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Historical perspective of UK art culture policies
Four countries make up the United Kingdom each with its history and culture. These nations are; Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and the Wales. Previously in the 19thcand part of the 20th century, UK had its governing legislation including library and the museums. However, the current UK system of funding was initiated in the 1940s. During this time, there was a debate started by the international political climate of how the government needs to illustrate democracy by funding arts culture. Therefore, the Council for Encouragement of Arts and Music(CEMA) started sponsoring Arts using money from both the public and private sector with John Maynard Keynes as the chairman. Maynard’s vision was to ensure that arts, being the world’s first agency to distribute money from the politicians, evolve into Great Britain’s Council by 1946 c. However, the government had not stated clearly of its need to support Arts. Hence, he suspected that Arts would have a temporary existence after the second world war during the renovation of cultural life. From its inception in the 1940s to today, the art cultural policies have gone through several historical developments facing several challenges.
The journey to the current art culture policies started in the 1940s. During this time, it was headed by Maynard. Due to his efforts, the government increases the funds it allocated to the Council of Arts 1945 to 1955. This gave the council a chance to support and motivate the artists and the arts organization. Besides, their encouragement was seen in the frequent visits to the art exhibition. The improvement was seen in the organization of jazz, poetry, and photography that had not received support for the past 20 years (Bianchini & Parkinson, 2012). Arts Council of Northern Ireland was built in 1962 despite, Wales, England, and Scotland having their councils. The government arm that was supporting the council of arts of museums, British Library and the galleries was granted the responsibility of Treasury for the 20 years of Britain post war (Bianchini & Parkinson, 2012). Nevertheless, the department of science and education took over in 1965. It was at this time that the arts policy was supplied by the Jenny Lee, the first minister of arts. In return, the support offered by the arts council increased between 1966 and 1967 to an amount of GBP 7.2 million.
In 1961, the Standing Committee on the Galleries and Museums directed the government concerning the policy of museums. Whereby, the national government was authorized to offer support to the museums in 1963, and by 1987 it had been granted its charter (Mirza, 2103). In the 1970s, there was a lot of disbursement from the government and many people discussed on what art should receive funds. The majority of the people proposed contemporary arts while others claimed that community art was the best simply it was located in the local community (Culture, 2012). The local government started by renovating the galleries, museums, civil halls, and theaters and supporting them to run their festivals. Nonetheless, even if the local councils were granted the responsibility by the legislation 1948 to assist entertainment and arts, their authority was no mandatory (Bianchini & Parkinson, 2012). As a result, the aid was inconsistent.
In the 1960s and 70s, the organization of regional arts experienced a gradual development in the field of local arts and closure of arts council offices of Great Britain. This is because the Regional Association of Arts was joining the regions and the arts by the time. By 1980s marked off a period of ten years since the government started to fund the culture and arts in Britain. At this time the culture and arts organization was still depending on the public fund’s support but Margaret Thatcher, the one in power, changed the policy by advising that the organization look for support from the private sector (Garnham, 2011). Later on, in 1984, the Business Sponsorship Scheme of incentive was set up to offer a scholarship in the private sector.
In 1990, the Great Britain arts council was guided to form a media strategy and national art that will work together with councils of Welsh arts, the council of crafts, film institute of British, the regions and the Scottish. This was seen as the first attempt to guidance on how the arts council was to spend the funds received from the government (Jenkins, Purushotma, Weigel, Clinton, & Robison, 2012). The fulfillment of this request was done by holding 50 seminars in Britain to commission a series of papers that were published in 1992(Mossberger & Wolman, 2012). In addition, the 1990s experienced changes in the culture and arts. In 1992, there was the establishment of a systematic ministry to conduct heritage, arts, tourism, media, library and museums. In 1994, the work of the Great Britain arts council was extended to the management of the three new bodies (Macdonald, 2011). That is the Wales arts council, the England arts council and the arts council of Scottish. Each country was branded the responsibility of funding its art council.
