Can policy be artist-led?

Perspectives from a policy analyst / researcher

2007, March 7

In January 2007, I was invited by the artists think tank MidWest to contribute to a series of discussions on the role of artists in policy-making under the common title ‘Know Your Place’. My involvement started with a conversation with a group of artists from the West Midlands. In this meeting, it became clear that some of the main issues concerning the artists involved in this consultation were their feeling of being excluded from the policy-making process, lacking confidence to overcome existing barriers, the perception that decision-makers did not pay sufficient attention to artist-led initiatives and, particularly, the feeling that there was not a shared language through which to resolve the existing tensions between arts and policy needs.

In this paper, I offer an overview of the key issues presented in response to these realisations. These are organised around three main topics:

 What is cultural policy?
an artists influence cultural policy?
Can the language of research and evaluation offer a bridge between arts and policy needs?

Find my written think piece article and presentation below