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  • TCAF

Literature Review

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

TCAF Literature Review index | visual concept by Maryam Palizgir & Mohammad Jahangir

The Cornelius Arts Foundation is committed to understanding and leveraging the transformative power of art through our research and development projects.

The purpose of TCAF research is not to demonstrate the value of art to the individual and society, or to measure this value. Fields such as art therapy and cultural value are already well investigated. The charity is more interested in understanding where this value is located, how it is delivered and how it can be optimised.

For instance, whilst research has already highlighted the positive impact that cultural and creative markets have on the economy, more research is needed into the qualitative and quantitative benefits of the arts and culture and associated mechanisms enabling and incentivising those benefits. Creative jobs have e.g. been proven more resistant to automation and more beneficial to employees’ wellbeing.

To work towards this, we first analysed the existing evidence on art’s benefit to society in the form of a literature review. This was to allow us to offer data-based solutions in the future, distinguishing ourselves among the existing landscape of art organisations.

Our research for the literature review was multilingual and interdisciplinary, drawing on disciplines from anthropology to neuroscience, management studies to art history as well as engaging with the wider public through online forums and idea crowdsourcing. Our methodology is not only emblematic of The Cornelius Arts Foundation’s mission but also positions the charity alongside a limited number of organisations that are interested on the trans-disciplinary benefits of art.

The paper was designed with the wider public as its primary audience. Arts policy makers and arts professionals are also an important audience as they are stakeholders in understanding the transformative power of art. The Cornelius Arts Foundation’s partners and sponsors shall benefit from the paper, which give them a clearer understanding of our work.

The literature review was conducted over 2016 and aggregated the analysis of hundred of publications.

The project was spearheaded by Mafalda Dâmaso with the generous contribution of multiple academics.


Mafalda Dâmaso PhD in Visual Culture, Goldsmiths, University of London Mafalda is a contemporary art researcher with a background in sociology, philosophy and politics. She began her career in the commercial sector, followed by positions in not-for-profit cultural organisations and as an associate lecturer at Goldsmiths.

Anna Balashova MBA, London Business School; BSc Economics, Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Anastasia Goryunova Master in Contemporary Art, Montpellier Unversity III; Master in Mediation (art & public), University of Paris VIII

Marianna Meloni BA in Literature, Music and Performing Arts, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; MA in Publishing and Media, University of Macerata, Italy

James Nasmyth BA Humanities and Critical Studies, University of Brighton; MA History of Art and Visual Cultures, University of Oxford

Arman Nouri BSc in Anthropology of Art, UCL

Kirsty Sedgman PhD in Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University Kirsty is an audience researcher investigating arts impact and cultural value. Her forthcoming book Locating the Audience, which investigates the opening season of National Theatre Wales, will be the first in-depth study of how people form relationships with a new theatre company.



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