Cultural development and local government: analytical frames, insights and observations

Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 2015, 37 (1), pp. 44 - 55
Issue Date:
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Over the last 50 years, local government in Australia has increasingly been involved in cultural development as a means of supporting community cohesion, wellbeing, sense of identity, and economic development. The involvement includes activities intended to elicit, express or explore aspects of community life that lend themselves to these goals, including arts practices that are generally integral to the activities. The requirement of funding bodies to evaluate the effectiveness of subsidised programmes has led to a tendency to view the arts instrumentally as a means to an end and thus to leave discussion of the intrinsic value of the arts relatively undeveloped or unresolved. In response, this article argues for the use of various analytical frames for evaluating cultural development and for the institutional value of cultural development for local government and its communities to be better recognised. Integrated strategies are available for a systems view of cultural development which can contribute to appropriate governance approaches in local government.
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