Arts Policy Library

Every year, dozens of research studies, books, evaluation reports, and other texts examining the impact of the arts on individuals and communities are published. In many instances, this literature is the product of an exhaustive investment of time and dollars from foundations, universities, or the authors themselves. Yet if only a few dozen or hundred specialists ever actually end up reading the works from start to finish, what is the true impact? Many busy arts professionals, to say nothing of casual observers, don’t have time to make it all the way through even one of these documents, much less evaluate its soundness and put it into context with other research.

Enter the Createquity Arts Policy Library, which has two important goals: first, to bring greater attention to the important ongoing work in the field of arts research; and second, to synthesize (not just summarize) it for a lay audience.

To do this, each text is analyzed in three parts: first, a succinct summary of what it says; second, an analysis of the strength of its arguments, looking at everything from methodological details to the relevance of the questions it seeks to answer; and finally, an attempt to deduce what new information the text gives us in light of the other work we’ve already read, picking out broad themes or trends that may be of interest.

You can view all posts in the Arts Policy Library series so far in the space below.

12/23/13: Studio Thinking (by Jena Lee)
Lois Hetland, Ellen Winner, Shirley Veenema, Kimberley M. Sheridan, Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education (2007, rev. 2013)
(See also: Studio Thinking: the condensed version)

12/19/13: How Art Works (by Lindsey Cosgrove)
National Endowment for the Arts, “How Art Works: The National Endowment for the Arts’ Five Year Research Agenda, with a System Map and Measurement Model” (2012)
(See also: How Art Works: the I’m-late-for-work version)

6/14/13: Culture and Community Revitalization (by Hayley Roberts)
Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert, “Culture and Urban Revitalization: A Harvest Document” (2007)
Stern and Seifert, “From Creative Economy to Creative Society: A social policy paradigm for the creative sector has the potential to address urban poverty as well as urban vitality” (2008)
Stern, Seifert, and Domenic Vitiello, “Migrants, Communities, and Culture: New immigrants have already changed Philadelphia’s cultural scene. Can culture serve as a means of linking new Philadelphians to other social institutions?” (2008)
Stern and Seifert, “Cultivating ‘Natural’ Cultural Districts” (2007)
Jeremy Nowak, “Creativity and Neighborhood Development: Strategies for Community Investment” (2007)
(See also: Culture and Community Revitalization: The Executive Summary)

6/11/13: Good & Plenty (by Dan Thompson)
Tyler Cowen, Good & Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding (2006, rev. 2010)

6/10/13: The Artistic Dividend (by Tegan Kehoe)
Ann Markusen and David King, “The Artistic Dividend: The Arts’ Hidden Contributions to Regional Development” (2003)
Ann Markusen, Greg Schrock, and Martina Cameron, “The Artistic Dividend Revisited” (2004)
(See also: The Artistic Dividend – condensed version)

1/16/13: Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (by Jacquelyn Strycker)
Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, “A Diverse Palette: What Arts Graduates Say About Their Education and Careers” (2012)
Danielle Lindemann, Steven J. Tepper, et al., “Painting With Broader Strokes: Reassessing the Value of an Arts Degree” (2012)
(See also: Strategic National Arts Alumni Project: The Condensed Version)

1/14/13: Fusing Arts, Culture, and Social Change (by Talia Gibas)
Holly Sidford, “Fusing Arts, Culture, and Social Change” (2011)
(See also: Fusing Arts, Culture, and Social Change: the condensed version)

7/3/12: Cultural Engagement in California’s Inland Regions (by Jackie Hasa)
Alan Brown and Jennifer Novak with Amy Kitchener, Cultural Engagement in California’s Inland Regions (2008)

