There is a list of all the reports on this site here. You can also see lists of the sessions not yet reported on here, and a list of Monday's action sessions here. More recently, this blog has begun to house reports related to the Arts Campaign too

This is what we talked about all weekend:
Wordle: D&D5

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

What can we do about FEAR and DREAD?

Convenor: Annie Fitzmaurice

Participants: Phelim McDermott , Matilda Leyser and one other man – sorry can’t read his name


We talked about the Depression in 1930’s USA – one of the best times for artists.

Fear and dread doesn’t help. Can’t see possibilities.

Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened – remembering this helps!

Finding out what’s happening anyway.

Young Tories are canvassing – who votes for them?

The witnesses/the polls are creating realities, the critics are affecting what happens.

Who understands how to play? The Debate – the papers didn’t notice Nick Clegg. What happens when you see possibility....some people are saying, “Now I know he could win I might vote for him.”

The identity of being “against”. And the “ wanting to be on the winning side”.

We’re all going to wait, what to do?

It’s unknown.

In the privacy of the booth. Voting with your heart not your head.

Not discussing votes – privacy, disclosure, open. Seeing your own identity.

The idea of voting tactically, is about polarity, what about another way? Hung parliaments in Europe. In a hung parliament/coalition government, who’s the opposition?

Where has the present system got us??
There’s a lack of freedom in the system of “joining sides”.

PR is a dodgy kind of factional....nothing gets done. Playing democracy not the real deal.

Maybe the time has come that instead of the idea you’ve got to have a “strong leader” – there could be collaborating and then all the other voices heard?

Democracy is f*cked.

The disenfranchised.


Facing fear rather than panic. Twin demons – power (what was the other one?? I’ve only written power – maybe it was power and panic??)

Fear is useful to save you from a snake, a man with a knife, as opposed to anxiety which is not useful, but the process of creating anxiety (for example about immigration etc) creates a situation where you can’t breathe in....

DREAD – inevitable???
Like the news on AIDS in the 1980’s, going back to the Thatcher era, reacting to invented demons. The level of debate – childish and inept....
If David Cameron and his team are at the helm......revealing the f*cked up-ness......
Hung parliament.
Do you really want to win....this election, the system could change with whoever wins, some short term pain, in order to get change.
There’s shit to come – our situation financially, worse than Greece.....

What can we do about it?????
Talking around the kitchen table, airing it.
Not feeling isolated.
Losing hope – not losing hope.
Who are the young Tories? Are they allies........
A conversation that can be had.
A Tory praying to cure gay people.......

Waking up to what we do have.
Awareness of our privileges – we’re free to talk about all of this unlike many place in the world.
Hearing the Lithuania woman present at D+D tonight expressing her perspective on our arts funding system (it’s wonderful!).

It’s crucial to value our freedom.

Deciding who to vote for....

The newness of the situation, the most exciting thing may be a hung parliament.................

Monday, 10 May 2010

Campaign for the Arts, 5th May Report

These are the issues raised at the Arts Campaign open space, on the evening of the 5th May. Where a report has been typed up, the issue name links to the report.

The invitation is here.

Do you really think that British politicians don’t care about the Arts?’ and ‘What do we want?- A Wish List...

If change funding where from?

What can we do about fear and dread?

An Open Space with famous people issuing the invite? And/or In the House of Commons?

Performance workshops for Politicians? Alternative ways to get government to value the arts?
How can we organise/create an arts event that allows anyone to contribute, making all who input feel validated, heard, satisfied and creative?

Puppet Power! How do we actually make this happen?

How can we as different kinds of arts practitioners use our specialist skills to present our perspectives to government/funding bodies?

Mask Maker artist theatre maker activist – Who would like to work with me?

What is the Arts Campaign?

How is everyone going to repay their debt?

‘Do you really think that British politicians don’t care about the Arts?’ and ‘What do we want?- A Wish List’.

Convenor: Amelia


- No funding cuts

- Let the arts deliver other policies outside the arts policies- embed us in health, education, economy, employment etc.

- The Arts Council to be less wary of commercialism- it is not always a dirty word.

- More sharing of resources between arts organisations.

- Experts in each of the art forms to deliver funding. Job swaps and sabbaticals for Arts Council relationship managers.

- Job swaps between venue managers and small companies

- Funders to encourage and value risk taking.

- Funders to uphold the importance of access and inclusion.

- Encourage diversity by distributing government funding not solely through the Arts Council. Could DCMS give to trusts and foundations?

- ACE officers to train local authority funders.

- A target of number of performances that ACE officers have to see.

