Enhancing Participation in the Arts in the EU: Challenges and Methods



In this book, participation in the arts is analyzed as a substantial contributory factor to European citizenship, and also as a tool for improving individual and societal wellbeing through educational and inclusive policies. It offers an up-to-date overview of ongoing research on the measurement and analysis of, and prospects for, traditional and new forms of cultural engagement in Europe. It describes and assesses available methods and participation in the arts and seeks to determine how and to what extent the various drivers, policies and barriers matter. This publication is the final output of the work done by the members of the EU Project “Assessing effective tools to enhance cultural participation,” which brought together social scientists and cultural practitioners in joint projects, conferences and seminars, to reflect on the current situation and the challenges faced by managers of cultural and arts institutions and cultural policy makers.

Chapters (25)

This paper is devoted to establishing why reliable internationally comparable statistics on cultural participation are needed. It addresses the major and various difficulties that arise in comparing national surveys, both over time and to each other. It considers the problems that persist even with cross-national surveys for comparative purposes. Section 5 will conclude the paper with some policy recommendations.
This chapter provides an overview of the primary sources of statistical information available on cultural participation as well as some research over the last two decades. We start by presenting alternative sources of information: official statistics provided by the Spanish National Statistics Office and by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (or by the former Ministry of Culture), and international, national public opinion surveys, and regional statistics. We proceed reviewing research using the aforementioned information. We also identify some areas that deserve future attention, and conclude with a discussion of comparative issues and policy recommendations.
Over the last two decades, cultural participation has vastly changed its modes and contents. Its measurement is undergoing a thorough revision by relevant institutions, such as UNESCO and Eurostat. Today, studies on cultural participation focus today on the conscious nature of the phenomenon, and on the complex and interrelated information, communication, community, enjoyment, expression and transaction aspects. The blurred distinction between consumers and producers, the relevance of new ICTs and the easy access by virtually anyone to unprecedented amounts of cultural material, all require to be taken into serious consideration by researchers. The Italian National Statistical Institute surveys, covering over 50,000 individuals, represent an interesting case for study purposes and more so in view of the future challenges.
The socioeconomic composition of attendance at the arts has interested researchers and policy-makers for decades, with marked differences in attendance by social class, particularly educational level, persisting over time. Drawing on the 2012 US Public Participation in the Arts survey, and to a lesser extent a 2013 Eurobarometer survey, this chapter outlines attendance by educational level at arts events; and then considers differences by educational level in active participation in the arts. Such active participation includes attendance at classes in for example music or painting or dance, or creating art experiences at home or elsewhere. The reasons for the uneven pattern of attendance are then discussed and the article concludes with a short discussion of why these patterns have persisted for so long and the possible general policy implications.
While survey results are always subject to measurement error, it is generally assumed that surveys of cultural participation are no less accurate than surveys in other areas of social science. The present chapter casts doubt on this assumption via a cautionary tale of events that befell an established national survey in Ireland. An organisational change led the survey to be conducted via the same method but using a different set of interviewers. The result was a surprising and dramatic increase in the headline figures, which related to participation in sport, both active and social. Subsequent data pointed to a systematic relationship between the decision to participate in the different surveys and in the activity being measured. The implication is that surveys of cultural participation may be subject to a specific form of selection bias. Furthermore, the effect size reported here suggests that this bias may be discomfortingly large.
This study investigates the problem of cultural participation in economically and socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods. It aims at ascertaining if and how arts can contribute to reduce the problems of social inclusion and foster urban regeneration. The analysis provides a comparative overview of different types of private supply of cultural goods, which are investigated with respect to their effectiveness in accomplishing these goals. Past experiences in the disadvantaged areas of the city of Catania are then used as a case study to identify critical aspects of each investigated form of private supply and to derive general suggestions for the design of public policies.
