What Next? Public Action D&D Reporter, 25 January 2014 What Next? Public Action - report from Janet Morris How to get/facilitate the public to talk about the value of arts & culture? Practical ideas/ observations - Why are sports viewed so differently from arts & culture? Is there something we can learn about how to present arts & culture so that it is part of the public conversation, in the way that sports are? - How accessible is the language we use? Do the public think in terms of “arts & culture”? What is their language? - In the same vein, should we really be asking the public to articulate in terms of “value” or “impact”? Should we not be asking them about their experience? Feelings? What they remember? - Many different ways to hear from the public; no single “answer” o Take things to them, rather than asking them to come to you o Use community centres and further education institutes, where you get a wide range of people; as well as venues o Listen to people describing their experiences in their own terms, not in the terms we want to hear – e.g going to see a play as entertainment or an opportunity to get together with others; not as an “artistic experience” - What can we do in practical terms? o Collect individuals’ stories; find ways to make these stories known beyond the arts organisations and artists; get the message to decision makers/ politicians (ideally by those individuals themselves) o Facilitate spaces where people feel empowered to speak about their experiences, whatever their level of knowledge about the art o Demystify the language we use when talking about the arts & culture; take care not to alienate people or to narrow the definitions o Actively look for ways to involve younger people, to engage them in a wide range of arts/culture/heritage/design etc. o Share information with members of the public, in case they do want to advocate on our behalf, e.g. “Did you know that…?” Enable subjective opinions/experiences to be supported by some facts o Take action at whatever level and on whatever scale is practical – personal, organisational, local. Tags: Value, what next, change, public, action, value Comments: 1 Amy Clare Tasker, 25 January 2014 When I was working in a San Francisco theatre, we participated in a season-long study on the “intrinsic impact” of live performance - doing written and oral qualitative research. The results of the study are at the link below, and in a book called "Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of Art http://theatrebayarea.org/Programs/Intrinsic-Impact.cfm I'd be happy to talk more about the methodology if anyone is interested in replicating the study with their theatre.