Measuring the intrinsic impacts of arts attendance

Alan S. Brown, Jennifer L. Novak-Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Understanding the value of the arts to individuals, families and communities has long been a query for policy-makers and researchers. At the core of the value system is how individuals are affected and transformed by virtue of participating. Individual arts experiences are the building blocks upon which the larger outcomes of the arts, such as social cohesion and cognitive development, are constructed. Tools for effectively measuring how art affects audiences, however, are just being explored. Anecdotal stories of impact provide helpful information. But as arts groups are called upon to provide more rigorous evidence of the impacts of their artistic programmes, a more systematic measurement approach is needed to convey the intrinsic value of their work. This article reviews initial exploratory research and subsequent research undertaken over the past six years to better understand how art affects audiences, and to develop reliable and replicable measurement approaches. The research has yielded a more nuanced, but still emergent, understanding of the emotional, intellectual, social and aesthetic constructs of intrinsic impact, methods of measuring them, and insight into the limitations and applications of this work for policy-makers and arts practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalCultural Trends
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • affect measurement
  • arts benefits
  • audience experience
  • customer satisfaction
  • intrinsic impact
  • public value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring the intrinsic impacts of arts attendance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this