The Culture Value Project is a new initiative from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) – it sets out to measure the effect of culture and how it impacts our wellbeing and maybe also to prove something about the Creative Economy. Of course, it’s a toughie – firstly, to put into words the benefit received from a particular experience and secondly, to place it onto some sort of scale.
I didn’t grow up with arts and culture in my world though I did go to ballet classes and I did find it stressful. Books were my getaway but it was only when I hit my twenties that I started to feel blown away by arty, cultural experiences – literally, winded, short of breath and then addicted to getting that next high. It’s a euphoric feeling that I don’t often get and the last time it happened was in 2010 at the Old Vic Tunnels. It took me by surprise (classic symptom) in a dark and unexpected venue (adds to the excitement) – the second I opened the door and walked into the live music from Johnny Parry (never heard of him before) the moment came. I was big time breathless. Luckily, this time I was with a friend who I know felt something similar, still talk about it to this day.
How on earth do you measure the value of that then? Good luck AHRC.