The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
A couple of weeks back NDotM travelled to a cold but sunny Brighton to work on the national Future Jobs Fund (FJF) bid we are currently putting together. The aim of the trip was to establish relationships with partners who will help us deliver FJF placements in order to build on our success this year in putting unemployed young adults into meaningful work placements at the Southbank Centre, NewVic, Stratford Circus and East London Dance. We met with representatives from Brighton and Hove City Council and heads of local arts institutions in the Basement. The Basement is a local arts institution that specialises in innovative and experimental performance and has a track record of providing a structured programme of project and career development for early-career artists working in performance.
The lively meeting raised a number of issues, one of which being the lack of communication and linkage between local arts institutions and central or even local government. This ‘information gap’ between the two worlds so often means that fantastic local arts institutions miss out on funding opportunities or the chance to link into local government programmes that could bring a number of benefits to these organisations. It also means that government institutions commonly misunderstand the arts and the benefits that they can bring in terms of encouraging innovative ideas, binding communities, increasing well-being, and the economic spill-over effects that follow on from this.
New Deal of the Mind’s role is akin to that of a translator, by encouraging a dialogue between otherwise disconnected elements of society: the creative sector, regional Arts Councils Offices, central and local government. This translation exercise is essential to bring about productive and positive collaboration between all parties. The process educates government about the arts and also empowers arts institutions by locking them into policies and events outside the creative sector. In this crucial sense NDotM bridges the information gap between the arts and the wider economy by acting as a translator that brings together these different sectors.
We hope to continue this work in the New Year as we continue working on the national FJF bid, using our work in Brighton as a model for how to proceed in other major cities across the country and identifying local arts centres to co-ordinate these meetings and provide employment support for young, unemployed and aspiring artists.