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  • Work by Crafts Council Directory Maker Ptolemy Mann

Policy brief March 2018

In our March round up we bring you updates on:

  • Our latest research projects: 
    -- the sensation of touch; and 
    -- the role of social media in craft practice and the specific experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women;
  • The creative economy: the launch of the Government’s sector deal;jobs of the future; the role of digital technology; digital exports; how arts subjects increase employability; the Cockpit Effect report; unpaid royalties repayments; and two reports on the funding environment for museums; 
  • The role and value of arts and culture: a horizon scan for the arts and culture sector; innovation in cultural heritage; creative and cultural spillovers; a mapping exercise of arts and wellbeing; London’s draft cultural strategy;
  • A report on the pivotal role of studios in the creation of new works.

Crafts Council collaborative research
Our latest research collaboration focuses on how the sensation of touch evolves across our lifespan as adults. The experience of touch is central to craft practice and this interdisciplinary pilot project with colleagues in Art & Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University and Cognitive Neuroscience at Swansea University aims to further our understanding of the neural underpinnings of the sensation of touch. 

Karen Patel of Birmingham City University blogs about the main themes emerging from the first interviews in our partnership research project about the role of social media in craft practice and the specific experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women. Read the latest blog post here.

The creative economy
The Government’s sector deal for the creative industries contains commitments to action for both Government and industry across clusters, innovation, access to finance, IP, skills, and trade. Of particular note is a £20m Cultural Development Fund for areas demonstrating ‘high impact robust plans for using investment’ to support growth and local communities (p27), including a Creative Kickstart mentoring and advice offer, and £2m to support a larger and more diverse intake to the creatives industries (p60).

Creativity and the Future of Work argues that jobs of the future will require both creative and technical skills. The analysis from the Creative Industries Federation and Nesta shows that there will be an additional 120,000 new creative jobs between now and 2024 and that creative jobs, along with STEM jobs, are growing at more than twice the rate of average job growth across the UK.

The government’s Culture is Digital report focuses on how digital technology drives the cultural sector’s global status and the engagement, diversity and well-being of audiences. Arts Council England is to work with partners to create guidelines and principles for organisations to demonstrate a commitment to developing the digital role of the cultural sector.

The Creative Industries Federation’s latest report estimates that the UK’s creative industries digital exports are worth £21bn, £6bn higher than previous estimates. This includes a figure of £432m for craft digital exports, representing 21% of total craft exports (see page 14). The authors used a combination of survey results, interviews and DCMS data to produce the findings.

The Cultural Learning Alliance and the Edge Foundation have published a briefing that sets out how studying arts subjects makes young people work ready and employable, and why the UK economy needs the creative industries to thrive post-Brexit.

The Cockpit Effect Report 2018 considers issues faced by craft businesses today and illustrates how their Business Incubator model is designed to help businesses address those challenges.

DACS, the visual artists’ rights management organisation, has helped to recover over £1m in unpaid resale royalties for artists and artists’ estates. The Artist's Resale Right entitles artists and their estates to a modest royalty whenever their work is resold by an art market professional such as an auction house, dealer or gallery for €1,000 or more.

Why Collect? an Art Fund and Wolfson Foundation report, highlights the ever-widening gap between the prices of works on the international art market and the limited acquisition funds available to museums and galleries in the UK. The Museums Taskforce, convened by the Museums Association in 2016, reports on the role of museums and collections and the need for consistent funding levels

The role and value of arts and culture
Using simple graphics, Experimental Culture: A horizon scan for the arts and culture sector, considers what the future holds for arts, museums and libraries over the next ten years. Commissioned by Arts Council England for their 10 year strategy, Nesta’s report notes (p7), ‘The growth in ‘everyday creativity’, and in particular voluntary participatory arts, digital activity amongst the young and the rediscovery of craft and making may create opportunities for arts and cultural organisations to meet audiences and participants on their own terms.’

The European Commission report, Innovation in cultural heritage research: For an integrated European research policy, makes the case for the role of research (in particular social sciences and humanities) in understanding the role of cultural heritage and its potential for social cohesion, economic growth and sustainable development.  

The European Research Partnership on Cultural and Creative Spillovers aims to evaluate cultural and creative spillovers, defined as: ‘The process by which activities in the arts, culture and creative industries has a subsequent broader impact on places, society or the economy through the overflow of concepts, ideas, skills, knowledge and different types of capital.’ The project has published a series of case studies on knowledge, industry and network spillovers. 

Arts Council of Wales has published the results of a mapping exercise of activities that use the arts to improve people’s wellbeing. The aim is to create a more equal, cultural and sustainable Wales. Recommendations include the appointment of arts and health coordinators in all Health Boards in Wales.

The Mayor of London has launched a draft cultural strategy for the capital, building on the London Borough of Culture competition; Culture Seeds, a new micro-grants programme; a £5m investment to develop a number of Creative Enterprise Zones; the establishment of a Creative Land Trust; and a new Cultural Infrastructure Plan. The consultation closes on 19 June.

The role of studios
Following an event at last year’s British Ceramics Biennial, Opening Up, Moving In, Moving On explores the pivotal role that studios have to play in the creation of new works and the development of an environment of collaboration and support.