Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Economic impacts of the arts

This review article, a work in progress from an American cultural research group, evaluates and summarizes evidence regarding the benefits of the arts for individuals. The researchers examine research evidence in four categories: physical and mental health; education and personal development; economic vitality; and social cohesion. While the researchers recognize that existing research is not definitive, they do conclude that “arts participation really does improve lives”.

Summarizing secondary research into the value of the arts and arts education, this report from the United Kingdom finds that “arts and culture are a life-enhancing and essential part of our existence". An accompanying report (Key Research Findings: The Case for Cultural Learning) provides further details about the research highlighted in ImagineNation.

A Social Return on Investment Analysis

Using a social return on investment framework, this report assesses the impacts of the $1.9 billion in public and private investment in over 1,400 Illinois not-for-profit organizations working in the arts and culture. The headline finding is that “every dollar invested into the Illinois nonprofit arts and culture field generates an estimated $27 in socio-economic value”. Two similar studies from Australia examined the social returns of a community arts project in Western Australia that tries to connect Aboriginal youth with their language and culture and a program offering film workshops for youth.

This report summarizes the findings of 70 specially-commissioned research studies regarding the value of culture in the United Kingdom – “the difference to individuals, society and the economy that engagement with arts and culture makes”. Working outwards from the individual experience of culture, the report outlines many components of cultural value.

This report examines perceptions of the arts and community attractiveness based on surveys of 500 Ontario-based skilled workers and 508 Ontario-based businesses with more than 20 employees. Among skilled workers, 65% of survey respondents were in agreement that “a thriving arts cultural scene is something I would look for when considering moving to a new community” (31% agree + 34% somewhat agree). Similarly, 64% of businesses agreed that “a thriving arts cultural scene is something that makes it (would make it) easier to attract to talent to the community” (35% agree + 29% somewhat agree).

Estimates of the direct contribution of culture to GDP and employment in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut in 2014.

Estimates of the direct contribution of culture to GDP and employment in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador in 2014.

Estimates of the direct contribution of culture to GDP and employment in Ontario and Quebec in 2014.

Estimates of the direct contribution of culture to GDP and employment in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in 2014.

Using the industry perspective, Statistics Canada estimates that the direct economic impact of culture industries (also known as value added or gross domestic product) was $61.7 billion in Canada in 2014, or 3.3% of the country’s GDP. In 2014, there were 700,100 jobs directly related to culture industries, or 3.9% of the 18.1 million jobs in the country.