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The Social Wellbeing of New York City's Neighborhoods: The Contribution of Culture and the Arts

March 9, 2017

This report presents the conceptual framework, data and methodology, and findings of a two-year study of culture and social wellbeing in New York City by SIAP with Reinvestment Fund. Building on their work in Philadelphia, the team gathered data from City agencies, borough arts councils, and cultural practitioners to develop a 10-dimension social wellbeing framework—which included construction of a cultural asset index—for every neighborhood in the five boroughs. The research was undertaken between 2014 and 2016.The social wellbeing tool enables a variety of analyses: the distribution of opportunity across the city;identification of areas with concentrated advantage, concentrated disadvantage, aswell as "diverse and struggling" neighborhoods with both strengths and challenges; and analysis of the relationship of"neighborhood cultural ecology" to other features of a healthy community.

Civic Engagement and the Arts: Issues of Conceptualization and Measurement

January 1, 2009

This paper focuses on one aspect of the social impact of the arts: their in? uence on civic engagement. Its purpose is to assess the current state of knowledge about the relationship between the arts and civic engagement and to suggest documentation and evaluation strategies that artists, cultural and community organizations, philanthropists, and public agencies could take to improve the quality of that knowledge. Our approach was to review literature drawn from the social sciences, the humanities, and public policy in an attempt to bridge theory with practice and research with evaluation.

Knight Creative Communities Initiative Evaluation Final Report

October 28, 2008

Evaluates the theory, implementation, and initial results of Knight's initiative to train social entrepreneurs as creative catalysts for community transformation. Offers a framework for assessing longer-term impacts and suggestions for future projects.

Knight Creative Communities Initiative (KCCI) Evaluation: Interim Report

December 1, 2007

Provides an overview of KCCI and examines participants' experience and perceptions of the initiative during 2007.

Community Partners in Arts Access Evaluation

November 1, 2007

Assesses the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Community Partners in Arts Access initiative in Philadelphia and Camden. Includes summaries of grantee reports and interviews.

Cultivating "Natural" Cultural Districts

September 1, 2007

Examines the geographically-defined networks created by the presence of a density of cultural assets in Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Culture and Urban Revitalization: A Harvest Document

January 1, 2007

Advocates have long argued that the economic benefits of the arts and culture provide a firm rationale for public support. Recent scholarship on the "creative class" and "creative economy" is simply the latest effort to link cultural expression to community prosperity. In contrast, the social benefits of cultural engagement have received relatively little attention, even though -- as we shall see -- they provide a stronger case.We need to avoid a simplistic either-or choice between the economic and social impacts of the arts. People who live in our cities, suburbs, and countryside are simultaneously consumers, workers, residents, citizens, and participants. Culture's role in promoting community capacity and civic engagement is central to its potential for generating vital cultural districts. To separate the economic and the social impacts of the arts makes each more difficult to understand.This document provides an overview of the state-of-the-art literature on culture and urban revitalization. In Part 2, we place the creative sector in contemporary context with a discussion of three social dynamics. The "new urban reality" has restructured our cities by increasing social diversity -- fueled by new residential patterns, the emergence of young adult districts, and immigration; expanding economic inequality; and changing urban form. Shifts in the economic and political environment have changed the structure of the creative sector. Finally, the changing balance of government, nonprofit, and for-profit institutions in social policy development -- the shift to transactional policymaking -- has profound implications for cultural policy and the creative sector broadly defined. These three forces -- the new urban reality, the changing structure of the creative sector, and the emergence of transactional policy-making -- define the context within which culture-based revitalization takes place.

Philadelphia and Camden Cultural Participation Benchmark Project

June 1, 2005

Examines the current state of cultural participation in North Philadelphia and Camden, and available options for expansion. Includes the results of a focus group study, a neighborhood resident survey, and small-area estimates of cultural participation.

Culture Builds Communities, Evaluation: Summary Report

January 1, 2002

Evaluation of the 1997 William Penn Foundation initiative, Culture Builds Community, which sought to link the foundation's commitments to urban communities and to the arts and culture in the Philadelphia region.