New Deal of the Mind has become The Creative Society
Since founder and CEO Martin Bright wrote the article that kick-started our work, the concept of a New Deal of the Mind has provided a mutually rewarding service in which creative organisations and businesses have directly benefitted from the creation of over 1000 sustainable jobs for young people.
As our work has evolved however, we’ve had to evolve with it, and now need a new way to better reflect the positive outcomes that we as New Deal of the Mind have helped to shape.
We are therefore evolving our brand to become known as The Creative Society with a mission to build and support the creative economy.
Look out for changes across our social media sites – coming very soon.
Do you know any philanthropists? They will be the key to arts funding if the Conservatives form the next government. Jeremy Hunt, shadow culture secretary presented his party’s arts manifesto this week. The plans are well summarised by Charlotte Higgins’s interview of Hunt in the Guardian but there is little that we have not already heard. There will be cuts, yes, but they would be worse under Labour, claims Hunt. It is interesting, though, to see the philanthropy deal spelt out in more detail: there will be more from the Lottery (philanthropy from the poor) and reform of gift-aid so that support for the arts during a lifetime can stand in lieu of inheritance tax (the philanthropy of the rich). In other words, their donations will not only ensure philanthropists a good seat at the opera, it will reduce their tax bills. Maybe the rest of us could similarly offset our cinema and theatre tickets against our income tax. That would be fair but I’m not sure the Treasury would save money with these fiddles.
Philanthropy has always appealed to the Tories and no doubt some of their supporters yearn for the days when the sick and the righteous needy could be similarly despatched to the mercies of work houses funded by benefactors. But for all Hunt’s no-doubt-sincere belief that the Americans do such things better, philanthropic giving in the States is – of course – down over the past year for the obvious reasons that the investment revenues of the rich are down.
What I fear is missing from the debate about arts funding, from Hunt and from Labour, is a broader recognition of what the arts means to the economy as a whole. All parties talk as if the point of supporting a creative culture in Britain is to give ourselves a nice treat after the really important business of the day. This is dangerously wrong. Britain is heavily dependent upon its creative industries. They make up the fastest growing sector of the economy (averaging 5 per cent a year in the decade after Labour came to power – twice the rate of the rest of the economy). The National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts argues that Britain’s creative sector has a direct impact on innovation throughout the economy. In other words, Lord Mandelson won’t succeed with his dream of a digital, carbon-free Britain if we don’t first encourage the creative industries. We won’t maintain vitally important tourism into Britain if we don’t support drama big and small, exhibitions of the masters and subsidised artists’ studios, Daniel Barenboim sold out months in advance and a bit of help for the amateur brass band.
“Arts make us a more civilised, emotionally literate, self-aware. If I was going to wax lyrical – I would talk about how they make people better able to cope with the recession. Arts are fundamentally important,” say Hunt. Yes, yes. But Jeremy, they also make us rich!
Greetings from the glorious Southbank Hut with much good news to share which will warm the coldest of these February days.
We were absolutely delighted to get the go ahead for more than 200 new arts jobs across London & Essex. Working in partnership with a range of arts and cultural organisations including the British Library, Young Vic, Lyric Hammersmith, Notting Hill Mas Bands Association and the Royal Court Theatre, NDotM successfully bid for funding through the government’s Future Jobs Fund.
So, 167 people will be recruited through local Job Centres for the placements in London and a further 56 jobs have been created in association with Essex-based Theatre Resource which is one of the biggest disabled-led arts organisations in the UK.
This means that along with other placements we’ve already announced, NDotM has helped identify and secure funding for over 300 jobs in the arts & creative sectors since its launch last March. That’s more jobs than days NDotM has been in existence which is pretty amazing as Martin Bright, our founder and Chief Executive said, “What a brilliant start to 2010. It means 200 young people will be starting work in theatres, libraries, design studios and arts organisations who would otherwise have been stuck on the dole, their creative potential wasted.”
We can’t help wonder whether the Tories will commit to a reintroduction of the EAS while Labour dithers. Meanwhile uber trendy fashion label, Superdry is hot news on the business pages and a very real example of how the EAS helped Julian Dunkerton turn a market stall into a multi million pound, international brand. There are many others who’ve forged successful careers in the creative industries thanks to the Enterprise Allowance Scheme and we get an inkling that this is something all the main political parties are actively considering which chimes perfectly with initial findings from a major research project we’ve been working on for the Arts Council…
NDotM hosted our first, of what we hope will be many, Think Tank Clash. Based on the model of a sound-system clash, the leading minds of the UK’s think thanks competed to impress the audience with the power of their ideas. Rory Bremner very kindly mc’ed the event where eight think tanks from across the political spectrum went head-to-head to debate the key political issues.