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Open Call for Evidence

Evidence submission period: 16 December 2013 to 15 October 2014
This Call for Evidence is available to download as a Word document or PDF.


The Commission brings together fifteen high profile UK artists, policy-makers, business leaders and economists. Our ambition is to generate a national conversation on the underlying issues that determine how culture is valued in this country, both now and in the future. We will explore how England should invest in and engage with its cultural life, question how we define cultural value, evaluate the role of creativity in skills, education and the economy, and investigate the emergent global trend of large-scale investment in culture from rising economic powers.

The national conversation on the future of cultural value requires a comprehensive understanding of the current challenges, opportunities and the best ways of dealing with the former whilst maximising the latter. In order to lead to a constructive debate and fresh policy thinking, such understanding needs to be based on insightful research and trustworthy evidence. The Commission is actively seeking evidence that will answer the fundamental questions we are tackling and pose many more. This evidence includes original industry research and both quantitative and qualitative data, from market reports, statistics and budgets to audience surveys, examples of personal experience and commentaries that illustrate how the worlds of the arts and culture function.

To whom is this call for evidence directed?

This call is chiefly directed towards the following groups and individuals:

• Cultural organisations operating at local, regional, national and international levels
• Creative producers
• Economists
• Policymakers
• Academics
• Educators
• Cultural professionals and administrators
• Cultural consultants
• Business professionals
• Interested members of the general public who hold relevant information

Whilst the Commission has a particular focus on the state of culture in England, we would welcome evidence from other UK nations as a point of comparison.

What will be done with my evidence?

Submitted evidence will be read and considered by the research team. Relevant data will be used to brief Commissioners before their meetings and will contribute to the Commission’s final recommendations. Every submission that adheres to our community guidelines will be published in unedited form on the Commission website. Evidence may also be used as the basis on which to invite stakeholders to submit additional evidence in written or oral consultations.

Will submissions be confidential?

Unless you request that your evidence remain confidential, submissions will be published on the Commission website and presented to the Commissioners with identifying information. If you request confidentiality, we may still draw on anonymous data and quotations, so long as anonymity can be guaranteed and only in agreement with the poster. Data will be stored in compliance with Data Protection requirements.

How do I submit evidence?

You may email your evidence to warwickcommission at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Alternatively, you can mail materials to The Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value, The University of Warwick, University House (External Affairs), Coventry, CV4 8UW. The submission period is from 16 December 2013 to 15 October 2014.

For email submissions, please send only Word or PDF files. We would be grateful if you could make clear which question(s) you are answering. If you wish to respond to multiple questions, please structure your response by question.

All submissions must include your name, the name of your organisation, a contact number and an email address. Please ensure any supplemental materials such as data and appendices also include this information. Personal contact details will not be published and will only be passed on to the Commissioners with your permission.

The Commission plans to consider the following questions, which are arranged under four broad themes:

1. Investing in culture
We are interested in evidence that allows us to build a clear and consistent map on cultural investment in England. The last attempt to build an exhaustive picture of spending for the sector dates to the early 2000s, and resulted in a volume edited by Sara Selwood, The UK Cultural Sector: profile and policy issues (2001). This is now dated, and the administrative infrastructure that supports the arts and culture in the country has changed, and the information currently available is very fragmented. Therefore, we are seeking data and research evidence on:

a. Examples of the connections and disconnections that exist between the various local, regional, nation and international levels that fund and support culture in England. In particular, we welcome case studies of successful synergies and strategic partnerships between different agencies, or indeed unsuccessful ones;

b. Examples of effective partnership between public and private funders, or indeed unsuccessful ones.

We interpret ‘investment’ in a broad sense that is not limited to financial investment, so we are interested in evidence of other kinds of non-monetary expressions of commitment, such as the investment that people make to the arts and culture through participation, as cultural producers or audiences; through volunteering, and cultural activism. Therefore, we are seeking data and research evidence on:
c. Case studies around specific forms of non-financial commitment and investment;

d. Individual and less visible forms of cultural participation (e.g. that which happens in the home, or private group and clubs and does not rely on funding or organisations to flourish).

2. Valuing culture
We are interested in engaging with the lively debate around the question of the measurement and evaluation of the value of the arts and culture. We want to understand what econometric methods are currently in use by the sector, and what other methodologies are employed to capture non-economic aspects. We are also interested to hear from the sector about how the demands of auditing and transparency placed by funders on organisations might affect the choice of the methodological tools adopted. Therefore, we are seeking data and research evidence on:

a. Case studies from organisations who have implemented evaluation methods based on the monetarisation of value (e.g. cost-benefit analysis; willingness to pay; social return on investment, etc.);

b. Case studies from organisations who are adopting alternative approaches (e.g. social accouting; wellbeing approaches);

c. Case studies from organisations who are attempting to develop new methodological approaches to the problem of the measurement and evaluation of value.

3. Education and talent
In line with our working metaphor of the ‘cultural ecosystem’, we start from the premise that financial investment, whether public or private, is only one of the ways in which the health and sustainability of England’s cultural life can be ensured. Education and the nurturing and developing of talent and creative skills are therefore central to the health and prosperity of the ecosystem, as they play a key role in the formation of the creative producers and consumers of the future, as well as in the flourishing of the creative economy. Developing models of education and skills training provisions sensitive to this is therefore key to the future of cultural value. Therefore, we are seeking data and research evidence on:

a. Arts education provision available at primary, secondary, further and higher education levels across England, and data that helps mapping discrepancies in levels of provisions in different parts of the country;

b. Creative skills training is available in England, and data that helps mapping discrepancies in levels of provisions in different parts of the country

c. Data or case studies that can help to illuminate whether there is a demonstrable link between education and participation in and consumption of the arts;

d. The accessibility of arts education and creative skills training, especially in relation to ethnicity, class, gender and geographical location;

e. The impact of new digital technologies for the production and distribution of culture on the career of creative professionals.

4. International trends
While in England public funding for the arts, and in some geographical areas, private investment also are undergoing financial contractions, other countries – within Europe and internationally – have maintained their investment levels. In the case of several developing economies, such In Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, investment in arts infrastructure has boomed. We are interested in considering what implications this has for the medium-to-long term sustainability of the English cultural ecosystem and for the place of England in an increasingly competitive global cultural economy. Therefore, we are seeking data and research evidence on:

a. How arts and cultural investment in the other countries of the UK, in order to develop a sense of how England compares to the other countries in the Union;

b. Case studies of how other countries or cities outside England have placed the arts and culture at the heart of their social and economic development strategies;

c. How the global digital distribution of culture might be impacting on the UK’s reputation as a cultural leader and exporter of content;
d. Whether global investment in cultural infrastructure is affecting patterns of migrations of arts professionals and affecting England’s ability to retain talent;

e. Case studies of how investing and supporting the arts and culture might work as a form of soft power, and both the opportunities and problems that might entail.