4th plinth

If you find yourself wandering across Trafalgar Square at 7am on Sunday 26 July….

look out for me on the fourth plinth as I’ve been selected to take part in Antony Gormley’s One and Other

Arts policy: through the recession and beyond

In the current economic climate it’s more important than ever to keep scanning the policy horizon. How might shifts in policy – or potential changes of goverment – affect arts organisations already under pressure from an increasingly fraught economy?

Culture Secretary Andy Burnham warned  in January of potential government spending cuts in 2010, reminding subsidised arts organisations that they are not “immune” from downturn-prompted savings drives.

The proposed Arts Council England restructure announced on 25th February aims to save £6.5 million per year in administration costs, and to redistribute this saving directly across the sector. Read their briefing document for details of this vision for a streamlined ACE.

As David Cameron’s personal approval ratings reach an all-time high this week, and with the Conservatives still leading Labour in popularity polls, the cultural sector needs to consider the potential impact of Tory arts policies if the party comes to power in the next election. Read Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s keynote speech here, and see an Artistic Director’s response to it here.

Audiences London’s 10 Top Tips for Beating the Recession

Audiences London has been digging around to understand the recession’s potential impact on audiences. We’ll be blogging again soon with a full digest of the current thinking, but in the meantime here are our ten top tips for managing the downturn:

  • Stop, look, listen – and PLAN AHEAD
  • Maintain open and transparent relationships with all stakeholders – from funders and staff to the local community, audiences and visitors.
  • Respond to customers’ perceptions, motivations and behaviours to ensure you’re making the right offer and building loyalty.
  • Focus on the quality and value of your offer.
  • Don’t stop investing in creativity, work and relationships – look beyond the short-term.
  • Be agile and flexible.
  • It’s not all doom and gloom – there are opportunties in a recession to build relationships and cement customer and stakeholder loyalty.
  • Use insight, research and benchmarks to support decision-making.
  • Consider economies of scale – opportunities for collaboration, partnerships and networks
  • Stress to your customers that we’re all in this together… take them with you, and don’t look profligate!

And finally, some words of wisdom from PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Managing in a Downturn Report:

Recessions can be viewed as similar to “pit stops” in a grand prix, with those organisations using the time to reassess their position emerging stronger and those that don’t at risk of falling behind.

The  report is full of useful information and advice on how to use it – read it here, and stay tuned to the AL blog for more recession-busting tips soon!

V&A’s new theatre galleries are opening next week

Following the Covent-Garden-based Theatre Museum’s closure in 2007, the V&A have been reworking the collection and integrating it back into their South Kensington home. It is curated in such a way that it will take visitors on a journey through the creative process of theatre, from rehearsal room to the stage, rather than a chronological history through the development of theatre over time. You can visit the galleries from 18 March, and read more about in The Independent.

Read all about it!

Read All About It!Now in the top right hand corner of this screen you can find a page that points you to our latest e-newsletter, a fantastic piece of communication, containing bite size pieces of info about London’s arts and cultural sector; and all in a gorgeous package which is easy to read, quick to navigate and integrated with our website to signpost you to further information.

You can also sign up to our e-newsletter on this new page, to have it delivered hot off the press, straight to your inbox.

As well as information about the sector and what we’re up to, we also include details of vacancies, events and opportunities from our collegues. So if you have something you’d like to advertise to your peers, please email me at emma@audienceslondon.org with the details. Sorry, but we can’t include listings.