After Covid: Rebuilding the Arts & Culture Sector

Launching 'Making Culture Ours' - a document offering ways to address some of the structural inequalities within the art and culture sector.

About this event

Chaired by Zita Holbourne, AUE (Artists’ Union England)

Making Culture Ours document link

Tuesday 14 September, 18.45 – 20.00


Paul Fleming (Equity General Secretary)

Naomi Pohl (Musicians’ Union Deputy General Secretary)

Philippa Childs (Head of BECTU within Prospect)

Sonali Bhattacharyya (Writers Guild of Great Britain)

Gareth Spencer (President, PCS Culture Group)

Mike Wayne (UCU and LESE CLIC, co author ‘Make Culture Ours’)

Dave O’Brien (academic specialising in the cultural sector)

While the difficulties faced by the Arts and Culture sector and its workforce during the pandemic have been evident, the sector has had structural problems for many years – including transparency and fairness in funding. This event will focus both on how the sector can recover and how a long-term, sustainable future for the arts can be secured to the benefit of society as a whole. The discussion document ‘Making Culture Ours’ will be introduced, outlining some possible steps towards this.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed many of the fissures in our society – such as the lack of capacity in the NHS and the life-and-death consequences of inequality, the lack of a government vision of the arts’ contribution to society, shining a light on the fragile nature of the culture sector, and so just as following the two world wars, when people refused to go back to ‘the old ways’, there will be demands for a new settlement in Britain – including addressing those which existed in the culture sector prior to lockdown.

As the sector begins to slowly reopen, much damage has already been done, and there is considerable work still to do to get back to even where we were prior to the disruption. The precarious nature of the employment of cultural workers, the less than transparent funding processes that were in place and the lack of a co-ordinated vision for the future of this vital part of the economy remain.

This event launches ‘Making Culture Ours’, a working document created by the Culture and Leisure Industries Committee (CLIC) of the London and South-East TUC, one of a number of studies and discussions taking place within the sector. Its key themes focus on an accountable, fair and robust public funding model for the future, and while there are no quick wins or fixes, we hope that the conversation can begin now, urgently, to address the question of what kind of cultural landscape we want and how we go about building it.

Please join us for the meeting.

Tuesday 14 September, 18.45 – 20.00

Artists’ Union England

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