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PADM-GP.2446: Public Policy and the Arts

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New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (NYU Wagner)

PADM-GP.2446: Public Policy and the Arts

Description: The United States has a highly developed arts and culture sector that operates primarily as a private sector enterprise despite (or, some would say, because of) the lack of a formal cultural policy that is a fundamental part of most governments. Rather than policy, the uniquely American cultural "system" is facilitated by various policies conceived for the most part for other public purposes. This course will serve as an introduction to these policies and the emergence of a cultural policy framework for understanding the arts and their increasing importance across policy fields in a post-industrial world of rapid technological, social, political, and economic change. While the course will focus on non profit issues, the arts and culture sector is broadly defined and inclusive of relevant for-profit arts activity. Class meetings will include guest lectures.

Faculty: Ruth Ann Stewart

Source: Syllabus downloaded from, 29 January 2014.

Teaching Topics Addressed in this Course, Organized by Public Management Subject



Commentary by the Atlas editors: The class titles in the Syllabus suggest a number of the potential topics to be developed for the Atlas:

  • What is cultural policy? 
  • Cultural Policy and the Non Profit Sector
  • The “awkward embrace”: government in the development of the U.S. cultural sector
  • Winds of Change: creation of a U.S. public and professional cultural support “system”
  • The Culture War: “Art and Outrage” film
  • The Art of the Deal: cultural policy meets real politick at The Brooklyn Museum
  • The Arts and Social Justice
  • Politics of Culture: the arts manager
  • Creative Industries I: creativity and the post-industrial city
  • Creative Industries II: technology, creativity, and the public good in the digital age
  • Going Global I: policy implications for the arts and artists
  • Cultural Policy Challenges in the 21st Century

Page created by: Ian Clark on 29 January 2014. The content presented on this page, except in the Commentary, is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.



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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance