Intellectual stimulation, deeper understanding, critical reflection and creative thinking generated.
Full description and underpinning theory
This outcome covers the development of new knowledge, ideas and insights resulting from the engagement. It also includes intellectual stimulation, critical reflection and creative thinking experiences. A desired endpoint is more and deeper understanding, as this is unlimited and can be continually generated. This outcome corresponds closely to UCLG’s cultural element of ‘knowledge’ (UCLG, 2006), but is broader because it is about the process of thinking inspired by the cultural experience rather than just the knowledge shared.
Theory underpinning this outcome
New understandings can be generated through cultural activity, with experience linked to self-knowledge, and self-development of participants (Radbourne, Glow & Johanson 2010; McCarthy et al, 2004; UCLG, 2006).
Intellectual enrichment involves the ability of an experience to provide opportunities for learning new things, being challenged or expanding a person’s understanding or perspective of an idea or issue (White and Hede, 2008, Walsmley, 2013, McCarthy et al., 2004, 2008, Fiske, 1999).
Innovation/risk in which the audience or participants enjoy being prompted or pushed by the artwork to ideas or thoughts they have not had before (ixia, 2014). The sharing of knowledge, not just its generation (Hawkes, 2001); sharing knowledge/ resources (Arts Victoria, 2013); Intellectual stimulation (WolfBrown, Intrinsic Impact)
Dialogue: providing access to cultural resources strengthens the public voice (Australia Council Cultural, 2016).
Functioning as agents of social disruption and change, the arts may intrude rudely upon our everyday sensibility, force us to consider the most extreme possibilities of the human condition, and prod us to think more profoundly than is comfortable about ultimate matters of life, death, and our own contingency (Weil, 1996, p. 156).
The arts also allow a channel of critical communication about society that is often very different to what is possible through the written or spoken word, thereby contributing in a special way to a functioning democratic liberal society. This though can happen through both the private and subsidised arts sectors, but it might happen only through the first of these channels where there is a subsidised sector with the freedom (from commercial constraints) to explore these possibilities (O’Hagan, 2016, p. 253).
Evidence that this outcome occurs
Motivation studies mentioned in NEA (2014); exposure to the arts is mind-broadening (Ministry ICA, Singapore cited in NEA, 2014);
knowledge, new ideas and insights (Beyond Empathy, 2009).
An arts-based approach to grappling with local issues and challenges was found to offer high school students positive differences in: creative and critical thinking skills, divergent and convergent thinking skills and innovation outputs and significantly greater incidence of applying their innovation learning experiences to work, school, volunteer and extracurricular activities than a control group (Goldman, 2016).
Activities and processes contributing to this outcome
Cultural activities that could contribute to this outcome include (but are not limited to):
- Development and/or staging of libraries, museums, exhibitions, performances and festivals with particular contemporary themes for generating discussion and debate amongst active and receptive participants.
- Grants to creators, producers and presenters to develop and/or present new works that explore new ways of thinking and doing.
- Research that contributes to culture sector development.
This section is currently in development. Updates will be posted here as they are completed.
New knowledge, insights and ideas.
Arts Victoria (2013). OIP Assessment Framework. Melbourne: Arts Victoria.
Australia Council for the Arts (2016). Cultural engagement framework. Sydney: Australia Council for the Arts. Accessed 28 May 2016 from www.australiacouncil.gov.au/about/cultural-engagement-framework/
Beyond Empathy (2009). Social Audit: Social Accounts. Armidale: Beyond Empathy. http://be.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/090703-SAA-Report_Beyond-Empathy_final.pdf
Brown, A. & Novak, J. (2007). Assessing the intrinsic impacts of a live performance. San Francisco: WolfBrown. http://wolfbrown.com/images/books_reports/documents/ImpactStudyFinalVersionFullReport.pdf
Fiske, Edward B. 1999. Champions of change: the impact of the arts on learning. Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Goldman, K.H., Yalowitz, S., Wilcox, E., Audience Viewpoints Consulting (2016). The Impact of Arts-Based Innovation Training on the Creative Thinking Skills, Collaborative Behaviors, and Innovation Outcomes of Adolescents and Adults. New York: The Art of Science Learning. Retrieved from http://www.artofsciencelearning.org/phase2-research-findings/
Hawkes, J. (2001). The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability. Melbourne: Cultural Development Network.
Ixia (2014). Public art: A guide to evaluation (4th ed) (Birmingham: ixia). Accessed March 13, 2014. http://ixia-info.com/files/2009/01/ixia-Public-Art-A-Guide-to-Evaluation4th-Edition-20141.pdf
McCarthy, K., Ondaatje, E., Zakaras, L., & Brooks, A. (2004). Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the debate about the benefits of the arts. USA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved 20 December, 2009 from www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG218.sum.pdf.
NEA (2014). Measuring Cultural Engagement. Summary of Joint Research Symposium June 2014, Washington: NEA.
O’Hagan, J. (2016) Objectives of arts funding agencies often do not map well on to societal benefits, Cultural Trends, 25(4), 249-262, DOI: 10.1080/09548963.2016.1241343.
Radbourne, J., Johanson, K. & Glow, H. (2010). Empowering audiences to measure quality, Participations: Journal of audience & reception studies, 7(2), 360-379.
United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) (2006). Agenda 21 for Culture. Barcelona: UCLG. Retrieved from http://www.agenda21culture.net/index.php/docman/agenda21/212-ag21en/file
Walmsley, B. (2013) ‘”A big part of my life”: a qualitative study of the impact of theatre’. Arts Marketing: An International Journal 3:1. 73-87. https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/20442081311327174
White, T & Hede, A, 2008, Using narrative inquiry to explore the impact of arts on individuals, The journal of arts management, law and society, 38, 1, 19-35.