We should be debating cultural policies, argues Ben Eltham

CPD fellow Ben Eltham wrote about the urgency of public debate on arts and cultural policy for Inside Story on 29 July 2010.

“Culture is also a big part of our daily lives: watching television is Australians’ most important leisure activity, and the movies are our most popular destination when we go out. More than three-quarters of Australians read for pleasure, while nearly fourteen million of us attend a cultural venue or event at least once a year. More importantly, the impact of culture is beyond economics. It’s at the heart of our identity and way of life.

But all too often, when we discuss government policies towards “culture,” what we actually mean is “the arts” – and only a small subset of the arts at that. Indeed, when we think about cultural policy in Australia, we often think simply of grants to artists, or government cultural agencies such as the Australia Council, as though these are the principal aspects of government policy about culture.”

Read the whole article here.

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