Excerpt: culture in which everyone has a stake

March 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

“The culture in which everyone has a stake would be a democratic culture. Although artists could no longer presume to have a privileged place just by virtue of being artists, they also would no longer have to pretend that their contributions are inevitably marginal or misunderstood. Moreover, the practices and qualities people learn through proper engagement with the arts would promote the critique, creativity, and dialogue that nurture democratic dispositions. Emphasis must be placed on “proper,” however, to counteract the mistaken notion, all too common among educators and arts advocates, that exposure to the arts will in and of itself make people better citizens and community members. Hypercommercialism and performance fetishism do not stop at the museum portal or the schoolhouse door. Their effects make it difficult for cultural audiences and producers to pursue the creative tension of artistic authenticity and social responsibility in which practices and qualities of freedom can flourish.”

* Zuidervaart, Lambert. “Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture” p. 291. Cambridge University Press 2011.

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