Thursday, April 21, 2011

Scott Walters Bait

From Butts in the Seats' look at the Culture Track Survey:

One response that interested me was: “Respondents from cities were significantly more likely to indicate that their home city should be considered a cultural center.” I am intrigued by the idea that city dwellers more than suburban and rural residents place a high level of importance on being perceived as living in a cultural center. If you live in a rural area, you probably have priorities that don’t emphasize a cultural life. I guess the same is true of the suburban experience. Perhaps suburbanites value having their homes within easy commuting distance of work and great culture and don’t have a high expectation of a great cultural life in their town.


Joe Patti said...

Tsk, tsk. Trying to start some trouble, eh?

I am sure both Scott and you are able to discern between saying a group doesn't have a cultural life and saying they don't place as much importance upon being identified with a cultural center.

CultureFuture said...

I agree. However, Scott's argument has often been that there is over-investment of art resources in cities and not enough investment in rural areas. Although I tend to agree with him, the idea that people in rural areas may not want their areas to be cultural centers would be a demand-side explanation of why that would be.

I can't speak to the rural experience, but I can speak to the suburban experience, and say that most of the people I knew liked having access to art, but didn't necessarily care if it was in their city and didn't seem to think it was in any way a social priority.

Joe said...

No argument from me. I worked at a rural arts organization in South Jersey at one time. Prior to my arrival the legislature had directed that a certain proportion of annual funding go to groups in the more rural south rather than giving it to organizations in the northern part of the state and being satisfied with them sending performances south.