We started with some basic business planning, how to write one, coming up with you vision, mission and values etc. I've put a pin in that one as these are things I've been working on for the last 2 years and haven't made much progress with. How do we come up with a vision for the company that sums up both our for profit and not for profit work? To be explored in weeks to come...
I'm most excited today to write about our session with the lovely Pamela Johnson from Cause4 who came to talk to us about fundraising and philanthropy in the arts. Most of this was done from a UK perspective and while MGen isn't (at this moment) looking for public funding, it was incredibly interesting to hear about funding and it's effect on UK arts culture.
Arts Council England (http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/) seems to be focussing on the following major themes when dispersing funding, as we can see in their goals.
- diversity in the arts which comes down to accessibility
- education and young people
The latter is very interesting to us at MGen. Arts subjects in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) have been recently marginalised, not only making them difficult for students to pursue on a more serious level, but also undermining the important of arts education in schools on a cultural level - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39154242
Upon hearing this I was taken back to my own high school learning experience. I desperately for my final year wanted to stop taking maths and pursue to music subjects (performance and composition) as well as a drama unit. I was very fortunate in having a very supportive school that was heavily involved in the arts, and encouraged me to access the composition subject through distance education. Curriculum regulations have since tightened however, and now even more so, taking multiple arts subjects in secondary school is becoming harder and harder.
A large portion of Arts Council England's funds are going towards local music hubs that are propping up to tackle this cutting of music education in schools - http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/music-education/music-education-hubs - while I'm glad such groups and organisations exist, I hope we don't come to this in Australia (though it's definitely heading in that direction).
While I'm a huge believe that music propels us forward at every age, in regards to health and economy, self development, creating community, I have to keep reminding myself of art for arts sake. Art is a tool of expression and that in itself should really be enough. I hope I can keep this at the forefront of my mind when developing MGen and it's projects.