In this essay, Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández reflects on the comments made in a forum convened to reflect on his article “Why the Arts Don't Do Anything: Toward a New Vision for Cultural Production in Education,” published in the Harvard Educational Review (HER)'s special issue entitled Expanding Our Vision for the Arts in Education (Vol. 83, No. 1). Participants in the forum (published in HER Vol. 83, No.3) were John Abodeely, manager of national partnerships, John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, Washington, DC; Ken Cole, associate director, National Guild for Community Arts Education, New York City; Janna Graham, project curator of the Serpentine Gallery, Centre for Possible Studies, London; Ayanna N. Hudson, director of arts education, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC; and Carmen Mörsch, head of the Research Institute for Art Education, Zurich University of the Arts. In his original essay, Gaztambide-Fernández makes the case that advocacy for arts education is trapped within a “rhetoric of effects” that relies too heavily on causal arguments for the arts, whether construed as instrumental or intrinsic. Gaztambide- Fernández further argues that what counts as “the arts” is based on traditional, Eurocentric, hierarchical notions of aesthetic experience. As an alternative, he suggests a “rhetoric of cultural production” that would focus on the cultural processes and experiences that ensue in particular contexts shaped by practices of symbolic work and creativity. Here the author engages the forum's discussion in an effort to clarify his argument and move the dialogue forward.

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