Cultural Playing Field


Maria Miller on Cultural Value by Robin Simpson
January 24, 2014, 3:22 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , ,

On Wednesday I was at the British Library in London to hear the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller, deliver a speech about cultural value. Maria Miller asserted the value of culture, citing a range of examples in which culture moves and inspires us, provoking an emotional response. She quoted Steve Jobs who said “technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.” The Secretary of State said culture weaves “a spell that lifts you way beyond the hum-drum of normal life” and suggested that we are increasingly defining ourselves by our cultural experiences and interests. She defended her 2013 speech at the British Museum in which she said she was wrongly thought to have said the only justification for supporting the arts is its value to the economy but stressed that this approach had achieved a good spending review settlement for DCMS. I managed to ask the Secretary of State to consider the importance, in articulating the value of culture, of better understanding the links and interdependencies between those aspects of culture that are publicly funded and the 10 million people who take regularly part in local voluntary creative cultural activity across the country. She replied with praise of for the involvement of such a wide variety of groups. She said the role of volunteering is important because it gives us ownership and “ultimately culture isn’t something that is presented by Government … it’s something that we all own. And I think that involvement of individuals is absolutely critical.” You can read maria miller’s full speech at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/culture-secretary-maria-miller-keynote-arts-and-culture-speech

Robin Simpson.

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