Arts Indicators for Local Government

2007 – 2014

The Cultural Development Network is developing a framework for measuring the contribution of the arts in the local government context. An early forum on this topic was convened by CDN and led by indicators expert Mike Salvaris in 2007.

A report from that event is available here.

In 2010, two discussion groups with local government managers and interested others were held to assist CDN in refining the ideas.  At the first roundtable discussion, the group confirmed that:

  • local government arts staff think that a framework of arts indicators would be useful
  • there are a variety of uses that people might put such a framework to, including advocacy, measuring change over time, comparing between areas or contexts, planning and policy making
  • that regulatory frameworks for local government (such as the Essential Services Commission framework being developed) should include arts indicators, along with all other aspects of local government’s work.

The second discussion group considered what such a framework of indicators contain and what data could be used. Amendments as a result of these discussion will be included in next version of the paper.

CDN’s Program Manager Kim Dunphy made a presentation on this framework at the International Conference for Cultural Policy, in Jyvaskyla Finland in August 2010.

Download her presentation / Listen to the talk

These papers were developed to stimulate discussion;

Part A:  an international literature review on cultural and arts indicators, focussing on local government
Part B: draft framework of arts indicators for local government, part 1 2

The paper and framework is being further developed in response to these discussions and comments from other readers. CDN welcomes your response and suggestions for improvement. Please send to

Article on related topic:
How can the impact of cultural development work in local government be measured? Towards more effective planning and evaluation strategies
Kim Dunphy, Local-Global journal,  ReGenerating Community: Arts, community and governance,
volume 7, 2010