What is art? What is culture? And what value do we place upon it today? Katharine Brisbane looks back on our changing culture and the way public subsidy since 1968 has built massive opportunities for our artists, performers and those who have built an industry around them. She also traces the divisions that have grown between the community and the arts sector, and the moral divide between art and commerce. She concludes that the promised pursuit of excellence has been fulfilled and exhausted; and proposes a way to salvage its achievements by throwing open our major institutions to public investment and private enterprise, releasing creativity into new directions and reconsidering how we might together build an inclusive cultural environment.