This section contains research that looks at the impact of arts and culture. You can use this information when advocating for the value of culture, when compiling funding applications or thinking about how you add value to your communities.

The studies summarised here mostly document the impacts on individuals who engage in arts and culture in some way. A few studies also look at the wider impacts on society as a whole. The best evidence we have on the benefits of cultural engagement is to be found in the education and health and wellbeing sections.

The Impacts section of CultureCase is divided into the following categories:

intrinsic impacts

educational impacts

economic impacts

neighbourhood impacts

health and wellbeing impacts

environmental impacts

international impacts

other social impacts

The summaries in this category are:

Playing music and singing can help your immune system

This research was conducted by Dawn Kuhn at Williamette University, USA


This paper reports a study which tested whether or not musical activity supports the immune system. The research found that playing music or singing has a much greater effect on supporting the immune system than simply listening to live …

By | 9 December 2013 |

Music lessons boost children's self-esteem

This research was conducted by Eugenia Costa-Giomi at the University of Texas at Austin, USA


The study looked at 117 nine year olds in Montreal, Canada who were not from privileged backgrounds. Half were given a piano at home and music lessons for three years; the other half constituted a …

By | 9 December 2013 |

Intensive visual arts education improves children's creativity and self-efficacy

This research was conducted by James S. Catterall and Kylie A. Peppler at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA


The study looked at 179 students aged nine and 10 in Los Angeles and St Louis, USA who received ‘sustained, arts-rich instructional experiences’ led by two visual arts institutions in …

By | 9 December 2013 |

Drama helps students work better in groups and solve problems

This research was conducted by James S. Catterall at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA


This paper describes an experiment conducted with children using drama to enhance the acquisition of a range of social skills. The results showed that students who participated in the programme had significantly increased perceptions …

By | 9 December 2013 |

The arts help people form diverse friendship groups

This research was conducted by Mike Owen Benediktsson at Hunter College, CUNY, USA


The paper explores the degree to which people with high levels of arts engagement form ethnically diverse friendship networks. The paper presents the results of a study that analysed data from a survey of college students in …

By | 5 December 2013 |

Cultural engagement can bring you psychological wellbeing

This research was conducted by Enzo Grossi, Giorgio Tavano Blessi,  Pier Luigi Sacco, Massimo Buscema at the Bracco Medical Department, IULM University, Free University, Bozen and the Semeion Research Centre, Italy


The data for this study came from a survey of a representative sample of 1,500 Italian adults that …

By | 5 December 2013 |