This book is an outcome of four-year Creative Lenses project and offers insights into the conversations, debates and views that emerged from the project. Started as a quest for ‘business models’ to ‘rescue’ struggling arts and cultural organisations, the project later turned into a wider examination of the sector and its role in the society. It does not only try to understand how such initiatives can survive but rather where they fit in the new dynamic. The emerged concept is reflected in the title of the book – ‘Models to Manifestos’.
The book comprises a wide spectrum of views from experienced and informed commentators, case studies and interviews from every corner of Europe. It reflects the diversity that exists within Europe and the differences in terms of history, practice, location and approach. It consists of four sections, which mirrors Creative Lenses’ journey:
- Section 1: Dispatches From the Front Line
- Section 2: Art & Culture: Definition, Role, Policies and Purpose
- Section 3: The Business of Sustainability: Ways to Survive and Thrive
- Section 4: The Future: New Approaches
Below you can find a list of articles gathered in the book:
ufaFabrik was started by a group of students who took over an abandoned movie theatre UFA to save it from demolition, and set up a comprehensive work and living cultural project. Today the centre is a “green cultural oasis” in the middle of Berlin – a space of creation, innovative ideas and sustainable development. What distinguishes ufaFabrik from a lot of its contemporaries is the fact that it takes a holistic approach to its work and combines economic, social, environmental and cultural sustainability research and solutions in its stratagems.
Business Models: Learning from an International Study of Cultural Governance – Ian King
This essay provides an overview of the arts and cultural context and how it should be evaluated. In the discussion section that follows, the author compares the results from the cultural governance project with the guise and potential of business models. The paper finishes with a conclusion that business models offer some interesting opportunities and with the correct support can offer much to art and culture.
Case Study: Nieuwe Helden
In 2008 two art students formulated idea that would take art out of the traditional venues and contexts and move it to public space. This resulted in the company Nieuwe Helden. Each project that the company produces starts from a subject or theme and aims to create ‘dialogue’ with the ‘right’ audience. There is no fixed approach to work and each project is different, depending on the situation. This might include performances, podcasts, documentaries, exhibitions, etc. There can be up to 10 or 15 projects running at the same time.
Projecte Ingenu: Interview
In an environment where it is difficult to find funding for new or independent arts and culture initiatives, it might seem foolhardy for a group like Projecte Ingenu to launch a theatre company at the height of an economic recession in Spain. Not only that, but thinking behind the initiative was so removed from traditional forms of theatre it would seem to have no chance of survival. Maybe, because of the uniqueness of the venture and its strong connection to human values, it grew and developed into something that now resonates across the Barcelona theatre scene and beyond.
Future Facing with Tomorrow’s Jazz Warriors – Maureen Salmon
There is a significant leadership challenge in the sector, evidenced by the under-representation of black and minority people in key leadership roles expected to be influential in promoting cultural diversity. The lack of diversity is stifling the culture change necessary for creativity and innovation. Using jazz as a metaphor for social change, this essay is a call for action motivated by social, cultural and economic value of cultural diversity.
Case Study/ Interview: Manifatture Knos
How does a cultural project on the far tip of Italy, in a region that is beset by problems, survive with little or no state funding, audiences and participants who have very little money, a regime that is largely disinterested in contemporary art and a political and social environment that can be dismissive or actively against new initiatives? One way is to use all of this as a laboratory for the development of a radical new concept that thrives on the very notion of instability and the periphery – what Manifatture Knos calls ‘spaces of indecision’.
From Money to Value – José Rodriguez
The following paper highlights ten strategies that some arts and cultural organisations have implemented successfully to leverage the value they are creating. The ways these organisations are innovatining their business models might not be applicable to everyone, but they can still serve as inspiration for some.
P60: Case Study
Cultural centre P60 is deeply rooted in the local community of Amstelveen, a satellite town of Amsterdam, known for its youth focus, the centre has a cafe-bar, concert hall, workshop spaces and band rehearsal rooms. The centre also promotes visual art, in particular, digital art, which it displays on the facade of its building. A feature of the centre is its small full-time team, augmented by 70 local and a number of international volunteers that provides training, travel, work experience and creative opportunities to young people.
