Benefits

Our research found that people believe that the benefits of engaging in or experiencing creative expression are related to their quality of life: increased happiness, reduced stress, improved health, and more time spent with family and friends.

When asked what would be different if we had more opportunity to express or experience culture in our lives, respondents indicated a range of personal benefits that span concepts around growth, voice, well-being, and happiness.

 

If we had more opportunity to express or experience arts and culture, we would...

Percent of Americans who “Strongly Agree” with this statement. Source:  Creating Connection: Research Findings and Proposed Message Framework to Build Public Will for Arts and Culture.  Arts Midwest and Metropolitan Group, 2015.

Percent of Americans who “Strongly Agree” with this statement. Source: Creating Connection: Research Findings and Proposed Message Framework to Build Public Will for Arts and Culture. Arts Midwest and Metropolitan Group, 2015.


Image of child coloring

Good news for arts education

We found evidence that the benefits associated with arts and culture to children and youth are well understood and appreciated.

When asked to consider what would be different if children had more exposure to the arts and culture, “building life skills” ranks in the top tier of responses. And the message perceived to be strongest by our survey respondents was related to arts and culture as part of a child’s well-rounded education.


What doesn’t work

Our survey and focus groups found that the more tangible, or instrumental, outcomes of increased engagement in arts and culture, such as a stronger economy, safer communities, and increased ability to do our jobs, placed lowest in the ranking of benefits.

While these messages still resonate powerfully with policy makers and should be used in advocacy settings, we found that they are less motivating for the broader public and for the audiences we identified with strong values alignment.


What’s next: Bringing benefits to bear

Communications that incorporate this benefit language will help connect your work to existing public values. (Just make sure that the experience matches the message.)

  • Learn how to create meaningful messages that communicate how connecting through creative expression helps people grow, provides a platform to express their voice, and contributes to their well-being and happiness.

  • Many arts organizations use growth, voice, well-being, and happiness to talk about their role and value in their communities. Check out what they’ve done and what they’ve learned along the way.


Featured Case Study: How the New Ballet School spoke to the benefits of their work

New Ballet School used the Creating Connection concepts to inform an A/B Facebook Ad test - pairing their traditional marketing approach with one that highlighted student voices sharing memories of their first ballet teacher and messages about growth and well-being. Watch the video and learn more about what New Ballet learned from their campaign.