Social researcher Hugh Mackay at Sydney Ideas
5 November 2008
Social researcher and best-selling author Hugh Mackay will discuss why increasing public participation in the arts is a crucial part of building a healthier Australia when he speaks at Sydney Ideas this Saturday.
In this University of Sydney public lecture titled "Arts Participation - Key to a Healthier City", Mackay will argue that public arts funding should go beyond deciding which arts bodies should receive what amount of funding. Instead, it should work towards increased arts activity in the community.
"The greatest public value of the arts it through participation in them, rather than merely being exposed to them as spectators," says the Sydney-based psychologist who has been studying the Australian psyche for decades.
"The most intense benefits of the arts flow from creating and performing so why aren't we using public money to extend those benefits more widely?"
According to Mackay, the author of the recently re-released Advance Australia… Where?, active involvement in the arts can help counteract the "ills of contemporary society" such as alienation, isolation and depression by promoting mental health and well-being.
"What better way of fostering a sense of community… and reducing the pressures of a competitive, materialist society than encouraging widespread participation in the arts," says Mackay.
Hugh Mackay is a social researcher and novelist who has made a lifelong study of the attitudes and behaviour of Australians. He is the author of 11 books, including five bestsellers in the field of social analysis, and four novels. His latest, Advance Australia…Where? was published in 2007 and his fifth novel will be released early next year. Mackay has been awarded honorary doctorates by Charles Sturt, Macquarie and NSW universities and is a fellow of the Australian Psychological Society. In 2004, he received the University of Sydney's Alumni Award for community service.
Hugh Mackay will be introduced to the Sydney Ideas stage by Dr Michael Anderson from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Education and Social Work.
What: "Arts Participation - Key to a Healthier City" Hugh Mackay at Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney's international public lecture series
When: 5pm on Saturday, 8 November, 2008. Please note earlier timeslot.
Where: Seymour Theatre Centre, Cnr of City Road and Cleveland Street, University of Sydney
Cost: $20/$15 concession. Free tickets are available for University of Sydney students and staff at the Seymour Theatre Centre box office. Please bring ID.
Bookings: (02) 9351 7940 or online
This lecture is part of the University of Sydney Spring Back to Sydney Alumni program.
Contact: Katrina O'Brien
Phone: 02 9036 7842