Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts attendance & participation

This report examines “the relationship between cultural engagement and momentary wellbeing” using a United Kingdom dataset called Mappiness, which collects information from a mobile app that captures people’s ratings of their happiness and relaxation as well as their activities at the time (including certain cultural activities). The authors caution that the dataset “is not fully representative of the UK” and that “causation cannot be directly inferred”.

Quality Metrics National Test

The Quality Metrics National Test attempted to measure the value and impact of 374 events, exhibitions, or performances produced by 150 arts and culture organizations in England between November 2015 and May 2016. The National Test used ratings from surveys of three groups of respondents: 1,358 self-assessments by cultural organization representatives, 921 peer assessments, and 19,800 public responses. Given that public respondents self-selected whether to participate in the survey, there is uncertainty as to whether the respondents provide a representative sample of the overall population of arts-goers in England.

Summarizing existing research studies and incorporating new analyses of existing statistical sources, the core argument of this report is that arts “participation builds belonging”, which can be defined as how people connect with others and engage with their communities. The report attempts to provide “compelling data and stories that demonstrate the power of the arts to build a greater sense of belonging to our communities, to our country, and to each other”.

Based on a survey of over 14,000 attendees at performances by 23 choirs (including the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and 22 American choruses), this report examines the experiences of audiences at live choral concerts. The goal of the research was to spur “critical reflection on how audiences construct meaning and memory from concerts of choral music, and how choruses can curate impacts through thoughtful program design”.

Based on a literature review, existing statistics, two focus groups, and a targeted survey of 30 stakeholders, this report examines “the patterns of attendance and cultural participation by young people in the theatre for young audiences (TYA) and the children’s festival sector in Canada”.

Two recent reports about the arts and culture in the Alberta Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (i.e., Fort McMurray and area) resulted from three research streams: 1) a telephone survey of a representative sample of local residents; 2) an internet survey of local artists and arts organizations; and 3) a literature review regarding the arts and regeneration after a disaster.

The Ottawa Insights series examines key data related to various “themes” that are important to local quality of life, including the arts and culture. The report provides information related to four areas of the arts and culture: Public participation; Programs and facilities; Investment in the arts; The arts and recreation economy.

This report attempts to provide a “health check” for the arts in England. Between 2007/08 and 2013/14, the overall arts index increased from 99 to 111. Most of the increase in the index occurred between 2007 and 2011.

Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture

Arguing that “creativity is a desirable and necessary element for a thriving community”, this American report attempts to identify cities with particularly strong artistic vibrancy among 937 metropolitan areas in the U.S.A.

The 2016 report of the National Arts Index, based largely on data from 2013, highlights the “post-recession recovery” of the arts using 81 equally-weighted national indicators across four key dimensions: financial flows; capacity; arts participation; and competitiveness. The overall index value was 99.8 in 2013, higher than any year since 2009 but only back to the levels in the first two years measured (2002 and 2003). In other words, based on this index, the arts in America are in roughly the same health as in 2002.