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Re-Visioning Arts and Cultural Policy

Re-Visioning Arts and Cultural Policy: Current Impasses and Future Directions

Jennifer Craik
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Re-Visioning Arts and Cultural Policy
    Book Description:

    In this monograph, Jennifer Craik undertakes a critical and historical analysis of the main imperatives of arts and cultural policy in Australia. With forensic skill she examines the financial and policy instruments commonly relied upon in this much contested and diverse area of public policy. Craik uses her analysis of past and current policy responses as a platform for articulating future options. This is a valuable work for cultural professionals and administrators, art historians and, indeed, anyone with an abiding interest in the management of the nation's cultural estate.

    eISBN: 978-1-921313-39-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. About the Author
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    Jennifer Craik

    In 2006, the internationally renowned cultural economist, David Throsby, published a paper called, ‘Does Australia Need a Cultural Policy?’ Its reception might have been relegated to minor coverage in the arts section of the print media except for the fact that it was launched by actress, Cate Blanchett. The occasion was initially covered enthusiastically until it was made clear that the Howard government was not amused by this cultural intervention. Sensing governmental unease, perhaps, an editorial in The Australian newspaper turned on the arts community with some vengeance, accusing it of not appreciating the Howard government’s initiatives in cultural policy....

  6. Abbreviations and Acronyms
    (pp. xvii-xvii)
  7. Chapter 1: The Conceptual ambivalence of art and culture
    (pp. 1-6)

    Governments have traditionally worked with a ‘limited palette’ when framing options or designing programs aimed at supporting arts and culture. Historically and internationally, four models of cultural policy have predominated irrespective of either the cast or predisposition of government. These are: the patron model; the architect model; the engineer model; and the facilitator model (see Appendix C).¹

    States can act as patron, offering direct support to artistic and cultural forms favoured by the regime and tastemakers. This has the effect of nurturing and endorsing forms of art and culture deemed to epitomise cultural excellence. A variant of the patron model...

  8. Chapter 2: Historical phases in arts and cultural policy-making in Australia
    (pp. 7-24)

    Australia has often been depicted as a cultural desert that only recently emerged from a bleak landscape and embraced cultural and creative practice as an important aspect of nation building. David Throsby, writing an overview for the Australian Year Book’s 2000 edition (2001), for example, characterises three periods of Australian cultural policy:

    1900-1967 when explicit policy was virtually non-existent;

    1968-1990 when there was a period of rapid expansion of arts and cultural organisations and initiatives; and

    1990-2000 witnessing further moderate expansion of the sector combined with the articulation of a broad cultural policy framework.

    According to Throsby, the third period...

  9. Chapter 3: The convergence of arts and cultural policy
    (pp. 25-30)

    While the previous chapter focused on arts and cultural policy in Australia, there are parallels in many other countries. Governments of all persuasions, in all jurisdictions have experienced difficulty in formulating coherent and appropriate policy strategies for the arts and cultural sector. In particular, in most developed countries, support for the elite arts has been allied to a range of instrumental strategies in which cultural and creative activities are used to leverage solutions to a variety of social problems. These include unemployment, social alienation, regional access, disability, social welfare and therapy, and more generally, the creation of a sense of...

  10. Chapter 4: International trends in arts and cultural production and consumption
    (pp. 31-36)

    The re-visioning of arts and cultural policy has occurred to varying degrees across the international stage. Partly, this has been in response to trends in cultural participation and consumption, as well as changing approaches to strategies of support. In particular, a number of trends are characterised by trade-offs between the following factors:

    the ability to be financially self-sufficient or non-reliant on government largesse;

    the ratio between the costs of cultural practice and production, and ability to generate revenue;

    the size and market profile of audiences and consumers of arts and culture; and

    the degree of cross-form transformations of cultural practice....

  11. Chapter 5: How can cultural sub-sectors respond? Three indicative case studies
    (pp. 37-48)

    This chapter examines some sub-sectors that have challenged prevailing policy approaches to the management of culture. We have already explored the plight of performing arts in the contemporary policy context. It was suggested that the management of performing arts entities had been buffeted by the key debates and issues in the arena of arts and cultural policy including: access and equity; audience development; community cultural development; cultural diversity; indigenous cultural production; national versus local culture; globalisation and cultural export; elite versus popular culture; electronic transformations of culture; and youth arts.

    In the following pages I briefly explore several micro-studies of...

  12. Chapter 6: Managing creativity and cultivating culture
    (pp. 49-58)

    Let us briefly summarise the case developed in this monograph.

    Government ideas about how to support arts and culture were traditionally very limited in their success and effectiveness. Historically, governments spent little on culture and what was spent tended to be earmarked for the elite arts sector. Arguably this support was not motivated by ambitions to broaden awareness of culture more generally in the community, but by notions of ‘showcasing’ endorsed representations of elite culture. Support was given to major signature institutions which constituted an oasis of culture, often situated in major cities.

    Gradually, a greater range of activities began...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 59-72)
  14. Appendix A. Typology of artforms by characteristics of sector
    (pp. 73-74)
  15. Appendix B. Key moments in Australian arts and cultural policy development
    (pp. 75-80)
  16. Appendix C. Models of cultural policy
    (pp. 81-82)
  17. Appendix D. Definitions of cultural policy
    (pp. 83-84)
  18. Appendix E. The objectives of cultural policy
    (pp. 85-86)
  19. Appendix F. Government expenditure (Commonwealth, state and local) on the arts in Australia ($ million)
    (pp. 87-88)
  20. Appendix G. Summary of major inquiries into and reviews of Australian arts and cultural sectors
    (pp. 89-104)