Those of us at the RSA State of the Arts Conference last week heard the Shadow Culture Minister committ to technology as the way of engaging more people in the arts:
“But I also hope that if the government steps back and says we’re going to have fewer targets, you as arts organisations will continue to really focus on broadening engagement because if you believe in arts you believe, and I know everyone here is passionate about the arts, then you think that that should be available to everyone but there are just too many children in this country that don’t have the exposure to arts at school that all of us had. And I think that’s something that we really need to think about. But I think the new way to improve engagement is not by targets, saying you’ve got to get so many of this group of people and so many of that group of people coming to your events, it’s actually by technology and I would, you know, point out a really good example of that as Tony Hall’s experiment at the Royal Opera House which is broadcasting opera to nearly 80 digital cinemas worldwide. We’ve had an opera broadcast digitally in my own constituency in Farnham, Gavin Stride from the Maltings sitting in the second row, but I think that’s what we need to think about when we’re talking about engagement.”
The speeches from Ben Bradshaw and Jeremy Hunt are available here.