The Changing Nature of The Cultural Sector: When culture turns into business
We were delighted to participate in the inspiring pop-up debate with speakers from Sweden, Finland and U.K representing different stands of the European cultural sector. Concerns and questions regarding the transforming climate and the future direction of culture and arts were uttered as the debate moved on engaging the audience in a lively exchange of ideas.
The key points of the debate were the many inverstors all representing different demands and will when it comes to the cultural and artistic output. Can they all have their voices heard? Who gets the final say as the most important stakeholder? Into what extent should the private sector get its say in the cultural sector? The speakers expressed a variety of perspectives on these issues and at times there was an obvious disparity between them.
“There is no conflict between investors and the cultural/artistic output. The branding of cultural centres doesn’t suffer from commercial use of its spaces.” said Jouko Astor, Director of Arts & Congress Centre Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna, Finland meaning that as long there’s money coming in the centres stays active. However, Anna Modeer-Wiking, Manager Anagram Live and Producer of Lunds Humorfestival, Anagram Productions in Lund, Sweden had a slightly differing opinion insisting on how vital the audience is: “The audience is important. Without them art doesn't come to life. We need to answer the publics demands and deliver the good quality art.”
What we could take in from the debate was that there are no rights and wrong any longer when it comes to cultural integrity. Of course there are still many concern when it comes to certain profiles and branding of cultural productions. Obviously all cultural centres and different artists have different professional expression and development nevertheless we all need recognize the changing configuration of the world and the effects of globalization. Possible ways for adaptation to this new cultural climate remains to be seen.
We warmly encourage You to reflect upon the possible challenges that might arise out of this context.We conclude that the debate gave birth to as many questions as it started with.
Plamena Slavcheva & Edith Salminen
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