Monday, March 29th 2010: I’m alive. ;) First report for 2010 due

I’ve been really busy with a report that is due today. But I wanted to drop a line and say sorry for the long delay in updating and that “I’m ALIVE!” 🙂

The paper is a report on the differences and commonality between the RAND report “Gifts of the Muse” and the Australian Council’s policy “Young People and the Arts”. Hahha, busy indeed.

UPDATE 3:30am: OK I’m done with the report. Had I been alotted a larger word count, I’d be able to fill the sections properly. So instead I opted to dot point list my conclusion as I read somewhere that it could be ok.

I think the executive summary and conclusion and a couple of the sections in the middle are flimsy, but at this point I can’t see how I can manage to fit any more words when I’m already at 2,000 and the limit is 1,200-1,500. lolz.

UPDATE 11am: I’ve changed the title, the subheading for #10, omitted a word (lolz), and am working on a brief description of the policy document mentioned in #10. Aghhhh!!

KTB210 Creative Industries Management: Assessment #1

OZCO’s policy vs. The RAND report: Similarities, differences and the lack of vital benefits listed

Written by: Kimberly Hall







1.                 Purpose

The purpose of this report is to explore the links among types of benefits and examine the similarities and differences between the Rand Report’s “Gifts of the Muse”, and the OZCO’s Cultural Policy document “Young People and the Arts”; and to inform the reader of the lack of vital benefits listed.

2.                 Executive Summary

This report defines key definitions found in the RAND report and in the OZCO policy. It also explores the similarities and differences among the instrumental and intrinsic benefits found in both documents and then comparing them to the “Bums on Seats” document. The report concludes that early childhood arts education and many other intrinsic benefits are lacking in these discourses.

3.                 Method

The method used to gain the information for this report involved researching relevant documents and then comparing and contrasting them. After compiling a list of notable key points found throughout each document I began to find common key terms that often popped up. I took these key terms and expanded on them for differences and similarities.

4.                 Key Definitions found in this report

Access is the right or ability to approach someone or something. (Australia Council 2003)

Artist is any person who creates or gives expression to works of art, who contributes by way of their practice to the development of art and culture, and who is or asks to be recognized as an artist. (Australia Council 2003)

Child/Children can mean anyone up to the age of 18 (Australia Council 2003)

Community is a group of people who wish to express something about their shared experience as individuals, artists and audiences. (Australia Council 2003) 

Cultural heritage is the knowledge, tradition, objects and sites preserved from one generation to another. (Australia Council 2003)

Education is the imparting and acquiring of knowledge through teaching and learning. Education is a vehicle of instruction that is designed to lead to intellectual, critical and social development. (Australia Council 2003) 

Pedagogical tool is a tool for implementing the correct use of teaching strategies. (Houghton Mifflin Co. 2000)

Self efficacy is the individual’s perceived ability to accomplish a variety of tasks. (McCarthy et al. 2004, 24)

Young person means anyone up to the age of 26. (McCarthy et al. 2004; Australia Council 2003)

Youth arts are any work that involves creatively skilled and unskilled young people and children who participate in projects as creators, presenters and managers. (Australia Council 2003)

5.                 Instrumental Benefits

The term instrumental benefit usually refers to a tool that creates benefits outside of itself, or a public benefit. Instrumental benefits encompass the following individual values: Cognitive, Attitudinal/Behavioral, Health, Social, and Economic. Instrumental benefits are “often tied to the processes of sustained arts involvement”. (Radvan 2010; McCarthy et al. 2004, 7 & 31)

5.1         Key Definitions

Attitudinal/Behavioral benefits are benefits that affect self discipline, efficacy, and social behaviors (McCarthy et al. 2004)

Cognitive benefits are based on improved academic, basic and learning skills (McCarthy et al. 2004) Vygotsky (1962) linked the term “cognition” with a kind of inner speech. (Wright 1997)

Economic benefits have direct, indirect values and also offer public goods, which encompass Existence values, Option values, and Bequest values as economic benefits. (McCarthy et al. 2004, 18)

Health benefits are based on the improved quality of life, including mental and physical health due to involvement with the arts. (McCarthy et al. 2004)

Social benefits promote social interaction and community identity (McCarthy et al. 2004)

5.2         RAND Report – Gifts of the Muse

The RAND report lists cognitive, attitudinal/behavioral, health, social, and economic benefits as instrumental benefits in the arts.

5.3         Ozco – Young People and the Arts Policy

OZCO lists some cognitive, but mostly social benefits as instrumental benefits they are focusing on in the arts.

