Relative Values is a research project led by Paul Heritage at People’s Palace Projects (Queen Mary University of London) and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Bringing together academic and non-academic partners, the research asks how we can measure and strengthen practices and policies that maximise the social and economic value of the arts to individuals and society, particularly in peripheral urban environments. Following on from a case study in Heritage’s previous research project The Art of Cultural Exchange’,  this new project aims to contribute  to understandings about cultural value and to enable the four participating arts organisations to collaborate on testing effective ways to show how the arts can be incubators for creative economy initiatives that develop resilient, low-stress communities.

Professor Leandro Valiati and his research team at  NECCULT (Creative and Cultural Economy Study Centre based at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) are co-investigators on the programme. The aim is to discover effective ways to build the capability of small-scale arts organisations to measure and raise their own cultural value in relation to the specifics of their own local creative economy.

Relative Values brings together Brazilian and UK organisations Agência de Redes para a Juventude (Agency of Youth Networks), Redes da Maré (Networks of Maré), Contact Theatre (Manchester) and Battersea Arts Centre to pilot a research methodology that helps organisations map and narrate their impact on the territories in which they operate.

The results of the research will be shared at public events in London, Manchester and Rio de Janeiro in summer 2018. The final report will include a toolkit making the methodology of the project public for arts organisations to adapt and create their own model to assess and narrate the value of their work in their local territory.