Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Aboriginal arts and culturally diverse arts

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 literature review investigates how some cultural organizations and funders have improved “diversity in cultural organizations, in the areas of their leadership, staffing, programming and audience composition”. Elements of diversity include race, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age.

A Guidebook for Working with Artists who are Deaf or have Disabilities

Developed as part of the Canada Council’s Expanding the Arts strategy, this guidebook aims to provide “an important resource for companies and organizations working towards increasing the participation rates within their processes of people who are Deaf or who have disabilities”. That being said, the guide also notes that “the environment within which people who are Deaf and who have disabilities continues to change. Best practices and protocols around accessibility and accommodation must be responsive to this continually changing environment.”

A Guide to Developing and Delivering Accessible and Inclusive Programs within Arts and Cultural Organizations

Originally developed for the art education experiences provided by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, this guidebook outlines “seven steps to accessible and inclusive programs” that can be “beneficial to both audience and institution”. The guide emphasizes that accessible programs are “more than physical facilities”, and inclusive programs are “more than sharing a space”.

Needs and Supports of Canadian and US Ethnocultural Arts Organizations

This 358-page report presents a number of findings concerning “the characteristics, needs, and support systems” of “ethnocultural arts organizations”. The report is based on a literature review, data collection and analysis from existing sources (such as the Canada Revenue Agency), an assessment of organizations’ needs (using results from a custom survey of ethnocultural arts organizations as well as interviews with representatives of 55 Canadian and 83 American organizations), an assessment of support programs dedicated to diverse organizations (by 95 Canadian arts service organizations and funders), and an analysis of gaps in these supports (based on a comparison of organizations’ needs and existing supports).

New Citizens, Sports & Belonging

While not related to the arts, this report is an interesting example of research into new citizens’ participation in Canadian life, in the world of sports. The report is based on a survey of 4,157 new citizens residing in urban areas who have participated “in the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Cultural Access Pass program”, focus groups in eight Canadian cities, and a literature review of sports organizations’ focus on immigration and diversity.

This brief report highlights the fact that cultural practices are important for “the wellness, health, and healing of Aboriginal peoples and communities”. The report indicates that the arts may have particular importance for Aboriginal Peoples in many ways.

A Report on the Socio-Economic Status of Canadian Visual Artists

This series of brief web articles aims to depict “the socio-economic conditions faced by Canadian resident professional visual artists” in 2012, with specific articles on ethnicity, sex, and gallery representation. The survey found that nearly one-half of Canadian visual artists lost money on their artistic practice in 2012 (47%). The average personal income of visual artists was $29,300, the largest portions of which came from art-related employment (average of $19,200) and non-art-related employment (average of $5,700). After adjusting for inflation, the overall average income in 2012 was 6% higher than the 2007 level ($27,600).

Canadian Evidence regarding the Relationship between the Arts and the Quality of Life, Well-being, Health, Education, Society, and the Economy

This literature review, conducted in May 2014, synthesized the findings of 46 Canadian research articles regarding the “holistic case for the arts, i.e., outcomes of the arts related to the quality of life, well-being, health, society, education, and the economy”. The report concluded that “there are a myriad of potential benefits of the arts”. That being said, the report cautions that “studies of causal links (rather than statistical associations) are very challenging to conduct”.

A Study of Three Toronto Neighbourhoods

Based on a two-year research process, this study attempted to “gain a better understanding of how residents engage with the arts at a community level, explore barriers to arts access, and identify ways to strengthen local arts engagement”. The study’s 17 researchers made “300 connections” including interviews, focus groups, and surveys with 191 “residents, artists, arts groups and social service organizations” in three Toronto neighbourhoods: Malvern, St. James Town, and Weston Mount Dennis.