Thinking in ecosystems: Diversity and Inclusion within Utrecht's Contemporary Venue Programming. A Comparative Case Study Analysis in Utrecht

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Since cultural diversity is declining at the grass-root level and Dutch cultural policies tend to favour traditional activities, this research aims to explore how Utrecht's municipality addresses diversity and inclusion-related concerns within its contemporary, small-scale venue programming. The theoretical framework shows that a contemporary live music ecology can contribute to a city's social fabric and stimulate sustainable development through its inherent social, cultural, economic and spatial properties. So far, literature on how to diversify venue programming that includes more underrepresented social groups to create a healthier, more sustainable social fabric is limited. This qualitative comparative case study includes document analyses and in-depth, semi-structured interviews centred around two cases in Utrecht, which provide insight into the relationship between Utrecht's contemporary venue programming and its cultural policy. Results found that Utrecht's cultural policy only explicitly mentions the diversity of Utrecht's cultural programme in terms of genre. Data shows that the musical offering of partners within this ecology at different scales reflects pop culture's Western background, which lacks diversity. This research concludes that Utrecht's cultural policy addresses diversity and inclusion-related concerns through the cultural revitalisation discourse to further a socio-economic agenda, which views culture as a part of sustainable development.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen