This course provides an overview of U.S. cultural policy, tracing the origins of the arts infrastructure from the late 19th century to the present, with a focus on the shaping of cultural organizations, taste, patronage systems and audiences. Key policy questions for arts and culture include: Is there a public value associated with the arts? who decides what kinds of culture should be provided for and supported?; who pays?; who benefits?; what are the anticipated outcomes of cultural policy? We will investigate a number of contemporary issues, including the viability of the arts as an engine of economic and community development; the challenges of a new and still-shifting cultural landscape for cultural practitioners and participants; and what a robust cultural policy for the U.S. might look like in the future.