This part of East Street Arts’ project, Radical Structures, aims to explore this question, one that (of course) has been asked and answered in myriad ways before.
We engaged with artists, arts workers, audiences and others with a stake in the cultural sector in 2021 – a time of great transition and intensity for us all – to highlight lessons from counter-cultures, anti-capitalist strategies and movements past and present that might benefit the sector today.
We started with a few assumptions:
- Society and culture change constantly.
- Imagination is liberating. Let’s focus on what we need rather than what we believe the powerful will give us.
- The needs of arts workers intersect a great deal with the needs of workers in other sectors
- Artists aren’t the unicorns of the human race, but are the segment of the labour force I’m focusing on in this project.
- Since we all have a stake in culture, I’m interested in the perspectives of artists as well as other workers.
- We can generate brand new ways of helping artists thrive
- Many good solutions have already been created – we still have plenty to learn from those who came before us.
Have a look at some of our findings in this experiment in research, conversation and imagination.