On Friday afternoon I was at the University of Glamorgan in Cardiff for the Voluntary Arts Wales open forum, ‘Digital creativity and the new amateur’. VAW Chair, Hamish Fyfe, chaired a fascinating discussion about the effect new digital technology is having on the nature of ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’. Hamish suggested that the process of production in which culture was created by a small group of professionals for a large group of consumers is over, and asked us to consider the implications for the support we provide for voluntary arts groups in Wales. A packed room of representatives from across Wales (and from as far afield as Chesterfield in Derbyshire!) took part in a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion. The event was broadcast live on our website with people across the UK watching the live video and contributing to the text chat. There was considerable interaction between the debate in the room and questions and comments from those joining us online. I suspect we probably ended up with more questions than answers but it was an excellent start to what will probably become an ongoing debate. If you missed the open forum please do take a look at the recording of the event at http://www.vaw.org.uk/openforum.
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