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Improbable
Devoted & Disgruntled Satellite
Improbable's monthly conversation event in Open Space

WEDNESDAY 3RD MARCH 2010 TOYNBEE studios 7.30p.m. - 10.30p.m.
Hosted by Jonathan Holmes and Phelim McDermott

THE ARTS CAMPAIGN: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Dear Terry,

The next Devoted and Disgruntled monthly meeting will be dedicated to our burgeoning arts campaign. It would be wonderful to see you there. Phelim will be opening the space at Toynbee studiosl at 7.30pm on Wednesday 3rd March. That’s next week!

The story so far:

The annual D&D 5 included a session about whether it made any difference who formed the next government. We agreed that it did as far as support for the arts was concerned, and that the time to remind politicians of the value of what we do is now , ahead of party manifesto launches, rather than after the election when any influence will be significantly reduced.

Since then I have managed to initiate discussions online and in the letter pages of various newspapers, leading to Ed Vaizey, Tory spokesman for the arts, committing to the maintenance of funding to the arts, and the Lib Dems making a matching commitment. The Culture Show are also going to devote a special programme to the debate on the 4th March, in which each party will be quizzed on their arts policies by Alan Yentob.

All of this was quite easily achieved which is highly encouraging. There is a real desire in the media at the moment to champion the arts, and a real inclination on the part of politicians to listen, which means that we have a perhaps unique opportunity to make a difference both to government policy and also to public perception of what we do. It’s an opportunity that may not come again for several years. Are we willing to make the most of it?

So the questions for us now might include: what do we do next? How best can we keep this momentum going? What are the most skilful ways in which we can each make a difference? What are the most powerful and efficient ways we can work on this collectively and still have time to make art?!

I have to admit that I’m quite interested in the last question, having spent the past few weeks getting the ball rolling, but being unable to continue devoting so much time to managing this campaign. Please come along on March 3rd and give your suggestions for a way of organising things that doesn’t rely on a single individual doing all the work, and that also develops more grassroots and regional support for it as well.

Bring anyone you think may be a valuable participant: all will be welcome. Let’s make the most of this opportunity to affect the future of the arts in this country!

See you there.

Jonathan

P.S. Links to all the happenings mentioned above are as follows:
www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article7025295.ece
www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article7028035.ece
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/feb/22/arts-funding-arts-policy

Devoted and Disgruntled is an opportunity to meet up with artists, arts professionals, and audiences to chat, plot and dream around the issues that are relevant to you at the moment. Jonathan Holmes will be hosting and Phelim will be opening the space.

DETAILS:

If you cannot attend but would like to be kept in touch email office@improbable.co.uk

The evening runs using Open Space technology which gives anyone the chance to propose a starting point for discussion, then take part in one of these conversations, flit between them all, or head to the bar.

This event is free! No need to book, just turn up on the night.
Artsadmin at Toynbee Studios: 28 Commercial Street | London | E1 6AB.
Map at: http://www.artsadmin.co.uk/contacts/

For further information or to discuss access requirements get in touch with Lucy at lucy@improbable.co.uk or at the office on 0207 240 4556. Hope to see you there.

Y

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