Cultural resources management

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In the broadest sense, Cultural Resources Management (CRM) is the vocation and practice of managing cultural resources, such as the arts and heritage. It incorporates Cultural Heritage Management which is concerned with traditional and historic culture and the material culture of archaeology. Cultural resources management encompasses current culture, including progressive and innovative culture, such as urban culture, rather than simply attempting to preserve and present traditional forms of culture.

However, the broad usage of the term is relatively recent and as a result it is most often used as synonymous with heritage management. In the United States, cultural resources management is not usually divorced from the heritage context. The term is "used mostly by archaeologists and much more occasionally by architectural historians and historical architects, to refer to managing historic places of archaeological, architectural, and historical interests and considering such places in compliance with environmental and historic preservation laws." [1]

Cultural resources include both physical assets such as archaeology, architecture, paintings and sculptures and also intangible culture such as folklore and interpretative arts, such as storytelling and drama[2]. Cultural resource managers are typically in charge of museums, galleries, theatres etc., especially those that emphasise culture specific to the local region or ethnic group. Cultural tourism is a significant sector of the tourism industry.

At a national and international level, cultural resource management may be concerned with larger themes, such as languages in danger of extinction, public education, the ethos or operation of multiculturalism and promoting access to cultural resources. The Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity is an attempt by the United Nations to identify exemplars of intangible culture.

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