Mayor’s foreword 5Executive summary 7Introduction 17 1 Maintaining London’s position 33as a world city for culture




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Key themesDespite the current economic climate, London’s cultural sector appears to be holding up remarkably well. Commercial theatre box ofce takings are at their highest for 25 years, and visits to museums and galleries reached a record level in the summer of 2009. However, it is clear that corporate sponsorship and public funding are under pressure and substantial decline in these areas could unravel a complex and fragile funding system. To an unusual extent, the subsidised sector and commercial creative industries in London are interdependent. Professionals trained in subsidised theatre and music regularly nd work in the commercial lm industry; plays and musicals developed ‘off West End’ often go on to turn a major prot in a commercial theatre. Conversely, commercial sponsorship and private donations ensure London’s cultural sector can continually grow and innovate. The Mayor can play a crucial role, together with the main funding agencies, such as Arts Council England, English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, in advocating the need for continued investment across the different parts of the cultural sector, to maintain the strong infrastructure that exists in terms of buildings, cultural production and quality of workforce. The Mayor has also committed to investing in cultural and creative projects that deliver lasting economic value for London. These include major capital projects, such as the extension of Tate Modern in Southwark, the development of the Black Cultural Archives centre in Brixton, the restoration of the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which have also attracted signicant private funding. In addition, the Mayor supports a range of activities to sustain the growth of the commercial creative sector, such as high prole showcase events like London Fashion Week. The GLA is also working closely with a number of organisations on workforce development in the creative and cultural sectors; in particular, ensuring it attracts from the widest pool of talent and offers internships and apprenticeships. In the light of the current economic climate, there is a greater focus than in the previous strategy on ways to improve efciency in the cultural sector. Although cultural organisations have become more lean and entrepreneurial in the last two decades, it is clear that the economic crises is motivating those working in the cultural sector to nd even more ways to work together and reduce duplication. The GLA is involved with a number of initiatives, such as the London Cultural Improvement Programme, which are addressing the efciency of local cultural services, such as libraries, museums and archives. The GLA can begin to play a more useful role to help coordinate intelligence and evidence about the sector, communicating to the public and the sector about the effectiveness of initiatives and programmes. London’s cultural sector is also remarkably complex, and there is a confusing myriad of funding schemes, initiatives and government agencies, leading to waste and inefciency. A more coherent strategic overview will help to address this. Whilst pressure on budgets is a major preoccupation for most cultural organisations, it is also heartening that many refuse to stand still. The digital and technological revolution is beginning to make itself felt in cultural institutions, as organisations experiment with new forms of artistic practice, online content, different business models, and address environmental challenges. The role of the GLA and funding agencies like Arts Council England will be important as organisations look for advice and guidance on how to benet from these changes. We are actively working across the sector to create useful, practical guidance in these areas. The strategy recognises the signicance of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and what it will mean for cultural organisations and the public. The GLA and London agencies are working with national partners to deliver an outstanding Cultural Olympiad alongside the sport, using this worldwide event to galvanise a generation of people around culture and creating unforgettable experiences for the UK. London won its bid partly because of its passionate commitment to the cultural programme, and the promise to make a meaningful and long-lasting transformation in East London. Working together with LOCOG, the ODA and the Cultural Olympiad Board, the Mayor is keen to ensure that culture plays a part both in a successful Games and a permanent legacy.In the run up to 2012, we have a chance to celebrate London’s diversity and internationalism. The city regularly welcomes artists from across the globe, and new communities are establishing identities and connections here all the time. The Mayor feels strongly that London’s internationalism must be allowed to flourish without unnecessary hindrance, and would welcome a government review of the impact of the new visa points-based system on the cultural sector. Likewise, he wants to ensure that bureaucracy at a local level does not hinder the interaction between communities. It is widely recognised that the growth of licensing arrangements, health and safety and a generally cautious culture can dampen enthusiasm to organise informal street celebrations and events, or discourage volunteering. For this reason, we are working with boroughs to address these concerns and encourage volunteering, particularly in time for the 2012 Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee – a signicant national celebration, not least as it is only the second in British history.One of the most important challenges for the cultural sector is to engage with new audiences and artists across the city. Much can be done to improve access to culture across the capital, and in particular, to work better with organisations in outer London. The Mayor is committed to supporting pan-London events beyond the centre such as Big Dance and we are exploring with London Councils the possibility of a Londoners’ Card, which will feature a number of strands including culture and enable a wider audience, particularly young people and other social groups, to enjoy the city’s offer. Transport remains a key issue for the cultural sector throughout London, and the GLA is working actively with Transport for London to ensure its views are heard. One of the most important commitments the Mayor has made since the election is to support young people, including giving them better access to high quality cultural and educational experiences. We are working with public and voluntary organisations to strengthen the city’s music education provision, and also to support supplementary education. Whilst educational outreach has grown considerably in the last decade, the lack of a strategic framework makes it difcult to assess the level and quality of provision. Also, whilst there are many activities available to young people, we want to ensure high quality support is accessible and affordable to people from all backgrounds. Crucially, we should be willing to challenge young people and give them the best, rather than patronise by underestimating their abilities or interests. A more strategic, partnership approach will mean more can be achieved in the long-term. I would like to conclude by thanking the members of the London Cultural Strategy Group for its advice and assistance in developing this revised strategy, and particularly the Chair, Iwona Blazwick, who has been extremely helpful and supportive throughout this entire process. I would also like to thank the many hundreds of individuals working in the cultural sector, or interested in its role in London, for giving us their time, thoughts and advice. Munira Mirza, Mayor’s Advisor on Arts and CultureThe scope of the strategyLondon’s cultural sector is enormously far