The conferral of value: the role of reporting processes in the assessment of culture

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This article considers the role of reporting processes in the assessment of arts and culture and argues that a determination of an organisation’s or event’s value is the result of a chain of administrative and political interactions. The ‘conferral of value’ on a particular cultural activity may be seen as the outcome of a multi-stakeholder dialogue involving governments, funding agencies, cultural organisations and individual artists. The article emerges from a mixed-methods research project, Laboratory Adelaide: The Value of Culture, underway at Flinders University. The project works with three industry partners: the State Library of South Australia, the State Theatre Company of South Australia and the Adelaide Festival. A sketch of the history of the problem of culture’s value is given, together with the historical background of the arts in South Australia. The article concludes with a brief overview of two innovative reporting frameworks – sustainability reporting (GRI) and Integrated Reporting (IR) – and the potential gains for the cultural sector in the reporting reforms now happening in South Australia across all public bodies at a state government level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-94
Number of pages15
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number1
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • artists
  • cultural organisations
  • culture
  • evaluation
  • reporting
  • South Australia
  • value


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