Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Research has shown art affects the fundamental sense of self.
Art as Repository of Collective Memory
Painting, sculpture, music, literature and the other arts are often considered to be the repository of a societyдуЅн_М»s collective memory. Art preserves what fact-based historical records cannot: how it felt to exist in a particular place at a particular time. Because art is so important to society and culture, it is highly revered and significant works are visited by millions of visitors each year at notable museums around the world.
Another example of art and how it affects society is with Australian Aboriginal art. These works date back over multiple generations, and it was used to transmit information from generation to generation. It has sacred meaning. Although many Aboriginals were displaced from their land and languages have been lost, the art remains as a strong reminder of the history of Australia. Even today, the Aboriginal art influences contemporary art in concept and style.
Art for Social Change
Art is often a vehicle for social change. It can give voice to the politically or socially disenfranchised. A song, film or novel can rouse emotions in those who encounter it, inspiring them to rally for change. The impact that art has on society is threefold, it comes from the individual's reaction to the work, the power inherent in the work and the environmental factors surrounding the work.
Art and the Human Brain
Researchers have long been interested in the relationship between art and the human brain. For example, in 2013, researchers from Newcastle University found that viewing contemporary visual art had positive effects on the personal lives of nursing home-bound elders. Also, when people are watching theatrical arts like dance, their brain picks up on the movements and mimics them.
Most interestingly, art activates the visual centers in the brain. According to another study by the University of Queensland in Australia, attending a museum has many positive benefits to people. This includes sharper critical thinking skills, as well as giving the brain a more openness to learning and experiencing more things.
Art and Society
Art also has utilitarian influences on society. There is a demonstrable, positive correlation between schoolchildren's grades in math and literacy, and their involvement with drama or music activities. Also, art brings people together and gives people a chance to be part of a community. It provides a social connection with others.
Art and the Individual
As the National Art Education Association points out, art is beneficial for the artist as an outlet for work. Art also fosters the human need for self-expression and fulfillment, and can be an extension of the self.
Art and the Economy
Art is also economically viable. The creation, management and distribution of art employs many. Also, economies that attract a higher proportion of creative individuals tend to be stronger. This is because the arts is at the core of many economic engines, like restaurants, music and architecture. Since art is such a vital part of everyday life, there are many professions that directly deal with art and creative pursuits.