Webinar: Why is engagement in arts and culture unequal – and what do we do next?

On 11th July 2024, we held a webinar introducing RADIANCE, a new framework showing the determinants of arts and cultural engagement.

15 July 2024

Arts and cultural engagement is ubiquitous across cultures and the United Nations has declared access to the arts a human right, in recognition of their proven social value. However, access to arts and culture remains unequal across society – some people are more likely to engage than others. To address this, we have developed a new framework, RADIANCE, conceptualising over 30 factors that can determine arts and cultural engagement at individual, community and societal levels. 

In our recent webinar, Prof Daisy Fancourt and Dr Katey Warran introduced the new framework, presented case studies and offered guidance on how stakeholders can apply the framework to help optimise arts and cultural engagement. We were delighted to be joined by more than 100 attendees, including those working in arts and community organisations, higher education, policy and funding, and the webinar closed with an insightful Q&A session.  

Throughout the event, the authors of RADIANCE highlighted that the strengths of the framework lie in its ability to visualise the complex and interconnected barriers to arts and cultural engagement, and in helping us to think more deeply about – and through – the challenges we face when trying to improve access to arts and culture.  

“[Arts and cultural] engagement is complex. So, if we only intervene on one individual factor in isolation, we’re quite unlikely to have any impact in a meaningful or long-lasting way. So, we have to really think about addressing multiple different barriers at once if we’re going to do that. And I hope that RADIANCE gives us a visual way of thinking about this.”

– Professor Daisy Fancourt

“One of the key ways in which RADIANCE can help is to move the focus away solely from individual or unique organizational contexts, where the responsibility to improve access is really heavily weighted on individual practice. RADIANCE helps us to explore and acknowledge multiple social levels that come into play. […] RADIANCE posits that it’s not demographics themselves per se that influence engagement. This is interconnected with individuals’ capabilities, opportunities and motivations and patterns of social stratification. So, there’s this need to focus on other factors and factors that are in the indirect pathway, such as social stratification rather than on individual characteristics themselves.”

– Dr Katey Warran


We’ve developed several resources to help you understand and apply the framework. All resources are available on the RADIANCE project page and below: 

  • Full research paper offering an in-depth explanation of the research process, the RADIANCE framework and its applications  
  • Evidence brief summarising the RADIANCE framework and offering suggestions on how to use it for policy and practice  

A recording of the webinar is also available below and on our YouTube channel.

Webinar speakers 

  • Professor Daisy Fancourt, Professor of Psychobiology and Epidemiology, Head of Social Biobehavioural Research Group at University College London 
  • Dr Katey Warran, Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh 
  • Nils Fietje, Research Officer at the World Health Organization