Art and Culture in Communities: A Framework for Measurement

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Resource Details
Maria Rosario Jackson, Joaquin Harranz

Based on several years of field research in communities around the U.S., this six-page brief presents an insightful framework for better capturing and measuring arts, culture, and creative expression at the neighborhood level. Based on Urban Institute's in-depth work in this area over many years, the brief outlines four principles that guide this work on arts and culture in community building: (1) definitions of art, culture, and creativity depend on the cultural values, preferences, and realities of residents and other stakeholders in a given community; (2) the concept of participation includes a wide array of ways in which people engage in arts, culture, and creative expression; (3)arts culture, and creative expression are infused with multiple meanings and purposes simultaneously; and (4) opportunities for participation in art, culture, and creative endeavor often rely on both arts-specific and non-arts-specific resources. The brief also discusses four domains essential to understanding community cultural conditions and dynamics: presence of opportunities for cultural engagement, cultural participation, impacts of participation, and systems of support for cultural expression. [Summary adapted from Urban Institute's website.]

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