How to measure the value and social impact of culture? A digest of inspiring examples and new approaches
Eurocities is involved in MESOC project as third party and shares a common interest with MESOC: the question of how to measure the impact of culture. It was indeed the main issue discussed during the 2019 Eurocities Culture Forum and the following webinars in May and June 2020.
During the 2019 Eurocities Culture Forum in Leeds, a newly joined up Working Group met for the first time. They reviewed their previous groups’ work and outputs, and they discussed common issues for cities with a focus on inclusivity, access and participation. They discussed how the group might explore these topics further and how they could seek proactive and innovative solutions to what is an ongoing challenge to cities across Europe.
The group agreed to prioritise the question of how to measure the cross-sectoral value and impact of culture, particularly the social impact, across a range of demographics. This would in turn help cities to advocate for greater investment in culture. As many cities admitted they lacked reliable or suitable data, knowledge or methodologies, there was a strong wish to gain more information and guidance on this topic.
In order to exchange knowledge and exchange experiences, Eurocities prepared a session which was supposed to take place in Gothenburg 18 – 20 March 2020. Due to Covid-19 this became two webinars in May and June 2020, which were attended by over 70 cities. The first session focused on theoretical perspectives on measuring the value and social impact of culture, and the second session focused more on practical methods and experiences of measuring.
Due to popular demand, Eurocities created a Digest for the benefit of all members, which collates presentations and experiences exchanged at the webinars.