A New, More Accurate Arts Formula

For years, arts supporters have used a mathematical formula to estimate the economic impact of theaters, orchestras, and art galleries on a given area. Trouble is, the formula’s accuracy is arguable at best, and many have stopped taking it seriously. Now, a pair of Canadian researchers is proposing a new way of measuring arts impact, without confusing it with cultural tourism. “What the study suggests is the possibility of actually identifying a predictable pattern of development around arts facilities — the researchers can already say specialty retailers follow restaurants, which follow the arts — that would take the guesswork out of government plans to use the arts as a tool of urban regeneration.”