Reading by Flickr user Moyan Brenn


This summer we have returned to the topic of the arts and wellbeing. Our previous work in this area served as an introduction to wellbeing (and its importance to the arts) for us and our readers. Our current investigation focuses more directly on the following research questions:

  1. What are the wellbeing-related outcomes that have been theorized to be related to arts activities?
  2. For each of those outcomes, what is the state of the evidence about the relationship?

For this investigation we are reviewing literature reviews on aspects of this topic, as well as major theoretical works about the mechanisms through which the arts improve wellbeing. We are also continuing to consider if the term quality of life is a better fit for our work in this area instead of wellbeing. (If you have an opinion, your input is very welcome).

Below is our current list of resources we are reviewing.

Arts Council England. (2014) The Value of Arts and Culture to People and Society: An Evidence Review. Retrieved from http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/The-value-of-arts-and-culture-to-people-and-society-An-evidence-review-TWO.pdf

Arts Midwest, & Metropolitan Group. (2015). Creating Connection: Research Findings and Proposed Message Framework to Build Public Will for Arts and Culture. Retrieved from http://www.artsmidwest.org/sites/default/files/ArtsMidwest_BPWReport.pdf

Brown, A. (2006). An Architecture of Value. GIA Reader, 17(1). Retrieved from http://www.giarts.org/article/architecture-value

Carnwath, J. D., & Brown, A. S. (2014). Understanding the Value and Impacts of Cultural Experiences: A Literature Review. WolfBrown and Arts Council England. Retrieved from http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Understanding_the_value_and_impacts_of_cultural_experiences.pdf

Crossick, G., & Kaszynska, P. (2016). Understanding the Value of Arts and Culture: The AHRC Cultural Value Project. United Kingdom: Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Wolf, D. (2016). Why Making Music Matters. WolfBrown and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Retrieved fromhttp://www.carnegiehall.org/uploadedFiles/Resources_and_Components/PDF/WMI/WhyMusicMatters.pdf

Development Services Group, Inc. (2016). Arts-Based Programs and Arts Therapies for At-Risk, Justice-Involved, and Traumatized Youths. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ojjdp.gov/mpg/litreviews/Arts-Based-Programs-for-Youth.pdf

Fujiwara, D. (2013). Museum’s and Happiness: The Value of Participating in Museums and the Arts (The Happy Museum). Retrieved from http://www.happymuseumproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Museums_and_happiness_DFujiwara_April2013.pdf

Fujiwara, D., Kudrna, L., & Dolan, P. (2014a). Quantifying and Valuing the Wellbeing Impacts of Culture and Sport. Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/304899/Quantifying_and_valuing_the_wellbeing_impacts_of_sport_and_culture.pdf

Fujiwara, D., Kudrna, L., & Dolan, P. (2014b). Quantifying the Social Impacts of Culture and Sport. Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/304896/Quantifying_the_Social_Impacts_of_Culture_and_Sport.pdf

Jackson, M. R., & Herranz, J. (2002). Culture Counts in Communities: A Framework for Measurement (Research Report). The Urban Institute. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310834_culture_counts.pdf

Jackson, M. R., Kabwasa-Green, F., & Herranz, J. (2006). Cultural Vitality in Communities: Interpretation and Indicators. The Urban Institute. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/projects/cultural-vitality-indicators/publications.cfm

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. (2010). Soul of the Community – Overall Findings. Retrieved fromhttp://www.knightfoundation.org/sotc/

Jones, S. (2010). Culture shock. London: Demos.

Guetzkow, J. (2002). How the Arts Impact Communities: An introduction to the literature on arts impact studies. Presented at the Taking the Measure of Culture Conference, Princeton University: Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies. Retrieved from https://www.princeton.edu/~artspol/workpap/WP20%20-%20Guetzkow.pdf

Stern, M., & Seifert, S. (2007). Culture and Urban Revitalization: A Harvest Document. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved from https://www.reinvestment.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Culture_and_Urban_Revitalization_A_Harvest_Document-Report_2007.pdf

Matarasso, F. (1997). Use or Ornament? The Social Impact of Participation in the Arts. Comedia.

McCarthy, K., Ondaatje, E., Zakaras, L., Brooks, A., & RAND. (2004). Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts (p. 104). RAND. Retrieved from http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG218.pdf

Medeiros, K. de, & Basting, A. (2014). “Shall I Compare Thee to a Dose of Donepezil?”: Cultural Arts Interventions in Dementia Care Research. The Gerontologist, 54(3), 344–353. http://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnt055

Menzer, M. (2015). The Arts in Early Childhood: Social and Emotional Benefits of Participation. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved from https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/arts-in-early-childhood-dec2015-rev.pdf

National Endowment for the Arts. (2012). How Art Works. Retrieved from http://arts.gov/sites/default/files/How-Art-Works_0.pdf

National Endowment for the Arts. (2013). The Arts and Aging: Building the Science.

Noice, T., Noice, H., & Kramer, A. F. (2013). Participatory Arts for Older Adults: A Review of Benefits and Challenges. The Gerontologist, gnt138. http://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnt138

Scottish Government, S. A. H. (2006, January). Quality of Life and Well-being: Measuring the Benefits of Culture and Sport: Literature Review and Thinkpiece. Retrieved January 24, 2015, from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2006/01/13110743/0

Sen, A. (n.d.). How does culture matter?’. In V. Rao & M. Walton (Eds.), Culture and Public Action. Stanford UP.

Stern, M. J., & Seifer, S. C. (2013). Cultural Ecology, Neighborhood Vitality, and Social Wellbeing – A Philadelphia Project. University of Pennsylvania Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP).

Tepper, S. (2014). Artful living: Examining the relationship between artistic practice and subjective wellbeing across three national surveys. The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from http://arts.gov/sites/default/files/Research-Art-Works-Vanderbilt.pdf

The National Endowment for the Arts. (2011). The Arts and Human Development. Retrieved fromhttps://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/TheArtsAndHumanDev.pdf

Topos Partnership for the Fine Arts Fund. (n.d.). The Arts Ripple Effect: A Research-Based Strategy to Build Shared Responsibility for the Arts. Retrieved from http://www.theartswave.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/The-Arts-Ripple-Report-January-2010.pdf

Urban Institute. (n.d.). The Validating Arts & Livability Indicators (VALI) Study: Results and Recommendations. Retrieved January 23, 2015, from http://arts.gov/sites/default/files/VALI-Report.pdf

WolfBrown & The National Endowment for the Arts. (n.d) Audience Impact Study Literature Review. Retrieved from http://arts.gov/sites/default/files/Audience-Impact-Study-Literature-Review.pdf