The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
Our founder, Martin Bright, wrote in Sunday’s Observer about how New Deal of the Mind is trying to ease fears of another lost generation. In the article, Martin describes how we should harness the potential of Britain’s creative industries (film, music and the performing arts, as well as new forms of innovation such as software design and social media). This should take its lead from the cultural projects of Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, which put thousands back to work on artistic and literary projects. Although some of the works produced were mediocre, among the alumni of the scheme were painters Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, and writers Saul Bellow, John Cheever and Ralph Ellison.
New Deal of the Mind is now just over a year old and some of Martin’s ideas and now in practice. New Deal of the Mind has created jobs for just under 700 unemployed young adults in cultural institutions around the country. We’re also diversifying the demographic of people who are able to work in the arts. By recruiting from the long-term unemployed we are tackling its domination by privileged people who can afford to work on free internships. Generations of well-meaning arts quangocrats have attempted to crack this so-called “Samantha syndrome”. Our recruitment days have enabled organisations to interview people who would have previously never dared think they could work in these institutions.