Nová Cvernovka: Case Study
Nová Cvernovka is a centre providing social, cultural and economic support to artists and the public in a former post-industrial area of Bratislava. The Cvernovka community wants to improve the prospects and quality of life for people living in the city and the aim is to continue to enhance unused urban areas, revitalising empty spaces through new cultural use.
8 SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING YOUR CHANCES OF SURVIVAL – KATARINA SCOTT
In late 2009, the City of Lund was in the running for European Capital for Culture 2014. Part of the bid focused on the innovative and entrepreneurial nature of the city, in particular within the cultural and creative sectors. Even though Lund did not succeed in its bid, they started the initiative The Creative Plot that supported hundreds of ideas, projects, people and organisations using entrepreneurial methods to make creative individuals and organisations more sustainable and able to fulfill their potential. The following paper summarises the finding of the initiatives and the lessons learn during it.
It may be hard to comprehend how a group of punks in conservative and traditional Dresden in the early days of this century could conceive and successfully implement a daring plan to take control of a large factory complex and turn it into their living and working space at a cost of 6 million Euros and counting. But they proved just this, proving that the strength of an idea, matched with determined and visionary people, can achieve the seemingly impossible.
Aalborg Karneval: Case Study
Initiated in 1983 by a small group of volunteers, the inaugural Aalborg Karneval attracted around 5 000 participants. Since then, it has seen dramatic growth and is now Northern Europe’s largest public carnival parade with around 70 000 “participants” and 50 000 spectators. Yet, the story of Aalborg wasn’t always smooth and indeed in 2013 it looked like the carnival had reached a point of crisis. The event has pulled through and what happened next is not only inspirational but contains some insights on overcoming challenges.
Towards 360-Degree Business Models – Lucy Kimbell
Bringing up the topic of “business models” with people in the arts may lead to a range of reactions from resilience to eagerness. In this article, the author plays with the idea that arts organisations have business models, even if they may not (want to) think of things in this way. She proposes to use “360-degree business models” can help arts organisations understand and articulate the value they co-create and realise with others through their multiple interconnections with artists, audiences, places, partners, funders and policymakers.
Access All Areas: Case Study
Access All Areas makes urban, disruptive performance by learning disabled and autistic artists. The company believes passionately in the importance of including learning disabled artistic voices at all levels of society, to help create an arts community that is made more vibrant, more varied and more relevant by including a full range of diversity within culture.
Abracadabra! – Paul Bogen
In the following paper, Paul Bogen looks back on his thirty-five-year experience working in the arts/ cultural sector trying to define what sustainability and success mean for it. He points out that the hardest is to keep a balance between staying financially solvent and true to their vision, values and beliefs.
THE GAZE FROM THE SEMI-PERIPHERY – Milena Dragićević Šešić
By the end of the 20th century, different international organisations were fostering civil society development in the cultural sector seeing those independent organisations new agents of change. However, in the 21st century, new demands and new policies imposed entrepreneurial logic on NGO development. European cultural researchers and activists were forced to discuss new “alternative” strategies for civil society development, proposing mostly business models for their survival. The aim of this paper is to discuss possible strategies and tactics for the further development of civil society organisations in Southeast Europe without compromising their ethics and values.
New Business Models in EU Cultural Policy – Bethany Rex
This essay deals with the introduction of a language of ‘business models’ into EU cultural policy discourse over the past decade. It looks into how the following language impacts the way organisations function and what it entails for the sector in general.
Neocolonialism and cultural policy – Tunde Adefioye
Racism and segregation in the funding structures of the Flemish, Belgian, Dutch and wider-European arts and cultural sector have caused problems and nightmares. The author of the following essay speculates about the role of neoliberalism and how deeply it is rooted in Flemish culture suggesting that for the sake of progress cultural diversity should be on agenda of all cultural institutions in the region.
Independent survival / surviving independence – Fanny Nanay
In the present essay, the author intends to examine the situation of independent cultural organisations in two Central Eastern European countries whose recent political trends have made them far from supportive of the civil sector: Hungary and Poland. The trends identified in these countries are present in other European regions as well. The author explores different strategies Hungarian and Polish CSOs are following and try to find some pointers for sustainability under unfavourable political and economic circumstances.
