Multiculturalism and Public Arts Policy

By David B. Pankratz | Go to book overview

formulation of public policies in the arts. Many policy mechanisms utilized by public arts agencies are justified in terms of affirmative action, which is the specific application of concepts of justice to public policy settings. I focus on general arguments that have been formulated to justify affirmative action policies. Based on conceptions of compensatory justice, distributive justice, human rights, utilitarian justice, and equal opportunity, these arguments are analyzed on conceptual grounds and in terms of their implications for arts policy. A final conceptual issue with ramifications for arts policy is artistic value. Artistic value is invoked by public arts agencies as a key criterion in making decisions among potential grantees. But, as will be shown, the concept of artistic value has been challenged on many grounds, including the claim that artistic value is relative to specific cultural traditions. There is no shortage of claims about artistic value. The more extreme claims are critiqued on logical grounds. But a major philosophical question remains: Is value in art best thought of as one thing or as many? Various claims for the instrumental value of art are reviewed, including the aesthetic, cognitive, moral, and religious values of art. My conclusions on this issue are traced for their relevance to the formulation of public arts policy.

The concluding chapter, Chapter 5, begins with a discussion of the limitations of this book as a research study as a prelude to an assessment of the prospects for policy research in the arts. Research gaps in our understanding of the policy environment of the arts are also reviewed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of reasonable expectations of, and defensible criteria of effectiveness for, the utilization of policy research in the arts.


NOTES
1.
These figures are cited in Barbara Vobejda, "Asian, Hispanic Numbers in U.S. Soared in 1980s, Census Reveals," Washington Post, 11 March 1991, pp. A1, A5.
2.
These figures are cited in National Endowment for the Arts, The Arts in America: A Report to the President and Congress ( Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts, Public Information Office, 1988).
3.
See, for example, Donovan Gray, ed., Open Dialogue II: Summary Report ( Washington, DC: Association of American Cultures and National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies, 1987); and Association of American Cultures (TAAC), Open Dialogue III ( Washington, DC: Association of American Cultures, 1988).
4.
See, for example, William Keens and Naomi Rhodes, eds., An American Dialogue ( Washington, DC: Association of Performing Arts

-7-

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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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