The arts contributes to New Zealand's economic, cultural and social well-being.
We know and have proof the arts:
And the arts…
The research and reports below will be regularly updated. We would also welcome your additions to this research. If you see something of interest please let us know. We will review it for inclusion in the toolkit.
If you are using information from these documents be sure to reproduce it correctly and credit the report and the author/s.
The arts sector creates jobs, generates household income, supports tourism and contributes to the economic development of towns, cities and regions. Read the evidence:
The UK’s creative industries:
British films, music, video games, crafts and publishing are taking a lead role in driving the UK’s economic recovery.
Prepared by the UK’s Ministry for culture, media and sport.
Cultural activity contributes $50 billion to Australia’s GDP, including $4.2 billion from the arts, and 38% of international tourists to Australia in 2013/14 engaged in arts tourism, which is an increase of 19% in the past four years.
The report provides an overview of the arts in Australia also including information on Australians’ experience of the arts, interest in indigenous arts and the diversity the artist population.
Prepared by the Australia Council for the Arts
Forty Wellington arts and culture organisations together generated $141.5 million of expenditure within the region over 12 months. This spending supported 2,041 jobs, provided $58.4 million in direct household income and a further $83 million in operating, marketing and facilities expenditure.
Prepared by Angus and Associates for Arts Wellington, December 2010
The arts industry in the USA generated $135.2 billion of economic activity in 2010. This is made-up of $61.1 billion from not-for-profit arts and culture organisations and $74.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. This economic activity supports 4.1 million full-time jobs and generates $22.3 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments annually, a yield well beyond their collective $4 billion in arts allocations.
Arts & Economic Prosperity IV is a study of the not-for-profit arts and culture industry’s impact on the US economy with all 50 states represented. In the context of the economic challenges the US faced in 2010, the results are impressive.
Prepared for Americans for the Arts, 2010
The Australian live music industry injected $1.21 billion into the national economy in 12 months in 2009/10 through spending on ticket sales, food and drink.
Other key findings:
Prepared for the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) by Ernst & Young, September 2011
Businesses in the UK arts and culture industry generated an aggregate turnover of £12.4 billion in 2011.
Other key findings:
Prepared for Arts Council England and the National Museums Directors’ Council by Centre for Economics and Business Research, May 2013
Children who participate in or are exposed to the arts are better motivated, engage more in class and have greater self-esteem.
Read the evidence:
Students who participate in dance, drama, music, and visual arts perform better academically and have greater well-being than students who do not.
The study followed 643 primary and high school students from 15 Australian schools, tracking their academic achievements and personal well-being over two years. Active participation, rather an being an observer or audience member, also yielded stronger positive effects on school and personal wellbeing outcomes in the study.
By Martin, A. et al, Aug 2013
Students who participate in the arts perform better in mathematics and literacy than students who do not receive art instruction. Primary school aged students, in particular, who participate in structured arts activities had higher academic attainment outcomes than those that did not. Young people overall who participated in the arts made greater progress in developing creativity.
This is based on in-depth reviews examining research that measured impacts quantitatively and attempted to establish cause and effect relationships between arts and sporting engagement and their outcomes.
Prepared for the Culture and Sport Evidence Programme by Newman, M. et al, 2010
Social music education:
These findings are outlined in a report evaluating Sistema Aotearoa, a social music programme run in primary schools in a lower socio-economic community of South Auckland. The study shows Sistema Aotearoa is making a difference in the lives of the children and the families participating in the programme. There is promising early evidence of the potential longer term outcomes being realised for the children, their families, as well as the wider community. Given sufficient time and resources, indications are that Sistema Aotearoa will have a long-lasting and transformative influence on the lives of participating children, their families as well as the wider community.
Sistema Aotearoa is based on the El Sistema model, initiated in Venezuela in 1975 and now one of the world’s most successful youth development and social transformation movements. El Sistema is a graduated system of music instruction for classical orchestral music.
