Last year we commissioned a research study, from economists Daniel Fujiwara and George MacKerron, examining how different arts and cultural institutions affect levels of happiness. Richard Russell, our Director of Policy and Research, blogs about the results, which we've just published.
Paul Glinkowski, our Senior Manager, Creative Media, writes with Vivien Niblett, Senior Officer, Policy and Research on the results of the second Digital Culture survey - conducted by Nesta, as part of the Digital R&D programme.
Our Midlands Area Director, Peter Knott, tells us how we need to share our stories in order to keep making the case for public investment in arts and culture.
I think we would all agree that we are working in a time of economic challenge, but opportunities, possibilities and above all a positive future remain obtainable. These are extraordinary times and we need to find extraordinary solutions.
It is a generally accepted view among business leaders that cities and regions are drivers of economic growth more than nations and governments.
As Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General has observed: ‘The US doesn’t just have New York – San Francisco, LA, Boston and others are also premier league cities. In Germany, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich thrive alongside Berlin. We need the same in the UK.’
I go to museums a lot; it’s part of Arts Council keeping fully in touch with what’s happening around the country. But Friday was unusual even for me. I visited all eight Cambridge University museums and galleries in a single day: an exhausting, inspiring whistle stop tour.
When I arrived at the Arts Council a little over two years ago, I discovered (with some alarm!) that I was going to be the Executive Board member with responsibility for Goal 1, for ensuring that ‘excellence is thriving and celebrated in arts, museums and libraries’. Who was going to determine what was ‘excellent’ – our arts and cultural leaders? The professional critics? …Me? Would it ever be possible to agree within the Arts Council – let alone amongst arts and cultural organisations – what are the key determinants of ‘quality’?