Intrinsic Impacts are the core benefits that can accrue to individuals by virtue of experiencing an exhibition or live performance. There are five constructs of intrinsic impact:
Captivation: The extent to which the audience member was absorbed in the performance or exhibition; captivation is the linchpin of impact – if you are captivated, oth
er impacts are likely to happ
en, whereas if you are not captivated (or, worse, if you snooze through the program), other impacts are less likely to happen.
Example: Did you lose track of time and forget about everything else during the performance [or exhibition]?
Intellectual Stimulation: The degree to which the performance or exhibition triggered thinking about the art, issues or topics, or caused critical reflection.
Example: Afterwards, did you discuss the performance [or exhibition] with others who attended? If so, was this a casual exchange, or an intense exchange? Did you leave the performance [or exhibition] with unanswered questions you’d like to ask the artist, director [curator] or creator of the work? If so, what were one or two of your questions?
Emotional Resonance: The extent to which the audience member experienced a heightened emotional state during or after the performance or exhibition.
Example: What was your emotional response to the performance? (scale: 1=weak, 5=strong); To what extent did you feel a bond with one or more of the artists [or characters in a play]
Aesthetic Enrichment: The extent to which the audience member was exposed to a
new style or type of art or a new artist (aesthetic growth), and also the extent to which the experience served to validate and celebrate art that is familiar (aesthetic validation).
Example: Did this performance expose you to a style or type of [art, music, dance, theatre] with which you were unfamiliar?
Social Bridging and Bonding: Connectedness with the
rest of the audience, new insight on one’s own culture or a culture outside of one’s life experience, or new perspective on human relationships or social issues
Example: Did you feel a sense of connectedness with the rest of the audience? To what extent did the performance celebrate your cultural heritage or express a part of your identity? [social bonding]; To what extent did you gain a new appreciation for a culture other than your own? [social bridging]
For a lengthier and more comprehensive discussion about the value system surrounding arts experiences, see An Architecture of Value.