Sustainability, Ethics, and Aesthetics

By Alisa Moldavanova.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Among four dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic, social, and cultural), it is the latter aspect that is least examined by scholars. However, understanding how culture contributes to the long-term sustainability of communities and societies is one key to a holistic understanding of sustainability itself, and is worthy of scholarly attention. This paper argues that the ethic of long-term sustainability can be informed by aesthetics and art in their embodied, institutionalized form. The resilience potential of art organizations is important for configuring the long-term impact of aesthetics and its place for future generations. As art organizations struggle with addressing the consequences of economic recessions and finding new models of conducting their temporal business, their very existence and preservation contributes to the long-term sustainability of communities and societies as a whole. This paper suggests two avenues for further research: first, the values and ideals embedded in strategic priorities of art institution and promoted through their programs contribute to building resilience capital and serve as the foundation of long-term institutional survival; second, by fulfilling their institutional missions through both short and long-term strategies and acting ‘sustainably,’ managers of art organizations ensure institutional endurance, thus vouching safe the interests of future generations.

Keywords: Multidimensional Sustainability, Ethic of Sustainability, Aesthetics, Art Institutions, Resilience Capital, Intergenerational Equity, Future Generations

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.109-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 225.622KB).

Dr. Alisa Moldavanova

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA

Dr. Alisa Moldavanova is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Political Science Department at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI). She is a graduate of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas, where she defended her “Sustainable Public Administration: The Search for Intergenerational Fairness” with honors. Dr. Moldavanova’s research interests include sustainability and intergenerational justice, organizational theory, nonprofit management, and public service ethics. She is currently doing research on the sustainability of arts organizations in an urban context, and teaching courses on Managing Public Organizations and Programs, and Human Resources Management for the Masters of Public Administration program at Wayne State University.