King's College London has released a new report, Towards cultural democracy: Promoting cultural capabilities for everyone, which calls for a radical shift in arts support and funding to make creativity more widely accessible. The report, which was recently profiled in Arts Professional, also calls on publicly funded arts organizations "to become community hubs and empower creative citizens by giving them the freedom to 'co-create versions of culture.'"
The UK-based report "presents a series of case studies that illustrate how individuals and groups undertake creative activities outside of formal arts settings and how their creative lives bridge ‘everyday’ non-funded arts activities, publicly funded arts and the commercial culture sector." The report further underscores that only 8% of survey respondents – the "wealthiest, whitest and most formally educated" – regularly interacted with publicly funded art. A more robust approach, suggest report co-authors Nick Wilson and Jonathan Gross, would reposition the cultural policy agenda to take into account issues of parity and fairness.
Pursuant to this, the researchers conclude with 14 recommendations – the primary goal of which is "to make promoting cultural capabilities for everyone" a policy objective not only for those organizations which administer public funding, but also those that receive it.
The report follows other research from the Warwick Commission inquiry into the Future of Cultural Value, which recommend a breaking down of silos between the cultural sector and creative industries, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Cultural Value Project, which suggests that more focused research should be done on “the way people experience their engagement with arts and culture.”
To read the full report, click here.