Details on article

Id 152
Author Jancovich, L.,
Title Great art for everyone? Engagement and participation policy in the arts

Jancovich, L. (2011). Great art for everyone? Engagement and participation policy in the arts. Cultural Trends, 20:3-4, 271-279, DOI: 10.1080/09548963.2011.589708

Keywords Participation; Engagement; Participatory budgeting; Cultural democracy; Artistic practice; Cultural policy
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Abstract New Labour began its administration with a commitment to bring democracy to culture. However, a decade later the Arts Council England (ACE)'s mission statement of “Great art for everyone” suggested a continued emphasis on access to mainstream culture rather than on cultural democracy. The argument in this paper is that Labour's vision has resulted in little change to the basis upon which arts institutions receive regular funding, or the social composition of those who participate in the arts in Britain today – who remain predominantly white and middle class. Public consultation through The arts debate provides evidence that the arts are still perceived as elitist, and policy too insular and self-reflective. The report clearly identified the public's desire for not only greater transparency in decision-making processes but also involvement in the decisions themselves, in order to democratise the arts.

Metodology This paper draws on research investigating the extent to which participatory decision-making schemes affect cultural democracy and the subsequent impact on artistic policy and practice. In addition to documentary analysis, this study involved interviews with staff at arts organisations, policymakers from Arts Council England and local authorities, and members of the public who had taken part in participatory decision-making projects in the arts.

DOI DOI: 10.1080/09548963.2011.589708
Search Database Taylor & Francis
Technique Interview; Document analysis
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