I had the great privilege of sitting down with professor David Magidson (PhD) of the Arts and Theatre department at Wayne State University to discuss the research he was doing in regards to the economical and non-econimcal aspects of the arts and culture in everyday living.
The research was structured around getting a better understanding of the everyday value of arts and to be able to look at the economical implications that come with art. By documenting the place of arts and culture in our lives it provides us a look in to what the arts are featured as in each city and why they matter. Professor Magidson also explained how arts is such a broad term it is being almost ignored in the sense that it categorically is not present. For example, he expanded on that by saying art can be anything from a flute to a kite in the sky, it’s the perception by which it is viewed that alters its motive in everyday life. Economically it is all mixed up in regards to what is considered art, for instance, he mentioned how in the U.S. yearly budget report it showed all the arts separated in different categories, so instead of what is known as an instrument which is considered artistry that would be labeled under timber and wood work which is really bizarre to me. The significance of this research was to find ways to help develop challenged communities with ways to not only attract tourists but to also brighten up the community in which the art is presented. This could be a new art gallery or simply a beautiful statue, anything that can broaden a horizon is worth the addition.
The study was conducted in a couple different ways including surveying groups and interviewing people who would come through a town that had a real life model on display to see if that would get them to return or want to purchase something. Sadly though, professor Magidson stated the results were usually negative and the overall impact of the research was not as successful as he had hoped.