Entrainment to music seems ubiquitous in human cultures. The impact of musical features on individuals has already been explored extensively in music theory, anthropology and psychology. In contrast, it is a relatively new field in neuroscience. Recently, a wave of neuroscience research has grown up exploring the interaction with music in both human and non-human brains, and in evolutionary terms. This chapter briefly reviews some of the biological evidence of music processing, particularly focusing on how the human brain interacts with musical rhythm. The neural entrainment to musical rhythm is proposed as a model particularly well-suited to address objectively, within an experimental set up, how biological rules shape music perception within a limited range of complexity. However, these limits are not fixed. Other aspects such as familiarity, culture, training and context continuously shape brain responses to rhythms and to music in general. Taken together, these studies propose answers to the question of how natural and cultural constraints shape each other, building a vivid motor of aesthetic evolution.
Descriptive statistics on musical consumption from recent surveys on cultural consumption in France show that the typical audience of classical music and opera consists of older, better educated, and of higher social status people than average cultural consumers. It is also located in the largest cities, with Parisians having a clear edge. Explanatory power of these factors is even stronger when people are asked about their taste or distaste for serious contemporary music, with the three factors of high social status, high educational level and strong musical background working together in combination to explain a propensity for contemporary music attendance. In the same time, listening to new music inherently involves a high potential for dissatisfaction. Two types of ensembles and festivals perform and promote new music: the ‘fostering invention’ type and the ‘mixing new with established contemporary music’ type. Audience of the first type is best described as consisting of stakeholders. The ultimate hope of the second type institutions is to reach lay audience. Based on two surveys of the audience of the InterContemporain Ensemble, one of the most important European organisations in the distribution of modern and contemporary music, the paper shows that lay audience displays loyalty to this highly demanding musical consumption only if it is able to supply ascetic benevolence in order to factor in the high potential for dissatisfaction with works of uncertain and variable value.
The main aims of this chapter are to identify different groups of music consumers and to analyse the relation between the observed diversity of musical consumption and the socio-economic characteristics of its audiences. This information is essential for producers and cultural practitioners as well as for public agencies whose purpose is encouraging cultural consumption and promoting certain types of music. Using cluster analysis based on the 2011 Survey on Spanish Habits and Cultural Practices (SHCP-2011), we identify 12 distinct classes of music listeners and obtain a detailed classification of music consumers. As expected, education and age are the main determinants of consumption. Hence, education and childhood exposure to music could prove to be important instruments for improving music demand especially if they are focused on personal enjoyment and satisfaction rather than on the more formal aspects of music.
This paper examines the Italian theatre market from both the demand and supply side. The descriptive analysis shows that the Italian theatre market is, mainly, localized in the Northern and Central Italian regions for both patrons and companies, confirming a cultural divide between the Southern and the rest of the Italian regions also in the theatrical sector. Like many other European countries, the performing arts in Italy are subsided by public funds through the so-called Fondo Unico per lo Spettacolo (FUS), thereby influencing theatre performance and attendance. As expected, the distribution of the FUS follows the localization of the theatrical companies. The empirical analysis is conducted using 34-year panel data (1980-2013) for the 20 Italian regions. By applying the seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) estimation technique, we identify the factors influencing theatre demand and supply. The estimated results confirm as determinants of theatre demand, price and consumer income and additionally, cultural capital (proxied by education), substitute goods (such as cinema) and other contextual factors (such as tourists flows and territorial area). In contrast, theatre supply is influenced by income, previous historical attendance, theatrical employment, and other contextual factors linked to territorial and public subsidies.
The aim of this chapter is to analyze cinema consumption and commercial flows in Europe and contribute to the debate regarding the existence, health and perspectives of a European Film Market. On the one hand, looking at attendance, national and foreign market shares and Top Films, we have identified a general decrease in terms of admissions and some evidence of a common taste among European countries clearly linked to Hollywood products. Hence, the European cinema industry must face these common tastes as a weakness rather than strength. On the other hand, in terms of commercial flows, we have carried out a cluster analysis to identify those films that display similar performances in foreign markets. Movies filmed in English, with a higher budget and distributed by a Hollywood major have a higher probability of achieving better commercial results overseas. Beyond this Hollywood dominance, the European Film Industry needs to consolidate national and EU policies encouraged by a European vision in order to take advantage of economies of scale in the financing and distribution of films as well as building up European conscientiousness and tastes among cinemagoers.
