One of the things I did was attend a really interesting seminar organised by the Sponsors Club for Arts & Business on Culture and the Credit Crunch. Speakers from the Chamber of Commerce, the CBI and Waitrose made the audience respectively feel
- optimistic (because there's more good stuff than bad going on really)
- nervous (because the recession may be even harder than predicted)
- jealous (because we're not partners in the wonderful sounding John Lewis/Waitrose.)
One of the points I made from the floor was that we should not slip into thinking of 'business' and 'the arts' as separate: arts organisations are businesses and employers too and should make full use of the things being put in place to help businesses of all kinds, though things like Business Link. I also supported the point that mood or confidence will shape reality. We must not talk ourselves into defeat, be it around the economy or around public spending and the arts. The next spending round will need to be strongly argued by us all, but we must not give anyone any excuses or alibis by talking as if cuts to the arts are inevitable or sensible.