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The Reciprocity of Arts Policy Funding and the Art Itself

This is the fourth of four reflections on the CIRCE x UNESCO: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development event. Hannah Curran-Troop reflects on an emerging conversation around the need for new support systems for creative and cultural workers.

Published onJun 08, 2023
The Reciprocity of Arts Policy Funding and the Art Itself

The Artist’s Perspectives Panel at the CIRCE x UNESCO: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development event. © Ikin Yum

Another pressing theme to materialise from our discussions for UNESCO World Day for Cultural Diversity’s discussions was around the reciprocity of cultural funding and creative and artistic production itself. From the policy level, to grassroots organising, to the artistic perspectives, there felt a distinct urgency for a more sustainable model of funding the arts across all the event’s panels. Particularly, in the current and ongoing moment of poly-crisis (and following a decade-long decline in UK public funding plus a growing precarity amongst CCI workers), the cultural diversity of London and creativity is undoubtedly and increasingly at risk. At the heart of this concern, and as illustrated by the event’s discussions, is the need to prioritize the conditions in which contemporary creativity and making takes place. During the event’s ‘Artistic Perspectives’ panel, guest speaker and Artist, Chloe Carterr, formulated artistic production as a ‘gift’, and one which requires nurturing for creativity to flourish. In a sense then, it is the wider cultural policy framework’s responsibility to cultivate and protect the conditions in which the ideation, making, distribution, archiving, and gift giving of creatives can thrive. Equally, speakers urged the need to implement a social security system for artists, amidst a wider supportive ecosystem that enables these actors to pursue their activities. The panels also acknowledged the importance of this framework in order for cultural diversity to continue to prosper. In effect, it is about envisaging arts and culture as necessary elements of the wider social fabric and public services such as health, education, and housing. Ultimately, promoting a greater appreciation for the irreplaceable contribution of culture and those who produce it.  

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