Making Culture Count: Rethinking measures of cultural vitality, wellbeing and citizenship
2 – 4 May 2012, Woodward Conference Centre, University of Melbourne
Presented by the Cultural Development Network and The Centre for Cultural Partnerships,
Faculty of the VCA and Music, University of Melbourne.
In recent years, culture and cultural development have become internationally recognised as important dimensions of contemporary governance and public policy. As in other policy areas (economic, social, environmental), the production of accurate and relevant data has become central to cultural policy and how the cultural lives of citizens are understood. Conceptual and practical developments in measurement tools, such as new forms of cultural indicators, have the potential to enrich our understanding of culture’s role in wellbeing, vitality and citizenship. From UNESCO’s benchmarks for cultural freedom, through comparative measures of states’ cultural provision and creative cities indices, to indicators for community arts evaluation, diverse approaches to quantifying cultural value and measuring societal progress now exist.
But how useful are all these measures? Are they helping us to keep track of what matters? What opportunities exist to contest, refine or democratise these systems of cultural measurement? This international conference brought together diverse perspectives from international guest speakers and leading local practitioners to explore the burgeoning field of cultural and community indicators. Participants engaged in critical dialogues on various approaches to monitoring, evaluating, planning, advocating, predicting, and simply understanding, cultural and social change. Presentations covered a range of theoretical and practical approaches to quantifying cultural values often considered intangible, including vitality, wellbeing, citizenship, and sustainability.
Download: Making Culture Count Media Release
Download: Making Culture Count Brochure