Today, Arts Council England begins a major consultation on its ambitions and strategic approach for the next ten year. As the intro puts it: 'the directions we should take and the ways of working we should adopt'. You can read the various documents (including a really fascinating literature review and set of art form perspectives) here and respond up to 14 April. There are various meetings being arranged by Arts Council England across the country, but I'd also urge people to discuss it amongst themselves, at their board meetings, across their networks, and in the pub.
During the consultation period the website will also publish a series of think-pieces from a range of different people. I was asked to do the first of these, one of the side effects, I suspect, of my reputation as the Blogging Exec Director. (Can't help thinking of the Dancing Priest from Father Ted whenever I get called that.) You can read what I had to say here or in the post which follows this one.
This is undoubtedly a major moment for the organisation, as it prepares to shift to a new, slimmer structure. This work had been a major undertaking so far, with many furrowed brows and heated discussions as well as careful analysis. The next three months are a real opportunity for the sector to shape priorities and ways of working at a time of change. The sector also needs, I think, to consider the implications of the research and knowledge base for itself. I hope people will look at the evidence as well as the goals and think through the potential impact for themselves as well as Arts Council England in responding. But whatever you do, and whatever you say: respond.