CIDA, Cr8net Conference 2012
Artist, educator and AIR Council member Rosalind Davis reports.
Cr8net was an inspiring conference for the creative industries, bringing together leaders in the creative sector “to offer resolutions” (Toks Majek-Akisanya, CIDA’s CEO).
The conference was compered by Matthew Taylor, CEO of the RSA, who launched with an introductory statement that the DCMS seemed to have no strategy when it came to the preservation of the arts. This was later rejected by Paul Kirkman, Head of Culture at DCMS, who responded that £55 million was invested in the arts this year (and we should stop complaining). However as Gilane Tawadros (DACS) pointed out, it was the smaller arts organisations that were suffering the most from the Government cuts, making it impossible for them to seek funding and difficult to grow or even to continue. This was somewhat addressed by Alan Davey, CEO, Arts Council England, who spoke about future funding for small creative businesses (loans between £5,000 - £25,000) and a pilot programme with the BBC aimed at improving the relationship between the arts and media.
In addition a pertinent question was whether ACE was going to address the fact that National Portfolio funded organisations are not required to necessarily pay artists. Davey’s answer was that ACE backed artists getting paid and expected ACE funded organisations to act as professional employers towards interns as well as artists. The reality is that this is not stipulated or regulated nor part of a criteria of an ACE application.
Alternative private sector possibilities as well crowd funding were discussed. Ekow Eshun, cultural commentator and former Director of the ICA spoke positively about the strong relationships arts organisations cultivate with their audiences and how this can be turned around and essentially monetised so that audiences become an organisations biggest philanthropists. It’s something that even large organisations, such as National Portrait Gallery, have to do - to tell the story in a different way, to engage new audiences and acquire sponsorship.
Some of the key messages were that pooling resources and collaborations was something that organisations should consider. Once you are sustainable, start being philanthropic yourself (not even in a monetary sense), as that is your social responsibility; to pass onto others the tools you have learnt.
Baroness Lola Young also advised “develop strong strategic links outside of our own regions”. Collective advocacy is important to help our sector, as disparate as it can be, as competitive as it may be, it is the only way we can grow even in these straitened times.
And some final advice from the entrepreneur Roger Wade: “Sometimes the best route is the hard route, its how we learn.”
The Guardian Culture Professionals Network roundup the best insights, interviews, tweets, videos and views from Cr8net, a creative industries conference
Cr8net 2012: live
London-based mixed media painter creating paintings of dystopian landscapes which incorporate paint embroidery and floral-print.
Rosalind Davis is a graduate from the Royal College of Art and Chelsea College of Art. An artist, curator, award-winning blogger, writer, lecturer, member of the AIR Council and manager of Core Gallery from 2009-11, she has exhibited nationally and internationally and has work in private and public collections. Her work is currently on display in the Courtauld Institute until 2013.
Davis lectures for a number of organisations such as the Royal College of Art; University of the Arts, London; a-n The Artists Information Company and AIR. As a writer she has contributed to The Guardian, a-n Magazine, Artlicks and Jotta.com as well as an acclaimed blogger on a-n Artists talking.
First published: a-n.co.uk April 2012
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