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The new art of finance: making money work harder for the arts

This paper shows how a portion of arts funding could be reinvented, making use of new methods that would bring in additional finance into the arts, as well as having other benefits such as making arts organisations better connected to their audiences.

This paper shows how a portion of arts funding could be reinvented, making use of new methods that would bring in additional finance into the arts, as well as having other benefits such as making arts organisations better connected to their audiences.

Although the arts are increasingly interwoven with our economy, the ways in which they are funded in the UK have remained strikingly simple over the years.

For instance, the best available estimates show that in 2012–13 the income received by the main organisations Arts Council England (ACE) funds consisted roughly of 40 per cent subsidy, 50 per cent earned income and 10 per cent contributions, including philanthropy. These figures are not greatly different from those from 2008–9 at the outset of the recession.

Overall, earned income has increased by only a few percentage points. The ways in which arts organisations receive money no longer look adequate or sufficiently sustainable.

Compelling arguments have been made to maintain levels of public funding for the arts. But this has sometimes been at the expense of exploring new ways of making public money work harder, or indeed helping arts organisations to explore completely new sources of funding.

This report asks what can be done to increase innovation in funding for the arts and what role public funders might play in encouraging this.

Author

Nesta

Authors

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Centre Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC); and Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics, Nesta

Hasan oversees Nesta's creative economy policy, research and practical work.

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