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Reframing Cultural Value Edinburgh event, Dovecote Studios

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1 Reframing Cultural Value Edinburgh event, Dovecote Studios
Dangerous Ground: Reframing Cultural Value Edinburgh event, Dovecote Studios 28th June 2013 #dangerousground & #culturalvalue

2 Context setting intro by Ele Belfiore
Dangerous Ground: Context setting intro by Ele Belfiore Cultural value as key issue for the sector: ‘Values represent our guiding principles: our broadest motivations, influencing the attitudes we hold and how we act’ (http://valuesandframes.org/handbook/1-why-values-matter/). What is cultural policy? If policy is just the final distillation of struggles over cultural politics, how can we have a more interesting (and political!) debate around the role and value of the arts & culture, and how can we ensure wider, active, shaping participation in it, so that cultural policy is not something that is ‘done to’ the sector?

3 Why cultural value? A topical issue that is here to stay – possibly the defining debate for the years to come? A way out of the instrumental/intrinsic value dichotomy? A way to re-inject cultural politics into cultural policy research (cultural authority) – e.g.: whose cultural value(s)? Allows research to move beyond the obsession with technical problems (e.g. impact toolkit mania) to more philosophical, political, ethical ones about the kind of society we want to live in (and the place of arts and culture within it)

4 Reframing Cultural value: towards a possible approach
Challenging the predominance of the economic rhetoric: ‘In these early decades of the twenty-first century, the master story is economic; economic beliefs, values and assumptions are shaping how we feel, think, and act. The beliefs, values and assumptions that make up the economic story aren’t inherently right or wrong; they’re just a single perspective on the nature of reality. In a monoculture though, that single perspective becomes so engrained as the only reasonable reality that we begin to forget our other stories, and fail to see the monoculture in its totality, never mind question it’. (Michaels, F. S. 2011)

5 Reframing Cultural value: towards a possible approach
Questioning the values at the root of the arts funding system: The funding system itself an interesting case of cultural value in operation - Key publicly funded organisations’ cultural authority is rooted in their perceived/unchallenged cultural value BUT: How to broaden the debate to those cultural policy is meant to benefit: artists & creative practitioners and the public? How to broaden the debate beyond a focus on ‘policy’ and funding? Need for a collaborative agenda

6 The #culturalvalue Initiative
A curated blog, resource, debate arena & meeting place for different perspectives… Specific projects as part of the initiative: Plans to develop an international cultural value network with partners in Australia A 2-day workshop in June 2012: the start of a collaboration with A-N and Mission Models Money The Dangerous Ground project

7 What we hope to achieve today
To capture some of the ideas around cultural value that artists have developed based on their own practice To help articulate the contribution that artists make to the value debate and think of ways in which that contribution can be made to feed more consistently in broader political and policy debates on cultural value Explore possibilities for further collaboration on the theme of cultural value: Do you want to help us try to develop a new model of cultural policy/politics?

8 What ‘Dangerous Ground’ hopes to achieve
To develop a collaborative, diverse network of individuals committed to explore the dangerous ground of cultural value To disrupt the status quo, develop new thinking and a new vision in order to reframe (hack?) cultural value To build a new cultural politics that emphasise the potential of the arts and culture to create a fairer, more liveable world A few useful resources Help us plan the next phase…

9 Some questions for you (are they the right ones?)
What do we mean when we talk about ‘cultural value’? Is it something singular, homogeneous and existing out there that just needs to be captured and articulated? If not, whose cultural value are we referring to?

10 Some questions for you (are they the right ones?)
Is there a gap between the ‘public’ language of cultural value (in cultural policy debates, in the rhetoric of government or funding bodies) and the ‘private’ language of value that you use to explain to yourself and your peers the nature and purpose of your practice?

11 Some questions for you (are they the right ones?)
In what ways would you like your work to be valued and how would these ways help you develop your practice, deepen its impact and enable you to have a more sustainable livelihood?

12 Some questions for you (are they the right ones?)
Does the current interest around matters of cultural value offer an opportunity for a ‘strong vision’ for the future by the cultural and creative sector for the cultural and creative sector beyond narrow preoccupations with the next funding cycle? How could this be achieved?


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