Prepared for Sistema Aotearoa by Kate McKegg, Alicia Crocket, Debbie Goodwin, Pale Sauni. December 2015
Contributions of learning in the arts to educational, social and economic outcomes
A review of international and New Zealand research into how a range of artforms improve the educational outcomes for school students.
This review focuses on all the arts disciplines included in The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) and TeMarautanga o Aotearoa (Ministry of Education, 2008), with a particular focus on music education as requested by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. It draws on widely-cited international examples such as the Champions of Change (Fiske, 1999) and Critical Links (Deasy, 2002), and a range of other literature.
By Rachel Bolstad, New Zealand Council for Educational Research
A broader arts education, through school or the community, can foster critical thinking, social skills and motivation to learn so students are better equipped to enter the workforce. A more highly skilled workforce is consistently associated with improved economic outcomes.
Read the evidence:
Students participating in the arts are more likely to graduate high school and have the skills and capabilities to succeed in the workforce.
Other key findings:
This study of high school students was the first to look at the relationship between school-based arts education and high school graduation rates in New York City public schools.
Prepared for The Centre for Arts Education by Israel, D. 2009
The arts nurture the innovative thinking of science and technology entrepreneurs. Graduates majoring in science, technology, engineering and maths recognise that the arts develop skills and creative ways of thinking they need to develop their professional problem-solving ability. The arts foster creativity and innovation that will drive the formation of highly skilled and well-paying jobs.
This study of Michigan State University science and technology graduates between 1990-1995, suggests that disposing of the arts may have negative consequences for the country’s ability to produce innovative scientists and engineers who invent patentable products and found new companies.
By LaMore, R. et al, 2013
The arts are frequently used in health recovery. Engaging with the arts can reduce stress and anxiety. The arts can have positive affect on peoples’ mental health by enabling self-expression and communication.
Read the evidence:
There is evidence from quantitative and qualitative studies that participating in the arts can improve self-esteem, confidence, social connections, and overall quality of life. There is also some evidence that people who participate in singing or dance have better physical health and are better able to cope with physical pain.
This review of literature from the past ten years gives an overview of the contribution that participation in the arts can make for individual health and wellbeing.
Prepared for Pegasus Health Charitable Ltd by Bidwell, S., 2014
This review of the medical literature between 1990 and 2004 found that the arts made a contribution to:
The review aimed to strengthen anecdotal and qualitative information about the impact of the arts on health. Although the therapeutic effects of the arts are recognised, it is only in recent years that there have been systematic and controlled studies of these effects.
Prepared for Arts Council England by Staricoff, R. 2004
This document draws together research evidence on the effect of the arts on employment, education, health, criminal justice and regeneration. It notes there are many claims about the positive effect of the arts and culture. Some claims are well supported by evidence, while others are less so. The does not mean that the effects do not occur, but that some effects have been more rigorously researched or evidenced than others. This document calls for more research into the transformational effects of the arts on individuals and outlines ways of strengthening the existing evidence base.
Prepared for Arts Council England, 2004
Specially tailored singing exercises significantly improve daytime sleepiness and reduce snoring. Singing improves the tone and strength of pharyngeal muscles, thereby reducing their tendency to collapse during sleep - one of prime factors in snoring and sleep apnoea.
This is based on a study involving a self-guided singing instruction programme, performed over a 3 month period by patients with a range of severity of snoring problems.
By M. P. Hilton, J. Savage, B. Hunter, S. McDonald, C. Repanos and R. Powell, 2013
This Scottish population study found people that -
By Leadbetter, C. and O’Connor, N., Commonwealth Games, Culture and Sport Analysis, Scottish Government, August 2013.
The arts improve personal well-being by:
Read the evidence:
A new survey commissioned by Arts Council England reveals that engaging with arts and cultural activities helps older people improve their well-being by helping to combat loneliness.
