Making Culture Count brings together diverse perspectives from scholars, policy-makers and creative practitioners to explore the burgeoning field of cultural measurement and its implications.
Culture and cultural development are now internationally recognised as important dimensions of contemporary governance and public policy. The production of accurate and relevant data has become central to cultural policy and how the cultural lives of citizens are understood. Conceptual and practical developments in measurement tools, such as cultural indicators, have the potential to enrich our understanding of culture's role in wellbeing, vitality and citizenship. From UNESCO's benchmarks for cultural freedom to comparative measures of provision and creative cities indices, diverse approaches to quantifying culture and tracking progress now exist. But how useful are all these measures? Are they helping us to keep track of what matters? What opportunities exist to contest, refine or democratise these systems of measurement? Making Culture Count brings together diverse perspectives from scholars, policy-makers and creative practitioners to explore the burgeoning field of cultural measurement and its political implications.
Lachlan MacDowall is Head of the Centre for Cultural Partnerships, Faculty of VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne, Australia. His research examines the politics of evaluation and cultural measurement. He has also published widely on modes of urban informality such as graffiti and street art.
Marnie Badham is Lecturer at the Centre for Cultural Partnerships, Faculty of VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne, Australia. She has undertaken community-based research in Indonesia, Canada, and Australia exploring representational practice in policy, art and research.
Emma Blomkamp leads social innovation projects for Innovate Change in Auckland, New Zealand, and holds governance roles with cultural organisations. Emma is interested in creative and participatory approaches to social and political issues, especially in cultural policy and through human-centred design.
Kim Dunphy is Research Program Manager of the Cultural Development Network, at RMIT University, in Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include how change is effected on culture, and through the arts, and how that change is understood or measured.