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

Based on a survey of more than 2,000 Canadians (including substantial samples of youth and Indigenous residents), this report highlights information about arts and heritage attendance, personal arts participation, as well as perceptions of cultural activities and government arts support. The report concludes that there is “robust public engagement with arts and culture in Canada”.

Based on a custom-designed 2016 Survey of the Inuit Arts Economy and Statistics Canada’s 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, this report outlines the economic impacts of Inuit arts in Canada. Overall, the report finds that “the Inuit arts economy contributed $87.2 million” to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and “sustained over 2,700 full time equivalent jobs” in 2016.

(Les arts et la culture au Québec : Portrait de la perception des Québécois)

Based on an online survey of 1,410 Quebec residents (18 and older) in September 2015, this report highlights the public’s perceptions of artists, their role in society, impacts of the cultural sector, and the governmental role in supporting culture. In general, 77% of respondents believe that the arts and culture are important to them. Annual arts participation rates are 78% for cinemas, 71% for the performing arts, and 49% for museums.

This report presents the results of a random telephone survey of 1,004 Ontario residents (18 and older) in early March 2017, bearing a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Respondents were asked a series of questions about their perceptions of the arts in Ontario, with specific questions regarding the quality of life, well-being, identity, belonging, and public arts funding. A vast majority of Ontarians believe that the arts are somewhat or very important to their own lives (85%) and to life in their community (90%).

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.