The Arts, Governments and Money: Do the Arts have any Value if they don’t make Money?

By Jo Caust.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Over the past two decades the notion that public sector support for the arts is naturally a ‘good thing’, has been challenged and in some cases rejected. Art itself has been subsumed into the broader framework of ‘culture’. Williams and others promoted the rationale for government support of the arts as a way to support arts practices that were not market oriented (Williams 1989). However this notion has now been turned on its head. Arts practice that primarily focuses on the business of making money, is seemingly more likely to receive support from governments. In an age framed by the centrality of the economy (and one that embraces the concept of the ‘cultural or creative industries), what value does arts practice have, if it has no ‘commercial’ value? This paper explores arguments around how the arts are framed and valued within current times and what this may mean for artists, consumers of art and governments.

Keywords: Arts, Value, Economic, Intangible Benefits, Government

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.227-234. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 504.728KB).

Ass. Prof. Jo Caust

Associate Professor, Business, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Dr Jo Caust is the Associate Professor of Arts and Cultural Management at the University of South Australia. She previously worked in the arts sector for over twenty years as an arts practitioner, arts manager, and consultant. She is also the managing editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management and guest editor in 2005 of an edition of the Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society focussing on Australasian cultural policy.

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