Just A Low-Traffic Blog?

By Douglas McLennan
I don't know why it's so difficult to get arts people to focus more on public policy about culture. Sure, I get that policy is boring and making art is so much more interesting. And I understand that there is a sense of futility in thinking artists can affect cultural policy when, as Marty said, getting right to the point:

How likely is it that arts and culture workers will have a real voice in policy deliberations, if their clout doesn't come down to cash?  Celebrity, moral suasion and stats about economic impact are nice assets to deploy, but does anyone think they provide the kind of access or standing enjoyed by the oligopolies?

But rules about what art you can use and how you can use it are about as important as it gets for artists. And right now, those rules are made for the most part without the input of artists. And, as Marty points out, the policy always seems to come out in favor of those who have the most money to lobby for their point of view. 

It's even more complicated, because there doesn't seem to be much agreement among artists about what kinds of creative rights are necessary and how they ought to be deployed. This suggests to me it's even more important to be debating these issues vigorously and in public, so at least people are aware of what's at stake. So artists don't have much of a voice in cultural policy. But is there any artist consensus on cultural policy issues? Or is this fated to be a low-traffic blog?
July 18, 2010 11:02 PM | | Comments (1) |


The ability to discuss policy issues is a privilege. Most artists are working in the trenches with most of their time and energy devoted to survival and making art. While the voice of the culture maker is ultimately the most informative this voice is also the one that is too busy to join the conversation. This is why advocates are so important.

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This Blog Arts and culture are a cornerstone of American society. But arts and culture workers are often left out of important policy conversations concerning technology and creative rights even though the outcomes will have a profound impact on our world. Is it benign neglect? Or did we... more

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