The papers in Issue 3 (July 2008) come from the successful Revealing All Symposium held in Spring 2008. There, PhD students presented their research for public debate. This was the second such conference established by the joint collaboration of Goldsmiths, University of London and City University. The programme this Spring was particularly varied in subject area and cultural activity: from the professional careers of visual artists in South West England to language as cultural identity in Africa, from innovation in television entertainment to the contradictions of ambition at the Rich Mix centre East London.
The three papers selected here complement each other well while taking different stand points. Two concern themselves with specific cultural stakeholder groups while the third discusses the concept of the stakeholder. Other links are artists and art practise, inclusion and exclusion, and consultation and participation. The authors also have varied professional backgrounds and expertise but all demonstrate the direct link between research and the daily practice of cultural sector professionals.
Setting the scene in ‘Stakeholder Engagement in Publicly Funded Museums. Outlining the theoretical context and a proposal for future research’, Sue Davies explores the definitions of, and theoretical background to, stakeholder engagement with and in public museums. She outlines the current context and rationale for involving various groups and individuals in the decision making process yet questions how democratic is the process. The Blue Room participants in Victoria Durrer’s paper — ‘A Case Study in Policy Delivery: Examining Social Inclusion through Interpretation and Practice’ — were central to planning and leading their own art workshops, a scheme to develop their skills as workshop leaders for other adults with learning difficulties. This ‘socially excluded’ group were recipients of government funding through the Arts Council which, according to Paul Glinkowski, favours an instrumentalist approach to arts as oppose to an intrinsic one. In his paper, ‘The Visibility Paradox: Visual Artists in Arts Policy and Arts Impact Research in England’, he argues that this approach has dislodged the presence visual artists in policy making documents and debate, to such an extent that the work of the artist is now absent.
The papers thus form a three part conversation and so prompt the reader to move from one to another and back again, revealing further differences and overlaps.
As editor of this issue I would like to thank Professor Sara Selwood and Gerald Lidstone for organising the conference and all the participants, particularly presenters of papers and chairs. I would also like to thank the anonymous peer reviewers for their time and effort.
Acting Head of Department
Department of Cultural Policy and Management
Neither the Department of Cultural Policy and Management nor the Editors are responsible for views expressed by authors or cited from other sources. Published articles are not copy-edited by the journal. All inaccuracies are the responsibility of the author.