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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Lampedusa Mirrors. Image from Teatro dell'Argine website
An island: Lampedusa. Lampedusa the symbol, Lampedusa the mirage, Lampedusa the nightmare. Lampedusa mirrors dreams and frustrations, hopes and stereotypes of two lands, Tunisia and Italy, united and divided by the Mediterranean Sea, with the small island of Sicily in the very middle... Un’isola: Lampedusa. Lampedusa il simbolo, Lampedusa il miraggio, Lampedusa l’incubo. Lampedusa come specchio dei sogni e delle frustrazioni, delle speranze e degli stereotipi di due terre, la Tunisia e l’Italia, unite e divise dal Mediterraneo, con la piccola isola della Sicilia al loro centro...
Image from Lampedusa Mirrors, from Matarasso's blog "A restless art"
Like all citizens and their organisations, artists are part of civil society. They have a distinctive role within it when their work gives voice and visibility to people who are marginalised or not easily heard. In all societies some groups and interests dominate, thanks to their position, strength or control of resources. For everyone else, culture may be the only legitimate (or safe) form of expression.
Thanks to the support of the Arts Council, in 2016 #WakingTheFeminists commissioned groundbreaking research into the gender balance in ten of the top publicly funded theatre organisations over a ten-year period from 2006-2015, as a way to create a baseline from which these changes can be measured. This report is the piece of the puzzle that was missing, the research that never existed. And you will find that it is stark.
The object of this study is a qualitative evaluation of the way people perceive and value the programming of Maria Matos and its political positioning.
Cultural institutions across Europe should create new museums and exhibitions dedicated to migration, as arts and culture are “uniquely placed” to empower refugees, a major new European Union (EU) report has concluded.
IETM Bucharest session "How to save Europe?" addressed the gloomy reality Europe is living through: democratic deficit, institutional crisis, increasingly predominant populist and nationalist rhetoric, social disintegration. A group of around 50 participants coming from very diverse realities attempted to identify the ways in which culture and the arts can help overcoming the depression Europe has been driven to.
https://theconversation.com/whats-the-point-of-art-77118?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20May%2018%202017%20-%2074075685&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20May%2018%202017%20-%2074075685+CID_96103f3d63d8074a2c0d09edb5ea3f16&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=Whats%20the%20point%20of%20art
One of the great paradoxes of human endeavour is why so much time and effort is spent on creating things and indulging in behaviour with no obvious survival value – behaviour otherwise known as art.
Counter-Commencement Debtor’s Ceremony at the Whitney Museum.
Capitalist crisis does not begin within art, but art can reflect and amplify its effects, to positive and negative ends. Gregory Sholette, author of the new book Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism, examines the disjunct between declarations of art’s virtue and high moralism, with the political economy of the cultural sector, whilst outlining his term ‘Bare Art’: a denuding of art’s entanglement with capitalism.
Cultural operators, whether institutions, businesses, NGOs are right to make the case that cultural investment is good for foreign relations and ultimately to achieve EU goals (including in economic and trade fields). They now have to build the case justifying more culture in EU external relations’ policy.
Students protesting the dismissal of their professors with presidential decrees in Ankara University.  Photo: haber.sol.org.tr
The level of suppression against art in Turkey can only be grasped by going deep into details and history. Sacking of 4,464 public servants including 330 academics sounds alarming, but knowing it also meant the practical closing down of the most important theatre institution of the country is shocking. The arson of a theatre and a cultural centre is scary, but knowing its symbolic significance reminding of the mass murder of intellectuals and artists in 1993 is infuriating.

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