Excerpt: cultural deficit

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Arts organizations in North America face a cultural deficit. The deficit occurs in the societal structures that sustain them. But it also occurs within the explanations that arts organizations give for the societal importance of the arts. This cultural deficit receives forceful expression in standard economic arguments for government arts funding: such arguments misinterpret the character of cultural practices. They also misconstrue the role of arts organizations in a democratic society. The standard arguments are like canaries in the sociocultural mine: they fall silent precisely where internal deficits hinder arts organizations from fostering a democratic culture. The arguments, like the organizations, fall silent before the question, what good is art?”

* Zuidervaart, Lambert. “Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture” p. 48. Cambridge University Press 2011.

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