What is the Purpose of Cultural Activities?
Culture Track 2017 is an excellent new study from the United States. It shows some major shifts in the public's attitude to culture.
According to the study, the word "culture" has become so democratized and inclusive as to become virtually meaningless. "Audiences in 2017 do not place priority or meaning in whether an activity is 'culture' or not: it can be anything from Caravaggio to Coachella, Tannhäuser to taco trucks."
But the study also points out that, while people may no longer care what culture is, they really value what culture does, namely:
- Transforming perspectives
- Building community
- Educating the public
- Fostering empathy
"Audiences believe that culture is a positive force. But in this complex moment when the value of culture for its own sake is not a given, it is up to cultural organizations to powerfully articulate and deliver on their essential purpose and impact."