In whose interest?

This heterogeneous collection of responses reconsiders the assumption that public funding of the arts and humanities represents an unequivocal social good. The first two essays point out that the forms of art and scholarship supported by such programs are based on particularly Western notions of culture and can therefore not be extricated from practices of governmentality dedicated to building “better” citizens. The remaining three responses take a practice-led view, questioning how well existing funding models serve the needs of artists, curators, and communities to meet autonomously defined needs.

These essays are part of “Beyond Survival: Public Support for the Arts and Humanities,” a call for reflections on and provocation about the precarious state of arts funding after decades of neoliberal economics and the long culture wars.

Return to the project overview and introduction by Sarah Kanouse here.