Special Issue: Arts participation and engagement

Volume 13 No 2 / August 20, 201420 August 2014

This special issue of the Arts Research Monitor provides a brief summary of some key issues related to arts participation and engagement explored at Measuring Cultural Engagement amid Confounding Variables, a joint research symposium of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Cultural Value Project of the United Kingdom’s Arts & Humanities Research Council. Arts researchers and practitioners from the U.S. and U.K. convened in Washington for the symposium. Kelly Hill was the only Canadian speaker at the June 2014 event. This issue is Kelly’s synthesis based on his notes from the symposium, as well as those made by Alexis Andrew, Policy and Planning Coordinator at the Canada Council for the Arts.


Outcomes of cultural participation

Arts Research Monitor

Beyond simple attendance rates, what can be said of the outcomes of cultural participation? Are there relationships and connections that have broader social impacts?Symposium participants were told of the Gallup World Poll, a new concept of wellbeing… View this resource

Use of arts participation data

Arts Research Monitor

Who uses arts participation data? Are the data used by arts organizations to improve their connections to audiences? Are the data connected to arts policy?One speaker argued that many artists and arts administrators have a hunger to better understand… View this resource

New data sources

Arts Research Monitor

Arguing that current practices are unsustainable, some speakers outlined how “big data” or “organic data” could be combined with sample surveys in order to better track and study human behaviour. Organic data can be thought of… View this resource

Arts participation methodology: Surveys or other instruments?

Arts Research Monitor

In an environment of media convergence and digital multi-tasking (with many people paying only partial attention to multiple concurrent tasks), can arts participation surveys capture an accurate picture of people’s activities? Some participants… View this resource

Definitions of participation in the arts and culture

Arts Research Monitor

The symposium tackled some large and challenging questions, such as “what counts as ‘the arts’? and “what do people consider culture?” Concern was expressed that current survey analysis may place too great a focus on cer… View this resource

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