The Value of Culture

Copyright: Jonas Raeber, Switzerland
Debate and publication

In various countries within Europe, there is discussion about governmental investment in the arts and culture. While traditional arguments are losing potency, and the debate is continually becoming carried out more in economic and statistical terms, the cultural field as well as policymakers are feeling an increasing need for a new discourse on the place of the arts and culture within society. In the last years in Flanders, this debate has been fuelled by 'The Value of Culture', an investigative report, in which Pascal Gielen (along with a team of sociologists, economists, philosophers and psychologists from the Rijksuniversiteit of Groningen) assembled a series of research results on the value, meaning and impact of the arts and culture on people within society.

On the occasion of the publication of an English-language summary of this report,the brand- new organisation Flanders Arts Institute, IETM and deBuren are organising on 17 February a panel discussion with researchers and policymakers from all over Europe. Pascal Gielen (Universiteit Groningen) starts it off with a presentation of the principle views from The Value of Culture. Mieke van Hecke (former Representative in the Flemish Parliamant and Director-General of the Flemish Secretariat of the Catholic Education) leads off a panel with Peter Inkei (Budapest Observatory), Mercedes Giovinazzo (Interarts, Barcelona) and Abigail Gilmore (Manchester University). Diane Dodd (IFACCA, the world-wide network of Arts Councils) will moderate.
The panel discussion will be shared globally via livestream. Tune in on 17 February between 15:00 and 17:00 on www.kunsten.be (the official website of Flanders Arts Institute, English version coming soon) and follow it live. From that day on, the English-language publication, 'The Value of Culture', can also be downloaded free of charge from the same site. The debate on 17 February is part of the IETM Satellite meeting, 'The art of valuing: between evident and evidence-based', a two-day seminar on the value of culture, geared towards policymakers (Ministries, foundations, arts councils) from around Europe, Australia and Canada. The intention is to collaborate on new models in order to make the value of culture visible and to take initiatives for a more cultural fulfillment of policy, both at the national and European level. Image copyright: Jonas Raeber, Switzerland