Mark Stern on Rethinking Social Impact

Mark Stern writes for ARTSblog as part of its May blog salon focusing on Social Impact of the Arts:

Susan Seifert and I began the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP) in 1994 in response to the attention that economic impact studies were gaining at the time. We felt—in addition to their methodological flaws—that these studies captured only a fraction of the importance that the arts held for society. We committed ourselves to think through the theoretical and methodological issues involved in documenting the contribution that arts and cultural engagement have for community life. Over the years, we’ve discovered many connections between the arts and social well-being, some of them quite surprising.

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