Q: When is a jobs listing site not a jobs listing site?
A: When it contains so much information that the listing of vacancies represents only a part of the site’s interest.This is true of two European sites: LabforCulture and FábricaCultural
LabforCulture describes itself as: The networking platform for information on European arts and culture. Linking you across borders
Among the job vacancies currently listed here are a few:
LabforCulture serves as a platform for campaigning in favour of support for the arts, it offers a forum for young researchers and promotes a responsible debate about climate change and the place of the arts in that debate. The great thing is that membership is open, making it possible for persons from disparate backgrounds and workplaces to contact each other. LabforCulture provides updated information on festivals, conferences and events of interest around Europe. All of this is thanks to funding from numerous public and private sources, all of which are identified and acknowledged.Among the current crop of writing on the site is a piece highlighting Ludmila Petrova´s work in The changing dynamics between artistic creativity, economy and cultural policy, based on her research for her PhD at the http://www.eshcc.eur.nl in Rotterdam.
I enjoyed Ludmila Petrova's article very much as she tackles the difficult questions of public finance of the arts, how accountability in the arts needs to be approached differently from other areas of public support, and the extra challenges faced in the light of the economic problems. Hers is an extensive article in a Q&A format: I will just highlight a few points here and hope that you will go directly to the source to read on.
Ludmila Petrova is clear that lumping all artistic activity together for the sake of bean counting is not a satisfactory approach: the creative industries, which undoubtedly generate revenue for private profit and the public purse, and which New Labour used to crown Cool Britannia (squirm), need a more refined critique. Quality is an absolute pre-requisite:
“ With my research I suggest that creativity and innovation are characteristics we cannot take as granted for all art, instead they show themselves only when they yields qualitative changes within the existing art domain, succeed to transform an old one in a new one or to create a new one. “
At the same time, quality and outcomes have to be promoted and measured differently from other areas of public life and spending. The very nature of genuine artistic creativity depends on an environment of freedom and is unpredictable in its results, all of which places more hurdles on the difficult path to meeting official targets and statistical analysis.
“What plays a critical role here is the fact that on one side, policy instruments are constrained by clear objectives and norms, derived from specific institutional settings including administrative procedures. And on the other, artistic creativity is driven by values of freedom, nonconformity and authenticity.”
She has some practical suggestions for cultural organizations faced with the task of finding increased financial support:
“to rethink their marketing strategies to attract new audience and extend the old one; to reassess their price formation; to discover possibilities for additional support from donation, sponsorship and income from merchandising of products and services.”
Ludmila Petrova´s work in the CREARE Summer School in Cultural Economics with Arjo Klamer is also detailed in this article, and will be of interest to many.
You can read another perspective on arts funding in the Netherlands featuring Janneke van der Wijk, Director of the Muziek Centrum Nederland in my review of a conference which took place in Madrid on Social Inclusion.
I also have written a review of a recent European Union paper on culture
I have written before about Fabricacultural, the Spain based site.
I mention it again because it is related to the work of LabforCulture, its dual funding is also similar, and because there are so many interesting things to read there. The latest jobs vacancies bulletin includes posts not only in Europe but also in the USA, and there is an updated list of courses and workshops to browse.
Both Fabricacultural and LabforCulture offer a fascinating range of contacts, news, research and opinion pieces over and above what so many persons in Europe and around the world are interested in at the moment: job vacancies.