Our final day we used to Marseille to spend most of the day at Friche de la belle de Mai, a great location, with big cool auditoriums, as well as being a fascinating space.
After the artist studio tour, and morning tea, we settled in for the final plenary session, in English this time. Not to sound all Anglo Saxon dominant and colonial but HOORAY.
On a proposed new models for arts funding the panel consisted of perspectives broader than just European and presentations were restricted so dialogue could be had. Finally a well orchestrated round table…..well that was the theory. The reality was the introductory speakers went well over an hour and then the whole session ran 30 minutes late. You could feel the crowd tuning out 3/4 way through.
There’s been a lot of discussion on crowd funding, and Zannie Voss from SMU Dallas raised the point that crowd funding is shallow, there’s no one to one relationship with donors, which makes we wonder why no one is studying the ‘Amanda Palmer phenomenon’ because this clearly contradicts this idea that crowd funding doesn’t promote individual connection.
The Chinese perspective highlighted that government and industry focus has been on establishing creative industries, in which they have been very successful, but there is almost no support, government or otherwise for public cultural institutions. This is the new area of exploration.
We also heard from the head of fundraising from the Louvre, one of the most important people in this space globally. He spoke about how it was harder to attract business sponsorship unless there are two factors, one it links to social causes too for CSR purposes, or they want strong marketing benefit, bang for their sponsorship buck.
Little gift giving comes from individuals in France, but it is growing both from major donors and little value campaigns and crowd funding. The idea that culture as a sponsorship opportunity alone is not enough was a theme in a few places, culture needed to align with some other social cause or issue- culture plus youth for example.
A big issue, outside the U.S. where it has existed for a while, is the professionalization of fundraising as an industry and a career. Much training needs to occur in this space.
After lunch you would think would be the killer slot, the last session on the last afternoon of the conference, in a dark room on a 30 plus degree day. I’d say, however, they were three of the best presentations I’d seen over the conference. The first was a study of a creative clusters using a museum case study in Vienna engagingly presented by a double team. The second two were both American, the former examining knowledge centric organisations and whether they have better organisational performance outcomes and the latter on the relationship a state’s entrepreneurial climate and the sustainability of arts and culture organisations.
This wrapped up the content for AIMAC15, with only the awards, a final museum visit and the gala dinner to come. Or I should say the Gala dinner that wasn’t, but more on the other blog.