A Sort-of Manifesto
Arts and cultural organisations are vital to our democracy. They tell the stories which define us, occasion our deepest conversations, and help us imagine different futures.
In spite of this, arts and cultural organisations are under constant pressure to justify their value. We are caught between an economic rationalist argument and an ‘intrinsic’ value argument. In the first case, we fail to understand our true value. In the second, we refuse to discuss it at all.
Understanding the impact of the arts and cultural sector means moving beyond these arguments and having uncomfortable conversations. These are conversations about the role of art and social change, about how we measure and communicate the intrinsic and ineffable, about how we contend with powerful technologies, and about power and politics.
We need to move beyond arguing for the value of our work towards arguing for its place and purpose in society.
Finding a place and purpose for arts and cultural organisations involves building an ethic of participation, dialogue, and public-centredness in to how our organisations operate and present work.
I work with arts and cultural organisations who are willing to have these difficult conversations.
My work spans social impact assessment, grant writing and philanthropy, strategic planning, business planning, and digital transformation. I work across the performing arts, visual arts, and documentary filmmaking. As a consultant-practitioner, I also run my own arts organisation - this is my way of ensuring I have skin in the game.