Arts Council opens up consultation to shape its next ten-year strategy

Main Image: A participant using a Oculus Rift virtual reality headset at Frequency Festival. Photo © Mike Downing / Threshold Studios

Arts Council England (ACE) in partnership with BritainThinks has launched an online platform where anyone can take part in discussions about its future ten-year strategy

The conversation will run for 12 weeks, and we will encourage people to contribute to debates on a range of discussion topics.

ACE’s current ten-year strategy Great Art and Culture for Everyone ends in 2020, and in autumn 2019 it will publish its new strategy, which will set out its mission, vision and objectives for the period 2020-30.

“We are now calling on the public, the arts and culture sector and our other stakeholders to help us shape it,” said Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England. “We want to hear from everyone – including those individuals who don’t participate in the art & culture that the Arts Council currently invests in – about what they think the arts and culture scene in England should look like in 2030, and what the Arts Council’s role could be in making that happen.”

ACE will be asking crucial questions about the role arts and culture can play in local communities and in our lives, for example:

  • How is the world changing and how should the Arts Council’s priorities reflect this?
  • What can ACE do to strengthen the social impact of our work?
  • How can publicly funded arts and culture become more open, accessible and diverse?
  • How can ACE respond to the challenges and opportunities of new technology?
  • What will ACE do to ensure that we develop the next generation of audiences and practitioners?
  • How can we prepare for continuing uncertainty in public funding?
  • What impact will leaving the EU have? What skills and resources do we need to best support the sector?

In addition to the online platform, BritainThinks will be running a range of workshops in different communities across the country and undertaking a public survey.

“This is a very exciting time for all of us, an opportunity for us to contribute to a visionary piece of work that will influence the direction of the arts, museums and libraries in England for many years to come,” said Henley.

ACE's ten-year strategy timeline

  • Phase 1: The conversation
    January 2018: parallel to an evidence review and the publication of a future scoping report that ACE has commissioned from NESTA, the public conversation is launched. This will allow the public body to gather a range of perspectives that will inform the next stages of the strategy development
  • Phase 2: The findings
    Ace will be sharing the findings from the Conversation later this year
  • Phase 3: Drafting the strategy
    Across the summer of 2018 a draft of the strategic framework will be prepared based on the findings so far
  • Phase 4: The consultation
    A full sector consultation on the draft framework will take place in the autumn 2018
  • Phase 5: The publication
    Finally, taking feedback from the consultation, the full strategy and framework will be published in 2019, to take effect from 2020

Find out more about the conversation on shaping ACE’s future strategy and how to get involved here.