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A new annual conference for the arts is to be launched by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in partnership with Arts Council England.

Recognising that arts and cultural experiences are more diverse, disruptive and fast moving than ever before, the State of the Arts conference will explore with artists, entrepreneurs, cultural leaders and policy makers what kind of arts landscape we need and how we might get there.

Taking place on 14 January 2010, the conference will feature keynote speeches from Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Ben Bradshaw MP, and Shadow culture minister Jeremy Hunt MP. Other confirmed speakers include Artistic Director of the South Bank Centre, Jude Kelly, ex - CEO of Columbia Pictures, Lord Putnam and Director of the National Theatre, Nicholas Hytner.

With over 300 practitioners and cultural leaders attending, State of the Arts will examine current and future challenges and opportunities around domestic art policy, strategy and funding and Britain's position within the global cultural landscape.

Commenting, RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor said:

“State of the Arts will provide an important opportunity for artists, entrepreneurs, cultural leaders and policy makers to get an early insight into how the arts can respond to the challenges of the 21st century.”

Commenting, ACE Chief Executive Alan Davey said:

“The arts industry is not a monolithic public service ripe to be cut - but part of a complex mixed economy, which could provide a model for how public investment might work elsewhere. Funding the arts is rational, economically sound, and essential to our quality of life. I hope that State of the Arts will provide a platform for debate about how funders can support artists in what they do best – challenge, thrill, excite and inspire us, by producing the marvellous and the beautiful."

  • Policy-focused debate on what a new settlement for arts and culture will look like over the coming years.
  • Long-term thinking and solutions to develop and deepen the relationship between arts and the public (as both audience members and engaged participants).
  • Insights into whether the arts are doing enough to shape progressive change. How can artists best be supported to respond to the unprecedented environmental and societal change of our era?
  • An examination of how cities can best encourage the arts. Are the UK’s major cities really taking flight culturally? Do our major cities work together enough to enrich the UK’s cultural experience?
  • The latest thinking about how we can encourage the UK to be world class in developing creative talent.
Find out the latest information on the State of the Arts conference website.

Download the full press release (PDF, 36KB)


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