Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Arts Professional article

I don't know whether articles in Arts Professional disappear from their website when no longer current, unless you subscribe, or not. I suspect so, and fair enough. But if they do, non-subscribers should hurry now to see an article I wrote about my experience of working for Arts Council England. You can find it here.

I won't share the whole thing here right now, to encourage you to visit Arts Professional's site, and subscribe if you can. But it uses this quote from Buzz Hollings as a means of exploring some of the challenges:

“We recognise that the seeming paradox of change and stability inherent in evolving systems is the essence of sustainable futures. We now know that to counteract the current pathology we need policies that are dynamic and evolutionary. We need policies that expect results that are inherently uncertain and explicitly address that uncertainty through active probing, monitoring and response. However, we cannot successfully implement these new policies because we have not learned the politics and we ignore the public.”

As I say in the article, he wasn't talking about the arts, but he could have been.

I didn't entitle the piece 'Angels on a pinhead', by the way. It's either a) an acknowledgment of the complexity of the issues or b) a very subtle way of melding references to Gormley's North East icon and the fantastic Ramones song which goes 'D-U-M-B, everyone's accusing me - I don't wanna be a pinhead no more...' But that may be reading too much into it!

(That reminds me of the time ACE senior managers were asked at an away day to pick a song that summed up our feelings about the then new organisation, and I hurriedly and perhaps ill-advisedly wrote down 'I wanna be sedated' by the Ramones. I survived.)

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