Wait, wait! Are we done already?

By Marian Godfrey
I know I am late to the party today but want to say this (besides saying thanks to Bill and to all of our bloggers).  I believe the dialog here has made important and critically necessary contributions to the process of developing a robust conceptual and intellectual framework for the argument that all individuals have a right to fully experience their creative capacity.  If I have quibbled with the term itself, that was in part because the question Bill posed to us was specifically about the viability of the term, and in part because I was hearing the words "expressive life" with the skeptical and bemused ear of a non-professional (a stance which I view as part of my job, and the thing I can offer to discussions such as this). 

BIll returns to the role of nonprofits in advancing the idea of expressive life.  I agree:  one thing this dialog has made abundantly clear is that for the idea to gain traction with policy makers, the first responsibility lies with us, who operate within the professional culture sector, to respect not only the idea of the cultural right to an expressive life, but also the individuals who pursue that right and the activities attendant upon that right.  For the time being, anyway, the media and other purveyors of commercial culture will acknowledge those individuals to the degree that they are, or can be converted to being, consumers.  It is the nonprofit cultural sector that has the already recognized responsibility to serve the public interest. and as such I believe that it is nonprofit cultural organizations that can and should be on the front lines of welcoming all kinds of creative individuals into the center of their missions and activities. The organizations who are thinking and acting most innovatively are already moving toward embracing this role.

PS to Jim:  I expect there is always a tension between voice and heritage; indeed, exploring such tensions is exactly what narrative is good at doing. 

I hope we can continue this conversation in other venues, it's a privilege to be in all your company.
January 29, 2010 5:12 PM | |


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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