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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Putting art at the heart of a community enhances our lives by stirring hard-to-articulate feelings and inspiring us to look beyond what we believe to be possible and imagine a more vibrant, exciting future. It also reminds us that we’re all creative beings — and that whether we’re making art or music, telling stories or cathartically sharing in the experience, we’re all connected.
'Culture is simultaneously the art that we make but it is also the life that makes us​. When a model like creative industries comes along, it can tidy that up a little bit too much and it can slant it in one direction, particularly the economic.’
President Robert Mugabe’s statements that about $15 billion raised from diamond sales was missing has inspired veteran theatre producer and actor Silvanos Mudzvova to pen a one-man, 45-minute play titled Missing Diamonds, I Need My Share
"The vast majority of artists are now, effectively, on their own. The only courses of action are carrying on as always hoping for recognition and support form a funding system powerless to deliver it, or start the difficult task of engaging the public and developing our own capacity. It means putting our skills and our talent, our passions and moral convictions, our creativity at the service of the public..."
Published in the frame of European Cultural Foundation's Idea Camp 2015, Build the City: perspectives on commons and culture rediscovers, reframes and reconsiders previously published historical, artistic, participatory and theoretical perspectives on the subject by a wide variety of authors from different geographical and professional backgrounds. This publication presents a range of texts, studies, interviews and cultural examples of what we see happening in our cities and their wider regions across Europe: a powerful bottom-up movement led by citizens themselves, developing new...
"Art and culture are under immense threat. I am not thinking only about those sustained by public subsidy but about the fate of culture itself. Our system of collective and individual meaning-making has been given over to a market-machine for the capture of ‘profit without production’, whose dominating logic is financialisation and the battery of digitised metrics that goes along with it."
Cultural policies which ensure freedom of expression and promote creativity are essential for a country's long-term development. This was the main theme of a debate on 2 May, between UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova and six Nordic culture ministers, marking the start of this year’s World Press Freedom Day events in Helsinki, Finland.
"Intercultural communication also matters for international political achievements. Policy makers tend to talk over each other, rather than with each other, in global governance systems due to the lack of intercultural exchange." Helly, D. 2016. Intercultural integration and communication: An agenda for Europe. ECDPM Talking Points blog, 21 April 2016.
In a world where individualism has killed cooperation and the capacity for being and working together, where cooperation sucks and self-reliance seems so cool, we are smoothly and consistently dismantling all social ties. Why am I supposed to do something with my neighbours? I'd rather do it alone. Cultural initiatives that challenge this extremely individualized model of the world are worth closer attention, as they help us re-establish social ties and our trust in others.
Policymakers need to know that a policy “delivers”, and for that they need measurable results. This has skewed research towards quantitative methods, but these can’t capture the subtleties of the way we appreciate art. Appreciation is unpredictable. One can never know for sure what impact a work of art will have.

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