In recognition of the proven social value of the arts and culture, including to health, the UN has declared access to the arts a human right. However, arts engagement remains unequal across society, perhaps because the focus in policy terms is often on exploring and removing individual-level barriers to cultural engagement, rather than addressing the social and societal context that provides the conditions for such barriers.
We want to transform how we conceptualise determinants of cultural engagement by leveraging the large volume of research and theory undertaken to date and developing a new interdisciplinary theoretical framework. This will involve:
- mapping predictors of arts and cultural engagement in different population groups
- improving the design of studies on the value of the arts to people and society
- identifying interventions and policies to improve equity of access to arts and culture
Through an ambitious engagement programme, we will work with local, national and international cultural and community organisations, ensuring that the framework is used to identify policies and investment areas to equalize arts participation.