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often, cultural leaders and policy makers want to chase the perfect metric for
activities whose real worth lies in our own personal experience. The major
problem facing Australian culture today is demonstrating its value – to
governments, the business sector, and the public in general.
culture become a number? When did the books, paintings, poems, plays, songs,
films, games, art installations, clothes, and the objects that fill our daily
lives become a matter of statistical measurement? When did experience become
book intervenes in an important debate about the public value of culture that
has become stranded between the hard heads (where the arts are just another
industry) and the soft hearts (for whom they are too precious to bear
argues that our concept of value has been distorted and dismembered by
political forces and methodological confusions, and this has a dire effect on
the way we assess culture. Proceeding
via concrete examples, it explores the major tensions in contemporary
evaluation strategies, and puts forward practical solutions to the current
time is ripe to find a better way to value our culture – by finding a better
way to talk about it.
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