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.

 

roshonil (CC BY-NC)
Elenq
Steven Hadley shares his concerns about the shift towards hyperinstrumentalisation in arts policy, which is giving precedence to wellbeing, educational and economic outcomes over cultural value.
Elena DI FEDERICO
Violent extremism thrives in polarized debates and buils on processes of “othering” and stigmatization. Culture and the arts can play a key role in preventing, countering and reducing the consequences of violent extremism by creating social capital and sense of belonging, by fostering resilience, and ultimately showing that we have more in common than what divides us.
fbittencourt
An ambitious and large scale project, The Big Anxiety festival – a University of New South Wales initiative run over seven weeks in Sydney – is trying to not only get people talking about their mental health, but also to alleviate some of the associated pain.
www.agenda21culture.net
Elenq
Whilst stressing this potential for positive change, it is necessary to recall that processes related to the arrival of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants can involve instances of fear, friction and isolation, affecting both the host communities and the newly arrived. Cultural participation and interaction can play an important role in alleviating this, but, above all, holistic and transversal policy approaches, involving public authorities and civil society and being sensitive to the needs of all, should be promoted.
Victor Mayot
In Bookends, two writers take on questions about the world of books. This week, Adam Kirsch and Liesl Schillinger discuss the art yielded by populist and elite mind-sets.
Victor Mayot
The story of the “thesis from the Faculty of Fine Arts” even managed to catch the attention of the media usually disinterested in art or education. The reason was simple: the FFA graduate Kryštof Ambrůz used the words “fucked up art” in the introduction and went on to say that his work was meaningless and had no point. This statement holds true for education as well; the only thing that matters when you live in the Czech Republic is “slaving away” and the awareness of this idiotic fact finally caught up with him in the last year of his studies, leading to apathy and a loss of motivation.
Victor Mayot
People are stupid. Wait, hear me out. I didn’t say that – although in a time when Donald Trump can get elected US president and a referendum can doom Britain to inglorious isolation, haven’t you occasionally wondered?
Image via Shutterstock
Victor Mayot
A pervasive ideology has encouraged us to see individuals, not a society; to think of competition as natural and emphasise growth at all costs. What damage has this done to creativity?
Victor Mayot
We develop and test the idea that public appreciation for authentic lowbrow culture affords an effective way for certain elites to address feelings of authenticity-insecurity arising from “high status denigration” (Hahl and Zuckerman 2014). This argument, which builds on recent sociological research on the “search for authenticity” (e.g., Grazian 2005) and on Bourdieu’s (1993) notion of artistic “disinterestedness,” is validated through experiments with U.S. subjects in the context of “outsider” art (Fine 2004).
Image via Neajjean/Flickr
Elenq
If art is to be relevant to the environment, it needs to move beyond an art context to engage with the land itself. New evidence of a Southern Pacific Garbage patch has been found. Longtime combatant of oceanic plastic Captain Charles Moore has published new findings that further detail the concentrated amount of plastic in the South Pacific Garbage Patch near Chile and Peru, with his NGO Algalita, which is dedicated to finding solutions to plastic waste choking the oceans. The Southern Pacific Garbage patch is now believed to be larger than Mexico.

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