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The Future of the Arts & Society

Project Manager:

  • Natalie Hopkinson

On a 1998 visit to the White House, Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel described how jazz helped him imagine freedom in the darkest days of communist oppression. “Music,” the poet-president said, “is the enemy of totalitarianism.” But even in the best of economic times, art for art’s sake may seem like a luxury that society can ill-afford. However, creativity and innovation will continue to serve as vital engines driving the future of the U.S. economy. Cultural diplomacy is much less costly than war. Today, it is more important than ever to explore public decisions being made about the arts.

​This discussion guide explores different concerns,about the arts and offers seven different possibilities to address those concerns. We offer these possibilities to you not as prescriptions, but as a way to initiate discussions about the future of the arts in a democratic society.

The seven policy possibilities in this discussion guide:

1.  Remix the Public Face of Art
2.  Maintain the Lighthouse
3.  Open-Source Art for Greater Creativity
4.  Art Hurts
5.  Schools of Art
6.  Privatize It
7.  The Art of Diplomacy 

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