6.                 Intrinsic Benefits

“Intrinsic benefit” usually refers to a tool that creates benefits for ones’ self or emotional growth. This statement is supported by the idea that the “effects inherent in the arts experience that add value to people’s lives” can be considered an intrinsic benefit. (Radvan 2010; McCarthy et al. 2004, 37) “What draws people to the arts…is the expectation that encountering a work of art can be a rewarding experience, one that offers them pleasure and emotional stimulation and meaning.” (McCarthy et al. 2004, 37)

6.1         Key Definitions

Aesthetic Expression is the direct encounter with a work of art that produces the intrinsic effect of  Artistic Process, Work of Art/Presentation, Appreciation Process, or Critical Response to Art (McCarthy et al. 2004, 39)

Captivation is the initial and deeply involved response to a compelling work where one tends to grasp things almost exclusively in terms of their relation to practical needs and purposes. This “often leads to imaginative flight, a departure from one’s everyday self that enables one to imaginatively inhabit the created reality being presented.” (McCarthy et al. 2004)

Cognitive Growth is the benefit of an “appreciators’ active involvement in the creation of a work of art’s meaning.” (McCarthy et al. 2004, 48)

Creation of social bonds is a benefit that arises from shared responses to a work of art, which provide an opportunity for socializing, which in turn can build trust. (McCarthy et al. 2004, 50)

Expanded capacity for empathy is a benefit that develops “citizens who are more emphatic and more discriminating in their perceptions and judgments about the world around them.” (McCarthy et al. 2004, 47)

Expression of communal meaning is usually expressed as a work of art that manages to convey what a whole community of people long to express. (McCarthy et al. 2004, 50)

Pleasure is a benefit that combines the joy of communicating through creative work and the joy of experiencing what the artist is communicating. (McCarthy et al. 2004, 46)

6.2         RAND Report – Gifts of the Muse

The RAND report lists Aesthetic Expression, Captivation, Pleasure, Expanded capacity for empathy, Cognitive growth, Creation of social bonds, and Expression of communal meaning as the main intrinsic benefits of the arts.

6.3         OZCO – Young People and the Arts Policy

The OZCO policy focused on developing opportunities for professional artistic growth, through training, providing mentorships, access and participation opportunities.

7.                 Similarities

There appears to be a strong focus on social and community based benefits in both documents. In the RAND report, the focus is on instrumental community level benefits while in the OZCO policy all of the initiatives are based on improving social and community level involvement and participation in the arts.

Also, early childhood education and development were a strong focus in the intrinsic benefits mentioned in the RAND report. The education value was slightly touched upon within the OZCO policy document. This statement is supported by the following key point: “The way we make decisions will be refined to enable us to support individual, younger artists who show outstanding potential.” (Australia Council 2003, 12) This is again substantiated in the Australia Council’s Education and the Arts Strategy (2004) that says “…we have chosen to first focus on enhancing the arts experiences of school aged children and young people.”

8.                 Differences

The RAND report acknowledges that the many benefits, that the arts provide, spill over from the individual level to the community level in both instrumental and intrinsic points of view. The OZCO policy does not acknowledge this at all. They barely mention any intrinsic benefits at all. The RAND report “authors find that evidence linking the arts to these benefits is weak and many of the studies are flawed.” They recommend that, policy advocates should surge for intrinsic values. (DeVereaux 2006)

The Australia Council fails to demonstrate their understanding of the importance of the intrinsic benefits to young people and children. Although,  arts advocates are reluctant to introduce intrinsic benefits into policy discussion because they do not believe such ideas will bode well with legislators and policymakers (McCarthy et al. 2004, 38); they do mention their goal of creating further understanding, research programming, and link expansion between arts and education in regards to school children. (Australia Council 2003, 20)

The RAND report acknowledges the strong health and behavioral benefits that the arts provide. The OZCO policy, fails to mention this important benefit. The RAND report mentions that “much of the research on educational or health benefits only qualifies as case studies, making it problematic to extrapolate to general populations.” (DeVereaux 2006, 171)

9.                 Significance between similarities and differences

The importance of visual and performing arts” in the “intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual and social” development of students has long been argued. However, education systems normally relegate the arts to “low-status electives, extra-curricular, enrichment or ‘rainy day’ programs considered fun and enjoyable but not key learning areas.” (Elster & Eccles, 2005) Diegmueller (1996) claims that the arts and humanities programs, along with sports activities, play an essential role in helping at-risk children.

The RAND report (2004, 26) acknowledging this states that “children are able to develop surprisingly high levels of artistic competence in their early years”. Wright (1997) states that children as young as 4 can show distinctive styles of cognition and while the attitudinal and behavioral studies of arts benefits tend to focus on school-aged youth. (McCarthy et al. 2004, 10)

DeVereaux (2006, 177) makes the recommendation that “arts organizations should promote lifelong exposure to the arts beginning in early childhood.” She adds that a “more equal distribution at all stages of life may encourage young people to see the arts as an adult activity that can be as valuable and pleasurable when they grow up as it is when they are children.”

