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Creating #havoc: a holistic approach to valuing our culture

Creating #havoc: a holistic approach to valuing our culture

Donovan, Claire ORCID: 0000-0002-6105-7794 (2014) Creating #havoc: a holistic approach to valuing our culture. In: Swindells, Steve and Powell, Anna, (eds.) “What is to be Done?”: Cultural leadership and public engagement in art and design education. Cambridge Scholars, Cambridge, UK, pp. 19-28. ISBN 978-1443858908

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A central theme of the symposium on Public Engagement and Impact: Articulating Value in Art and Design was the question of how the cultural sector should most effectively respond to increased bureaucratic pressure to supply evidence of the value of culture. The chapter proposes a holistic solution, based on the findings of a research project that directly engaged with the cultural sector and its views about the idea of measuring cultural value. The project was Phase Two of an initiative funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and its end product was a report to the DCMS, A Holistic Approach to Valuing Our Culture (Donovan 2013). The chapter first provides a summary of the findings of the Phase One report (O’Brien 2010) which recommended that the cultural sector should embrace the use of a specific range of economic valuation techniques. The chapter then notes that there are some serious ideological and practical shortcomings with applying these measures: the most conspicuous being that the costs and expertise involved are beyond the means of most cultural sector organisations. The chapter goes on to outline the Phase Two work that sought to test the principle of adopting an additional range of alternative approaches (quantitative, qualitative and narrative) that were accessible to the whole cultural sector. The chapter then offers a brief account of the cultural value debate which concerns long-running conceptual wrangling over the instrumental or economic value of culture versus its intrinsic or spiritual value; and then explains how, through finding unanimous cultural sector approval for a holistic approach to valuing culture, the Phase Two project transcended this divide. The chapter maintains that a holistic approach captures value that is unique to the cultural sector, can be applied to the full range and scale of cultural sector organisations, can include economic or non-economic data, and can be used to inform funding decisions at the local, regional and national level. It concludes that the time is ripe for the cultural sector to press for funding agencies and government to adopt a more meaningful, inclusive, holistic approach valuing our culture.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: cultural value, economic data, non-economic data, holistic approach
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Education (EDU)
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Last Modified: 01 Feb 2021 10:00

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