Measuring the Values of Culture

IGCAT’s Director, in her role as IFACCA’s European coordinator represented IFACCA during a two days Satellite meeting for policy makers and funders in Brussels on 17 and 18 February 2015.  The Meeting, organised by IETM and Flanders Arts Institute aimed to gather representatives of Ministries of Culture and Arts Councils from Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia. The discussion focused on the different models for measuring and demonstrating the values of culture and its impacts on societies, as well as the role of such measurements on informing national cultural policies.

The meeting asked: how we can answer increasing demands for measurable evidence of the value of culture while enhancing a vibrant climate for the arts? Different models exist in various countries to measure the value and the impact of the arts and culture on society: some models are based strictly on data, others are more qualitative; some focus on economy, others encompass a broader scope of impacts. So how do the arts contribute to societies? If impacts are measured, how do the results influence national cultural policies, if at all? And, who should measure the impacts: the funder, the artist or both?

On Tuesday 17 February, an open-house keynote speech will be given by Pascal Gielen (Belgium) entitled: Evidence based or commons based? And following this, Diane Dodd from IFACCA, moderated a panel discussion with Mieke Van Hecke (Belgium); Abigail Gilmore, Manchester University (UK); Péter Inkei, Budapest Observatory (Hungary) and Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts Foundation (Spain).

On Wednesday 18 February, Diane Dodd  introduced the day with key questions and examples, then invited presentations of models for evaluating and monitoring arts practices from Wendy Were, Australia Council for the Arts, Laurien Saraber, FPK – Fund for the Performing Arts (the Netherlands) and Madeline Ritter, Tanzfonds Erbe (Germany).

If you are interested in this subject areas, IFACCA has a notable resource section on its website related to arts advocacy tools.  Many of IFACCA’s members have published reports on relevant areas of evaluation for example, heath and the arts, or sport and culture etc. Besides being directed to these resource tools, attendees at the meeting also received a copy of the IFACCA Fact Sheet on Arts Advocacy prior to the meeting.


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