Melbourne’s bid to become the world’s second UNESCO City of Literature marks a new phase in the global move towards the creative city. Victoria, it is said, is where arts and culture are at the centre of economic thinking.
But what does this say about the value of culture, the benefits of cultural participation and the distribution of benefits to a wider community? Do the most important impacts of the arts defy measurement? How can our cultural centres find a language to express the value that Australians see?
Kay Ferres and David Adair search among our performing arts venues for a new kind of yardstick, one that might define the ineffable.