Value of Arts

Today's world is obsessed with measuring the impact of every field of public (subsidised) activity. Does your project entail spending public money? Then be prepared to justify its value with numbers and facts.

While numerous studies reveal the power of culture in driving economic growth and creating jobs, it is difficult to quantify the intangible impacts of arts.

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The decline in the take-up of arts subjects at GCSE has increased five-fold over the past year, coinciding with a dramatic rise in young people studying EBacc subjects.
“No future without culture”. Placing culture at the heart of international cooperation is essential if we are to make development a sustainable process. ECDPM applies a culturally sensitive approach to development by working on societal dynamics and their interaction with policy-making.
"We suggest that the conflation of culture with creative industries since 1997 has harmed both cultural policy and creative industries policy in the UK. We propose that an official definition of the cultural sector and the production of government statistics to support such a definition will help to clarify creative industries policy and create a much needed opportunity to revisit the scope and nature of cultural policy. "
Creative work has enhanced human development since early times; similarly, the latter can expand the former. But the links are not automatic. To expand the contribution of creative work to human development, this paper suggests cultivating more respect for local creative output, fighting exploitation and gender bias, promoting intellectual property, and collecting data and building infrastructure.
"The first fruits of the EU’s new “cultural strategy” for external relations was on show at the Development Days conference in Brussels on Wednesday (15 June), as a theatre troupe from both warring sides in Sri Lanka showed how working together could aid in post-conflict resolution."
Most artists earn very little. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of aspiring young artists. Do they give to the arts willingly or unknowingly? Governments and other institutions also give to the arts, to raise the low incomes. But their support is ineffective: subsidies only increase the artists' poverty. The economy of the arts is exceptional. Although the arts operate successfully in the marketplace, their natural affinity is with gift-giving, rather than with commercial exchange. People believe that artists are selflessly dedicated to art, that price does not reflect quality, and that the...
"This article presents findings from an in-depth project carried out with five audience-participants at cultural events during Leeds’ annual LoveArts festival. The researchers asked participants to explain what the arts meant to them. They discovered that people found cultural value difficult to articulate. They concluded that instead of striving to rationalise the value of the arts, we should try to feel and experience it."
“Art is not able to change the world, but art can show the future and the past. We had to come back and deal with identity. You can’t rebuild a country without rebuilding identity.” Rithy Pahn
"Creative drama has grown in recent years and become the keystone of the work of numerous charities, NGOs and theatre companies across Europe. Programmes using this approach provide bespoke toolkits and advanced training, tailored with care to individual situations in order to access the cultural traditions and understanding of a project’s audience to clearly and sensitively address areas of conflict for communities or age groups."
How should we understand the difference that arts and culture makes to individuals and to society? The case is too often presented in terms of benefits that are thought to be important to the government of the day while neglecting some of the more fundamental benefits that matter to us all. Catch up with the podcast below:

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