Do the arts matter?

July 17, 2007

Arguing for the value of the arts is a full time, headache inducing activity that most arts organisations and policy makers know only too well. Unfortunately, many of the indicators reached for are quantitative and economic, making the intrinsic value of the arts for their own sake more difficult to articulate. Liverpool is hosting the European City of Culture title in 2006 and there’s an interesting project under way there to broaden out the indicators for precisely this measurement exercise.

Impacts 08 – The Liverpool Model, is a joint research initiative of the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, which will evaluate the social, cultural, economic and environmental effects of Liverpool’s hosting the European Capital of Culture title in 2008. The research programme, commissioned by Liverpool City Council, will examine the progress and impact of this experience on the city and its people.

This is a five year study organised around “indicator clusters” which include:
* Economic Impacts and Processes
* The City’s Cultural System
* Cultural Access and Participation
* Identity, Image and Place
* Physical Infrastructure and Sustainability of the City
* The Philosophy and Management of the Process
More details about the research framework are available here. This is going to be a very interesting project to watch and I hope that it will go some way to offering a more creative framework in which to have conversations about why the arts matter and how we demonstrate more effectively (in a qualitative way) that they do.
Hat tip The Artful Manager

1 people reacted on this

  1. I wonder is anyone considered doing something like this when Cork was the City of Culture? What is there to show for Cork’s year? I don’t know because I don’t really know where to look. There must be people in the know about this.
    Anyway, it looks like Liverpool is serious about using the year in a sustainable manner.
    Thanks for highlighting this.

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