What is arts outreach, and how does it motivate those without a stake in the matter? Should an artifact capable of explication be considered a work of art at all? Might it be that the cultural sector has no other option, in an era dominated by an omnipresent leisure industry, than to make of outreach an art form of its own? In its current four-year programme, from 2008 to 2011, Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, is focusing on arts outreach, and in this issue of Passages, authors discuss its purpose and performance. We offer a glimpse backstage at various projects, accompany a group of bankers on their own personal tour of a museum, visit hip hop workshops at Sadler’s Wells studio theatre in London and examine just which cultural goods and services the Swiss consumer actually prefers.
Swiss artist Joëlle Flumet provides this issue’s visual dimension: her illustrations are idiosyncratic tableaux of nine exemplary projects in the field, from a range of artistic genres.