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ERIC Number: ED536817
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 46
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
How Art Works: The National Endowment for the Arts' Five-Year Research Agenda, with a System Map and Measurement Model
National Endowment for the Arts
This report stems from a collaborative research inquiry into the nature and consequences of art in American life. Although it culminates in a research agenda for the National Endowment for the Arts, the document also proposes a way for the nation's cultural researchers, arts practitioners, policy-makers, and the general public to view, analyze, and discuss the arts as a dynamic, complex system. A system map of "how art works" can provide an opportunity to organize recurring themes and concepts. At a time when robust data collection and reporting drives the ability of most U.S. sectors to define themselves and demonstrate their worth, such a map can be all the more valuable. It allows people from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to arrive at a shared understanding of how the system works, what are its key elements and relationships, and which external factors can alter the system's efficacy. It provides a cartography of current research and exposes gaps in knowledge. Beyond these merits, a system map offers a blueprint for future measurement goals and strategies, suggesting which variables are critical to study for the purpose of communicating impact. To a large extent, the "How Art Works" system map reflects the strengths, limitations, and potential of existing research on the arts. Alternatives to the map--or future iterations--may generate even better research questions and methodologies to explore the nature of art, its contributions to human and societal development, and its place in American life. (Contains 11 illustrations and 24 footnotes.) [For companion report, "How Art Works: The National Endowment for the Arts' Five-Year Research Agenda, with a System Map and Measurement Model. Appendix A & B," see ED536812.]
National Endowment for the Arts. 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20506. Tel: 202-682-5400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Endowment for the Arts