New Ways of Working: VASW Regional Meeting

Jam Today or Jam Tomorrow? Sarah Thelwall

Size Matters, Sarah Thelwall

Our first speaker, Sarah Thelwall, a researcher, strategist and consultant in the creative and cultural industries, gave a talk entitled Jam Today or Jam Tomorrow? Sarah spoke about first order and second order types of activity for arts organisations. The former was the creative core which was grant funded, not expected to generate a financial return, that delivered a cultural and social return and was intrinsically connected to the expert labour force in the organisation. The latter took assets accrued in the former and sought to develop them into products and services that had a commercial value.

Sarah asked us to consider an organisations tangible and intangible assets; tangible assets were things like buildings that could be exploited economically via cafes, shops, ticketed events etc. Intangible assets involved individual and organisational expertise and experience, reputation, brand and goodwill.

She then went on to talk about her publication, Size Matters – Notes towards a Better Understanding of the Value, Operation and Potential of Small Visual Arts Organisations. This work has resulted in new models and approaches aimed at reducing dependence on grant funding through increases in earned income.

Large organisations benefit from the current system by realising the deferred value created by the smaller organisations. Sarah said we need a healthier arts ecosystem, where deferred value is recognised as such.

What's On

Big Heart 2017

Various Locations

Monday 01 May 2017 – Thursday 30 November 2017

Radical Clay: Teaching with the greatest potters of the 1960s

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RL

Saturday 22 July 2017 – Sunday 10 June 2018

Sculpture Class at Bath Artists' Studios

Bath Artists' Studios, The Old Malthouse, Comfortable Place, Upper Bristol Road, Bath, BA1 3AJ

Thursday 07 September 2017 – Thursday 14 December 2017

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Supported by: