The Benefits of Artistic Development in the Community

Engagement in community arts activities has been shown to contribute to personal and social development. Artistic development in the community helps people to feel better about themselves, as well as enable the building of new skills and knowledge. The individual benefits include improved communication, planning and organizing skills, better abilities to collect, organize and analyze information and better problem solving - all of which create an enhanced sense of personal efficacy and agency. The social benefits include deeper connections and networks, better local image, and a stronger sense of place, identity and heritage.


The Economic Benefits

Studies only differ on how much artistic development impacts the community, and not about whether it is there. Although different studies show varying results, there is a strong consensus that economic growth is caused by art tourism. When a community’s art programs become stronger, more visitors tend to come to the area so that they can take part. Furthermore, tourists to an area who learn about of an event while they are in town may also choose to stay longer. The arts also attract more residents to the area which, consequently, attracts more businesses.


The Social Benefits

The arts have proven time and time again that it is an effective way to draw people together. No matter if it is just a photo gallery or an extravagant Shakespearean play, the arts are fundamentally a tool for social development. It serves as an outlet for communities to express themselves and is also a venue where disadvantaged individuals can make a difference. Furthermore, the arts are an effective way for people to learn about the different cultures that make up their community


The Individual Benefits

Most importantly, the arts impact the individual. Psychologically, observing and participating in the arts boosts an individual's happiness and life satisfaction. Moreover, there is a greater feeling of self-esteem and control over one’s own life. Physiologically, the social bonds created through the arts reduce depression and stress levels, which can greatly impact physical health. Finally, the arts boost one’s creativity and skill level. Even those who just choose to observe tend to acquire “cultural capital”.