7/2/12: 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (by Kelly Dylla)
National Endowment for the Arts, 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (2009)
National Endowment for the Arts, “Art-Goers in Their Communities: Patterns of Civic and Social Engagement” (2009)
National Endowment for the Arts, “State and Regional Differences in Arts Participation: A Geographic Analysis of the 2008 SPPA” (2009)
National Endowment for the Arts, “Come as You Are: Informal Arts Participation in Urban and Rural Communities” (2010)
National Endowment for the Arts, Audience 2.0: How Technology Influences Arts Participation (2010)
Nick Rabkin and E.C. Hedberg, Arts education in America: What the declines mean for arts participation (2011)
Mark J. Stern, Age and arts participation: A case against demographic destiny (2011)
Jennifer Novak-Leonard and Alan Brown, Beyond attendance: A multi-modal understanding of arts participation (2011)

2/1/12: Investing in Creativity (by Katherine Gressel)
Maria-Rosario Jackson, Florence Kabwasa-Green, Daniel Swenson, Joaquin Herranz, Jr., Kadija Ferryman, Caron Atlas, Eric Wallner, and Carole Rosenstein, “Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists” (2003)
(See also: Investing in Creativity: the “Investing Less Time in Reading” Version)

7/6/11: Informal Arts (by Crystal Wallis)
Alaka Wali, Rebecca Severson, and Mario Longoni, Informal Arts: Finding Cohesion, Capacity, and Other Cultural Benefits in Unexpected Places (2002)
(See also: Informal Arts: the informal version)

7/6/11: Critical Links (by Jennifer Kessler)
Richard J. Deasy, ed., “Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development” (2002)
(See also: Critical Links: the bullet points)

7/6/11: Arts, Inc. (by Aaron Andersen)
Bill Ivey, Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights (2008)
(See also: Arts, Inc.: brevity version)

2/10/10: The Search for Shining Eyes (by Guy Yedwab)
Thomas Wolf, “The Search for Shining Eyes: Audiences, Leadership and Change in the Symphony Orchestra Field” (2006)

12/14/09: MASS MoCA and the Revitalization of North Adams (by Ian David Moss)
Stephen C. Sheppard, Kay Oehler, Blair Benjamin, and Ari Kessler, “Culture and Revitalization: The Economic Effects of MASS MoCA on its Community” (2006)
Oehler, Sheppard, and Benjamin, “Mill Town, Factory Town, Cultural Economic Engine: North Adams in Context” (2006)
Oehler, Sheppard, Benjamin, and Lily Li, “Shifting Sands in Changing Communities: The Neighborhoods, Social Services, and Cultural Organizations of North Adams, Massachusetts” (2006)
Oehler, Sheppard, Benjamin, and Laurence K. Dworkin, “Network Analysis and the Social Impact of Cultural Arts Organizations” (2007)

10/8/09: Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement (by Guy Yedwab)
Mark Kramer, Marcie Parkhurst, and Lalitha Vaidyanathan, “Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement and Social Impact” (2009)
(See also: Response to Arts Policy Library: Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement)

9/23/09: Arts & Economic Prosperity III (by Ian David Moss)
Americans for the Arts, Arts & Economic Prosperity III (2007)
(See also: Arts & Economic Prosperity: Cliffs Notes version)

7/24/09: Gifts of the Muse (by Ian David Moss)
Kevin McCarthy, Elizabeth H. Ondaatje, Laura Zakaras, and Arthur Brooks, Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts (2005)
(See also: Gifts of the Muse: the Cliffs Notes version, Further Thoughts about Gifts of the Muse)

5/11/09: Reconstructing Florida (by Ian David Moss)
Gerard Marlet and Clemens van Woerkens, “Skills and Creativity in a Cross-section of Dutch Cities” (2004)
Marlet and van Woerkens, “Tolerance, Aesthetics, Amenities or Jobs? Dutch City Attraction to the Creative Class” (2005)
Richard Florida, Charlotta Mellander, and Kevin Stolarick, “Inside the Black Box of Regional Development” (2008)

4/27/09: Deconstructing Richard Florida (by Ian David Moss)
Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life (2002)
(See also: Richard Florida Responds)

For further reading ideas and related essays, check out Public Policy and the Arts: Syllabus and Summary from Ian’s spring 2009 independent study at the Yale School of Management.