Multiculturalism and Public Arts Policy

By David B. Pankratz | Go to book overview

according to these two criteria. It must be stressed, however, that justifying the policy goals of public arts agencies does not mean that any specific program that is adopted consistent with these criteria is therefore effective in meeting its goals or does so with a minimum of unanticipated, negative consequences. Documentation of the effectiveness and efficiency of specific programs is a matter for policy research of a more empirical nature.

It must also be acknowledged that the establishment of these criteria for the evaluation of policy mechanisms does not cover other possible policy options available to public arts agencies. For example, it can be argued that public arts agencies should broaden their eligibility requirements for applicants to open up the competitive process to smaller organizations, non-arts organizations such as social service agencies and religious organizations, and even amateur groups. These organizational types, it is said, are frequently the institutional home for the creation and dissemination of ethnic art. The merits of this policy option will not be debated here. Suffice it to say that, on the face of it, nothing in the two evaluative criteria identified above would prohibit the adoption of this policy option. As another example of a policy option public arts agencies could perhaps adopt, it has been argued that the most potentially effective means of supporting ethnic artists and arts organizations is not merely to revise or supplement arts policy mechanisms but to devise and implement cultural policies, policies designed to support the maintenance and development of the foundations of ethnic arts, namely, ethnic cultures themselves. 168 How cultural policies should be formulated and how they can be implemented fairly and effectively could surely be a topic for extensive debate. But whether they could be justified or not, issues implicit in the adoption of cultural policies, while not irrelevant or unimportant here, are beyond the scope of the public policy sphere under consideration here, the arts.


NOTES
1
See Nicholas Appleton, Cultural Pluralism in Education: Theoretical Foundations ( New York: Longman, 1983).
2
Stephen Thernstrom, ed., Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups ( Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1980).
3
For a full discussion of this point, see Thomas F. Green, Education and Pluralism: Idea and Reality ( Syracuse, NY: School of Education, Syracuse University, 1966).
4
Nicholas Appleton, Cultural Pluralism in Education, p. 29.
5
For a comprehensive discussion of the theory of assimilation as well as acculturation and structural assimilation, see Milton Gordon,

-187-

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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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