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The Arts, Them and Us: Creating a More Equitable System for Subsidised Culture

unnamed-113 May 2014

9.30 – 16.00

Register for your free ticket here

The ICC is excited to launch its Cultural Dialogues public event series with what promises to be a stimulating debate inspired by the Rebalancing our Cultural Capital report. First published in October 2013, ‘Rebalancing’ prompted heated reaction on the national distribution of arts funding in England, by highlighting a ‘systemic drift of London bias’. The report compares the contemporary state of play in arts funding with the national cultural policy framework created by Labour MP Jennie Lee in her role as first Minister for the Arts in 1965, encouraging reflection on, and re-examination of, establishment and counter-establishment views of the post-war Arts Council.

During our inaugural symposium – ‘The Arts Them and Us’ – delegates are invited to debate some of the key questions of principle raised by the ‘Rebalancing’ report and events that have followed its publication, including a select committee inquiry into the ‘business’ of Arts Council England. Such questions of principle include the challenge of transient political ideologies and their influence on cultural policy; reaching a consensus on cultural value and the extent to which ‘the arts’ can be justified as a rational public investment; and the impact and value of contemporary cultural policy initiatives in levelling the cultural field.

Guest speakers include ‘Rebalancing’ authors Peter Stark and Christopher Gordon; Professor Phil Redmond CBE; Dr David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool; Aideen McGinley OBE, BBC Trust; Professor Franco Bianchini, Leeds Metropolitan University; and the ICC’s Dr Beatriz Garcia.

The symposium is also designed as a precursor to an event planned to commemorate the 50thanniversary of Jennie Lee’s landmark white paper ‘A Policy for the Arts: The First Steps’ in 2015.