Benefits of the Arts Follow-Up

A commenter on Benefits of the Arts asked a great question: observing the similarities between the Rand Corporation’s Gifts of the Muse intrinsic/instrumental categories, wasn't my core/ancillary division simply a re-naming? (And Ian David Moss's later comment was in a similar vein.) Here was  my semi-immediate response: While the whole concept is still baking, I’d say no on two grounds. First, the rationale for the core/ancillary distinction is … [Read more...]

Benefits of the Arts


One of the best things about blogging (especially in the summer when so many of my colleagues in academia are paying less attention) is the opportunity to experiment with ideas that are, shall we say, not fully baked. Careful (and long-time) readers of this blog may recall that in my post Art for Art's Sake? There's No Such Thing, I expressed some discomfort with the notions of intrinsic and instrumental benefits of the arts. That construct … [Read more...]

The Locus of Value


It's an amazing thing to be the parent of an adult child, read something they have written, and say, "Wow! That's brilliant." My son, John Borwick, is an IT consultant for the higher ed world. He is also a blogger who recently wrote about MOOC's, Massive Online Open Courses. The whole thing is a fascinating consideration of the good and the bad of the concept. I'll say a bit more about that later, but the thing that convinced me to include a … [Read more...]

Valuing Public Good

In preparing my last post [Structures and Models in Blogs, Oh My] about the recent discussions of structural and business models for arts organizations, I was gradually overcome with an uncomfortable sensation. The argument that the intrinsic benefits of the arts are undermined by the need to serve the public scares me. When (and how) did furthering the public good  become a bad thing? Before I go any further, let me acknowledge that I'm … [Read more...]