In recent years it has become increasingly evident that those who wish to advance the cause of the arts, culture and creativity as a recognized element of social policy and as a significant contributor to the new imagination economy have to find new arguments and evidentiary materials in their support, and new ways to present them.
The importance of advocacy of this kind (also referred to as public awareness or consciousness-raising) was emphasized in the Road Map that emerged from the UNESCO World Conference on Arts and Learning in Lisbon in 2006, and has been adopted as one of the three principal areas of interest and action by the World Alliance for Arts and Education at the World Creativity Summits of 2007 and 2008. Scholars and researchers address these issue from a broad variety of perspectives for this edition of the UNESCO Observatory E-journal.
The guest editor is Max Wyman, writer, critic, editor, cultural commentator, arts policy consultant, politician (he was the Mayor of Lions Bay, BC from 2005-2008), Officer of the Order of Canada, former President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and author of ‘The Defiant Imagination: Why Culture Matters’. He led the Canadian delegation to the Lisbon conference, chaired the research team that prepared the Canadian report presented in Portugal, and has participated in each of the subsequent World Creativity Summits.
This refereed e-journal promotes the focus of the UNESCO Observatory for Multi-Disciplinary Research in the Arts to inform the development of future initiatives in this expanding field. The Observatory is establishing an international database of research to provide scientifically sound evidence of the individual and social significance of the impact of the arts, culture and heritage issues in education and across communities.