This page is devoted to directing you to interesting resources on cultural value. If you are aware of interesting material freely available on the web that you think should appear here, please get in touch.
The key argument the presentation puts forward is that a better understanding of cultural value, how certain cultural forms are valued and validated in the public domain (and, crucially, why), and the development of a broader, more inclusive and intellectually diverse explorations of these themes might result in better policy making. By this, I mean a form of policy making more aware of the values and intellectual positions at its roots, more transparent about acknowledging them, but also more open to considering different sets of values and modes of valuing other than those currently predominant in cultural policy discourse, which – this paper is going to argue – are largely predicated on an economic understanding of ‘value’ and ‘valuation’.
From the conference web site: “In recent years, culture and cultural development have become internationally recognised as important dimensions of contemporary governance and public policy. As in other policy areas (economic, social, environmental), the production of accurate and relevant data has become central to cultural policy and how the cultural lives of citizens are understood. Conceptual and practical developments in measurement tools, such as new forms of cultural indicators, have the potential to enrich our understanding of culture’s role in wellbeing, vitality and citizenship. From UNESCO’s benchmarks for cultural freedom, through comparative measures of states’ cultural provision and creative cities indices, to indicators for community arts evaluation, diverse approaches to quantifying cultural value and measuring societal progress now exist.
But how useful are all these measures? Are they helping us to keep track of what matters? What opportunities exist to contest, refine or democratise these systems of cultural measurement? This international conference brought together diverse perspectives from international guest speakers and leading local practitioners to explore the burgeoning field of cultural and community indicators. Participants engaged in critical dialogues on various approaches to monitoring, evaluating, planning, advocating, predicting, and simply understanding, cultural and social change. Presentations covered a range of theoretical and practical approaches to quantifying cultural values often considered intangible, including vitality, wellbeing, citizenship, and sustainability”.
The full programme as well as slides, audio and video recordings of the conference papers can be found here.