Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Paper 6: Measuring the Impact of Arts and Culture on Wellbeing

As the UK’s third City of Culture (CoC) award draws to a close, there is a unique opportunity to reflect on what works to improve wellbeing in place-based arts and culture. Each award is a testing ground for how to successfully embed systematic evaluation research practices in UK CoC programmes. Through this, we can understand how placebased arts and culture affect our quality of life, thereby informing policy and investment decisions.

Evaluations of wellbeing interventions and pilots constitute a key source of evidence on the drivers of our quality of life and social capital. So what does the growing body of evaluation research tell us about the wellbeing value of arts and culture interventions? What are the factors that enable wellbeing outcomes and reduce social inequalities?

This paper reflects on key findings from a new rapid review on what works to improve wellbeing in arts and culture interventions, connecting research findings with the priorities of policy-making. It looks ahead to future wellbeing and place-based research, making recommendations on how to generate and sustain wellbeing value creation through arts, culture, and heritage interventions.

Please view the full paper on 'Measuring the Impact of Arts and Culture on Wellbeing'.


Margherita Musella is Head of Reviews and Evaluation at the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. An evaluator by background, she has over 10 years’ experience using social impact measurement review methodologies to evaluate employability, heritage and wellbeing interventions in Italy and the UK.