ACE called on to do more to communicate the value and relevance of museums - Museums Association

ACE called on to do more to communicate the value and relevance of museums

Arts council publishes sector feedback on its ten-year strategy
Patrick Steel
Arts Council England (ACE) has published a report detailing feedback from the cultural sector and the wider public on its strategy for 2020-30.

The report, titled The Next Ten Years: The Conversation, was compiled by the consultancy Britain Thinks following a series of workshops, site visits and online surveys with members of the public and the cultural sector. It will feed into the arts council’s draft strategy, which will open for consultation in the autumn.

Respondents called on the arts council to do more to communicate the value and relevance of museums, arts and libraries to both the government and the public.

The report also heard concerns that the sector does not currently reflect society in its workforce, leadership, participants and audiences.

One respondent said: “The opportunities I see are around the continued diversification of the arts – making them less elite, more community-focused, less privileged, more art for all, more participation.

“If more people from a wider range of backgrounds engage and participate then the art sector will become more relevant and more valued.”

Respondents said that the majority of ACE’s investment should be focused on participation and that it should do more work to bring the funded and non-funded sector together, linking grassroots and larger sector organisations.

Of those surveyed, four in five (79%) saw the arts as important to wider society, and nine in 10 (89%) saw museums and libraries as important, while more than 60% saw education as the key reason why museums are important to them and their families.

“This work and these insights will help us shape and prioritise a draft strategic framework that we will use as part of a consultation in October across the sector, stakeholders, public and the staff,” wrote Darren Henley, ACE’s chief executive, in his introduction to the report. “We want to create a strategy and vision for art and culture that draws upon the passions, hopes, opportunities, ambitions, concerns, knowledge and experience of our partners and the public.

“It is important that we use all the means on offer to help us listen to as many people and voices as possible, reflective of the rich diversity and intricate geographies across England.”

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