Report – Digital Culture: How arts and cultural organisations in England use technology

Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta have commissioned independent research agency MTM to track the use of digital technology by arts and cultural organisations in England between 2013 and 2015. Results are now available from the first year survey of 891 arts and cultural organisations, including digital activities, barriers, enablers and impacts.
It shows that arts and cultural organisations have transformed their marketing and operations through digital technology, with many reaching bigger and more diverse audiences than ever before. They are also seeing major benefits for creation and distribution, whilst in other areas like new revenue generation, important opportunities remain.
Digital technologies are disrupting established practices and creating new opportunities for innovation across the creative economy.
Some arts and cultural organisations are experiencing transformational impacts, using digital technology to reach bigger audiences than ever before.
But how can we make the most of digital technologies?


Common Cause report: The Art of Life: how arts and culture affect our values #heritagefutures

This report is the beginning of a dialogue about how arts and culture impact on our values, what that might look like in practice, and how we might foster new collaborations between artists, cultural institutions and the third sector to create new ideas for development.

Arts Council England report: The contribution of the arts and culture to the national economy. #heritagefutures

Arts Council England has published a new report, The contribution of the arts and culture to the national economy. The report was commissioned from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

Arts Council England says “The report is the first comprehensive analysis to determine the value of art and culture to the modern economy at a national scale. This is an independent report, which uses methodology the Treasury will recognise and respect.”

Key findings from the research include:

There are strong links to the tourism sector, with at least £856 million per annum of tourism being linked to arts and culture.
The government’s 0.1% of spend on the arts yields 0.4% of GDP.
Arts and culture generate more money per pound invested than health, retail, professional and business service sectors.
The sector grew from 2008 – 2010 with some decline as the economy shrank in the last 3 years. However the greatest sum of money supporting the sector is earned income.
110,000 are directly employed in the arts – 0.45% of the total workforce.
Arts had a turnover of £12.8 billion in 2011.

Responding to the report Chief Executive of ACE, Alan Davey writes: “With this report we can confidently confirm the impressive scale of the arts and culture industry and its distinctive strengths and contribution. It is an undeniably vibrant sector with strong links to the wider economy and a key part of our economic future.”

The study was co-commissioned with the NMDC but unfortunately, as detailed in the report, museums had to be excluded from Cebr’s macroeconomic impact analysis due to difficulties in accurately capturing the wide range and complexity of their activities. The report does demonstrate however the important role of museums in spillover impacts such as attracting tourists, supporting creative industries and contributing to national productivity through education, research and skills development. ACE and NMDC are using the report’s findings and possible solutions suggested by Cebr to consider options for further work to fully assess the macroeconomic impact of museums.


Arts and Heritage in Canada: Access and Availability Survey 2012. Department of Canadian Heritage. #heritagefutures

Arts and Heritage in Canada: Access and Availability Survey 2012
Hills Strategies Research Inc., February 2013, Canada
Based on a survey of 1,001 Canadians 18 or older in June and July of 2012, ‘Arts and Heritage in Canada: Access and Availability Survey 2012’ examines Canadians’ attendance and personal involvement in the arts, culture, and heritage, as well as their perceptions regarding cultural activities and government support of culture.
Regarding arts attendance, 83% of respondents indicated that they attended at least one type of live performance or arts event in the past year. The most popular (and most frequently attended) arts activities are “live art performances (63%), craft shows or fairs (55%), and arts or cultural festivals (52%)”. Three-quarters of respondents visited a heritage institution in the past year, with the most popular being historic buildings or sites (55%), museums or science centres (51%), and zoos, aquariums or botanical gardens (47%).
This survey contains some arts attendance statistics that not available from any other source. The report was published by the Department of Canadian Heritage, and was written by Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc.

Driving growth through local government investment in the arts (Local Government Association)

Driving growth through local government investment in the arts
Local Government Association (March 2013)

The study, by the Local Government Association (LGA), highlights the many ways town halls are using the arts to bring in money to communities as well as achieving other goals such as creating jobs, filling vacant shops and reducing youth offending.

The arts provide nearly one million jobs and the 67,000 cultural businesses contribute £28 billion every year to the UK economy. It’s estimated that for every £1 spent by councils on the arts, leverage from grant aid and partnership working brings up to £4 in additional funding.

Major beneficiaries are local tourism and hospitality. The visitor economy is this country’s fifth biggest industry and one of the few sectors experiencing growth. It grew at over five times the rate of the UK economy as a whole in 2011, contributing about £115 billion. As well as attracting visitors to places, the arts encourage them to stay longer and spend more. The contribution of music, visual arts and performing arts alone exceeds £4 billion per year.

Despite Government cutting council funding by 33 per cent, many are – for now – actively protecting their arts budgets. This research shows how short-sighted it would be for the Treasury to make further cuts to local government grants, which, given the need to fund growing demands like care of the elderly, would squeeze out any further scope for such protection, and the contribution it makes to economic growth.

The report also details a joint commitment from the LGA and Arts Council England on how they will work with councils to support their efforts in arts and culture, and offers guidance on how to make the most of diminished budgets and best link them to economic aims.


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