The second annual State of the Arts conference, organised by the RSA and Arts Council England, brought together a wide range of creative voices to debate issues around resilience, audience and the value of arts and culture. The conference took place on Thursday 10 February 2011 but content from the day is available online.

Themes from the conference include: In a time of austerity, what are the priorities now? What is our vision for the long term? What imaginative and practical approaches are needed to sustain the arts through this period? What new opportunities are there to deepen the value of the arts to individuals, to society and to the economy? Download the full programme of sessions and speakers.

State of the Arts content online

Video from all the sessions is available online.

You can also join the discussion on Twitter at #SOTA11 or on the State of the Arts blog, and follow the Arts Council on Twitter and Facebook.

Provocation Papers

Four provocation papers, examining current themes facing the arts sector, were commissioned for the conference. These can be downloaded using the links below.

Arts Funding, Austerity and the Big Society: Remaking the case for the arts
Matthew Taylor (RSA) and John Knell maintain the arts sector urgently needs to strengthen its funding case.

Collaborative Arts
Peter Aspden, Arts Correspondent for the Financial Times explores how collaboration can produce a new creative synergy.

Rethinking Cultural Philanthropy,Towards a More Sustainable Arts and Cultural Sector
Diane Ragsdale of Erasmus University, Rotterdam examines how the internet can help raise funds for arts projects, increase transparency and ensure a broader representation of community interests on the governing boards of arts institutions.

Look Out... Look In
Moukhtar Kocache of the Ford Foundation in Cairo maintains that the arts are out of kilter with an increasingly interdisciplinary and connected world.

State of the Arts Flash Conference

The State of the Arts Flash Conference was an imaginative new project designed to create brief but electrifying bursts of thinking and conversation amidst the main conference programme. Harnessing the spontaneity and collective energy of a flash mob, the flash conference brought people together to create a flood of brief but provocative and inspiring responses to a series of important questions about the state of the arts today.


The Flash Conference was conceived by Andy Field, Hannah Nicklin and Laura McDermott in partnership with Arts Council England and the RSA.