‘Ha! hold my Brain; be still my beating Heart.’ – How to measure the culture we love

July 15th, 2012 | Posted by admin in creative industries | Europe | evaluation - (Comments Off on ‘Ha! hold my Brain; be still my beating Heart.’ – How to measure the culture we love)

Recent work with a small group looking at performance indicators to measure culture across Europe resulted in some sensible proposals for an index based on existing national data collection practices.  We had the opportunity to explore how meaningful the results may be at meetings of Compendium Experts and CultureWatchEurope in Helsinki.

The need for evidence based policy in the Creative and Cultural Industries was recently restated by Aviva Silver in Creative Europe briefings, but the issue of the relative values of quantitative and qualitative data needs more work.  The even trickier question of how it then translates into policy and investment decision making  is complicated by two contradictory discourses: creative entrepreneurship as economic engine and culture as as an important human right.

We have the theoretical frame and research tools to sort this out, but they need to pulled together.  Drew Wylie’s full presentation can be found at:www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/cwe/Helsinki_en.asp

Right here, right now

May 25th, 2012 | Posted by admin in creative industries | cultural policy | evaluation - (Comments Off on Right here, right now)

Drew Wylie’s recent review of the cultural and creative industries in Northamptonshire really demonstrated two of the most important current strategic facts of life.  First, it is time that we focus our strategic approach and advocacy on a cultural and creative industries sector that is more important to the UK than it is to almost any other economy in the world.  Think together and act together, whether you run a library service, direct a theatre, design cars, or publish magazines.

Second, switch the balance of review and strategy from evidence to action.  This means making sure you have the evidence to back up your approach, but don’t parade it for its own sake.  Focus on what you want to do and how you intend to do it.

The review seems to have successfully implemented this approach and is already swinging attention and investment in the direction of the sector. Click to see the executive summary:

Right here, right now – Northamptonshire’s Creative Opportunity