This 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.