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ERIC Number: EJ1205322
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1063-2913
Political Economy and Global Arts for Social Change: A Comparative Analysis of Youth Orchestras in Venezuela and Chile
Strother, Emma
Arts Education Policy Review, v120 n1 p1-10 2019
An expansive movement comprised of UN Millennium Development Goals, international banks, and hundreds of programs worldwide promotes access to the arts as a creative means of social change. Often grounded in cognitive science and inspired by the model of youth orchestras in Venezuela known as El Sistema, this movement contends that arts training--which can foster empathy, collaboration, academic achievement, and self-esteem--helps alleviate poverty and combat inequality. In contrast to the majority of the literature on public arts programs--impact studies that often assume arts engagement creates social change through universal mechanisms--this study examines the influence of political economy on the implementation of public arts programs. Through a comparative study of youth orchestras with social inclusion goals in Venezuela (1974-2015) and Chile (1964-2015), the scope and intensity of government control, social welfare policy, and competition for public funds are found to shape public arts programs' social goals, daily operations, definitions of success, and impact study procedures. Therefore, scholars, practitioners, and policy makers must reexamine their understanding of arts programs as a development model. Future global efforts to combat inequality should avoid over-standardization. This article offers a new Arts for Social Change Context Framework that places input variables at the center of analysis, with policy implications.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Venezuela; Chile