Mark Robinson runs the arts consultancy Thinking Practice, founded in 2010. He was Executive Director of Arts Council England, North East, from 2005-2010. @ThinkinPractice thinkingpractice.blogspot.co.uk/p/thinking-practice.html
The chancellor George Osborne announced surprisingly positive news for Arts Council England in his spending review speech, with expected cuts turning into a modest increase in cash. But, cautions Mark Robinson, there’s much more to funding the arts than national portfolio organisations and major museums.
This year’s Arts Council England and British Council-supported No Boundaries – billed as a symposium on the role of arts and culture – took place over two days at the end of September at Watershed in Bristol and HOME, Manchester. Featuring talks and discussion from an international cast of contributors, it once again had a live link between each venue and was also live streamed. Artist Julie McCalden reports from Bristol, while arts consultant Mark Robinson presents a view from the rainy city.
Following last week’s announcement by Arts Council England of its new National Portfolio of funded organisations, Mark Robinson takes a closer look at the figures to find that, whilst the portfolio has many of the same strengths and weaknesses as the first one created in 2011, ACE has failed to significantly redress the funding imbalance between London and the regions.
A new report urges those working with arts and culture to rethink their contribution to a vision of sustainable development that benefits the whole of society. Report co-author, Mark Robinson, introduces the provocation and identifies three vital ‘practices’ that can only be achieved by collaboration between artists, institutions and an intelligent funding ecology.
Arts Council England’s update of its 10-year ‘strategic framework’ makes for sober and serious reading. But while there are no dramatic changes in its ambitions and priorities, Mark Robinson finds a worrying lack of solutions for cash-strapped artists and no recognition of the regional imbalance in arts funding.
Dame Liz Forgan’s farewell speech has been widely reported on for its attack on Michael Gove and the EBacc. Here, arts strategist and Thinking Practice founder Mark Robinson welcomes her forthright approach while finding plenty to take issue with.
At the end of October, Arts Council England announced its new structure, in response to a 50% cut in its admin budget from central government. The former Executive Director of ACE North East assesses the shape the organisation is in and expresses some concerns for the future.
What can a new publication from the National Endowment for the Arts in the USA tell us about how art works?