Can the arts cure cancer?

6 March 2008 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment

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Rachel Kelnar writes:

While teaching part of a module on “Planning for the Future”, part of City University’s Cultural Leadership programme, I was struck by a provocative comment from one of the participants, which led to an energetic discussion.

We were exploring future challenges for the arts sector, and someone said, “Soon, the arts will be expected to cure cancer.” While there was clearly some irony intended, it highlighted that we might have reached a critical point in the debate about instrumentalism in the arts. There’s been quite a long policy trend about developing the arts on the basis of how they can advance particular social or policy aims, but Brian McMaster’s recent report, Supporting Excellence might be a sign that this is coming to an end.

McMaster’s report was commissioned by the previous Culture Secretary, James Purnell, and it has certainly injected energy into this debate – but we’ll have to wait to see whether his replacement has the same appetite for his argument.


Entry filed under: culture, politics.

Unravelling the cassette What to read in 2008?

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The Futures Company was created through the merger of Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008. This is the blog of the new company - but the former posts from the former Henley Centre Headlightvision blog still can be found here.


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