In doing this, a lot of development was seen in return where a National Lottery was established in 1994 to fund the cultural sector. Since then, National Lottery has been able to raise more that GBP 20million to support the sport, health, heritage, education, arts, community, environment and voluntary groups (García, 2011). This helped the community to access Lottery and government to fund small community projects. For instance, the funding of the Paralympic and the Olympic games of 2012 that have made people have hope that the cultural sector is likely to divert its funds to community projects in future.
In 2000, the film council of the UK was created to develop the film industry and culture of UK. Through this new agency, the film lottery of England, the film commission of Britain and the Institute film of Britain were absorbed (Jenkins et al., 2012). In 2001, the film council of UK came up with an investment to support films of England leading to the establishment of Regional Screen Agencies. In 2002, the Regional Board of arts and the England arts council joined to form a single development agency of arts. In 2003, it is when it officially announced the change of its name to England Arts Council (Garnham, 2011). The arts council of Welsh and Scotland have recently experienced a change in the way they received support for the regional and national archives, museums, and libraries.
These recent changes include the introduction of an improved system that has enabled the prioritized government policies to be performed at the regional and local levels replacing agencies. Following this, the cultural consortia at the regional level were abolished to pave the way for an improved cultural policy, that gave priority to the culture (Shiach & Virani, 2016). Furthermore, the new government coalition was to propose for the abolition of government offices and development agencies at the regional level. However, what is very interesting about the UK culture is its extensiveness and the way they make changes frequently in the last 20 years (Cunningham, 2011). There is a lot of changes that has taken place than ever.
In 2010, the new government changed the structure of supporting culture by reducing the financial assistance. Between 2000 to 2005, the new government of England increased its support to the culture to compensate for its previous underfund (Macdonald, 2011). On the other hand, Lottery gave out more money to support culture hence changing the culture of England. Nevertheless, in the next few years, the cultural sector of England is likely to experience financial downfall since the local and national financial supporters reduced its support from 2010 (Macdonald, 2011). This combined with the changes done in the structural sector is likely to pose a negative impact on the way the government delivers its objectives, the infrastructure and the policy coherent.
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Issues in the cultural policy development of UK
One of the issues in the development of UK policy is the increased awareness of the need for the four departments to help in the achievement of government objectives. These departments include sport, culture and the media. The objectives include a commitment to cultural investment, renewal in the neighborhood and the promotion of social inclusion (Mirza, 2103). In return, the local and central government has been working together to recognize the effective delivery of services and shared aims. This has been the trend in the four countries of the UK since 1996 because they wanted to the new government of 1997 to distribute duties to the Parliament of Welsh and the culture of the Scottish culture and establish Parliament of Northern Ireland (Bianchini & Parkinson, 2012). During this time, various cultural issues were prioritized. For instance, industrial creativity, access, cultural diversity, culture, artist. Excellence and education. However, following the new government election in May 2010, a lot of problems in funding was likely to affect the pursuing of the priorities in England.
Government objectives were to be measured regarding accountability, reform, supplement publication of March 1999 and modernization. They were used as a guideline on how to spend reviews, and the governments need to focus on the priorities to deliver. For instance, in 2007, there were 30 new PSAs published by the CSR which was to be delivered between 2008 and 2011 (Macdonald, 2011). The individual government and the treasury called upon the supported organization to set targets in accordance to the needs of the Public Service Agreements (PSAs). As a result, the government now came up with their agreement on how to deliver services to the specific department and its citizens. In 2008, during the time of Comprehensive Spending Review(CSR) culture stopped being a prioritized sector (Shiach & Virani, 2016). It was only viewed as a suspect of the outcomes that were given too much priority.
