Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘intrinsic impact’

The Intrinsic Impact of Art on Community

Anish Kapoor, Cloud Gate. Located in Millennium Park in Chicago. (Photo:

Anish Kapoor, Cloud Gate. Located in Millennium Park in Chicago. (Photo:

Many arguments for art ground themselves on extrinsic impacts, economic growth for example, but for communities like individuals, the greatest impact is intrinsic. Just as we as individuals employ art to reflect on questions of substance and explore issues of curiosity and controversy, so too do entire communities find meaning, happiness, and collective identity through art. Yet not often enough do we value art in this way, and it is time that we should. Andrew Swensen writes, “Yes, art makes communities more fulfilled. And yes, a fortunate byproduct of that sensibility is improved economic prosperity. So let’s talk about making artful communities because of the intrinsic impact, and then be pleasantly grateful for the secondary extrinsic consequences that follow.” Fortunately, thanks to the shifting discourse of the 21st century, evident in integrated thinking of TED talks and with a little help from at least one neuroscientist, we may already be heading in the direction of a more unified view of artistic thinking as part of a healthy society.

Join us for our latest reflection on arts and society, “The Intrinsic Impact of Art on Community” (click here to read full article).

Intrinsic Impact Research: A New Frontier in Making the Case for the Arts

Arts managers, administrators and educators often justify the importance of the arts through “extrinsic” consequences. Study of music helps to improve math performance, for example, or galleries and arts communities help in economic and community development initiatives. Yet we should always remember that the first consequence of art is intrinsic. In other words, before art affects our math scores or our communities, it affects us in some inner space.

A group of graduate researchers conducted a case study in intrinsic impact at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art. One of those involved in the research, Jessica Ryan, composes our next installment of The Muse Dialogue: “Intrinsic Impact Research: A New Frontier in Making the Case for the Arts.” In it she summarizes their research and their findings.

Click here to read this exploration of museum visitors and the consequence of the visual arts.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 89 other followers