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This book examines fundamental questions about funding for the arts: Why should governments provide funding for the arts? What do the arts contribute to daily life? Do artists and their publics have a social responsibility? Challenging questionable assumptions about the state, the arts, and a democratic society, Lambert Zuidervaart presents a vigorous case for government funding, based on crucial contributions the arts make to civil society. He argues that the arts contribute to democratic communication and a social economy, fostering the critical and creative dialogue that a democratic society needs. Informed by the author’s experience leading a nonprofit arts organization as well as his expertise in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, this book proposes an entirely new conception of the public role of art with wide-ranging implications for education, politics, and cultural policy.Read more
- Addresses one of the most troublesome public debates in North America - the ongoing controversy over government funding for the arts - and shows why the terms of this debate need to be changed
- Proposes a new conception of art in public that has provocative implications for education, politics and cultural policy, using actual experience in a contemporary arts centre as a touchstone for philosophical reflections
- Ranges masterfully and creatively across the arts, humanities and social sciences to propose a richly textured philosophy of civil society and cultural democracy
Reviews & endorsements
"....this volume presents a strong philosophical defense of government funding of the arts in democratic cultures. It takes issue with philosophers such as Rawls, Dworkin, and Feinberg. Although its arguments are heavily philosophical, they are deeply engaged with the sociocultural dimensions--the economic, social-political, and general cultural justifications--of art.... This is a major scholarly discussion on the subject.... Highly recommended...."
– R. E. Palmer, emeritus, MacMurray College, CHOICESee more reviews
"Anyone who has followed the periodic "culture wars" that break out whenever some outraged congressman attacks a piece of government funded art he or she finds offensive and is counter-attacked by an equally outraged critic who defends artists' freedom to do anything they want will find this book a welcome relief.... Zuidervaart offers a philosophically sophisticated reflection that exposes the false assumptions shared by both "traditionalists" and "transgressivists."... the book is extremely well organized, the writing clear, and careful conceptual distinctions abound....One of the book's great strengths is its comprehensiveness.... for those who are looking for a more thoughtful and well grounded consideration of the issue of government funding and, above all, of the appropriate place of the arts in our social and political life, Zuidervaart has given us an indispensible book."
– Larry Shiner, University of Illinois, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"...“I highly recommend Art in Public to anyone interested in public art in general, and for anyone … involved in more specific discussions about government funding of the arts, it should be required reading.”
–Jason Simus, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
"...The central aim of Lambert Zuidervaart’s Art in Public can be stated in a phrase: to defend direct state subsidies for non-profit arts organization. Further, the philosophical and political contexts of Zuidervaart’s policy prescription are crystal clear. The arts, he argues, play the indispensable role of making needs of general significance communicable in a value-pluralistic society.... has many moving parts, all informed by Zuidervaart’s command of democratic theories of culture and politics and his wide knowledge and experience of the theory and practice of non-profit cultural institutions..."
–Gregg M. Horowitz, Pratt Institute, Philosophy in Review
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- Date Published: November 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521130172
- length: 354 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.52kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Double Deficit:
1. Culture wars
2. What good is art?
3. Just art?
Part II. Civil Society:
4. Public sphere
5. Civic sector
6. Countervailing forces
Part III. Modernism Remixed:
7. Relational autonomy
8. Authenticity and responsibility
9. Democratic culture
10. Transforming cultural policy.
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