Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate about the Benefits of the Arts
Annotation Current arguments for private and public investment in the arts emphasize the potential of the arts to serve broad social and economic goals. Intrinsic benefits (the arts "enrich people's lives") are outweighed by instrumental benefits (the arts "contribute to the public good"). This volume aims to improve our understanding of the full range of effects of the arts in order to inform public debate and policy. The authors review all the benefits associated with the arts, analyze how they may be created, and examine how they accrue to individuals and communities through different forms of arts participation. The authors present a new framework for analyzing the benefits of the arts that incorporates intrinsic and instrumental benefits and distinguishes among the ways these benefits affect the public welfare. In the process, they argue for a broader understanding of the benefits of arts involvement and for the importance of developing policies to ensure that the benefits of the arts are realized by a greater number of Americans.
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