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Id 157
Author Williams, D.,
Title The social impact of arts programs. How the arts measure up: Australian research into social impact.

Williams, D. (1997). The social impact of arts programs. How the arts measure up: Australian research into social impact. Working Paper 8. Stroud, UK: Comedia.

Keywords Social impact; Community arts programmes; Community development; Social capital; Social change
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Abstract The aim of the project is to develop a methodology to evaluate the social impact of community arts programmes and assess impact in key areas. It argues public funded community based arts projects were powerful catalysts for community development.

Metodology A methodology was developed for evaluating the social impact of 89 arts programmes in key areas. It was conducted a survey to 109 community participants from arts projects, plus 123 community members who had observed the projects. It asked people to rate the long-term value of the project for their community. Indicators for each outcome are suggested: • Building and developing communities • Increasing social capital • Activating social change • Developing human capital • Improving economic performance The author outlines diverse areas that community groups had been interviewed about and reports their responses.

Findings Over all, respondents recorded positive impact for each outcome area as follows: 96% recognised positive educational outcomes 94% recognised positive artistic outcomes 90% recognised positive social outcomes 72% recognised positive economic outcomes Overall the case studies reported the following results to the social capital indicators: 92% Improved skills in communicating ideas and information 92% Increased appreciation of community arts 87% Improved skills in planning and organising activities 80% Improved understanding of different cultures or lifestyles 64% Improved consultation between government and community The case studies report the results for community development indicators: Decreased social isolation 74% Improved recreational options 74% Developed local enterprise 47% Improved public facilities 47% Developed community identity 86% Regarding activating social change, the results were: Inspired action on a social issue 62% Improved understanding of different cultures or lifestyles 80% Generated employment 49% Increased public safety 44% Raised public awareness of an issue 88%
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