Unleashing the transformative power of art through R&D
What is the impact of art on education?
A number of studies have suggested that art strengthens individual attitudes and cognitive skills; other research proposes to see cultural education as a form of social development. Our goal is to test and expand these findings, contributing to data-informed art education projects.
1. Strengthening attitudes and cognitive skills
There is widespread evidence that access to art strengthens the attitudes of students as well as their skills and cognitive abilities. However, despite these very promising findings, it is difficult to establish causality. In most studies to date there were no control groups, no modelling of variables to identify independence, no clear typologies and, finally, no replication in other contexts.
Doing so is the first main goal of our R&D work on this topic.
2. Learning as a form of social development
Other studies and discussions have a more social understanding of the impact of education – for example, proposing to use heritage as a resource to strengthen civic competencies, NCK, IRMO, Interarts Foundation, 2013. However, causality remains unproven and longitudinal evidence is rare.
Overcoming these gaps is the second main goal of our R&D work on this topic.
New ways of learning
With the advancement of digital tools in education, we aim to promote an open infrastructure hospitable to R&D features.
To that effect, we are collaborating with HyperActive - who produces for UK schools PSHE curriculum-based immersive content using AR, VT, XR, metaverse and gaming tools, and Heritage 5G - whose heritage portal offers AR and VR applications.
The current project explores which datapoints to embed in the pupils' immersive journey itself to collect data in a seamless and more efficient manner, rather than relying on online questionnaires filed by the participants.
Unleashing Agility at Work through Art
Corporations face a change in paradigm, to which they are not equipped to respond. How to address new expectations fro consumers and teams? What is the impact of new technologies on the nature of value added by work? How much better could tools of social sciences be leveraged? How to handle emerging geopolitics threats and opportunities?
To help with these challenges, TCAF proposes future-proof Continuing Professional Development (CDP) focused on developing agility.
TCAF’s CPD programme combines art and science in structured and incremental cycles accompanied by ongoing monitoring and evaluation.
We apply the theory of change to gradually deploy individual agility at managing complexities and speed of change in the work environment, for increased organisational resilience.
What is the correlation between art and an innovative society?
One of the focuses of TCAF lies on the impact of art in innovation, which we want to better understand and unleash.
1. Why innovation matters
Innovation is an increasingly popular topic. This is due to the current geopolitical context as well as to wider social and economic concerns, such as low or stagnating productivity and high unemployment rates.
Crucially, evidence reveals that creative jobs are more resistant to automation than other jobs, that there is some co-location between creative sectors and other innovative industries, and that businesses that combine science and arts skills have stronger performance.
And yet the details of these relations are not understood – the first main goal of our R&D work on this topic.
2. Creativity: from the individual to the societal level
If one wants to understand how art fosters innovative thinking, one must also develop a better understanding of the nature of creativity. Research increasingly stresses creativity as a ‘a social process embedded within organisational and institutional contexts’ (DeFillippi, Grabher and Jones, 2007: 511).
However, it is still necessary to better understand how the contribution of art to innovative ecosystems can be maximised – the second main goal of our R&D work on this topic.
What is the impact of art in sustainable development and in sustainability?
Our aim is to replicate existing studies in order to establish causality and maximise impact.
TCAF recognises the traditional understanding of sustainability, which mainly stresses its environmental dimension.
However we share a broader understanding of the term and see art as playing a major role in shifting the paradigm in how humans regard nature and consumption. Understanding how art can foster this transition is our first R&D goal on this topic.
2. Culture and Development
The role of culture in sustainability is also explained by the need to move towards a more inclusive mode of economic and social organisation that respects the environment.
Art may encourage us to consider what it means to be part of a collective – our second R&D goal is to understand how this impact can be best delivered.
3. Social Cohesion
TCAF recognises the positive effect of artistic projects in strengthening community ties. However, detailed studies of this effect are limited – rather, understanding the impact of art in social cohesion requires immersive, long-term projects and analyses.
Developing such studies is our third R&D goal on this topic.
4. Art and the City
Recent research aims to identify ways to have arts positively contributing to community development. These studies whilst rich are usually of small-scale, are not replicated and don’t establish causality.
Our fourth sustainability goal is to conduct R&D on how governance applied to art can expand culture to new players, foster intercultural exchange and citizen and local empowerment.
Impact of participatory art on rural communities
TCAF-led residency programme in the small Languedoc village of Lagamas explores the intersection between transient artistic interventions and the fabric of a rural community faced with its specific aspirations and challenges (aging population, lack of commerces, incoming inhabitants, socio-economical disparities...).
The Links That Connect photographic project led by Gideon Mendel, was monitored by an ethnologue, in particular the mapping with colour strings by each portrayed resident of their relations with others.
One key observation was the shared strategy deployed by participants to represent their village as a harmonious collective beyond the inevitable family, neighbourhood and professional tensions.
Impact of participatory art-based activities on the wellbeing, health and quality of life of elders
As a founding member of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' (MMFA) Art & Wellbeing Committee, TCAF followed the progress of an interventional clinical study (A-Health) to examine the characteristics defining the wellbeing of elders participating to regular MMFA's artistic activities.
The results confirmed positive effects, in term of wellbeing after each workshop, which gradually improved throughout the 3-month session, efficiency with regard to community-dwelling elders, and for the first time, increase in health condition.
To confirm these results on an international scale with the help of a controlled randomised trail (A-Heath RCT), TCAF was invited to coordinate in the UK the replication of the survey design.
What is the impact of art on individual wellbeing?
Our goal is firstly to test and expand the existing knowledge, namely by designing data-informed art and wellbeing projects around four types of wellbeing, and secondly to identify specific ways in which this impact can be best delivered.
1. Subjective wellbeing
Most studies regarding the impact of art on wellbeing focus on its subjective perception, as well as on the associations between type, number and frequency of participation in leisure activities and life satisfaction.
2. Physical Health
Art also has clear effects on the physical health of individuals. The difference here is that the focus is on the objective measurements of such impact. Access to art is associated with stroke recovery, a stronger immune system, and in coping with cancer treatment.
3. Mental health
There is increasing evidence that art has a positive impact on mental health.
4. Ageing well
There is increasing research focused on the impact of art on the wellbeing of old people – namely, engaging with art improves their mental and physical health and provides long-term benefits in mood and cognition.
The Cornelius Arts Foundation believes in the virtue of collaboration. We are proud to work alongside a number of great partners to carry the best work possible with the best people. If you are interested in working with The Cornelius Arts Foundation as a partner, network or venue, please drop us a line.
Research & Development
TCAF has three overarching strategic goals, which we achieve via our five R&D themes: education, innovation, sustainability, wellbeing, residencies.