Evaluation of the European Capital of Culture Salzkammergut 2024
The topic of evaluating social impacts has reached the cultural sector relatively late. While impact measurement and evaluation in the social sector have been carried out for quite some time with a focus on social added value and ecological impacts have also arrived in the mainstream in the profit-oriented private sector under sustainability aspects, in the cultural sector, management is still based in many places on output key figures, such as the number of visitors or the capacity utilisation of cultural events. Increased impact orientation, i.e. identifying and analysing impacts across stakeholders and beyond purely economic benefits, is still in its infancy here.
In the cultural sector, too, overarching goals are set in order to achieve social added value. A good example of a cultural project that is aligned with impact goals at both the European and national levels as well as at the project level is the European Capital of Culture. Here, social added value is not only achieved on different political levels, but also in a variety of impact dimensions: for example, social and cultural impacts are generated among visitors and cultural workers, as well as economic impacts in terms of tourism promotion and urban development, but also psychological and physiological impacts among the regional population.
In 2024, Austria will host the European Capital of Culture alongside Estonia and Norway, and Bad Ischl-Salzkammergut is the first entire region to be awarded the title. The NPO Competence Center was commissioned to evaluate the social added value of the European Capital of Culture Salzkammergut 2024 by means of an impact analysis within the framework of a project starting in 2023. The impacts, which will be collected in different dimensions using a wide range of methods, some of which will be creative and participatory, will be presented in the form of an impact map and partially monetised within the framework of an integrated SROI analysis. Together, these two forms of presentation allow for an effective communication of the social (added) value achieved by the Salzkammergut 2024 Capital of Culture. Such a comprehensive presentation of the societal added value of large cultural events has not been carried out before and therefore represents novelty value for the scientific study of cultural events as well as for evaluations of large cultural activities. In the future, the indicators developed could be used for the evaluation of cultural events in the allocation of funding.