ranging, covering national museums and world-famous heritage sites, a large commercial creative sector, voluntary arts organisations, radio and television broadcasters, the Cultural Olympiad programme, thousands of events and festivals and much more besides. No single strategy can ever hope to describe all of these in sufcient detail and for this reason, the document is not structured on the basis of art form or sector, but rather thematically, identifying and addressing the major cross-cutting themes of relevance to the sector as a whole, and which the Mayor can usefully have a role in shaping. As such, the document is structured as follows:Section One: Outlines the size and main features of London’s cultural sector, and highlights some of the most pressing issues it currently faces, particularly in the current economic conditionsSection Two: Describes the spread of provision across London, the major barriers to participation, and ways to increase access to culture for more Londoners Section Three: Education and skills, and ensuring that there is high-quality and relevant provision for children and young people, but also for students, new entrants to the sector and established professionalsSection Four: How London’s physical environment, heritage and public realm can be better understood and protected, and provide a setting in which creativity can flourishSection Five: The London 2012 Games and how the cultural sector can contribute to the Cultural Olympiad programme, and the legacy for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the wider citySection Six: How the strategy will be implemented and delivered through partnerships and initiatives The role of the Cultural Strategy, the GLA and the London Cultural Strategy GroupThe Cultural Strategy is the principal means by which the Mayor sets out his vision, objectives and work programme for culture in London. It is a statutory strategy within the Greater London Authority Act 1999, as amended by the GLA Act (2007). These acts set out the general responsibilities of the Mayor and the GLA with regards to culture, and under their terms, the Mayor is required to review and revise all of the statutory strategies in order to ensure they are relevant and best meet the needs of Londoners.Since the election of the Mayor in 2008, the GLA has already begun to develop a tangible work programme for supporting culture. This strategy therefore outlines the vision and overarching themes of the Mayoral administration, but also describes a number of initiatives, studies and projects that are already in progress. Although the GLA has strategic responsibility for culture, no single agency for culture exists in London, and nor is the GLA a major direct funder of culture. The role of the GLA and the Mayor, therefore, is more to work in partnership in order to set priorities, provide leadership, encourage innovation, pilot projects and deliver long-term improvements. Through such influence and advocacy, the Mayor is able to effect change and coordinate effective investment for the sector.In line with the GLA Act, the Mayor has established an advisory group in order to inform and oversee the development of the strategy. This group, the London Cultural Strategy Group (LCSG), is comprised of up to 25 individuals drawn from key agencies and institutions in the sector. Chaired by Iwona Blazwick, the Director of Whitechapel Art Gallery, the LCSG meets quarterly and acts as the main body bringing together representatives from the sector to shape the strategy and also to keep it under review.Why revise the Mayor’s Cultural Strategy?The previous Cultural Strategy, London Cultural Capital: Realising the Potential of a World-class City, was published in 2004. This was an important piece of work that, for the rst time, outlined a vision and objectives for supporting culture in London, and provided considerable baseline data on the size and characteristics of the sector. As a result of this, along with sustained investment by public and private bodies, the sector has enjoyed a new and higher prole amongst policy makers. Much progress has been made, particularly in terms of initiating a programme of major events that have helped to animate public life in London.A lot has changed since 2004; the election of a new Mayor with his own ideas and priorities for the sector, particularly around education, working with young people and improving the quality and consistency of cultural provision across the city; the success of London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; an entirely different, and challenging, economic and funding context; and a new national government, elected in 2010, that is bringing signicant changes to the policy landscape for culture, economic development and much else. Many such changes are, of course, ongoing and as a consequence it is likely that much of the policy developed in the strategy will need to be revised and updated in due course, as circumstances dictate. The process for revising the strategy The work on revising The Mayor’s Cultural Strategy formally started at the end of 2008, with the inaugural meeting of the London Cultural Strategy Group and the publication of a Direction of Travel document. Since then, members of the LCSG working alongside GLA ofcers, have undertaken a wide range of activities in order to develop a closer understanding of London’s cultural sector, and working up potential actions that the GLA, working with LCSG members and a range of partnering agencies, can look to champion and implement through the strategy. These activities have included the following:A series of working groups, or else one-off ‘round table’ events, usually chaired by a LCSG member. These have been sessions intended to explore particular issues in more detail, to take evidence from a wide range of stakeholders and develop ideas and recommendations that can then be taken back to the LCSG as a whole. Sessions have covered a range of topics including: pathways for young talent; the heritage sector; artists’ studio space; internships and bursaries; arts and culture in the outer London boroughs. A process of public consultation. Formal submissions on both the Direction of Travel document and the draft Cultural Strategy led to more than 100 documented responses being received by the GLA, providing commentary and discussion on the points and priorities outlined. In many cases, those who submitted a response were contacted for an individual interview, in order to more fully discuss the issues raised. The GLA has also hosted, in partnership with other agencies, conferences and events in which sector representatives have been invited to discuss a broad range of issues of shared interest. These have included a GLA/London Councils event for all of London’s local authority leisure or arts ofcers and elected members with a responsibility for culture, and a music education conference for all of London’s music services agencies. Quantitative research: it was recognised that the strategy needs to be under-pinned by up-to-date and robust data and intelligence. To this end, GLA Economics analysed ofcial national data to calculate the size and main features of London’s creative sector, the results of which were published in London’s Creative Workforce: 2010 Update in February 201­0. The GLA Consultation Team also commissioned a telephone survey on attitudes to culture across London. As well as the above, the Mayor’s Advisor for Arts and Culture and GLA ofcers have undertaken a large number of individual meetings, seminars, site visits, workshops and other activities in which stakeholders have been given the opportunity to discuss the Cultural Strategy, and highlight priorities, opportunities and frustrations. Taken together, ahead of the formal consultation, all of this represents a thorough and far-ranging exercise in reaching out to the sector, in which as many views and insights as possible have been sought.
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