This chapter provides an overview of the different approaches used to determine the location and size of cultural facilities that benefit local residents. Recent research demonstrates the importance of the causal relationship between the existence of cultural facilities and location choices of home seekers in urban areas. We focus on the determinants of the spatial location of cultural institutions and on how a fixed allocation of cultural facilities may affect the economic behaviour of individuals. We believe that the need exists for an in-depth analysis of the ways in which geographic environments and the characteristics of government institutions influence consumers and producers of cultural facilities. To increase our understanding of cultural evolution, these elements should be studied from interrelated perspectives.
This chapter looks at the objectives that museums want to reach in terms of public, not only quantitative increases but also qualitative improvements, and suggest methods that could be used to achieve them (mediation, accessibility, new technologies). Spain is taken as an example, but this should apply to any museum.
Cultural heritage governance is undergoing a change related to the roles of the public and private sector and the assessment of heritage as an instrument to achieve broader aims, in terms of social, cultural and economic development as the Council of Europe stated in its 2005 Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society. These changes have also characterised the Italian institutional framework where the law introduced a series of norms allowing different degrees of involvement of the private sector in the management of heritage sites and museums and/or of the ‘ancillary’ services necessary to favour their fruition (ticket sales, bookshop, cafeteria). The changes in the law facilitated the introduction of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the heritage sphere, and examples of these are becoming more common. This paper considers one of these cases, where a private organisation, specifically a non-profit association—Officine Culturali—cooperates with a public institution—the University of Catania—to realise the activities necessary to enhance a heritage site which hosts one of the university’s departments and is included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. The association stands out for its focus on participation that is clearly set in its mission. Looking at the activities run by Officine Culturali, two aspects deserve a closer analysis: product differentiation and the use of heritage enhancement as tools to obtain far-ranging social effects. The analysis illustrates the institutional arrangements that made possible the involvement of a private association in the enhancement of a publicly owned heritage site through the creation of a partnership between the association and the university of Catania. The chapter will focus on the activities of Officine Culturali considering, specifically, their focus on social inclusion and their capacity to attain it.
This chapter studies the relevance of the multi-product nature of a firm whose core-business rests in the performing arts sector. A specific case study is presented concerning ‘Centro Zo’, which was born in Catania (Italy) about 15 years ago, to supply performing arts. Now it is a multi-product firm, offering different goods and services. The multi-product choice is investigated from the firm’s perspective, and from the consumers’ standpoint. Data, collected in 2013, are used to investigate how consumers evaluate the different products, and their propensity to joint consumption. We show that the interest for different goods changes across different groups of consumers attending live performances at Centro Zo. However, the multi-product choice allows the firm to sustain its core business, and—we suggest—makes it more independent from the local policy-makers.
Recently the notion and measurement of destination competitiveness have received increasing attention in the economics literature on tourism. Bearing in mind that tourism is currently one of the main ways to encourage cultural participation, this study therefore seeks first, to ascertain whether or not regions with more abundant cultural resources attract greater flows of cultural tourism, and second, to evaluate efforts in managing cultural resources to attract cultural tourism. In this chapter we perform an economic efficiency analysis based on a production frontier approach using a dataset of 17 Spanish regions between 2004 and 2012. We use a non-parametric method (DEA) to measure regional competitiveness in terms of its technical efficiency. We also attempt to analyse the evolution of regional efficiency employing the Malmquist Index and its decomposition in variations due to technological change and efficiency change.