L’asilo: Case Study
The community of L’asilo believes that culture is a fundamental right for the personal development of human beings. The group seeks to liberate art and culture from the control of the market and profit. Criticising the language and formats of business related to the arts, L’asilo values inclusion, freedom and creativity and is against every form of fascism, racism, homophobia, sexism and any other type of discrimination and inequality. It is a self-governed organisation and has adopted a process of consensual decision-making to ensure it is operating for the common good in an inclusive, non-authoritarian manner.
Broken Dreams of Democratic Civilising and the Promise of (Inter) Dependence
Civil society organisations, citizen associations and similar forms of organised public expressions are seen as important pillars of democracy. However, these independent grassroots initiatives are not homogeneous, especially in the arts sector. They are not entirely independent as well. The authors of the article use a case study to demonstrate that ‘interdependence’ might be a better term to understand how to navigate arts and cultural organisations.
Assembling: Value in arts organisations – Patrycia Kaszynska
This article looks at value in arts organisations as a space of agitation, negotiation, and contestation. Arts organisations are in turn presented as sites where different values are constantly played out. The argument is that, rather than a weakness, this ‘assembling’ might be a key to sustainability in arts organisations and a source of social relevance.
COMPAÑÍA PATRICIA PARDO: Case Study
The Patrícia Pardo Theatre Company is a small ensemble based in Valencia, Spain, organised around the creative practices of performer, writer and director Patrícia Pardo. Challenging a political vision about how the arts can contribute to social change, the company creates innovative, experimental and often challenging performances.
The Art and Culture Dichotomy – Sandy Fitzgerald
Today we often use ‘art’ and ‘culture’ as synonyms often forgetting the original meaning behind these two terms. In his article, Sandy Fitzgerald looks into the way these designations have been redefined and re-appropriated over time. He argues that “culture must be democratized and art refocused as creative expression” to ensure progress and human evolution.
Truc Sphérique – Stanica: Case Study
Truc Sphérique (known as Stanica) is an open ‘Platform’ linking contemporary arts with everyday life and social development. The centre’s activities and projects develop creativity, perception and openness to new forms of expression in the belief that contemporary art and culture are more than leisure time activities. Stanica presents a pulsing space for experimenting and alternative interaction with experienced reality, as a means of personal development and the exploration of new ways of communication.
Village Underground: Case Study
Village Underground (VU) is an independent performing arts venue and co-working space in Shoreditch, East London, programming live music and club nights and supporting creative practitioners. In 2018, VU opened a second venue in Hackney called Earth and has a sister project in Lisbon.
Kaapelitehdas: Case Study
Kaapeli manages two monumental sites, the original project, based in what was once Nokia’s factory for the manufacture of its deep-sea telecommunications cables and a more recent acquisition, the former gas works Suvilahti. Not happy to rest on their laurels, the organisation has now initiated the building of a major dance centre for the city of Helsinki. Housing hundreds of organisations and artists, Kaapeli is an important resource for culture in Finland.
Teple Misto: Case Study
Teple Misto aims to be an innovative platform that creates new possibilities and drives social transformation, inspiring and encouraging changes for the better in Ivano-Frankivsk and wider Ukraine.
Ambasada: Case Study
Ambasada’s aim is to bring together both the non-profit and creative communities to generate new projects and impactful solutions. Their centre in Timisoara has become a cross-sectoral space for both arts and non-arts NGOs and they find that it’s equally interesting for the corporate sector, as an alternative space for learning and inspiring employees, all the while connecting to the local community and solving issues important to them.
Le Plus Petit Cirque Du Monde: Case Study
Founded in 1992, PPCM was created by inhabitants from Bagneux, a suburban town close to Paris, sharing circus arts and urban culture, to transform daily life and the future of their children and neighborhoods. PPCM states their mission as: “developing an economic and social vision of the performing arts, as a force driving individual and community changes and positive social, economic and urban transformation in disadvantaged areas”.
A Greek Story – Elli Papakonstantinou
“How can we design and implement art structures that align with the big questions raised in the public sphere?” In the following article, Elli Papakonstantinou looks into a complex relationship between art and politics by analysing the collective attempt to rethink art during the Greek crisis. She claims that art is political one way or another and that it is best remembered in times of turmoil.