Magazine article Art Monthly

Pricing the Value

Magazine article Art Monthly

Pricing the Value

Article excerpt

A key point returns again and again in Common Practice's Size Matters research paper, and that is about creating more sophisticated tools for measuring the value of small arts organisations and their productions. Indeed, the debate about how we value the arts, and whether they should be publicly funded at all, has been brought to the boil again following the recent budget cuts. The simple question is whether we want all culture to be commercial culture, or whether a mixed-economy model is stronger--certainly the evidence suggests the latter. Accepting that public funding is required, the argument still needs to be made to the Treasury as to the financial benefits of publicly funded culture. As Thelwell argues in her report, there needs to be a way of measuring the various values that small organisations generate, and measuring these over the life cycle of the commissions rather than on a year-to-year basis, as the current grant mechanisms do. While it may seem depressing to have to put cash values on things like exhibition responses or education programmes, the Treasury is a depressing place. …

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