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Policy Review “Supporting Excellence in the Arts: from measurement to judgement”

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Susannah EckersleyORCiD


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The DCMS paper “Supporting excellence in the arts”, also known as the McMaster Review, raised more questions than it answered in terms of how UK cultural policy is likely to develop in the future. Although many of its intentions are laudable, the report fails to resolve the inherent problems associated with defining, measuring and judging cultural “excellence”, even though this forms the core of McMaster's argument about how policy should develop. This may have significant implications for cultural institutions in the future. In addition, many of the report's recommendations may either be contradictory or impractical in the current policy climate – such as the desire for institutions to take more risks whilst simultaneously increasing visitor numbers and meeting other targets. As such, without a wider change in the Government's approach and a re-acknowledgement of culture's intrinsic value, “excellence” may just become the latest buzzword for practitioners, rather than the key principle upon which future decisions will be based.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Eckersley SC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cultural Trends

Year: 2008

Volume: 17

Issue: 3

Pages: 183-187

Print publication date: 26/09/2008

ISSN (print): 0954-8963

ISSN (electronic): 1469-3690

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/09548960802362108


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