Cultural Observatory update: what we’re working on

Millennium Point in Birmnigham

This post is intended to give a run down of the main pieces of work that will be undertaken by the Cultural Observatory during 2010/11.

Our work plan is not set in stone as we are often called to respond to policy needs as and when they develop (in common with many public sector organisations), but hopefully this short post will give you a flavour of our aspirations for the coming year.

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Tweets, whistles and gold: an overview of the Cultural Research Conference 2010

The first Cultural Research & Intelligence Network (CRAIN) conference took place on 2nd June 2010 at Birmingham City University (School of Art) in central Birmingham.

The conference was well attended, attracting 41 delegates who between them represented 26 different organisations (including five local authorities and four local universities).

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Skillset launch Creative Media Workforce Survey 2010

Reception area at Codemasters in Warwickshire

Skillset, the sector skills council for the creative industries, have launched the national Creative Media Workforce Survey 2010:

Whether you are an employer, an employee or a freelancer, what you tell us about your skills needs, experience of training and recruitment, future plans and working patterns will help us produce the most comprehensive profile of working life in the UK’s Creative Media Industries.

D’log highlights why this survey is especially important this year.

For more details about the survey, visit www.skillset.org/playyourpart.

Slidecast: impact of West Midlands Culture Programme for London 2012 so far

Here’s a slidecast by Lauren Amery, Cultural Research Analyst at the Observatory, summarising her research to monitor and evaluate the impact of the West Midlands Culture Programme for London 2012.

Get the PowerPoint slides (ppt, 860kb)

The first of a series of reports, West Midlands Culture Programme for London 2012: An evaluation of impact (2008–2010) (pdf, 1.54mb) published 13th April 2010, presents evidence associated with:

  • The social and economic impact of the programme to date
  • The extent and value of media coverage that for the programme
  • The programme’s impact on the capacity of the West Midlands cultural sector
  • Changes in peoples’ perception of the region and its cultural offer (having taking part in programme activities and events)

For more information about the research contact Lauren Amery (lauren.amery@wmro.org / 0121 202 3249).

West Midlanders more likely to rate their last arts experience as ‘high quality’

A detailed review (pdf, 3.5mb) of the arts-related Taking Part Survey (2008/09) results published by Arts Council England has found that arts attendees in the West Midlands are more likely to describe their last arts experience as ‘high quality’ compared to other regions.

When statistical differences are taken into account, the proportion of residents reporting high quality arts experiences in the West Midlands (66%) was higher than proportions in four other regions.

In line with national trends, compared to the previous year, the proportion of West Midlands residents participating in at least one annual arts activity took a statistically significant drop from 47.2% to 42.7%. Also, there was no (statistical) change in the proportion of residents attending at least one art event per year (62.1%) compared to the previous year (64.7%).

Given the evidence (documented in our quarterly recession monitoring papers) that certain sections of the arts sector saw audiences decrease during the 2008/09 economic downturn, it can be speculated that the fall in participation rates may be related to consumer patterns during the recession.

Download the report: Arts engagement in England 2008/2009 (pdf, 3.46mb)

Photo by Gabriela Camerotti

New ‘two million’ sports participation indicator developed to measure Olympic legacy

Two footballersA new sports participation indicator (pdf, 313kb) has been developed to measure progress towards the government target of getting two million more adults physically active in England by 2012/13 (as part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games).

The two million indicator (pdf, 313kb), measured through the Active People Survey, gives the percentage of adults (aged 16+) that do three or more sessions (lasting 30 minutes or more) of moderate intensity activity per week.

The indicator differs from the three other Active People participation variables (KPI 1, NI 8, 1 Million) as it incorporates everyday activities such as gardening.

Each region will play a part in the achievement of the target. Broadly speaking, and if all regions play an equal role, a quota of 220,000 more West Midlanders will need to fulfil the ‘two million’ criteria by 2013 (compared to 2008).

The positive regional results of Active People Survey 3 (2008/09) bodes well for achieving this new target. Compared to the previous year’s results, the West Midlands saw a statistically significant increase in levels of participation in sport and active recreation for all participation indicators (KPI 1, NI 8 , 1 Million). Using KPI 1 as an example, the increase in participation seen in the region equated to an increase of 49,000 residents.

Related links

Photo by GregDaly

West Midlands Culture Programme for London 2012: the impact so far

Two people jumping in the airThe West Midlands Culture Programme for London 2012 (WMCPforL2012) has attracted a total audience of just under a quarter of a million people (220,000), according to a report (pdf, 1.5mb) launched by the West Midlands Cultural Observatory this month. That’s around two and a half Wembley Stadiums full of people for those of you that like to visualise these things!

In the first of a series of reports, West Midlands Culture Programme for London 2012: An evaluation of impact (2008-2010) (pdf, 1.5mb) presents evidence associated with:

  • The social and economic impact of the programme to date
  • The extent and value of media coverage that for the programme
  • The programme’s impact on the capacity of the West Midlands cultural sector
  • Changes in peoples’ perception of the region and its cultural offer (having taking part in programme activities and events)

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