The Social Impact of the Arts

March 11, 2003 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

The University of Chicago Gleacher Center, 450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive

Mark Stern, Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work and Director, Social Impact of the Arts Project

The Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP) has done extensive investigations of the importance of the arts and culture for community building, focusing its research on Philadelphia. For instance, SIAP evaluated the William Penn Foundation’s Culture Builds Community initiative, which sought to improve the organizational capacity of community cultural providers and to support their efforts to strengthen their role in community building, and in 2001, SIAP collaborated with The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) on a project designed to combine SIAP's indicators of neighborhood assets with TRF’s more extensive set of indicators. In 2002, SIAP received funding for a new project — "Documenting Culture's Reach" — that will allow them to examine the dynamics of the cultural sector and its relationship to other social factors.