Thanks for organising this discussion Suzy,
It’s very relevant for me and the work I’m doing at Nesta and so I hope to get a lot from this month’s topic as well as contributing in some small way.
I run the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts (http://artsdigitalrnd.org.uk/), a partnership between Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta.
Traditionally artists explore and experiment with new technologies as a matter of course, but the arts organisations that help to support the work of practitioners don’t have the luxury of resources or money to also investigate the right digital platforms or processes to help in the delivery of their programmes. Much of the technology that is used by arts organisations is taken up by word of mouth, rather than because of proven examples of good practice.
We have supported 52 projects exploring how to use technology to engage audiences and/or to create new business models for arts organisations. Each project is a three way partnership between an organisation with an arts project, a technology partner and a researcher.
In this way the projects are experimenting with technologies, platforms and processes and testing them to find out if they are able to engage audiences or develop business models. Thus what doesn’t work as anticipated, is as valuable to the arts sector as the projects that prove that something does work.
Reports, toolkits, how to guides, open source software etc are being created by the projects to benefit the sector. The fund itself will also be producing guides and toolkits to help support the sector. Projects have been supported because we feel that they can provide wider learning for the arts and so sharing the learning is a key element of their deliverables. The first five project reports are available here:
More will be published over the coming months.
I hope this gives everyone an idea of where we’re coming from with the R&D fund.
With all good wishes
Emma Quinn | Senior Programme Manager | Digital R&D Fund for the Arts | Nesta | @emmaquinn
Download and read the Digital Culture 2014 Report here: http://artsdigitalrnd.org.uk/features/digitalculture2014/