The Importance of Cultural Development in the Community

Culture forms the lifeblood of a developing society, found in the numerous ways we tell our stories, celebrate, recall the past, entertain ourselves, and design the future. Our cultural expression defines who we are, and allows us to view  the world through the eyes of others. On top of its intrinsic value, culture provides numerous social and economic advantages. More than just improving overall learning and health, tolerance, and opportunities to come together with others, culture also improves a community’s quality of life and boost the well-being of both individuals and communities.


Individual Benefits

Cultural development can benefit individuals in many different ways, some of which are deeply personal. Cultural expression can provide delight and wonder, as well as create emotionally and intellectually moving experiences, whether pleasurable or unsettling, which allow celebration or contemplation. It is also a way to express one’s creativity, developing an individual identity, and improving or sustaining a community’s sense of place. Cultural development programs are opportunities for leisure, entertainment, learning, and sharing experiences with others.


Improve Community Connections

By developing cultural expression (no matter the form – music, arts, writing, and many others) that highlights the things that we struggle with (poverty, sexuality, racism, to name a few), we develop a more profound understanding of humanity as a whole and of the community that we belong to. For this reason, culture can help break down limitations boundaries. This is because learning about the struggles of a group that’s often been marginalized will expand your awareness and help you develop more tolerance and compassion.


Encourage Respect

The self-awareness and pride that arise from cultural identity are an important component of empowering communities to be more accountable for their own destinies. Cultural development encourages respect for the culture and identity of people – which is a crucial element in any viable approach to any other form of people-centered development. Cultural development encourages respect for the rootedness of people in their own societies, the protection of the heritage of the past, and the promotion of living culture in all its many forms.