Cultural democracy is a concept that emerged after the Second World War, which seeks to democratise culture in order to bring about an awareness and appreciation of art to as wide a section of society as possible

Culture has traditionally been divided into two parts – high art and low art: high art being opera, music, ballet, painting, sculpture, poetry and drama; and low art being culture that has mass appeal, sometimes known as popular culture. The high arts tend to be defined and enjoyed by one small section of society and this is considered undemocratic. Cultural democracy seeks to break down the boundaries between high and low culture in order to make art accessible to a wider audience.

The community arts movement evolved out of cultural democracy.

Related glossary terms

Community art