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Id 137
Author Jackson, M., R.; Kabwasa‑Green, F., ; Herranz, J.,
Title Cultural vitality in communities: Interpretation and indicators

Jackson, M.R., Kabwasa‑Green F., Herranz J. (2006). Cultural vitality in communities: Interpretation and indicators. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

Keywords Cultural vitality; Communities; Cultural participation; Arts and culture; Indicators
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Abstract This monograph, part of a series presenting the work of the Urban Institute’s Arts and Culture Indicators Project (ACIP), discusses three major advances in his ongoing work. First, they introduce a definition of cultural vitality that includes the range of cultural assets and activity people around the country register as significant. Specifically, they define cultural vitality as evidence of creating, disseminating, validating, and supporting arts and culture as a dimension of everyday life in communities. Second, they use this definition as a lens through which to clarify his understanding of the data necessary, as well as the more limited data currently available, to document adequately and include arts and culture in more general quality of life indicators. Third, they develop and recommend an initial set of arts and culture indicators derived from nationally available data, and they compare selected metropolitan statistical areas based on the measures they have developed.

Metodology ACIP developed a measurement framework that delineates four domains of inquiry to help capture cultural activity and its role in communities. The first three of these—the presence of opportunities to participate, participation in its multiple dimensions, and support systems for cultural participation—are appropriate for indicator measurement and make possible a more comprehensive understanding of impacts of arts and culture (the fourth domain). They build on his understanding of the first three domains as they operationalize his cultural vitality concept and determine measures that correspond with it.

Findings This monograph represents significant strides in the development of sustainable indicators of cultural vitality, inclusively defined. His definition of cultural vitality calls for a much more complex concept of arts and cultural assets in communities and the resources required to bring these to fruition, sustain, or expand them. His nationally comparable measures and, by extension, his Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) rankings based on the cultural vitality concept are the first of their kind in the United States. They demonstrate beyond doubt that better and more consistently collected data on a wide range of aspects of cultural vitality can substantially change his view about the relative cultural vitality of a community—what it has to offer and what it may lack. Although barriers to fully capturing cultural vitality in communities still exist to a degree, there is great room for optimism. The surge of interest in creativity signaled by the increasing uses of concepts such as “creative economy,” “creative class” and “cool cities” represents a window of opportunity for ACIP’s indicator approach. Facilitating access to cultural vitality data, and to measures such as those ACIP is developing, will make it easier for cultural vitality to be integrated into policy discussion and decisionmaking on a broader scale.
Open Access YES
Search Database Snowball
Technique Data mining; Document analysis; Construction of indicators
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