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Understanding the value and impacts of cultural experiences

  • Date: 21 July 2014
  • Area: International
Brighton Digital Festival

Brighton Digital Festival. Credit: Jon Pratty

Today we publish Understanding the value and impacts of cultural experiences, an international literature review conducted for the Arts Council by WolfBrown.

This review helps us understand how others have asked or considered the question ‘what value do personal experiences of art and culture have for people?’ in the past, and to contribute towards our knowledge in this area.

The focus for the report was on academically-robust research and influential policy papers from the past twenty years. It provides a good overview of the commonly known  frameworks and methodological approaches that have been used to investigate how individuals are affected by their experience of arts and culture. It also addresses value and quality from an organisational perspective: what do organisations that engage people in impactful experiences look like? How can the ‘quality’ of cultural organisations as a whole be assessed?

There are a number of other projects in the UK that aim to add to knowledge in this area, including the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Value Project and the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value.  These projects will all help shape how we understand the value and impact of our work.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said:
 ‘Our aim in commissioning this review is to shed light on this debate, and to enliven it. A full picture depends on the contribution of diverse voices, and we hope readers will add theirs, to help us better understand and articulate the value and impacts of cultural experiences.’

Read the full report here  

Links and further information

The new review builds on the recently published The value of arts and culture to people and society, which examines the impact of art and culture on society, economy, education, health and well-being.

The publication of Understanding the value and impacts of cultural experiences coincides with a thought-leadership  event being held today at Sadler’s Wells. The aim of this event is to explore issues and concepts relating to quality, seen from perspectives of the WolfBrown literature review, our Quality metrics work, and Quality principles for work by, with and for children and young people. We are filming today's event and we will make the videos available on our website very soon.

Explore our Quality metrics work

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