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The findings


The findings

A deep dive into FailSpace’s findings on failures in cultural participation and a framework to help you critically reflect on your work.

Failures in Cultural Participation is a free open-access book by Leila Jancovich and David Stevenson that explores issues of failures in cultural participation.

It looks at why the UK’s approach to diversifying and increasing the number of people who take part in subsidised cultural activities has failed to deliver a more equitable cultural sector, and asks why, despite this failure, policy and practice appears relatively resistant to change.

The book examines how a culture of mistrust between policymakers, practitioners and participants has led to mediocre quality evaluations and an emphasis on narratives of success rather than critical reflection and social learning.

The book is based on extensive research with cultural professionals and participants and argues that a lack of criticality and honesty about failures limits the potential for sector-wide learning, and as a result makes radical changes to policy and practice in the long term less likely.

Published by Springer International Publishing, 2022

Illustration of a flying toad wearing headphones attached to a green parachute.
Illustration by Lucy Wright

Academic journals

The FailSpace team has also published its findings in open access journals.

This includes a special issue on Failures in Cultural Participation for Conjunctions: Transdisciplinary Journal of Cultural Participation, published in October 2020. There are nine articles in this edition, including an article from the FailSpace team.

In addition, ‘Failure seems to be the hardest word to say’ was published in the International Journal of Cultural Policy in February 2021.

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