Real value of the arts

11-07-2018 by admin

FRIDAYMay13was a dark day for 62 arts organisations around Australia as the impactsof the last year’s changes to the Federal funding model for the Australia Council for the Artsbecame apparent. One of the organisations to lose funding is Ausdance, the group thatsupported the wonderful Jerdacuttup community production, Wheels of Fortune, a coupleof years ago.
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It is often difficult to measure and articulate the benefits of investing in arts projects andarts-based community development in ways that make sense within economically drivenmodels. Alongside education and health services, the arts can contribute to individual andcommunity wellbeing at a number of levels. Those of us involved in the arts industrysee and experience the benefits of arts participation on a daily basis, butquantifying those intrinsic social and cultural benefits in economic terms is complicated.Many organsations are trying hard to do so nonetheless.A recent report produced byCommunity Arts Network WA about investment in theirStrong Culture, StrongCommunitiesprogram in Narrogin reports that for every $1 of investment they were able todemonstrate a return of $18.58 in social, environmental and economic outcomes (CAN WA2016, Summary Report of SROI Anlaysis).

How do we measure the benefits of the networks andconnections madethrough participation in a community workshop or volunteer involvement in running a retail space for local artists? How do we report on the inspiration gained fromlooking at exhibitions? Or the feelings ofsatisfactionassociated with the creation of a community kitchen garden or a public artwork that reflects hours of planning and hard work by a teamof local artists working together?

We know the arts also provide considerable economic benefits interms of employment opportunities, tourism, retail, production costs and all the otheraspects of commercial creative industries, but many benefits are intangible when it comes to calculating the economic returns on investment. Itwould be interesting to knowhow many volunteer hours and in-kind contributions go into every project that receives public funding or sponsorship. Can youlist these inputs for a recent project you have been involved inand the outcomes thatmade those investments so valuable? We would love to hear your story.

For more information on artsgroups and eventsor to sign up to our monthlye-newsletter, callEsperance Community Arts on 9072 1158,[email protected] ancecommunityarts.org备案老域名, orvisit 67 Dempster Street.

Community art: Artist Julie Haddrick recently ran a free textile workshop at Esperance Community Arts Space which was attended by about 30 people.

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