Cultural Democracy: The Arts, Community, and the Public by James Bau Graves

By James Bau Graves

Cultural Democracy explores the situation of our nationwide cultural power, as entry to the humanities turns into more and more mediated via a handful of agencies and the slim tastes of rich elites. Graves bargains the idea that of cultural democracy as corrective - an concept with very important historical and modern validation, and another pathway towards moral cultural improvement that's a part of a world shift in values. Drawing upon quite a number scholarship and illustrative anecdotes from his personal reviews with cultural courses in ethnically varied groups, Graves explains in convincing element the dynamics of ways conventional and grassroots cultures may possibly continue to exist and thrive - or no longer - and what we will be able to do to supply them possibilities equivalent to these of mainstream, Eurocentric tradition.

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By James Bau Graves

Cultural Democracy explores the situation of our nationwide cultural power, as entry to the humanities turns into more and more mediated via a handful of agencies and the slim tastes of rich elites. Graves bargains the idea that of cultural democracy as corrective - an concept with very important historical and modern validation, and another pathway towards moral cultural improvement that's a part of a world shift in values. Drawing upon quite a number scholarship and illustrative anecdotes from his personal reviews with cultural courses in ethnically varied groups, Graves explains in convincing element the dynamics of ways conventional and grassroots cultures may possibly continue to exist and thrive - or no longer - and what we will be able to do to supply them possibilities equivalent to these of mainstream, Eurocentric tradition.

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Through this lens, most other cultures will seem strange, exotic, or frightening, depending on the circumstances. With complete faith in our own judgments, it is easy to diminish or dismiss something that we are not equipped to grasp. Errors based in the lack of cultural competence are among the greatest stumbling blocks in the pursuit of a just and diverse society. It is so easy to miss the mark and to not even know what you’ve missed. 18 The outcome of our exhaustive planning process with the Cambodians was a decision to focus our resources on developing classical dance and music traditions locally.

This is the reason many communities seem to devote so much more energy to fighting among themselves than to the pursuit of any larger objective. The internal battles reflect a community struggling to define itself, and until there is at least a measure of agreement about who they are and what they stand for, moving forward is nearly impossible. 13 There are easily twenty thousand Irish Americans in Portland, but most of them are second, third, or fourth generation and maintain little interest in their Irish heritage.

28 As the UNESCO Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity states, the collective right of each community is and should be considered on a par with individual liberties. Democratic culture is implicitly within the public sphere. It is not simply a private enactment within a community but an exploration of how our civil forum relates to that enactment. Cultural democracy lends an importance to private ritual that pushes it into the public square to challenge our received notions of what constitutes artistry.

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