What Does Cultural Policy Owe to Future Generations? What Does it Owe the Past?

  • Date:
  • Time: 4:00-5:30pm
  • Location: Alec Clegg Studio

Michael Rushton, Professor, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Does contemporary cultural policy have an obligation to people not yet born? The interests of future generations are accepted as a given in environmental policy, though there are divisions as to what weight should be given to their well-being relative to those currently living. Cultural policy also faces that question, but with added complications: which arts genres and practices warrant deliberate policies of preservation, and which are best left to whichever path arises from the private sector? Who would make such a decision, and how would they determine what is in the best interests of future generations? Does cultural policy have an obligation to the past? How are all of these questions informed by what arts are currently deemed worthy of subsidy?

This lecture is drawn, in part, from work on the larger project The Moral Foundations of Public Funding for the Arts.

As a professor, Dr. Michael Rushton’s expertise and teaching is in the economics, management, and public policy of the arts. His publications include articles on such topics as public funding for the arts, the role of nonprofit organizations, taxation, copyright, freedom of expression, and the arts and local development. He is the editor of Creative Communities: Art Works in Economic Development (2013) and the author of Strategic Pricing for the Arts (2014). He is currently writing a book on the moral foundations of public funding of the arts