Guardian Culture Panel discussion with Nicola Anthony

guardian debate_10 feb 2012_State of the Arts 2012This afternoon I was invited to be part of the official discussion panel on Guardian Culture Network, alongside the regional director of Arts Council England, Marie Nixon from Clore, Jack Hutchiinson from AIR, Nancy Groves and Matthew Caines from Guardian amongst others (see the discussion here).  The aim was a pre-conference live chat in anticipation of  the important “State of the Arts conference 2012″.

State of the Arts is an intervention from the Arts Council (ACE), with a keynote speech from Ed Vaizey, aimed at senior arts professionals and intended to provide a collective space to discuss current issues and the latest thinking within the sector. This year artists views are being sought, and the conference topic is “Artists shaping the world”.

In light of this new emphasis on being inclusive of artists, (the lack of it being the main criticism of last year’s conference), some very topical views came through the online discussion which you can read in full here. (Also on twitter here #SotA12) As an overview, topics included:

Including artists at the heart of the debate – Artists having the ability to shape policy

Mentoring and collaboration between artists and organisations; or artists and artists

Collaboration with other industries to make our voices heard, and networks such as Turning Point

Arts as ‘R & D’ or inspiration to the rest of the world

Being too polite at these conferences (as suggested by Judith Knight from ArtsAdmin after last year’s event)

Advocacy for the arts and highlighing new channels for this such as the new Space arts broadcasting project by ACE and the BBC.

Do artists really want to be involved in policy or do they just want to know their views are being represented?

How art already shapes the world – if ‘changing the world’ is really the solution or just a bit of an out of touch goal, versus, concern that there’s an idea that artists might not want to shape the world…

On the selected panel with me for discussion were:

Alison Clark-Jenkins, regional director, Arts Council England

Alison is Arts Council regional director for the North East and is a former director of arts, educator and marketer – she is a staunch northerner and passionate promoter of collaboration. @alisoncj

Marie Nixon, Clore fellow, Clore Leadership Programme

Marie is a Clore fellow for 2011-12. She works across the north of England as a senior manager, Advocacy at Arts Council England – Marie is also a musician who performs with her band The Cornshed Sisters.@mariemarie0

Emily Bull, operations manager, Audiences South West

Emily is the operations manager for Audiences South West. In her role she deals with project management, facilitation and general audience development work – she has an MA in Arts Management and experience of working in arts and cultural venues, as well as with touring companies.@audiencessw

Dany Louise, strategic facilitator & arts writer for Guardian and others

Dany is a visual arts specialist and writer with 20 years experience in education, management and strategic arts roles. Now freelance, she focuses on organisational development and cultural policy in the visual arts and at Guardian. @DanyLouise

Rebecca Drew, curator freelance

Rebecca is an arts professional, curator and editor – she was formerly deputy director of Photoworks. @BexDrew

Nicola Anthony, artist & art writer

Nicola is an internationally exhibited artist and art writer, creating intricate sculpture & drawing in her studio on London’s Southbank – she is a collector of art, thoughts and words. @nicola_anthony

Anna Brown, owner and director, Annabee Potts

Anna is a ceramicist and full time postgraduate student studying management and the creative industries. @annabrowntweets

Read the discussion in full here

>> Other interesting articles on the event by Andy Fields here, and Dany Louise here, as well as an great article called ‘Artists are their own agents of change’ by Jack Hutchinson of AIR, here

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About Nicola Anthony

London and Singapore based artist, art writer, sculptor, lecturer. I create sculpture & drawing, write for art journals and magazines, create events & connect people. http://www.NicolaAnthony.co.uk I also co-ordinate the Edible Art Movement. http://www.edibleartmovement.com

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