Before and After the Creative City: The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy in Austin, Texas

Carl Grodach

November 17, 2011 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Chicago Cultural Center
78 East Washington Street
First Floor Garland Room

Carl Grodach, Assistant Professor in the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington

This workshop will examine the politics and practice of urban cultural policy in Austin, Texas. Grodach will demonstrate how aspects of the local context frame how local government and cultural sector interests strive to initiate the direction of policy. While larger trends influence cultural policy and planning, specific contextual factors — including prior economic development and growth management policy, the forum for interaction between municipal actors and non-governmental coalitions, and the character of the city's cultural economy — mediate such trends to produce policy outcomes. As this case shows, contemporary urban cultural policy is not simply due to the rise of the creative city discourse, but is an evolving product of past policy structures and shaped by local institutions and actors.

Carl Grodach is an assistant professor in the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington. His research focuses on the urban development impacts of cultural planning and policy. This work has appeared in a variety of journals including the Community Development Journal, International Journal of Cultural Policy, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Journal of Urban Affairs, and the Journal of Urban Design. He is co-editor (with Dan Silver) of the forthcoming book The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy: Global Perspectives (Routledge).