Why choose the arts to regenerate a community

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  • “How do places that have lived with notoriously negative images, anachronistic economies and numerous sites of industrial decline, come to believe that at least a part of their economic recovery depends on something as elusive (or material) as the arts?” Breitbart, M. & Stanton, C. (2007) 'Touring Templates: Cultural Workers and Regeneration in Small New England Cities' in Smith, M. (ed.) Tourism Culture and Regeneration, Wallingford: CABI, p. 112 (Mark Wallinger, Folk Stones, 2008)
  • Kennell (2010) ‘Rediscovering Cultural Tourism: cultural regeneration in seaside towns’ in Journal of Town and City Management, Vol1., No.2 Cultural forms of regeneration dominate seaside regeneration in England, with the main place for this being the south-east, and the most strategic approach to this being taken in Kent.
  • Models mainly come from cities, with a few high-profile successes and some prominent ideas such as the creative city and the creative classbut....evidence is mixed...The economic models don’t stack up – lots of venues fail, or need rescuing – and the models that rely on high-spending cultural tourists and dynamic new media and creative industries are particularly vulnerable in a recessionEvans (2005) “the creation of cultural flagships, architectural masterpieces and their (re)location in industrial districts, waterfronts and depopulated downtown areas has not been paralleled since the Victorian civic building and celebrations…cities have again embraced these politically and economically high-risk ventures”
  • Research into social division, class issues, cultural capitalHewitt & Jordan and Dave Beech: The function of public art for regeneration is to sex up the control of the under-classes www.hewittandjordan.com (Southwark, 2007)Historically, state spending on cultural development has been primarily concerned with ideas like self-expression, creativity and empowerment. Economic development is more concerned with the politics of growth and capital accumulation. There is not necessarily a link between these two policy modes and although recent policy discourse makes creativity more central in economic and social concerns, high-profile spending on culture may mask political issues of power and access to resources in the interest of economic restructuring and gentrification, indeed Florida notes that socio-economic inequality is highest in the very creative epicentres of the US that he thinks should be emulated elsewhere. 30 years of research into cultural capital, starting with Bourdieu (1984) clearly shows the links between culture and class dominance.
  • Opposition such as this should be taken seriously
  • Bennett et al’s (2010) ‘Culture Class Distinction’ finds that cultural participation and not consumption, is now the fundamental aspect of cultural capital. To achieve these benefits, participation must be at the core of cultural regeneration.
  • Why choose the arts to regenerate a community

    1. 1. Why choose the arts to regenerate a community?<br />
    2. 2. Well, everybody else is doing it.....<br />
    3. 3. Because it works?<br />
    4. 4. Because “there’s something for everyone”?<br />
    5. 5.
    6. 6. Sense of place<br />Pride<br />Authenticity<br />Participation<br />

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