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Quality Metrics Final Report

Quality Metrics National Test

June 21, 201721 June 2017

Social benefits of the arts

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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.

The three groups of respondents were asked to rate the same nine potential factors in the quality of the work (using a sliding scale of agreement or disagreement with the statements). In descending order of public ratings, these nine factors are:

Ratings data from Quality Metrics National Test, England, 2016 Public Cultural organizations Peers
Enthusiasm (i.e., I would come to something like this again) 0.89 0.88 0.84
Concept (i.e., it was an interesting idea) 0.88 0.87 0.84
Presentation (i.e., it was well produced and presented) 0.87 0.87 0.85
Local impact (i.e., it is important that it's happening here) 0.86 0.87 0.85
Rigour (i.e., it was well thought through and put together) 0.85 0.85 0.82
Captivation (i.e., it was absorbing and held my attention) 0.84 0.84 0.80
Challenge (i.e., it was thought-provoking) 0.74 0.76 0.72
Relevance (i.e., it had something to say about the world in which we live) 0.73 0.76 0.73
Distinctiveness (i.e., it was different from things I’ve experienced before) 0.73 0.71 0.63

For all nine factors, the peer ratings were the lowest among the three groups of respondents. However, the three lowest-rated factors (challenge, relevance, and distinctiveness) were the same between the three groups.

Cultural organizations and peer respondents were asked about three other factors. Risk (i.e., “the artists / curators were not afraid to try new things”) was rated most highly by both groups, followed by excellence (i.e., “it was one of the best examples of its type that I have seen”) and originality (i.e., “it was ground-breaking”).

Based on this data, the report concludes that “the work presented and analysed in this study received a broadly positive response from peer and public respondents, and largely met the (quite high) prior creative expectations of the creative teams involved in its production”. (Organizational self-assessments were carried out both before and after events took place.) The report provides additional data charts and analysis of the results by artform and region of England.

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