- National roll out of the ‘percent for arts’ scheme where building developers must set aside a certain amount of their budget for supporting arts in new communities.

- Performing Arts to be on the national curriculum at key stage 3 as a subject in its own right, not part of English.

- Extension of existing Creative Partnerships to place more artists in schools.

We then got into a bigger, ideological discussion about why every time a new government comes in we have to have to re-establish the importance of the arts. We agreed that as artists we have not made the case to the British public/government that the arts are an incontestable social good.

We discussed advertising campaigns for Theatre as a whole and confidence in speaking out in defence of theatre and the arts.

Jonathan Holmes (jon) is collecting email addresses of anyone who might be interested in joining a policy group that could work on delivering the ideas which have come out of the Arts Campaign D&Ds.

If Change Funding Where From?

Convenor: Liz Porter


I called this session as I am concerned that if the Conservatives get in, the Arts Council will become even smaller and I’m concerned we will lose disability arts and that if fear of change. Fear that there will be less support for individuals, lots of pressure to look for corporate funding.

If ACE cut there will be a lack of understanding and would local authorities understand access, how they assess expertise around disability and access issues.

Will we have to tick more boxes?

High levels of competition for small pots of funding

Friday, 9 April 2010

Campaign for the Arts, 6th of April reports

These are the issues raised at the Arts Campaign open space, on the evening of the 6th of April. Where a report has been typed up, the issue name links to the report.
The invitation is here.

What are the parties' arts policies?

The election is performing arts

What kind of work is being done? How can we get ACE to tell us (collect statistics)

I'm voting tactically- I really want you to too (the Tories will be worse)

Progress in society is mirrored by progress in the arts. What is the best case to make for increased arts funding?

Comments on web pages about arts funding are overwhelmingly dominated by people who thing the arts should not be subsidised. Is it worth doing anything about this?

Is it bad to think that somehow the arts will thrive is pushed out by the politicians?

It's not artists we need to protect, it's audiences

Does giving young people a creative voice matter?

Is a month a long time in arts politics- what can we do now?

Art has forgotten its audience

Did you contact your MP? What was the response?

I'm not sure if I dislike David Cameron or Andrew Lloyd Webber more. Is this connected? Can we do anything?

I feel like a traitor voting labour ant yet...

Unless theatre is radical, it cannot have any political effect

I know those who come are the right people... but where is everyone? Apathy in the Arts

The October revolution?

What are the parties' arts policies?

Title: What are the parties' arts policies?

Convenor: Kirsty Lothian


Amelia Bird had done a lot of research- she passed on these links:

Conservative policy:
They want to promote philanthropy, and endowment funding, through matched grants from ACE and tax breaks. They also want ACE etc to have no more than 5% overheads, and they want more long term multi-year grants.
They seem to be big on digital technologies, and getting the arts and museums online.
They focus on music in schools- every child is to have a chance to learn a musical instrument, and sing, as well as getting a "solid cultural education"

Lib Dem policy:

They want to set up a cabinet committee on creativity and celebrate the arts more in public buildings and government. They will look at easier visas for artists, more money for Grants For the Arts, and are planning more balance between the regions and London, receptions at number 10 for arts philanthropists and tax schemes, Creative Entreprise start-up loans and red-tape simplification, independent regulation for the BBC, apprenticeships schemes for young people, plenty of arts in schools

Labour policy:

They mostly talk about what they have achieved, so I assume they plan to carry on much as they are.

Some of the smaller parties:

The SNP's website is having trouble with policies, but they do have some on the arts, I think. They don't like the arts council, and would prefer direct funding. They think traditional arts are currently underfunded, and Scottish Opera is over funded.

Plaid Cymru don't seem to have any arts policies, but Hywel Williams MP does list Arts as one of his main political interests.

The Greens have a lot to say- largely to do with avoiding discrimination, and strengthening artist led communities, and local and regional arts. They want to Zero rate VAT on live performance, but possibly to tax superstar performances to fund small scale local cultural enterprises.

UKIP has very little to say on the Arts- the closest I could find is part of their Restoring Britishness Policy:
(mainly they like the Last Night of the Proms, and the UK theme is to go back on to Radio 4)

The BNP don't have anything to say about the arts or culture at all. They do want more competitive sports in schools though.

The Socialist Workers Party doesn't seem to have any specific policies, let alone arts ones.

The election is performing arts

Convenor: Alice

Participants: Alice, Phelim, Lydia


1- Maybe all this "spin" is good! It gets people interested

2- Politicians often have tour managers, make up artists, stylists etc. So do some actors and some artists.

3- Compulsory voting?