Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Is great art for everyone possible?

The event I mentioned in my previous post is ‘Great Art For Everyone’ – a day of debate, ideas and discussion that is taking place at The Sage Gateshead on 24 March. It precedes The Journal Culture Awards at Northern Stage that evening – a celebration of some of the best arts and culture events of the last year in North East England.

We’ve posed a number of ‘provocations’ for attendees and our panels, relating to the mission of the Arts Council – ‘Great Art for Everyone’ – and how it can be achieved. The aim is to bring people together to debate the ways to achieve great art for everyone. I don’t expect pat solutions, and we won't be offering any, but explorations, ideas, collaborations, some mutual learning, some aching ‘listening muscles’ by the end of the day.

The ‘provocations’ include
- ‘Digital technology: how far behind is the arts sector, and should the DAFT (‘digital as a foreign tongue’) stop worrying and let the digitally savvy take over?’
- International working: jollies and jaunts or deep relationships that spark new ideas and create great art?
- Sustainability: in the ecology of the arts sector, which parts need to change, evolve and maybe even stop, for the whole to become more resilient?

There are a number more. You can see them all on the event blog that’s been set up at On the day you’ll be able to watch live streaming of the main sessions, follow a Twitter stream, and interact online. You can also share your thoughts on the blog beforehand.

It would be great to get some takes on these questions from Arts Counselling readers beyond the North East and beyond England. People in 26 countries have read it in the last week. How much of these debates applies in those other places and situations, other politics and traditions? What might we learn from your experience? Visit the site and help us out!

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