It is widely recognized that cultural tourism is a relevant economic phenomenon, but so far the determinants of cultural tourists' choices have not been explored by the economic literature in depth. The expanding notion of cultural tourism as participation to cultural experience makes difficult the characterization of this phenomenon. This paper aims at investigating cultural tourists' profiles: Once these profiles are defined, we can also try to estimate what factors affect the choice of ‘strongly motivated’ cultural tourists, using econometric analysis. The analysis is carried out using a unique database: data and information on the preferences and the behaviour of visitors in the area surrounding the Orta Lake in Italy are obtained via global positioning system (GPS) technology, which monitors the spatial-temporal flows generated by tourists, and these are combined with a questionnaire. Unlike other empirical studies carried out in destinations with only a strong cultural characterization, the mixed features of the Orta Lake (an assortment of culture, nature and sport/recreation attractions) allow carrying out an analysis with a wider scope for understanding cultural tourists’ behaviour and the connections between various types of cultural attractions.
This chapter notes that the restrictive science and technology focus of conventional understandings of R&D excludes socially valuable forms of R&D in the arts. As a consequence, attempts by the state to support innovation—and R&D policies in particular—have been neglected in the arts and culture. The chapter outlines some steps that have been undertaken in the UK by organisations like the Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and innovation charity, Nesta, to straighten the situation.
The development of tracking technologies such as GPS receivers, mobile phones and recently smartphones is a very dynamic domain, with the potential to capture ubiquitous and real-time spatial human movement and behavior. Until recently, the most common method for gathering information on human time-space patterns was the time-space diary. While time-space diaries have been used to great effect they do have several disadvantages as research tools. In this chapter we will present data collected in Hong Kong in the past years in order to present the abilities of tracking technologies to contribute to our understanding regarding cultural consumption of tourists visiting a destination.
Digitization and the Internet have affected the arts, heritage organizations and cultural industries along with other information services. Digital information and communication technologies (ICT) have altered the consumption of and participation in a range of creative goods and services, including the live performing arts, recorded music, film and cultural heritage. This chapter looks at some of the changes that have recently come about due to digitization and at the analysis of them by economists, and invokes key concepts in cultural economics to understand the meaning of these trends.
During the last decade the backdrop of classical music has undergone significant changes in most Western countries, where the live concert was historically particularly active. Major features are regularly observed, amongst which a systematic decrease in the level of the cultural background of most people, particularly in the younger generations, a quasi-disappearance in most countries of teaching of arts at school, a radical increase in the average age of concert-goers who are often over 60 years old, a change in the decision process of younger generations for cultural events (preference for funny events, last minute decision making, interest for shorter events and zapping of genres), and a tremendous increase in the supply of entertainment products which compete with artistic proposals. The result of these changes has been to induce cultural institutions to look at other kinds of musical proposals, more adequate to fit with the expectations of new audiences. The purpose of this chapter is threefold: (a) propose a new typology of classical musical consumers more directly linked with their new attitudes and expectations and their consumer behaviour with respect to classical music (Sect. 1); (b) review and classify major changes introduced by some musical institutions (but not all), in order to cope with these behavioural changes (Sect. 2), and (c) try to establish a relationship between proposed musical events and the demands of potential cultural consumers emanating from the various categories of the suggested typology. In doing so, we will base our analysis on the practical experience of Festival Musiq3, a Brussels-based festival whose basic aim is to develop such a policy (Sect. 3).
This chapter compares different profiles of video game players and studies how these groups differ in their cultural consumptions patterns. By using a unique dataset on cultural participation in Denmark, we address the problem of over-aggregation and differentiate between several profiles of video gamers based on the genre they play. We find that video gamers are far from being unresponsive to other forms of cultural consumption. In fact, they rather exhibit, on average, better cultural habits than non-players. In particular, they have higher frequencies of reading, museum and performing arts attendance, and are more likely to be involved in active music participation. The exception exists for the category of reflex game players; this could be driven by age effects, since reflex games are the most popular among (males) under 40.
The chapter describes the different techniques that may be used to measure the short-term economic fallouts of cultural events and, in particular, of music and opera festivals. It tries to distinguish failsafe methods—which are unfortunately not always easy to use—from more doubtful ones, in particular contingent valuation and interviews—which lead to exaggerated evaluations. Examples are provided in each case. We also suggest a new and inexpensive method to evaluate the relative numbers of visitors (by country of origin), which does not suffer from the overstatements provided by contingent valuation and interviews.
