Presentation on theme: "Bill Macnaught Chair Advisory Council on Libraries."— Presentation transcript:
Bill Macnaught Chair Advisory Council on Libraries
Culture A personal perspective on the Governments view of culture
Who is responsible? The Department for Culture, Media and Sport – DCMS Secretary of State – Tessa Jowell
What is the DCMS definition of 'culture'? There is no official government definition of 'culture'. However Guidance on Integrating Cultural and Community Strategies refers to: "the widely established two-part definition or understanding of culture set out in Creating Opportunities (DCMS, 2000)"
Culture is seen as having a material dimension encompassing the following types of activities - an illustrative, rather than exhaustive, listing. It includes…
the performing and visual arts craft fashion media film, television and video language museums artefacts archives design libraries literature, writing and publishing the built heritage architecture landscape archaeology sports events facilities development parks open spaces wildlife habitats water environment countryside recreation children's play playgrounds play activities tourism festivals attractions informal leisure pursuits
Culture also has a value dimension and is about: relationships between individuals and groups shared memories, experience and identity diverse cultural, faith and historic backgrounds social standards, values and norms what we consider valuable to pass on to future generations."
DCMS – what does it do? We aim to improve the quality of life for all through cultural and sporting activities, to support the pursuit of excellence and to champion the tourism, creative and leisure industries. Our vision is to extend excellence and improve access in all our many sectors.
It has been said that art is what anyone who calls themselves an artist produces, and the definition at least does not suffer from being exclusive. But when government spends the nations marginal income – taxation – on culture in the sense that I have indicated, it cannot avoid, whether by delegating the task to quangos or making direct decisions, the making of value judgements. Tessa Jowell: Government and the Value of Culture, May 2004
When we undertake policies in Government, the first thing we do is look at the evidence. We might engage focus groups or undertake market research to tell us what the view of people is. In terms of the intrinsic value of culture, in the lives of citizens, Im not sure we need it. Tessa Jowell, May 2004
…politicians have enough reasons to support culture on its own merits to stop apologising for it by speaking only of it in terms of other agendas. Yes, we will need to keep proving that engagement with culture can improve educational attainment, and can help reduce crime. But we should also stand up for what culture can do for individuals in a way that nothing else can. Tessa Jowell, May 2004
Culture alone can give people the means better to understand and engage with life, and as such is a key part in reducing inequality of opportunity, and which can help us slay the sixth giant of modern times – poverty of aspiration. This must be the next priority in the mission at the core of this Government: to transform our society into a place … where individuals can fulfil their true potential. Tessa Jowell, May 2004
We need Music Education in schools... We need the mechanisms in place so that a child with a talent will be able to take that talent as far as they wish to go, bounded only by the limits of that talent, and not constrained by their social and economic circumstances. … only by accepting that it is a childs right to be given the means by which to engage with culture will we be able to move forward. By accepting culture is an important investment in personal social capital we begin to justify that investment on cultures own terms. Tessa Jowell, May 2004
Government and the Value of Culture (a)Is my analysis of the intrinsic value of culture correct? (b)Is there any value in saying it? Or should politicians just keep quiet? (c)How, in going beyond targets, can we best capture the value of culture? (d)Do we underpin targets with something else – longer term funding agreements underpinned by a lighter touch but more intelligent review that focuses on cultural outcomes? (e)How can we achieve this? Tessa Jowell, May 2004
Cultural Pathfinders Thirteen local authorities have been chosen by the Government to be Cultural Pathfinders, showing how culture and sport can help deliver Government priorities across public life. Show how culture can contribute to other Government work at local level in the fields of healthy living, community safety and social cohesion, Use culture and sport in new and experimental ways to help build sustainable communities, and Test new and innovative ideas at local level, and share best practice with other authorities. DCMS press release Feb 2005
Shared priorities Raising standards across our schools Improving the quality of life of children, young people, families at risk and older people Promoting healthier communities by targeting key local services Creating safer and stronger communities Transforming our local environment Meeting transport needs more effectively Promoting the economic vitality of localities
ExploreMusic Free internet access; Sibelius music composition software; study desks, with power for laptop use Access to specialist music websites including Grove Online; music books, magazines and newspapers A comprehensive 'whats on listing of music events, large and small, across the North East Up-to-date information about music courses, tutors, venues, instrument repair shops and more from across the region Listening posts – providing access to CDs linked to performances in the concert halls
Conclusion Still confusion when Government and others use the word culture Wide ranging definition Access and excellence Intrinsic and instrumental Growing recognition of the value of culture in local and central government
Culture is what we do -not to live – but to feel alive Francois Matarasso