Beyond Dollars and Cents: Defining Policy in Culture

This post originally appeared on World Policy Blog on May 21, 2013: By Nichole Martini and Alexis Ortiz Americans interested in cultural policy often lament the fact that the United States does not have an official national cultural policy.  Without a Ministry of Culture or other similar agency, there is minimal central direction for funding and policy decisions.  Because of this, policy and funding are often conflated in our discussions, and the general argument in the field is for increased funding across the board.  However, there is much more to policy than dollars and cents, and we need to explore the deeper questions of “how,” “why,” and “for whom” decisions about what to support (financially and otherwise) are made in order to effect real, systemic change. On this, individual artists working alone will never be as successful as when the artistic community works together with other institutions or sectors to ensure that the arts have a place at the table. (more…)