The second issue in the development of UK policy was how to articulate the validity of culture by the use of methods that conquer with the government decision. This is because the government expected that culture could come up with tools that can uplift the main policies so as to have a sound decision that fits with the public policy (Shiach & Virani, 2016). As a result, a research council was developed by the Economic and Social Research Council and the DCMS to measure the validity of culture (Jenkins et al., 2012). In 2010, a report from DCMS was released by Dr. Dave which said that the economic methods proposed in the Green Book of Treasury should be given so much priority (O’Brien, 2013). After cultural validity had been measured, it was suggested that DCMS should state clearly the guidelines to be used in validity measurement basing on techniques of the economic evaluation and be in line with the Green Book. Therefore, very much importance if the DCMS can develop a strategy on how to work together with academics of the cultural economics. In doing so, it will be advantaged in the way it will be able to do research on whether the current culture data can be used for economic purposes to come up with criteria on how to analyze culture.
Launching of the Passion of Excellence was done in 2008 when DCMS was in the process of making sure that service delivery in England was done by the use of an integrated system. Consequently, there was some improvement in sports and cultural sector at the local level which was seen to be promoting the government objectives. In 2009, DCMS and Idea were given other duties to perform in partnership with the council of the library, museum, and archives (Macdonald, 2011). The same year, a passion for excellence was investigated to see how it is progressing after being in existence for one year (Shiach & Virani, 2016). Nevertheless, it can be deduced that the momentum will not be in existence for a long time. This is because of the huge amount of money that is being reduced at the local, regional and national level (Bianchini & Parkinson, 2012). In 2010, there was a committee that was selected to approve all funds that were to be dedicated to various sectors like sports, culture, and media. Nonetheless, the time was too short for the committee to do its thorough investigation. They ended up spending too much time on research till 2011 when the government had already finalized on how to allocate resources (Macdonald, 2011).
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Problems are facing policy delivery in the UK
In 2010, the Manifesto for Arts was inaugurated by the Arts National Campaign after discussions and the consultations the sector of culture. The aim of the manifesto was to seek ways in which arts sector get money from the public to sustain it (Macdonald, 2011). During the election time, it now became obvious that sector of culture cannot disappear without the effect of the new government on the issue of reducing the amount of money set aside to support it (O’Brien, 2013). Due to some delays, it reached an hour of UK entry preparation when the government was not specific on the kind of changes to be done in the policy sector. This is because government spends much of its time focusing on England (Shiach & Virani, 2016). They wanted the administration responsible for funding to reduce the amount of money. Furthermore, it wanted to withdraw some of the aid structures and claimed that it wanted to motivate the private sector to offer more assistance.
It is because of this reasons that one begins to question whether the new government will continue to embrace the cultural issues prioritized in the previous government. In return, the Arts National Campaign inaugurated a game plan strategy referred to as ‘I value the arts’ (O’Brien, 2013). They wanted to use the strategy to motivate the public interest to persuade the government on behalf of arts at the local and national level. This was done through the involvement of various organizational bodies in the arts sector like the umbrella body (Bianchini & Parkinson, 2012). The reason was to attract so many discussions for the people to realize the importance of arts especially at the local government level so that they help in settling of funding problems.
Recommendations on how the current issues can be handled
All problems can be solved regardless of the level of difficulty. The government of UK needs to recognize the need to embrace the countries culture. If the previous government used to give culture priority, then the parliament was to set a law of the need to preserve cultural sectors. When a new government came to power in 2011, it ordered reduction of public funds allocated to various sectors. This led to a big loss in the cultural sector since it relied heavily on both public and private sector.
The validity of culture can be measured using different methods with that of the government so long as it does not cross path with the government decision. Even the report conducted by Dr. Dave was very much suggestive that DCMS was to create new guidelines that were to be used for measuring the validity of culture basing on the techniques of the economic valuation that go hand in hand with the laws of the Green Book. Lastly, the DCMS can also do an investigation whether the current data cultures are in line with the values of the economy so that they know how to come up with a criterion when analyzing culture.
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