How do you measure how art works - on people, on communities, or on society? It's a broad question, and the National Endowment for the Arts offers an ambitious plan to "map" the arts to better understand and measure this complex, dynamic system. How Art Works describes the agency's five-year research agenda, framed and informed by a groundbreaking "system map" and measurement model. The map is grounded in the theory that arts engagement contributes to quality of life in a virtuous cycle from the individual level to the societal level, and back. The map helps illustrate the dynamic, complex interactions that make up this particular system, from "inputs" such as education and arts infrastructure, to "outcomes" such as benefits of the arts to individuals and communities. The NEA developed the map through a series of dialogues with researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the arts, economics, education, health, and other fields. September 2012. 46 pp. In addition to the main publication, you will access the two appendices by clicking "Download pdf"