10.            Main points of “More than Bums on Seats” and its relevance to this report

“More than Bums on Seats” is the Australia Council’s research report on Australian participation in the arts. The report’s key findings are as follows:

The arts are strongly supported by the community.

The RAND report “shows the community strongly supports the arts… and value what the arts can do for them.” (2004, 50) The “arts can produce public benefits at both the individual and the community level” such as empowering communities to organize for collective action, generating community pride and prestige, and can enhance a community’s organizational capacity. (McCarthy et al. 2004)

Community arts provide opportunities for people to come together. “Regular involvement in these arts activities can produce social solidarity and social cohesion through the creation of community symbols and community identity”. This builds social capital and a sense of collective efficacy “since interest and involvement in the arts can lead people to participate in arts-based associations and organizations” (Australia Council for the Arts 2010; McCarthy et al. 2004, 28-31) community benefits are then formed.

Attitudes towards the arts are increasingly positive.

Arts-rich school environments and arts used a pedagogical tool show improved attitudes in children towards arts, school, role models and mentors, and self-efficacy – which then provides an important way for students to develop self-confidence and a sense of being well integrated into the school environment. (McCarthy et al. 2004, 22)

The internet is now a key tool for the arts.

Using the internet as a tool raises opportunities for more access and participation to artists of any community, and even helps increases lover socioeconomic status students to gain more exposure to the arts(McCarthy et al. 2004). The OZCO (2003) policy mirrors this by adding to their policy that they encourage “access of professional development opportunities” to young artists.

Interest in Indigenous arts is growing

The Australia Council recognizes the “importance of traditional and community cultural development practices concerning young people” (Australia Council 2003, 5), and that through the arts of ethnic traditions participants develop and maintain their cultural heritage, and then can communicate their cultural identity to others.

This is important because the differences between rural and urban experiences are creating dangers of losing cultural heritage due to the traditional singing and instrument-playing activities not being carried on in curricula. (Custodero 2007)

There are significant opportunities to build arts audiences.

The OZCO policy objective reflects this stance when they promise to strengthen opportunities for young people to experience the arts as audiences. (Australia Council 2003)

11.            Conclusion

Having focused mostly on the lack of intrinsic benefits and values being mentioned within the documents, I found the following key points to be true:

  1. Early Childhood arts education is a vital benefit that needs to be further studied and applied to policy.
  2. Arts used a pedagogical tool needs to be applied throughout policy as it increases intrinsic benefits.
  3. Indigenous art needs to be cultivated and carefully considered when applying policy. Due to its delicate nature, if not careful, it can be abolished.

12.            Bibliography


Australia Council. 2003. Young People & The Arts. Sydney: Australia Council. (accessed March 15th, 2010).

Australia Council for the Arts. 2004. Education and the Arts Strategy 2004 – 2007. (accessed March 27th, 2010).

Australia Council for the Arts. 2010. More than Bums on Seats: Australian Participation in the Arts. Sydney: Australia Council for the Arts. (accessed March 22, 2010).

Custodero, L. A. 2007. Harmonizing Research, Practice, and Policy in Early Childhood Music: A Chorus of International Voices (Part 1). Arts Education Policy Review 109 (2):3-6. (accessed March 22nd, 2010).

DeVereaux, C. 2006. Any Way the Wind Blows: Changing Dynamics in American Arts Policy. Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society 36 (3):168-180. (accessed March 27th, 2010).

Diegmueller, K. 1996. Presidential panel urges efforts to ensure vitality of youth arts programs. Education Week 15 (32):8. (accessed March 27th, 2010).

Eccles, K. and A. Elster. 2005. LEARNING THROUGH THE ARTS: A New School of Thought? Education Canada 45 (3):45-48.

Houghton Mifflin Co. 2000. In The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: Houghton Mifflin Company.

McCarthy, K., Zakaras, L.,  Brooks, A., Ondaatje, E. 2004. Gifts of the muse : reframing the debate about the benefits of the arts. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation. 

Radvan, M. 2010. KTB210 Lecture Week: 1-2. Brisbane: QUT

Wright, S. 1997. Learning how to learn the arts as core in an emergent curriculum. Childhood Education 16 (8):361-365. (accessed March 22nd, 2010).


5 responses to “Monday, March 29th 2010: I’m alive. ;) First report for 2010 due

  1. #10 Bums on Seats: You didn’t explain or expand on that in your text.

    #11 Conclusion: (Number 2) omit the “is”

    # Arts used a pedagogical tool is needs to be applied throughout policy as it increases intrinsic benefits.

    Otherwise, from my view it looks awesome!


  2. Is is omitted. Lolz And… 10. Main points of “More than Bums on Seats” and its relevance to this report “More than Bums on Seats” is the Australia Council’s research report on Australian participation in the arts. The report’s key findings are as follows:


  3. Your solution works well. Also, it just occurred to me that the BUMS in “Bums on Seats” refers to fannies and not occupations. LOL


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