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Graeme Evans: new article on participation and local art provisions
in Cultural Trends journal (Vol.25)

Graeme Evans: new article on participation and local art provisions

Special Issue of Cultural Trends
Graeme Evans article ‘Participation and Provision in Arts & Culture – Bridging the Divide’ has been published in a special ‘Geography & Opportunity’ issue of Cultural Trends journal (Vol.25)

Successive policies and efforts to increase participation in a range of arts and cultural activities have tended to focus on the profile and attitude of individuals and target groups in order justify public and achieve more equitable state funding. Rationales for such intervention generally reflect the policy and political regime operating in different eras, but widening participation, increasing access and making the subsidised arts more inclusive have been perennial concerns. On the other hand, culture has also been the subject of a supply-led approach to facility provision, whether local amenity-based, civic centre or flagship, and this has also mirrored periodic growth in investment through various capital for the arts, urban regeneration and lottery programmes. Research into participation has consequently taken a macro, sociological, ‘class distinction’ approach, including longitudinal national surveys such as Taking Part, whilst actual provision is dealt with at the micro, amenity level in terms of its impact and catchment. The article considers how this situation has evolved and the implications for cultural policy, planning and research by critiquing successive studies of arts attendance and participation and associated policy initiatives, including the importance of local facilities such as arts centres and libraries. A focus on cultural mapping approaches developed through Evans research into accessible cultural amenities, reveals important evidence for bridging the divide between cultural participation and provision.