Value of Arts

Today's world is obsessed with measuring the impact of every field of public (subsidised) activity. Does your project entail spending public money? Then be prepared to justify its value with numbers and facts.

While numerous studies reveal the power of culture in driving economic growth and creating jobs, it is difficult to quantify the intangible impacts of arts.

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This article, in Catalan, was published in ENTREACTE, the magazine of the "Catalonian association of professional performers and directors", in the 2016 summer issue. It presents the new Mission of IETM and adds some meaning and context to its different statements.
"Reproduction, appropriation, new narratives, and opposition to hegemonies: techniques art has used to challenge the mass-produced cultural propaganda of fascism, late imperialistic capitalism and outmoded intrinsically conservative, individualistic and modernist beliefs about autonomy. This type of avant-garde approach had real cultural importance and it was dangerous."
"Een maand na de subsidiebeslissingen in Vlaanderen werd ook de vierjaarlijkse ronde in Nederland een slagveld voor de podiumkunsten. Vaste waarden als Dood Paard, het Theaterfestival, Orkater, Laura van Dolron, het Haagse danshuis Korzo, LeineRoebana, Popfestival Noorderslag: allemaal zien ze hun toekomstplannen verdampen. Het onderliggende probleem blijkt hetzelfde als in Vlaanderen. Er is veel te weinig budget voor de beschikbare kwaliteit, en dat blokkeert alle groeikansen."
Millions of Syrians have fled their war-torn country. Those who stayed behind are confronted daily with the ongoing war. 26-year-old Ahmad Joudeh is one of them. He fights the war in his own way.
We’re currently witnessing the largest international migration of people and the worst refugee crisis since World War II. British theatre has a long tradition of holding a mirror up to the most challenging issues of our time, and the current humanitarian crisis is no exception. Recent months have seen many theatrical responses to the refugee situation by artists here in the UK, as theatre companies and artists turn their attention to the issue.
The NEA has posted a very interesting interview between their Sunil Iyengar and the critic Leon Wieseltier. It raises interesting questions about the role of measurement in arts policy. So here is a question: what really is the demand for performance measures in public spending? After all, the biggest spending item in the US government (excluding transfer payments to individuals) is far and away the military. It is not my impression that defense spending is determined by the latest set of performance indicators. Farm subsidies? Transportation infrastructure? The tax expenditure involved in...
Culture permeates many pivotal political agendas. At European level, EU institutions are working towards a strategy on international cultural relations. At the global level, the relation between culture and development is addressed in several Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) targets and in an increasing developed body of research.
"Canada is going all in on a model of cultural diversity — supported by arts that allow for a non-threatening celebration of identity and cultural difference — that other countries seem to think is outdated, unworkable and susceptible to exploitation by hostile forces. The arts, Joly says, are linked to all of Canada’s ambitions in the world today, and Canada sees itself as an international role model."
From Van Gogh to Rembrandt, from William Blake to John Keats to countless others unremarked, most artists suffer a meagre existence. The notion of “hunger artists”, as Kafka wrote, has a timeless quality that some artists have adorned as a badge of honour. But what has happened to the “starving artists” of Australia, given its sustained 25-year run of uninterrupted economic growth, is particularly jarring.
Culture permeates many pivotal political agendas. At European level, EU institutions are working towards a strategy on international cultural relations. At global level, the relation between culture and development is addressed in several Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) targets and in an increasing developed body of research. This briefing note casts light upon culture in EU development policies and external action, reviewing discussions around this topic and opening the floor for questions. With the SDGs and new EU strategies in place, how will culture and development objectives meet...

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