Taras Young, the AMA’s Digital Content Manager, rounds up some key reports and developments from the cultural sector in the last few months.
Culture for everyone
Arts Council England set out its updated 10-year vision in “Great art and culture for everyone”. The strategic framework brings together two previously separate strategic frameworks in order to have a single document covering libraries and museums, as well as the arts. The document outlines the body’s role in advocating for publicly-funded arts organisations, and encouraging partnerships with the private sector, as well as its investment plans.
Meanwhile, the independent report “Rebalancing our cultural capital” made a case for rethinking how arts funding is distributed. It focuses particularly on an apparent over-emphasis on London-based organisations.
Abigail Pogson, Chief Executive of Spitalfields Music, responded to the report with a dissection of spending within London itself, pointing out that the majority of London boroughs outside the centre receive less per head than the national average. She calls for more thought about who the ultimate beneficiaries of funding are, rather than where in the country the money goes.
Examining innovation in the cultural sector
Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta joined forces to publish a report entitled “Digital Culture”. The report surveyed nearly 900 arts organisations to discover how they are using technology, how it impacts on their work, and how it is changing the relationship with audiences. The research will continue for two more years.
Rachel Coldicutt, director of digital developers Caper, took this report – together with the Arts Council England strategic framework and other recent developments – and considered the ways in which discussion of digital innovation is being framed by those leading the cultural sector.
Around the sector
Two major audience development agencies in Scotland, Culture Sparks and The Audience Business, are merging to form Culture Republic, billed as a new cultural engagement hub.
Meanwhile, arts coverage continues to grow on the BBC following former Royal Opera House chief executive Tony Hall’s appointment as Director-General. Grayson Perry presented the BBC’s annual Reith Lectures, which this year looked at the art world and its relationship with the public. All four lectures are now available to download as podcasts from the BBC.