brand no.2 Helen Sear 2015

Creative Economy in 2020

These notes are representative of the participant's views and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wales Arts International. However, there are no references in these session notes to suggest who was contributing at the time.

The creative economy is an international issue. We feed into the shape of the future for the arts in Wales.

The availability of technology and access to information for artists – especially in rural areas is an important issue in driving our creative economy here in Wales and interacting with the world. More is needed to harness digital technologies so that we can develop rural areas by connecting them with cities.

In the past year, there has been a policy shift in Wales that’s allowing us to catch up with other regions.

There was some resistance to new technologies in live, performance arts. The work now needs to focus on shifting opinions and realising new opportunities through digitalisation.

Where is the link between ‘creativity’ and the economy? Ideas are so important. How can the creative economy be used to better promote ourselves?

What challenges face arts organisations in these times? How does the mix of traditional and experimental programming affect us, especially when once more, arts are subjected to decisions made based around finance?
• Where is Wales now?
• What do we need to do to develop the economy?
• How do we need to change to achieve this?

There’s a huge variety of business plans in the arts in Wales. Is this where we begin?
• Are we too comfortable / complacent?
• We need to be more entrepreneurial which can be difficult alongside creative practice.

Creative entrepreneurism, factors that affect it:
• Diversity
• Look for new, unusual challenges
• Wise use of public investment to generate earned income
• Be in touch with the rest of the world
• Risk – not everything will be successful – this is OK!

We need to engage in diversity!

Perhaps we need a new narrative, a new language to articulate the arts. It is also vitally important to collect data and prove economic return on investment – not just in financial terms but in value to the community, Wales as a whole, across sectors.

Investment seems to be focused on high yield, quick return projects, no investment programmes available to support longer term projects.

Toolquiz, a European project for which Wales Arts International is a partner, is working with the University of Venice to create models of best practice measurement, and communicate the outputs in a language the EU can understand.

Where do creative people get the information on how to develop entrepreneurial skills and networks?

Economic Renewal offers sector led advice.

There are different industry settings for each art form. The creative sector often doesn’t nurture ideas until they’re ready for delivery.

There’s a need to create a bridge between creativity and business. Need to ‘think business’ and know how to prepare yourself to work internationally.

It is the role of hubs and networks to support individuals within the sector to create this link.

In Finland, the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Industry work very closely together. Is this a model Wales should consider in more depth?

Creative entrepreneurs don’t always fit the mould of a WAG definition.

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