Some thoughts on monitoring, evaluating and researching culture

Introduction Last week, I participated in a round table discussion organised by the Cultural Value Scoping Project at Tate Modern. The initiative is a collaboration between the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation,  Arts Council England and King’s College London and King’s… Read More

Please don’t close the shutters

The view from 2003 Recent developments in my country, before and since the Referendum on 23 June 2016, have been very disturbing. Post-war gains that I believed were permanent, such as respect for international conventions of human rights, are now in question. In this… Read More

Making nothing happen: art and civil society in troubled times

This is the text of a talk given on 3 September 2016 in Berlin at an event to mark the fifth anniversary of the Tandem Exchange programme.  • On the morning after Britain voted to leave the EU, the novelist Philip Pullman tweeted:… Read More

English arts policy has been preoccupied recently with how to increase people’s engagement in the arts. Since most people already are engaged in the arts – walk down a train and see how many people are watching, reading or listening to something… Read More

The 2015 daCi World Congress is taking place this week in Copenhagen, bringing together over 700 young dancers for an intensive exchange and celebration of dance. The theme is ‘Twist and Twin’ and it picks up a daCi’s growing commitment helping dancers… Read More

It’s been a while since I last added anything here, partly because I’ve been meeting artists whose work is supported through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Central Asia. As ever, I came back inspired by what people do in… Read More

The last days of September in Orkney: weather fine and sunlit mirrors in Scapa Flow and Hoy Sound. The sky in flux after a day of high wind, creating fantastic cloud shapes. White horses prance on the waves and the ocean at… Read More

Music: What is it good for? In the 1970s, at a time when we were less anxious about many things than we are today, there was a vogue for adventure playgrounds in which young people could scramble about, get dirty, build dens… Read More

‘What are you going to do, then?’ I asked. ‘To smoke,’ he answered. ‘It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won’t speak to me for fifty minutes.’ Arthur Conan Doyle (1891) The term ‘cultural value’ appeared in… Read More

Text of a talk for the Greek EU Presidency conference, “Heritage First! Towards a common approach for a sustainable Europe” • ‘Two gross of broken statues’ In August this year, Europeans will mark the centenary of the start of the First World War,… Read More