Recently the government confirmed that they are releasing more funds for STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – as these subjects are at the core of our economy. The funding is specifically for development of the creative digital industries….but what does this mean?
We have been discussing this particularly in relation to City of Lights as we have been successful in our application to the Arts Council for a small grant fund to support digital development. But what is digital development?
We can contemplate digital in three main ways:
Production – that is, how we make it. So in a craft context that might be using laser cutters or specific design software
Output – that is, how it is enjoyed/engaged with so it could be projection or film or photography or an interactive soundscape….
Marketing – that is, anything that engages the audience e.g. online streaming, social media or blogging/vlogging
It took us some time to get to this clarity and we spent a lot of time discussing what we were actually expecting from artists who were undertaking a digital commission. We now know that we are looking for a digital output that could use digital production methodologies and will certainly engage digital marketing activity such as crowdfunding, social media activity and increased online traffic.
This is unknown territory for City of Lights and this is the case for many arts and charitable organisations. It can be a huge risk, both financially and organisationally so the funding and support from the government, in our case Arts Council England, makes all the difference in making this innovation happen, not just for charities and arts companies but for businesses of all kinds. Surely enabling businesses and organisations to take risks is a core part of getting the UK economy back up and running so let’s have more of it!
Claire Eason Bassett, Managing Director, Mackerel Sky