Tarek Iskander Profile picture
Aug 8 20 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Oh no Kenneth you've got me started! Every case is different, & let's be clear these jobs are generally well paid & a huge privilege, but fwiw here's my take on the post-covid challenges that are making the roles feel more difficult than ever (all of which relate to resources)🧵
1. Unsustainable inflationary pressures
2. Chronic staff shortages
3. A hostile culture & reactionary social media environment that means people are very quick to get angry and throw abuse around publically
4. (In hindsight) a poorly executed NPO round

5. Collapse in project grants leading to even more artist and freelancer suffering
6. Having to say no to more and more wonderful things due to constrained resources, so feeling like the worst possible 'gatekeeper'

7. A sense that however you try to share resources you will be attacked: e.g. open calls are considered 'burdensome' to artists due to exhausting competition, but un-open calls are considered 'exclusionary'

8. Chronic lack of capital investment to improve artist facilities, audience exerience and income generation
9. Lack of transformation funds to help organisations reconfigure their models

10. Charitable Board models that are not fit for purpose - generally creates stasis, conservatism & lack both diversity and radical business skills
11. Sector allergy to IT, AI & anything digital that will improve efficiency, creating more money for art

11. Post-covid culture of working-from-home can improve inclusion, but also makes it hard to build teams that are cohesive...communication can be very cumbersome
12. Instituional practices that remain stubbornly ableist, racist, homo and trans-phobic, elitist & sexist.

13. Chronic poor pay means it's hard to recruit critical skills like marketing, HR & finance
14. Ticket prices that are too high and exclusionary
15. Depressed post-covid live audience numbers

16. Lack of role-models of radical governance models 'e.g. citizen assemblies' or 'artist collective leadership' that have been proven to work at scale
17. Brexit making vital international exchange harder and more expensive

18. Post-covid reduction of private giving and corporate sponsorship
19. Lack of state support for artists when out of work

20. Austerity creating severe gaps in education, youth creativity and general social support that cultural orgs are expected to fill with fewer resources of their own
21. Lack of peer support networks for people at every level, from freelancers, to ADs and EDs

22. Lack of collective investment in cultural journalism and reviewers
23. Workforces and recruitment practices that remain stubbornly undiverse

24. A feeling that doing the right thing is 'unrewarding' - ending up in crisis and then fundraising against that crisis seems to be the only surefire way to raise money as a venue

25. A lack of positivity & mutual support in the sector. We are all too begrudging in learning from & celebrating others' successes

26. A lack of real movement in coming up with new ways to address freelancer precarity, creating a very difficult working environment for everyone
27. Historic arts funders being too stretched as they broaden their giving remits beyond strictly 'artistic' endeavours

28. Disproporationte spending on place-making initiatives that are great in terms of ticking boxes in terms of including people in creative activities (over a short period of time) but that do little to develop infrastruture or do the hard, long-term grass roots work

29. Historic underinvestment in touring infrastructure that would encourage more collaboration, opportunities and co-producing
30. A corrosive government-led London vs Anti-London narrative that has divided our sector, & but which we have all played into

31. Lack of investment in R&D and development time, means artists aren't allowed to create their best work, so too much live performance is undercooked & underwhelming

32. Risk-averse programming

33. And finally... too many people like me highlighting all the problems, that are obvious to everyone, but not offering constructive solutions...

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More from @TarekIskander1

Jun 3, 2020
Please let's not perpetuate this corrosive narrative that theatres have just 'shut up shop' and disappeared. We haven't done that because we vital creative hubs for artists and communities. Long Thread incoming.... (with SHOUTY CAPS) too
To take BAC as just one example: WE ARE WORKING WITH ARTISTS. We finished our cancelled season with new offers with #BACGoingDigital. We are producing 7 new #cultureinquarantine projects with the @bbcarts and @thespacearts . We have been making small micro-commissions
and are currently working out how to open our physical spaces safely to artists, so they can keep developing work - and also to provide them with the digital tools to record and monetize their own content.
Read 14 tweets

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