comparison of cultural policy in the U.S. and France

atch this video (Links to an external site.)on the comparison of cultural policy in the U.S. and France. While France’s cultural policy does not represent cultural policy trends in Europe, the country is known for its deep history of strong public support for the arts and culture which is also shown in other European countries as well. This video provides great insights into the fundamental differences between the American and European cultural policy models. I would suggest just watching the first hour for the sake of time.

Share your short response and takeaways in the discussion board. Also, consider where the direction of U.S. cultural policy should be headed- should we incorporate more European/French model or are we ok with what we have now? If changes are needed, how do we make this happen, considering our different historical, cultural backgrounds and values? Don’t forget to respond to two classmates’ comments.


There are many differences between the American and European cultural policies discussed in this video. One of the things mentioned that really stuck out to me was that it wasn’t about promoting French art per say but rather about promoting creation of art within France. Knowing the typical American culture of constantly striving and needing to be the best at everything, this was a very clear difference in cultural policy between the two areas to me. I think this mentality, along with many other more European ideals presented in the video, align much more with supporting the free creation of art. We are fortunate in America to not face many boundaries to creation in terms of censorship, so I think integrating more European values into our cultural policy could be beneficial in terms of creating a larger quantity of art with more depth. I think this integration would be easier said than done, of course, but if we anticipate that we will face cultural differences during the process I think it will help to mitigate potential problems.


I think the importance that the French representative put onto education and student engagement, as a part of this “democratization” that the French are aiming for in their governmental support of the arts is significant. I think this is really important because it is something that has come up in several of my arts management classes- the unequal access to the arts that often happens due to financial barriers, whether because of an admission fee or the inability of people to buy their own supplies. I think that this democratization is really important in order to involve everyone and increase the public’s understanding of the arts, and I think that this is possible with a higher US governmental involvement and support for the arts as a state priority. But Baudry and the NEA chair also makes another interesting point: the variance of tax exemptions and high levels of them for donations to the arts. While this has often been cited as a strong reason Americans contribute to the arts, it was interesting that both sides involved this method yet the American culture suffered more during the last recession. Although it’s good that the French never stopped supporting the arts, does that create a sort of public laziness in contribution? Is a stronger dependency to the government created in France by this, and how did that affect art production?


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