Common Practice

Research Papers

Practicing Solidarity

Common Practice launches its third research paper Practicing Solidarity, written by London-based artist and researcher Carla Cruz.

The paper builds on the conference Public Assets, which Common Practice organised with Andrea Phillips in February 2015. It expands on notions of meritocracy and solidarity that have been examined by Phillips and members of Common Practice and their associates in recent public discussions. The paper reviews the increasingly competitive nature of the arts sector, and questions the consequences of opting out. Finally it highlights the emergence of cooperation and solidarity as strategies to overcome the competitiveness, individualisation and the precarity of those who work in the arts. Download a copy of Practicing Solidarity

Common Practice is pleased to announce the publication of its second report, Value, Measure, Sustainability: Ideas Towards the Future of the Small-Scale Visual Arts Sector, which builds on its acclaimed 2011 report Size Matters to offer new ways of evaluation and measurement in the art world.

Written by Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt, the report was generated by a day-long symposium and open meeting with different representatives of the small-scale arts organisations in the UK. The report puts forward new possibilities for assessing benefits and attracting funding in a changing art landscape. Comparing evaluations of merit in the art world with those in different sectors notably that of development and psychology it considers different ways of measuring the artistic contributions of small organisations beyond footfall and econometric indices, the current preferred methods of public funding bodies, and attempts to outline how cultural value has been conceived. In more practical terms it also discusses how organisations might deal with the decreasing levels of public subsidy and worsening economic conditions of the UK, and looks at how they might develop funding from private sources and new partnership schemes.

Download a copy of Value, Measure, Sustainability: Ideas Towards the Future of the Small-Scale Visual Arts Sector

Size Matters: Notes towards a Better Understanding of the Value, Operation and Potential of Small Visual Arts Organisations by Sarah Thelwall, commissioned by Common Practice, London with support from Arts Council England.

This paper seeks to articulate the value of the small-scale visual arts sector within the wider arts ecology. The paper explores the significance potential small-scale organisations have in the present cultural landscape and economy, also detailing the operational and investment challenges they face in realising this. Finally, it advocates a reconsideration of present assessment and investment practices.

Size Matters was published in July 2011 and will be presented in a variety of forums to stimulate discussion around its core questions whose urgency has increased in recent months.

For more information and queries regarding the paper please contact the Common Practice members via our email < info AT >

Download a copy of – Size Matters

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