Assessing the impact of culture and creativity in society

This magazine describes the journey of a course at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The elective course ‘Assessing the impact of culture and creativity in society’ (CC4123) was piloted in the master of Arts and Culture Studies in 2021, as a collaboration between the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) and Impact Centre Erasmus (ICE)Impact at the Core supported the coming into being of the course and the magazine.

The aim of the magazine is to enthuse educators, organizers, and current and future students for impact research and education. The magazine, which is informative rather than mere entertaining or instructive, entails the outcomes of students’ impact research for a diverse group of organizations in the Netherlands and Belgium: the Van Gogh  Museum, Women Connected, Cultuur+Ondernemen, ‘Allez, Chantez!’, Amsterdam Fashion College, and Eye Filmmuseum.

The magazine includes essays on the importance of impact studies for arts and cultural organizations and on the role of a theory of change in assessing the social impact of culture and creativity. Additionally, it provides some guidance to those organizers or policy makers who consider developing impact research in an arts and culture context, and to those educators who consider developing impact education.

With a pilot course that took place during eight weeks between February and April 2021, the course coordinators hope to have taken crucial steps in developing transformative education. Cooperative work between students, problem-solving, seminar dialogue, and action research have been key aspects of the course under scope, which sought to foster values such as respect, communication, sharing, and caring. The organizations that were the source of the students’ projects have been represented by generous members who took up roles as mentors and taught the students many aspects of the professional context.

Ellen Loots and Marjelle Vermeulen have been the driving forces behind the course and this magazine, which were co-created with students and the cultural organizations as key stakeholders. The course and magazine provide an example of how impact, education, research and society come together.


Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication: Ellen Loots,
Impact Centre Erasmus: Marjelle Vermeulen,
Impact at the Core: Linda de Vreede,

The magazine Assessing the impact of culture and creativity in society can be downloaded here

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