Cultural Playing Field

Steady State?, Newcastle by Robin Simpson
November 27, 2009, 7:03 am
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , ,

I was in Newcastle on Tuesday to take part in the final Mission Models Money/ERA21 ‘Steady State?’ event. This time Charlotte Jones from the Independent Theatre Council and I were joined on the panel by Caroline Routh from The Empty Space, Paul Rubenstein from Newcastle City Council and Godfrey Worsdale from The Baltic. Although equally interesting and wide-ranging, it was quite a different discussion from the first event in London last week. We talked about new buildings and whether we are using existing cultural buildings in the best possible way. There was much discussion of the likelihood of substantial cuts across public sector funding in the near future and several people spoke about the role the arts should be playing in helping to develop a knowledge-based economy. But, as in London, the main themes that emerged were to do with joining-up, collaboration and integration and I was pleased to find considerable agreement for my pleas to start to consider ‘the arts’ as a whole – including local voluntary arts groups as well as publicly subsidised arts organisations.

Robin Simpson.


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