Multiculturalism and Public Arts Policy

By David B. Pankratz | Go to book overview

received little attention to date. Arts policy literature, as developed mostly by American researchers in the disciplines of political science, sociology, and economics, and in professional fields of arts administration and arts education, has tended to focus on three basic questions: Can public support of the arts be justified? 54 What are defensible goals for public support of the arts? 55 and What are the effects of public subsidy, as currently administered in the U.S., on the arts? Yet despite the dramatic rise of interest in multiculturalism within the arts world, the implications of multiculturalism for these questions have yet to be explored.

This paucity of research, while a condition that does little to assist arts policymakers in assessing policy options, does present a wide--open field for researchers approaching the topic. Indeed, one could follow the lead of the arts policy research conducted to date and address questions such as: Can a persuasive rationale for public support for the arts be constructed that focuses on the arts in a multicultural society? or Have current policies by public arts agencies been effective regarding the arts of those working in African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American traditions? But to focus on these questions, I believe, would be to beg numerous conceptual, theoretical, and normative questions that are, by virtue of their significance, logically prior.

It should be clear by now that multiculturalism, as applied to arts policy, yields numerous value questions. To this point and for a variety of reasons, I have focused on descriptive tasks--describing various conceptions of culture, ethnicity, and multiculturalism in an effort to construct a descriptive definition of multiculturalism. But it is now time to turn to value questions and the programmatic definitions through which diverse value positions are expressed. Attention to such questions is unavoidable as a basis for rational assessment of policy options regarding multiculturalism and the arts. How such assessment can best be done, the primary methodological challenge of this volume, is the subject of the next chapter.


NOTES
1.
See, in particular, Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780-1950, second edition ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1983); and idem, The Long Revolution, revised edition ( New York: Harper & Row, 1966).
2.
For a contemporary expression of this conception, see Samuel Lipman , Arguing for Music, Arguing for Culture ( Boston: David R. Godine, 1990).
3.
For explorations of this conception of culture, see Matthew Arnold , 1869, J. Dover Wilson, ed., Culture and Anarchy ( Cambridge:

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Multiculturalism and Public Arts Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction: Policy Contexts in the Arts 1
  • Notes 7
  • 1 - Multiculturalism and Arts Policy Research 9
  • Notes 24
  • 2 - Foundations of Policy Research Methodologies 29
  • Notes 48
  • 3 - An Interpretation of Arts Policy Mechanisms 51
  • Notes 110
  • 4 - Conceptual Issues, Multiculturalism, and Arts Policy Mechanisms 119
  • Notes 187
  • 5 - Epilogue: Prospects for Policy Research in the Arts 197
  • Notes 202
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 221
  • About the Author 233
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