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.
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.’
Last week I attended two presentations given to Arts Council England Relationship Managers by Catherine Langabeer, Operations Director at Julie's Bicycle. Her talk focused on the background to why Sustainability matters, what the arts council is asking of organisations and how Julie’s Bicycle helps to deliver this.
Unfortunately the catalyst for collaboration across our sector has often been finance rather than creative zeal. As the current context demonstrates, faced with future financial austerity we are once again attempting to co-operate across and within arts forms (and with the Arts Council) to get our financial arguments heard in government rather than to fully embrace collaborative working as a long-term organisational development strategy.