Older people (aged 65+) in the United Kingdom value arts and culture with:
More than half of older people (52%) say they attend or participate less in arts and cultural activity now than in their teenage years. Better access to venues and having someone to go with are key ways encourage attendance from this age group.
Poll of older people aged 65+ about arts and culture
By ComRes, January 2016
Lost without it - arts and culture for older people YouTube video, 2.28 (mins.secs)
Two hours a week of arts activity makes a measurable improvement in how people feel. This Australian study is a first attempt to quantify a ‘minimum dose’ for arts activity as an everyday prescription for well-being.
While many studies have shown the positive effects of the arts on mental and physical health, this study shows how much arts activity is needed to make a difference. It also looked at the well-being scores of the general population rather people specifically using art as therapy.
When a person does on average two hours of arts activity each week (more than 100 hours in a year) there is a clear correlation on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, (WEMWBS). The study is based on a telephone survey of a random sample of 702 Western Australian adults aged 18+ years.
By BMC Public Health, January 2016
Lost without it, Arts and culture for older people - YouTube video, 2:28 (mins:secs)
By Arts Council England
Australians think the arts enrich their lives and are important in the lives of their children. This independent study provides insight into how Australians participate in the arts. It compares shifting attitudes and trends by benchmarking the 2013 findings against those from 2009.
Other key findings:
Prepared for the Australia Council by Instinct and Reason, May 2014
In 2006 the Arts Council England’s arts debate was the first inquiry into the public value of the arts. This report describes the types of individuals and organisations which took part in the debate and explores their roles, motivations and expectations as they relate to the arts. It identifies some of the shared views and values that emerged during the inquiry.
Prepared for Arts Council England by Bunting, C. 2007
Active participation in the arts provides six important individual and social benefits:
By Matarasso, F. 1997
Arts activities are second only to ‘love-making and intimacy’ when it comes to increasing individual happiness. Love-making and intimacy raise happiness by about 14% (relative to not doing this activity), Theatre, dance and concerts are second, raising happiness by 9%; exhibitions, museums and libraries are third raising happiness by about 9%; and singing and performing are sixth at 7%. Sports and gardening activities are fourth and fifth at 8%.
Using a smartphone app ‘Mappiness’ individuals recorded their wellbeing at random points of time. Researchers captured more than a million observations on tens of thousands of individuals in the UK. The primary focus of the research was to consider the effects of work on happiness and relaxation. Leisure activities were captured as a comparison to work.
By Bryson, A. and MacKerron, G. 2013
Visiting museums, participating in the arts and being an audience makes people healthier and happier. Valuation headline figures in the UK show:
By Fujiwara, D., London School of Economics and Political Science, April 2013
Artistic practice is associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, a positive self-image, less anxiety about change, a more tolerant and open approach to diverse others, and, in some cases, less focus on materialistic values and the acquisition of goods. Not only is there a positive relationship between artistic practice and well-being, but this relationship is strengthened with increased frequency of participation.
Using three national data sets, this study examined the correlation between artistic practice and well-being amongst a representative sample of adults, undergraduates arts students and arts graduates.
By Tepper, S. 2014
Cities or regions which provide many opportunities to engage with the arts attract individuals who are more likely to contribute to economic growth. There is a positive link between the regional concentration of highly skilled, talented individuals and higher economic growth.
Read the evidence
Richard Florida introduces the ‘Creative Class’ and describes a society in which the creative ethos is becoming dominant as people start to work and live like artists and scientists. This means values and tastes, personal relationships, choices of where to live, and even use of time are changing. Leading the shift are the nearly 38 million Americans in many diverse fields who create for a living.
By Florida, R. 2002
Larger concentrations of people in the Creative Class makes a greater contribution to regional growth. These individuals are attracted to cities and regions where there are ample opportunities to engage with the arts.
By Mellander, C. and Florida, R. 2011
In regions where there are more people in the Creative Class there is greater employment growth and entrepreneurship. The study analyses the regional distribution and economic effect of the Creative Class on 500 regions in seven European countries.
