There are different theories and approaches to describing arts and culture values. We have selected one approach that is adaptable to the heritage sector and will help you develop a stronger ‘argument’ when making your case for heritage.
At its simplest, the approach asks you to describe value in three ways: intrinsic, instrumental, and institutional. Encouraging you to consider value from different points of view, these three elements can be thought of like the points of a triangle.
Intrinsic Value is subjective because it is expressed as intellectual, emotional and spiritual responses, opinions and experiences on an individual level. This approach is very well suited to cultural organizations and most of us are familiar with this type of value.
Instrumental Value is typically expressed in figures and statistics of economic and social impact.
Institutional Value describes your organization’s actions and the community’s experiences, or more simply, the value of your organization to your community.
When developing your case for heritage, we recommend you consider the intrinsic-instrumental-institutional triangle so that you are providing hard and soft evidence. Not everyone will be equally receptive to everything you have to say, but this approach increases your chance that everyone who receives your message will hear something that is relatable.
This is based on the work of John Holden. To learn more, please visit: