Culture and Social Wellbeing in New York City (2014-16)

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Over the past several decades, much attention has been devoted to assessing the economic impact of the arts and cultural activity on cities. Most of these studies focus on the role of major venues—like museums and performing arts centers—in improving a city’s attractiveness to out-of-towners and young, college-educated “creatives.” By contrast, the role of the arts in enhancing the lives of ordinary urban residents, especially those who live in moderate- and low-income neighborhoods, has received relatively little attention.

Understanding the social value of the arts has been the goal of the Culture and Social Wellbeing in New York City project undertaken by the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP), in collaboration with Reinvestment Fund, a community development financial institution.


This project was supported by the Surdna Foundation & the NYC Cultural Agenda Fund in the New York Community Trust. The research was conducted between 2014 and 2016.



Date Posted: 09 March 2017