How do we understand, measure and express the value of the arts? What contribution do the arts make to society, the economy, health and wellbeing, education, innovation and civic life?
The Arts Value Forum at the Canberra Theatre Centre brought together leading experts and practitioners in health, economics, culture and the arts to explore these questions—including Culture Counts CEO Michael Chappell.
In her keynote presentation, Kate Fielding, Board Member of Australia Council for the Arts and Chair of Regional Arts Australia, referenced the National Arts Participation survey, which indicated that 98% of Australians engage with arts and culture. Fielding concluded that much of this engagement must be happening outside major cities if one in three Australians live in regional areas. Making the case for arts and culture, she cited the arts as one of the best tools to build an appreciation of diversity and allow us to engage with profound differences.
In his presentation on evaluating impact, Michael Chappell illuminated how rigorous metrics can sit alongside rich anecdotes to create a powerful value story for the arts. His talk showed how data can be used to capture the social, civic, economic and environmental impact of cultural activities.
Michael also participated in a final panel conversation, with a focus on evaluating the social impact of the arts. Chaired by Dr Natasha Cica, Director and CEO of Heide Museum of Modern Art, the panel comprised speakers Gordon Ramsay, Minister for the Arts and Community Events; Don Bemrose, Opera Singer, actor and teacher; and Yasmin Masri, interdisciplinary artist, designer and creative producer.