In the modern world we are increasingly being confronted with instances where economic and cultural forces intersect. At the international level, cultural imperatives assert themselves in different ways in the context of an increasingly integrated global economy. At the local level, the practice of the arts, the preservation of heritage and the celebration of community values are all means of cultural expression that have important economic ramifications. Must we see culture and economy as inevitably oppositional or antagonistic, or are there ways in which cultural and economic interests can be harmonized? This paper considers some of the ways in which we can interpret in the interactions between culture and economics so as to shed some light on these questions. Illustrations are drawn from several different spheres, including the cultural industries, the role of cultural heritage in community life, economic problems in the production and consumption of the arts, and changing notions of local cultural identity in a globalizing world.