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Reimagine the arts - a Thread.

We won’t all make it through - arts organisations, venues, collectives, artists – however much our governments, arts funders, or our local communities, chip in. It’s not going to be enough. Not now. Not in the years it’ll take to recover. (1/12)
That doesn’t mean we don’t fight. We must fight, shout, influence, call in favours, do everything we can. The bigger the pot, the more we can save. But we can’t save everyone.

And here’s the rub – nor should we. (2/12)
We have built an arts sector on privilege. Favouring some over others – as managers, makers & audiences; placing buildings and the work of administration on a pedestal; allowing artists to become marginal; systemically excluded those who different, difficult or diverse. (3/12)
We have moaned for the last 30 years, things should change. Now is our chance. It will take leadership and courage.

In my manifesto, the arts sector of the future should be centred on:

Artists - their creativity, genius and perspective is the reason the sector exists. Artists should be on all boards. Paid and protected by all arts organisations in much larger numbers that currently is the case. Equity of pay between artists and administration, anyone? (5/12)
Diversity - our intersectionality tells the best stories. These resonate with the most people. We have to be representative and to draw widely on a range and depth of talent not just on a narrow pool of who we know. (6/12)
Access – for all. The pandemic has shown that the ‘impossible’ is possible. It was a choice, we chose to exclude. Any and all reopening should include options for those who cannot physically attend and extended provisions to ensure all that is offered is offered to all. (7/12)
If you run an arts organisation that does not have artists at your beating heart, is not built around diversity, systemically excludes people, please stop now. Don’t compete for future funds. Your day has come and gone. Put down your power & privilege. That’s leadership. (8/12)
If you are an arts funder/decision maker, use these principals to determine choices over who you support. You cannot save everyone and everything. If you spread resource thinly, everyone suffers. Strategically invest in artists, diversity and access. Do it now. (9/12)
Use this unprecedented time to make unprecedented choices. Do not be led by commerce alone. The arts are worth more than money and will easily pay their way. Build the sector we should have, don’t save the one we had that wasn’t working for all. That’s leadership. (10/12)
If you are an artist. We need you. Show us myriad reflections of now, the past and the future. Fill us with hope, hold our despair, engage our humanity. You have done this throughout history. Your unique skills and talents are vital. (11/12)
We have undervalued you within the structures meant to support you. Upturn the tables, it’s time for you to lead us all. (12/12)
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