Context for Research
At ArtsWave, we believe that the arts contribute significantly to the quality of life in our community.
In 2008, we released the Arts Ripple Effect, a research report that revealed key shared beliefs about the impact of the arts in our community. In 2010, we committed to an expanded mission and new grant-making policy that aligned with these shared beliefs. In 2011, we began working with Greater Cincinnati’s arts organizations and local and national resources to gather data that demonstrated the impact of the arts. Portrait 2012: Arts Engagement in Greater Cincinnati is the first fruits of these new efforts in arts research, commissioned in partnership with Agenda 360, the region’s strategic plan.
Snapshot 2012: A Study of Arts Engagement in Greater Cincinnati
Our research efforts begin with arts engagement because we believe that the arts create a ripple effect of benefits for everyone living in our region and that the more people that participate, the greater the benefits to all. Snapshot 2012 provides baseline data on arts participation and explores interrelationships between arts participation and quality of life. The strong correlation between arts engagement, social integration and civic engagement reinforces the key ideas contained in The Arts Ripple Effect: the arts bring people together and make our community a better place to live.
Snapshot 2012 paints a picture of a community that is actively engaged in the arts. That engagement takes many forms from attending concerts by professional musicians to singing in a church choir, visiting museums to dancing at a club with friends. By looking at over 49 different types of arts engagement, we get a more complete vision of the cultural life of our region and discover patterns of behavior that suggest new ways to bring people together through the arts. We also see how much our community values the quality experiences provided by our professional arts organizations. Greater Cincinnati can be justly proud of its arts and cultural assets – a collective investment that has returned dividends to the entire region for over a century.
Finally, Snapshot 2012 reveals opportunities to increase arts engagement among key groups in order to ensure that the benefits of the arts are broadly shared throughout the region. Work must be done to remove barriers to participation, change unhelpful perceptions, and leverage emerging technologies. By encouraging innovation from our arts partners and measuring our progress, ArtsWave fuels a future that places the Greater Cincinnati region among the best in the nation for thriving, connected communities.
The Arts Ripple Effect: A Research-Based Strategy to Build Shared Responsibility for the Arts
In late 2008, leaders of ArtsWave in Cincinnati embarked on a year-long research initiative designed to develop an inclusive community dialogue leading to broadly shared public responsibility for arts and culture in the region.
We concluded that our work with the community through arts and culture must be based on a foundation that incorporates a deeper understanding of the best way to communicate with the public in order to achieve that shared sense of responsibility.
This report summarizes more than a year of work and important findings for widespread use by others. While leaders of business and other nonprofit sectors often conduct research using framing science methodology to develop communications strategies for change, this is a first-in-the-nation analysis for arts and culture.
Our research led us to expand our mission and make important changes to our grantmaking process. In 2011 and 2012, we developed a new ArtsWave Community Impact Agenda and Program Theory which led us to make our first round of Impact Grants. Read more about our Impact Grants here.
SELECTED MEDIA COVERAGE AND REVIEWS
Our report continues to receive media coverage around the country.
Read selected examples of the coverage
SUMMARY FOR DOWNLOAD
Americans for the Arts' Member Newsletter: Research Summary
Download the article (PDF)
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President & CEO