By Boschma, R. A. and Fritsch, M. 2009
Creative placemaking looks at communities where arts and culture exist cheek-by-jowl with private sector and retail businesses and mixed-income housing. Creative placemaking fosters economic development by:
Four USA-based case studies are investigated as examples of successfully creative placemaking.
By Markusen, A. and Gadwa, A. 2010
The arts can help with neighbourhood renewal. In communities officially described as deprived, communication is always a challenge. Artists in deprived communities are able to use their creativity and imagination to give deprived communities a view of a different future. The arts do not offer a magic potion, but they can question beliefs and ambitions and help individuals and communities take a new direction.
The report provides key facts drawn from case studies showing that the arts supports personal development, builds stronger communities, increases employment and skills, reduces crime and improves health.
Prepared for Arts Council England by Shaw, P. May 2003
The arts have a powerful inﬂuence on society. They communicate ideas, dramatise issues and inspire action, which are all crucial to a thriving democracy. People who engage with the arts are more likely to engage in positive civic behaviours, such as voting or volunteer work. This in turn leads to improvements in the broader welfare of society.
Read the evidence
US research has found that students who engage with arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer and 20% more likely to vote as young adults. This report collates research from the UK and US which identifies the benefits of all children and young people being able to access and enjoy the arts.
The Arts and Civic Engagement: Involved in Arts, involved in life (USA)
Arts participation correlates with positive individual and civic behaviours. People who read books, visit museums, attend theatre and engage in other arts are more active in community life than those who do not. It suggests that when an individual actively engages in the arts a heightened sense of identity and civic awareness is awakened. Art is not escapism but an invitation to activism.
Prepared for the National Endowment for the Arts, 2006
The arts helped to facilitate and demand a community response to the AIDS epidemic. The study focused on the work of ACT UP, which was formed by AIDS activist/playwright Larry Kramer to take direct action in response to the AIDS crisis. It shows how ACT UP used art – in particular, the symbols and strategies for conveying messages.
By Petty, M. 1997
The arts help people connect with their community and enable communities to be more inclusive.
Read the evidence:
New immigrants who participate in arts activities build social networks faster. They more readily gain the confidence and skills needed to improve their life circumstances in their new home. Art is used to portray their culture in a way that helps others better understand and accept their differences.
The study describes five ways the arts can create social inclusion:
Prepared for The William Penn Foundation by Stern, M. J. and Seifert, S. C. 2010
The arts provide a means to be entertained, celebrate commonalities and differences, express individuality, feel a sense of attachment and experience artistic expression. This report examines the relationship between reading books, attending live performances, visiting art galleries and attending movie theatres with other social phenomena:
Because many factors affect the social indicators examined in the report, it does not claim to be definitive. However, some statistics do show a relationship between some cultural activities and positive social engagement.
Prepared for the Canada Council for the Arts by Hill Strategies Research, 2008
Participation in the arts affects people in the following ways:
This is a study of arts projects involving participants from socially excluded groups or in socially excluded communities.
Prepared for Arts Council England by Helen Jermyn, July 2004
The arts can reduce crime and reoffending.
Arts programmes run for convicted offenders in custodial and community settings can:
Arts-based resettlement programmes have had some success in routing ex-offenders into training and employment by helping them to develop a range of personal and social skills which increase employability as well as facilitating the acquisition of formally
accredited educational skills and qualifications.
This study assesses the impact of arts projects run for offenders by the voluntary and community sector in 2003
By Hughes, J. 2003
The majority of New Zealanders attend or participate in the arts and agree that the arts contribute to New Zealand’s economy. Most New Zealanders believe the arts should receive public funding and that their local council should support the arts in their communities.
Read the evidence
New Zealanders are positive about the arts with 88% agreeing that the arts good for you and 82% agreeing the arts help improve New Zealand society.
Other key findings:
Prepared for Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa, 2014