Pushing on...

By Adrian Ellis

Thought experiment: we have a policy framework - expressive lives - and we apply it to a specific area - in this case increasing concentration of ownership in the music business - and we conclude that it looks like a bad thing because on balance it reduces opportunity for voice and access to heritage.  Where do we go from here? Who are the agents who will press this cause?

A fundamental challenge is the imbalance between producer interests in the broad domain under discussion and those of consumer/individual participants.  Whether we are talking about traditional 501(c)(3) land or the broader territory staked out by Bill, there is very little by way of infrastructure or organized capacity through which to pursue the agenda he describes. This is, of course, why that agenda has not been pursued.  I am interested to know who the natural allies are and how one might create a collation of interest around the expressive life.  Is this like the rambling associations in nineteenth century Britain who opened up rights of way in closed rural estates to working class walkers; or the Slow Food movement who have sought to reclaim quality of life around conviviality? Who are the natural advocates of the expressive life agenda (or whatever name resonates most effectively)?  Whoever it is, there is a struggle ahead, as late capitalism a l'Americaine, marked by high concentrations of wealth, ownership and political power,  seems arranged in a way that is antithetical to the agenda.

This is not of course a reason for setting the agenda aside - in many ways it makes it all the more urgent, as so many market and social forces encourage cultural passivity and an a-historical perspective. But it does make me want to look around other areas or people and groups with whom the expressive lifers could make common cause.

January 27, 2010 4:54 AM | | Comments (0) |

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This Conversation Are the terms "Art" and "Culture" tough enough to frame a public policy carve-out for the 21st century? Are the old familiar words, weighted with multiple meanings and unhelpful preconceptions, simply no longer useful in analysis or advocacy? In his book, Arts, Inc., Bill Ivey advances "Expressive Life" as a new, expanded policy arena - a frame sufficiently robust to stand proudly beside "Work Life," "Family Life," "Education," and "The Environment." Is Ivey on the right track, or more

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
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Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
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rock culture approximately
critical difference
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Dewey21C
Richard Kessler on arts education
diacritical
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Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Flyover
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
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Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

dance
Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

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Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
ListenGood
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
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Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

media
Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
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classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Overflow
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
PianoMorphosis
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
PostClassic
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Sandow
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
The Unanswered Question
Joe Horowitz on music

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book/daddy
Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
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Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

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Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
Artopia
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Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
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Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog