ARTS and CULTURE: It’s not the “model” that needs to change. It’s our proficiency in using the models we have. #2amt #supplydemand #arts

Here are some thoughts I have:

In Canada there is a “working” think tank group of people including arts and culture, business, politicians, (a retired Prime Minister); they are beginning to look at how not for profits and charities are legislated. And, how the incorporation rules in each jurisdiction, (i.e. Provinces and Territories), govern the ability for not for profits and charities to benefit from new and emerging for profit strategies.

Some current legislation needs to be revised so that not for profits and charities can better partner with the for profit entities.

I think we, in the arts and culture sectors, need to move our focus to sustainability, in the same way that business and commerce focuses on sustainability, which, is not from receiving hand-outs/stimulus, but from long-term strategic planning and partnerships.

Now I can hear all the folk in the not for profits screaming out: “But without government grants we cannot even plan for sustainability; never mind subsist”.

And from the Arts and Culture sector in BC – the constant “ranting chorus” about the economic numbers that ARTS and CULTURE contributes is getting, well, really “old”.

It is not just about the economic value arts and culture contributes to economies; it is about all values – including the experience the audience or, your next door neighbour, receives by attending/supporting an arts and culture event.

My next door neighbour does not evaluate the “bang for the buck” in choosing to attend, or not, an arts and culture event; they talk about “the experience, and then, their personal experience”.

Perhaps we might look at a model in, (what is referred to a 2nd world country), where the government has severely cut its funding to cultural institutions, and/or simply stopped funding cultural institutions altogether.

Now it invests its money in scholarships that are given to the “creative’s” who create product that can, in turn, be the equity to form strategic partnerships with for profit entities leading to long term sustainability in the arts and culture sectors. (By the way, this investment/scholarship is monitored/reviewed; and if not invested meeting all guidelines and outcomes, it must be returned to the government).

Really, why would anyone invest, long term, or form a strategic partnership based on, “waiting for a government grant”, for a product that does not, or may never exist, by the very fact that the product may never be created?

Does the phrase, “where’s the beef”, ring true?

In my opinion, there needs to be a “New Philanthropy” model that is about sustainability and not immediate ROI gratification. (For profit sector – listen up!)

Why, you might ask?:

Most, if not many, commercial and for profit entities success(s) is a result of strategic planning for sustainability and long term investment.