Volume: 15 Issue: 8
In this issue: Four reports that attempt to examine the overall health of the arts and culture in different countries, including culture-specific indicators from the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and broad arts indexes from the U.S. and England.
The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) looks beyond the key national economic indicator (Gross Domestic Product, or GDP) to attempt to measure “those areas of our lives that we care about the most, like education, health, the environment, and the relationships we have with others”. The health of leisure and culture is estimated using eight indicators, five of which relate to the arts, culture, and heritage.
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.
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.
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.