Public Policy and the Arts
The United States provides little direct government support or oversight (e.g. a Ministry of Culture) of a highly developed and complex arts and culture sector. The major cultural institution types that we are familiar with are not the result of a national cultural policy. Historically they emerge from and develop parallel to the institutional forms in the education and social services sector. They are supported by a variety of government policies and actions largely conceived for other public purposes. This course will provide undergraduate students with an introduction to this historical evolution from the importation of differing European notions of charity in Colonial times up to the end of the Cold War. It will go on to examine the current state of public policy and the arts by using real world examples to look at major issues—censorship, government funding and the redevelopment of cities. Finally, the course will look at the arts and creative industries in a post-industrial world of rapid technological, social, political and economic change. Students will lead an exploration of the new challenges and opportunities posed by the digital world.