In various countries within Europe, there is discussion about governmental investment in the arts and culture. While traditional arguments are losing potency, and the debate is continually becoming carried out more in economic and statistical terms, the work field as well as the cultural policymakers are feeling an increasing need for a new dialog on the place of the arts and culture within a community. In the last years in Flanders, this debate has been fuelled by 'The Value of Culture', an investigative report, in which Pascal Gielen (along with a team of sociologists, economists, philosophers and psychologists from the Rijksuniversiteit of Groningen) assembled a series of research results on the value, meaning and impact of the arts and culture on people within the community.
The English-language publication, 'The Value of Culture', can be downloaded free of charge from the same site. The debate on 17 February is shared publically with the IETM Satellite meeting, 'The art of valuing: between evident and evidence-based', a two-day seminar on the value of culture, geared towards policymakers (Ministries, foundations, arts councils) from around Europe, Australia and Canada. The intention is to collaborate on new models in order to make the value of culture visible and to take initiatives for a more cultural fulfilment of policy, both at the national and European level.