Steve Lawson, 10 January 2016

An exploration of the various meanings and contexts for the consideration of

sustainability. It was a pretty far-reaching discussion of both sustainability as a

concept and how it might apply (broadly looking at creative sustainability and

economic sustainability, but with a few expansions on that…) here are a few of the

comments, and areas we discussed:

What’s the obstruction to your creative sustainability? burnout - a lack of support, the

need to do too much work to keep going.

The sustainability of organisations creating space for others practice to be sustainable

(umbrella orgs affording other sustainability)

The role of audiences in making ongoing practice development sustainable,

comparing models from the subsidised sector with the music world, where audience

development can be shaped around sustainable practice.

“sector sustainability” - collectively responding to political and economic challenges,

pooling resources and collaboratively planning for change, through shared resources

and insight.

Sustainability for emerging/new/developing artists - the space to build work before

building a brand, and the unsustainable pressure to put marketing/branding exercises

in place before the work is at a place to capitalise on it, leading to both professional

and emotional negative consequences

Sustainability within the subsidised sector - building the funding for the next R&D into

the previous funding bid.

Future planning - demographic understanding on how our creative environment is

evolving and making sure our community is prepared for change, to keep doing it.

Admin prevents us from being sustainable - particularly in london, the cost of living

and the potential to earn enough from the amount of work that’s manageable within a

trajectory of personal creative development just doesn’t add up…

More ambitious work requires greater funding, but also places greater demands on the

process of putting the work on… ?

Pay What You Want/Decide as a step towards sustainability of practice - discussing

examples from The Hub in Leeds, my work (Steve Lawson), and Hannah Nicklin’s

brilliant Performance In The Pub series.

Smaller scale works as part of a slower build, creatively and professionally, rather than

precarious personal and financial investment in larger scale projects early on…


economics, Creativity, Sustainability, creativity, sustainability, Economics