Introduction to U.S. Cultural Policy (2013)

September, 2013

This course provides an overview of U.S. cultural policy, tracing the origins of the arts infrastructure from the late 19th century to the present, with a focus on the shaping of cultural organizations, taste, patronage systems and audiences. Key policy questions for arts and culture include:  Is there a public value associated with the arts?  who decides what kinds of culture should be provided for and supported?; who pays?; who benefits?; what are the anticipated outcomes of cultural policy?  We will investigate a number of contemporary issues, including the viability of the arts as an engine of economic and community development; the challenges of a new and still-shifting cultural landscape for cultural practitioners and participants; and what a robust cultural policy for the U.S. might look like in the future.

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