Cultural policy has always been at the cross-currents of strong economic, social and political interests. Cultural policy is rarely content with, and contained by, notions of “l´art pour l´art”. Hence, culture has increasingly come to be seen as an instrument of economic development and urban revitalisation. This particular view is encapsulated in local economic development prescriptions invoking the “creative class,” “creative cities,” “creative clusters” and the “creative economy” more generally. Major metropolitan areas around the world have initiated far-reaching programmes of cultural development in the interests of economic growth and in the attempt to assert their status as cultural flagships of the new global order.
The seminar will compare the cultural policy approaches of several such “creative cities” (e.g., Berlin, London, New York, Los Angeles), look at objectives, strategies, tools, and outcomes, with special emphasis on the lessons learned. Participants discuss the potentials, challenges and limitations of approaches to culture in these cities, and in the context of national and international cultural policies: How have these cities used their reputation in the arts and culture to reach other goals (e.g. economic, social, political)? How do “creative cities” manage to keep their creative edge in an age of austerity?
The course will also provide insights into the changing nature of cultural policy. Over the years, cultural policy has become more multi-level and multi-national. In particular, the role of cities in foreign cultural policy has increased and the boundaries between internal and external cultural policy has become blurry. In hands-on lectures participants will be prepared for multi-cultural cooperation and introduce the newest tools of cultural policy through exercises, case studies and discussions.
The unique insights into the cultural policies that experts provide will share allow participants to develop broader awareness and deeper knowledge of cultural policy in a comparative perspective – all aimed at enriching their own working environment.