Public budget constraints reduce the public funding available to art providers (AP). This ‘bad news’ is likely to impose radical changes in their strategies and it may as well give them a chance to re-think their mission in line with the new set of incentives they face. AP might try to exploit new market opportunities, enlarge the scope of their production and incorporate other non-market-oriented objectives. Strategies range from an additional supply of a specific type of art product (live artistic performances, visual arts exhibitions, etc.) to the supply of a larger variety of products and services, including educational activities for social inclusion. They can also benefit from making their business more profitable, and generate positive externalities that can be appreciated by a larger part of the local community and favour social cohesion.
Notwithstanding the heterogeneity of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) sectors, all of them exhibit similar causes of market failure and face similar challenges related to the digital shift and to increasing globalisation. CCI share a common need for policy intervention to correct their market failures facing the digital and globalization challenges. This work seeks to establish a preliminary approach to the CCI’s related local/regional competitiveness and innovation policies. The general objective of the work is to develop a basic understanding of the risks and challenges (organizational, technological and institutional) of the CCI in Europe in order to be able to develop smart local and regional innovation policies for competitive CCI development and a favourable stimulation of innovative spill-over effects towards the rest of the economy. The understanding of risks and challenges is relevant for the design of effective and balanced European public policies for innovation and competitiveness in an ever-more intangible and creative economy. This work seeks to give a preliminary approach to a decisive lack of knowledge on the mechanisms of creative/cultural regional innovation policies.
... Together with Feder et al. (2021), to the best of our knowledge, this paper represents one of the first comprehensive microeconometric studies of how cultural consumption has changed during the UK lockdown and its determinants. 11 Moreover, against the backdrop of an increase in the availability of longitudinal data sets on traditional and in-person forms of cultural consumption (Ateca-Amestoy et al., 2017), critically, this paper also adds to the evidence on "remote" and online forms of consumption. In this respect, this paper also links with Aguiar et al. (2021), who study the effect of shifts in time availability on leisure demand for US individuals, following the Great Recession, finding a disproportionate increase in online recreation activities, like Games, for younger individuals-most notably men. ...
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In this paper, we exploit a unique weekly longitudinal survey of adults in the UK purposefully collected to study consumption choices with respect to cultural content types during the first Covid-19 national lockdown (the “Great Lockdown”). We look for changes in the probability of consuming different cultural and creative types of content (Music, Movies, TV, Games, Books, Magazines and Audiobooks), as well as changes in the overall variety of consumption. We find that changes in consumption depend on the type of content. In particular, other things being equal, the likelihood of listening to Music and playing Games went up and the likelihood of reading Books went down. We find little statistically significant evidence of changes in the probability of consumption of the other types of content. We find that, while on average individuals increased the variety of their consumption, the statistical significance of this increase varied depending on the socio-demographic and economic characteristic of interest. In particular, we find evidence of an increase in the variety of consumption for those at the bottom of the distribution of socio-economic status, which speaks to the importance of access to culture and creativity during lockdown for this specific social class.
... Participation in and attendance of live arts events are perceived as leisure and cultural activities, which are also important economic drivers for many countries. Several strands of the literature have studied live arts audiences (e.g., Andreasen and Russell 1980;Heilbrun and Gray 2001;Borgonovi 2004;Seaman 2005;Ateca-Amestoy 2008;Zanola 2010;Wen and Cheng 2013;Ateca-Amestoy et al. 2017), and from various analytic approaches and empirical studies in different countries, performing arts attendance positively relates to income and educational attainment, but findings are inconclusive in regards to gender, age, and marital status. Apart from socioeconomic variables, life-style, attitudinal, and experiential factors have different impacts on the determinants of performing arts attendance (Andreasen and Russell 1980;López-Sintas and García-Álvarez 2004) that may influence participation in various kinds of performing arts activities (Sullivan and Katz-Gerro 2007; Barbieri and Mahoney 2010). ...
