation, while advocating for tax relief justified by a claim of multi-fold return on investment.

3. Danielle Linzer and Mary Ellen Munley. Whitney Museum of American Art. “Room to Rise: The Lasting Impact of Intensive Teen Programs in Art Museums”. 2015. United States.

This study evaluates the impacts of American museum programs for teens, focusing on the activities of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

4. Pierre-Olivier Saire, et al. Canada Council for the Arts. “Patterns of Attendance and Cultural Participation by Young People in the Canadian Theatre for Young Audiences and Children’s Festivals Sector”. 2016. Canada.

This exploratory study analyzes Canadian public participation in theater for young audiences, and children’s festivals, through a series of questions involving regional factors, audience age, teacher/school influence, and the impact of new technologies.

5. BOP Consulting and Graham Devlin Associates. Arts Council England. “Analysis of Theatre in England”. 2016. United Kingdom.

This report explores the current status of UK theatre production, performance, and audience experience by juxtaposing three different economic models that companies employ: subsidized, unfunded not-for-profit, and commercial (for profit).

January 2017

1. Civic Systems Lab. Lambeth Council (UK). “Designed to Scale: Mass participation to build resilient neighbourhoods”. 2016. United Kingdom.

This report evaluates The Open Works initiative, an undertaking to determine whether aspects of local participatory culture can be scaled in a sustainable fashion, incorporating 1,000 individuals over 12 months and 20 different sub-projects.

2. Canadian Heritage Information Network, et al. Department of Canadian Heritage. “Government of Canada Survey of Heritage Institutions: 2015”. 2016. Canada.

This report aggregates financial and operating data on Canadian cultural institutions such as museums, art galleries, archives, historic sites, zoos, and botanical gardens, with the goal of assisting policy development and program evaluation.

3. Zannie Voss, et al. National Center for Arts Research. “NCAR Arts Vibrancy Index II: Hotbeds of America’s Art and Culture”. 2016. United States.

This is the second installment of SMU NCAR’s Arts Vibrancy Index Report, which employs indices from multiple data sets to assess and rank arts vibrancy in regional communities across the United States.

4. Hill Strategies Research. Ontario Museum Association. “Ontario’s Museums 2014 Profile”. 2016. Canada.

This report is an analysis of data encompassing 184 Ontario museums in every region of the province, examining the sector’s economic impact, relationship to the tourism industry, and overall health, while exploring ways to enhance public accountability.

5. Jamie Buttrick, et al. Consilium Research & Consultancy and Thinking Practice. “What It Does to You: Excellence in CPP”. 2016. United Kingdom.

This report examines ideas of artistic quality within Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places (CPP) program, finding that the CPP moves participant conversation away from the perceived skill of the art and toward the process of its creation.