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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  March 2011

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING March 2011

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Subject:

Re: ACE 'funding'

From:

Ghislaine Boddington <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Ghislaine Boddington <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:59:06 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (162 lines)

We here at body>data>space are confused too by this strange scenario.  
So we have relooked across the last few months of government / ACE  
debates and we paste below a section of a speech by Ed Vaizey MP  
(Minister for Culture, Communications & the Creative Industries,  
Coalition Government) at the State of the Arts Conference (ACE/RSA -  
Thursday 10th February 2011).

In particular note Paragraph 8 about ".... a much wider programme of  
digital innovation that the Arts Council plan to launch in the  
spring." As far as we are aware here at body>data>space, ACE will be  
announcing the new digital programming funds in September 2012 (not  
the spring as stated below).

This is not to say that it was okay for ACE to cut so many excellent  
new media groups and organisations yesterday. It actually suggests  
that maybe it was easier for ACE decision makers to do so, in the  
light of the fact that they may have "used" these upcoming new funds  
around the table to make it seem "okay" to do these NPO revenue cuts.  
The result is that most small to mid scale digital/media groups will  
have to continue/start again to survive from project to project,  
rather than through sustained funding across 3 year contracts.

Do also note however that Watershed in Bristol have had a significant  
rise from 105.7% to approximately £750k a year from £320k a year - and  
their focus on digital/media production will be supported by this. So  
the venue bases develop to help the small groups / organisations, and  
the focus, as stated by ACE for a while, is on production of artists  
work. In addition the new NPOs will not (ACE and the government have  
said in various places) be allowed to apply for Grants for the Arts,  
freeing up a significant amount of that lottery based arts funding for  
small to mid scale non-NPOs.

What we need to ensure is that we are all involved in the criteria  
decisions about the new funds coming online ......in terms of ensuring  
these are allocated towards work involved in " a new set of conditions  
for aesthetic production and reflection", rather than for "a new set  
of distribution and delivery mechanism" (as highlighted by Pauline)

Complex times - however it is clear we do need to look around  
ourselves more and find our strengths through mixed economy models -  
it definitely keeps us in a stronger position that relying on arts  
funds ! We here at body>data>space decidedly did not apply for NPO  
status in this round - we set up our aims, conceive our projects, find  
our funds from a range of sectors, and get on with it in the way we  
want to do it............and this suits us :-)

Several of us new media groups were at the State of the Arts  
conference and we made very clear inputs about the needs for digital/ 
media arts to be acknowledged for its advanced ability to to work  
collaboratively with/across many sectors. This was (suprisingly)  
positively acknowledged in the summations by the ACE Chair Liz Forgan.

And who can say - ACE itself may not exist in 3 years  
time.................!! As Simon says, we need to be aware of the  
whole scenario for the arts, not just for digital / media work. One of  
the best (re)tweets yesterday was
RT @artistsmakers: Can we stop pretending that Arts Council funding =  
the arts in GB. Let's celebrate independent arts orgs doing it their  
own way #acefunding
Equally this one puts it all in perspective
RT @exitthelemming: To put this £100m Arts Council cut into context,  
206 organisations have lost funding today for the cost of two Apache  
attack helicopters

Ghislaine
ps  below the Ed Vaizey speech quote are facts and figures taken form  
the DCMS website linked to decisions on the ACE post spending review
------------------------------------------------------------
Ed Vaizey MP (Minister for Culture, Communications & the Creative  
Industries) at the State of the Arts Conference (ACE/RSA - Thursday  
10th February 2011)
http://stateofthearts.streamuk.com/

" ..........we need to think about the other kinds of opportunities  
that we need to grasp to continue to flourish.
The rapid changes in technology provide just such an opportunity.  It  
is vital that arts organisations take advantage of new technology, as  
a new way to engage with audiences, and dare I say it, even make money.
Through technology, arts organisations can really begin to understand  
where their audiences come from, who they are failing to reach, to  
push out content, to become broadcasters and content providers.
Michael Kaiser from the Kennedy Center wrote a piece last week for the  
Huffington Post about some of the themes I have talked about.  In  
seven simple points he nails exactly why technology has, and will  
continue to revolutionise the way we go about our lives and what that  
means for artists and for audiences.
As he stated: “...to most arts leaders I meet, new technologies are  
viewed as a threat. They are perceived as competitors for our  
audiences' time and attention rather than our biggest allies. Arts  
organizations have been slow to exploit the power of new technology  
and cling to older, more expensive techniques that are not as  
effective.  We are clearly doing something wrong. We must find ways to  
embrace the new technologies. We need to apply the creativity we bring  
to our stages and galleries to the use of these new tools. The  
business world, entertainment industry and sports world are all doing  
so. If we don't make a committed effort, we will fall hopelessly  
behind and the arts will lose their place in our society.”
I couldn’t agree more.  Far be it for me to accuse the arts world of  
being conservative, but there are clearly opportunities to be had here.
That’s why I’m delighted that the Arts Council and NESTA are  
establishing a new joint fund to support all types of innovation right  
across the creative and cultural sector.
The new programme will take the people with the most innovative ideas  
on leadership, business models, technology, content creation,  
fundraising and audience development, from right the way across the  
creative industries, providing seed funding for some of the best and  
help them share their learning. It will also inform a much wider  
programme of digital innovation that the Arts Council plan to launch  
in the spring.
The Arts Council has also announced its partnership with the BBC,  
working with the BBC Academy with its media and digital experience to  
support the development of the arts sector’s media production skills.
The partnerships with NESTA and the BBC show where the Arts Council,  
through a network of new partnerships, can add even greater value for  
the sector. I want the Arts Council to be an organisation that is a  
source of advice and expertise for everyone who works or participates  
in the arts - not just for the organisations it funds, but right the  
way across the creative ecology.
I want the Arts Council to work with other organisations as well – why  
not the Technology Strategy Board, the BFI and Creative England? I  
also want to see them learn from the huge number of other creative  
organisations who need no encouragement in developing innovative  
partnerships across the creative industries, but also to help those  
who lack the resources, the knowledge or the guidance to do the same  
and who are trapped in what often still looks like a landscape of  
individual silos.
The work the Arts Council is doing with the BBC, with NESTA and with  
others is designed to address this, and marks the start of a new focus  
from government on innovation in the arts."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Facts and figures from the DCMS website
http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/news_stories/8000.aspx

The overall budget for the Arts Council will reduce by 11.8% over four  
years in real terms (including Lottery funding).

    * The Government has asked the Arts Council to ensure that the cut  
to the overall budget for National Portfolio arts organisations is no  
more than 15% in real terms over the next four years.
    * We have also asked the Arts Council to reduce its administration  
costs by 50%, ensuring as much money as possible goes to arts  
organisations.
    * An additional £80m will go into the arts from the National  
Lottery each year from 2013.
    * £2.25bn of public money will be going into the arts over the  
next four years, down from £2.39bn over the previous four

In addition to Government funding, we are promoting a sustainable  
mixed funding model for the arts by encouraging private giving. Action  
so far includes

    * an £80m match-funding scheme to encourage cultural philanthropists
    * a package of measures in last week’s budget including  
inheritance tax relief for people recognising cultural organisations  
in their wills


Ghislaine Boddington
Creative Director, body>data>space
http://www.bodydataspace.net

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