Arts in the City and Global Changes: The Demographical Challenge

By Daniele Ietri and Peter Karl Kresl.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Research informs us that one of the statistically verified determinants of the competitiveness of a city is the vitality of its cultural institutions. This is in part because cultural institutions enhance the image of a city and because highly skilled and educated workers will not move to a city that lacks them. This not just for the enjoyment of the workers but also because they insist that their children be exposed to high quality music, art, theater and dance.
Our empirical study of the vitality of cultural institutions in 35 cities in the US, EU, and, as a special case, in Italy, has made it clear that the vitality of these cultural facilities is strongly dependent upon the participation of seniors – those individuals who are 50-80 years of age. Audiences are in excess of 60 percent seniors and financial sponsors are usually 75 per cent or more composed of seniors. Seniors of the decades to come will be healthier, wealthier, better educated and more mobile than has ever been the case.
In our presentation we will examine the experiences of cultural facilities in cities with their senior populations, identify “best practices”, and offer a set of policies that can be implemented by the directors of cultural facilities to assure their future financial and audience vitality.

Keywords: City, Cultural Vitality, Audience, Practices

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.53-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.307MB).

Dr. Daniele Ietri

Research Assistant, Politecnico e Università di Torino, Torino, Italy

Currently holding a post-doc “Premier assistant” position at the Institut de Géographie, Faculté des Géosciences of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The project on the positive consequences for urban economies of an aging population was developed with Prof. Peter Karl while research assistant at Dipartimento Interateneo Territorio, Politecnico and University of Torino, Italy, in 2008-2009. Dr. Ietri holds a Ph.D. from the University of Torino, Italy (2005) and has been lecturer of Economic Geography at the Faculty of Economics in Cuneo, Italy, from 2006. His research and publications focus on the regional and urban competitiveness and, more on the methodological side, on the analysis of networks at different geographical scales. He served as consultant for public bodies in the implementation and assessment of ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) programs. He is member of the Global Urban Competitiveness Group.

Prof. Peter Karl Kresl

Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, USA

Prof. Kresl is emeritus professor of economics at Bucknell University in the US. He has been participating with the Italian Association for Study of Local Development (AISLo) on a study of the competitiveness of Italian cities. Prof. Kresl also works with the Global Urban Competitiveness Group, which he co-founded with Ni Pengfei of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and is currently working on the third application of his model of urban competitiveness to the 24 largest U.S. cities. He has published books on aspects of urban competitiveness and on the French economy.


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