Art in Public: Politics, Economics and a Democratic Culture

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A free public lecture and symposium will examine the ongoing debate over government funding for the arts.

The events will focus on the work of Lambert Zuidervaat, who was active in the cultural life of Grand Rapids for 17 years, including serving on the board and as president of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. He is currently a professor of philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto and director of ICE's Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics.

Zuidervaat's lecture is on Thursday, March 17, 7 p.m. in the Cook Auditorium, Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids. It will draw from his most recent book, "Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture," which proposes an entirely new conception of the public role of art, with wide-ranging implications for education, politics and cultural policy, and also challenges assumptions about the state, the market, the arts.

The symposium, on Friday, March 18, from 1-4 p.m. at UICA, will include two parts: first, a look at national and historical contexts; second, a focus on the local connection in Grand Rapids. Each part will begin with a report presented by students from Grand Valley’s Civic Studio, followed by short position papers that have been submitted in advance.

The events are presented by the Grand Valley State University Department of Art and Design in partnership with Grand Rapids Art Museum, co-sponsors of the lecture; and Civic Studio, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, and Grand Valley's School of Communications, co-sponsors of the symposium.

For more information, visit http://artinpublicingr.wordpress.com.