There is much about art that’s lost when it’s defined by its social benefit or economic impact for the purposes of public funding. But some of the new avenues of research opened by arts managers’ responses to the current financial crisis can also be used to assess cultural diplomacy’s outcomes. Evaluating social benefits and economic impact of cultural diplomacy efforts would better communicate the value of these programs to stakeholders at home and abroad.
Most people shy away from making value judgments because if you say something is good or bad, you’re expected to follow up with your reasoning, and many people simply don’t feel qualified to do so. Paglia argues for a return to art education as basic training in how to look at images and objects with an eye toward aesthetic value.