This research analyzes Taiwan data from a national attendance survey of four performing arts categories - music, dance, contemporary drama, and traditional theatre - and uses econometric models to examine the determinants of performing arts attendance for these four genres from various aspects. We find that the audience of traditional theatre is quite different from the audiences of the other three performing arts categories, and that the pair-wise correlation coefficients for the participations among music, dance contemporary, and traditional theatre performing arts are all positive. The study further categorizes the audiences into four groups based on variety and frequency of participation: sporadic univores, sporadic omnivores, frequent univores, and frequent omnivores. A multinominal logistic regression identifies what factors influence a respondent’s decision to attend more than one type of performing arts events, allowing to identify segments of the audiences that exhibit a high degree of omnivorousness.
... For instance, in different age groups or in different educational qualifications, considering that individuals with different socioeconomic characteristics have very different preferences as well as sets of time use as regards both cultural participation and civic engagement, as well documented in the literature (e.g. Ateca-Amestoy et al. 2017;Nieminen et al. 2008). The final model has been estimated excluding the interactions of PCULT with the variables socio-economic resources and occupation which prove to generate a null improvement of the model. ...
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In the last decades, policy discussions have increasingly considered participation in arts and cultural activities as a vehicle to reach broader social policy goals, such as social inclusion or active citizenship. However, convincing empirical evidence on the social impacts of arts and culture is still scarce. In particular, little attention has been given to the impact that cultural participation may have on individuals’ engagement in civil society, especially in Europe. In order to address this lack of evidence, this paper explores the connection between cultural participation and civic participation in Italy using Likert-scale data collected in the ISTAT “Aspetti della Vita Quotidiana” Survey (2014). To do so, two composite indicators—the participation in cultural life indicator and the participation in civic life indicator—have been built using an approach based on partial order theory and the concept of Average Rank. The effect of cultural participation on civic engagement has been estimated using a quantile regression model which controls for potentially cofounding factors such as education, income, age and gender. Results do confirm that participation in arts and cultural activities is highly correlated with participation in civic life. It is particularly worth noticing that at higher levels of civic participation, cultural participation has a positive and strong effect on civic engagement of people having a low educational level.
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En este capítulo se discute el valor de la creación y del disfrute de la cultura a nivel individual y social. Después de establecer la distinción entre valores intrínsecos e instrumentales de los recursos y de las actividades culturales, se repasan las dimensiones del valor instrumental, comentando algunas aportaciones. A continuación, se discuten brevemente los métodos de análisis que se han utilizado para comprender y estimar la relación o el impacto causal que determinadas intervenciones culturales tienen sobre diferentes dimensiones del bienestar individual o social. Por último, se señala la necesidad de desarrollar indicadores y de extender las prácticas de evaluación de intervenciones públicas.
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University students consume live music; however, almost 40% declare that they have never attended a flamenco show, an intangible heritage of humankind. Numerous studies have shown that cultural capital and socioeconomic profile, among other factors, are variables that influence cultural consumption, and therefore, cultural sustainability. Considering the relationship between several variables, this paper pursues a double objective. On the one hand, identifying the factors that influence attendance at flamenco shows, and on the other, proposing a predictive model that quantifies the likelihood of an individual attending a flamenco show. To this end, we analyse flamenco consumption by means of a survey conducted on 452 university students, using Multilayer Perceptrom (a non-parametric model), a methodology based on an artificial neural network. Our results confirm the importance of cultural capital, as well as personal and external factors, among other. The findings of this research work are of potential interest for management and planning of cultural events, as well as to promote cultural sustainability.
The purpose of this paper is to analyse how public libraries have been conceptualized and measured in official Spanish statistics over the past 15 years. This allows us to reflect on the transformation of the very nature and aims of libraries during the first 15 years of the 21st century. We examine the main official statistical source of information on cultural participation, the Survey on Cultural Habits and Practices in Spain, and track the impact of social change and digitization on library services. By analysing the 2002–2003, 2006–2007, 2010–2011 and 2014–2015 surveys, we monitor changes in the questionnaires and in the derived indicators, and relate the findings to general trends and challenges for public libraries in contemporary societies.
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