Research project

Arts as Public Service - Strategic Steps towards Equality (ARTSEQUAL)

Project Details

Start date: 01/05/2015

End date: 30/04/2021



Academy of Finland


The ARTSEQUAL project promotes equality in the context of the arts as public service by creating a new holistic perspective to see the value of arts in society; generating new practices and investigating their impacts; and establishing policy recommendations to implement research results. By recognizing the arts as a ‘game changer', the multidisciplinary consortium will explore and illuminate the full capacity of the arts to generate cutting-edge social and service innovations for Finnish society. Responding to the need for a large-scale inquiry on the complex interrelations between the arts, arts education, well-being and sustainable growth, the project addresses a central question for the future development of the Finnish welfare society by rethinking the role of the arts for 21st-century social challenges: what if the arts were understood more widely as public service having equality as its starting point? The consortium is comprised of six research teams within the University of the Arts Helsinki, University of Turku, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the Foundation for Cultural Policy Research (Cupore), and Lappeenranta University of Technology, in collaboration with a strategic network of international, national, and local partners and stakeholders from public agencies, universities and NGOs. The research uses a multi-methodological approach (including multiple modes of quantitative and qualitative data) in order to improve knowledge of inequality impacts in public services; and utilise research results to develop solutions for social challenges (e.g. the silo-effect in services; increasing immigration; unequal access to services; regional cultural differences; the growing group of elderly; and the marginalized groups of those with special needs and disabilities) that are not currently being addressed by cultural politics. This project enacts a radical shift of perspective towards democracy, entailing systemic thinking and organisational boundary-crossings between the field of the arts, education, social welfare, health and care, creating social innovations and new roles, functions and professional tasks for the arts. In a socially and economically sustainable way, Finland will be a leader in enacting social innovations that enhance equality, inclusion, active community engagement and well-being.

equality, inclusion, agency, arts, arts education, public service, basic service, systemic thinking, Basic education in the arts, social
engagement, arts-based initiatives, community art, well-being, learning, learning organisation, impact research

Last updated on 2021-16-11 at 10:01