(Photo by revdode)
This post follows on from my previous one about how well the Arts Council have encouraged the use of technology and digital media. It might help to read that first to see where I’m coming from, but it’s not essential.
Investment in physical infrastructure
This week the Arts Council announced the 26 organisations that have been successful in the first stage of their application to its capital funding programme (the news caused a bit of a stir). Here’s some blurb about the capital fund:
Our £214.6 million capital investment programme will support organisations to develop resilience by giving them the right buildings and equipment to deliver their work, and to become more sustainable and resilient businesses.
The Arts Council’s announcement says that in this first round:
The majority of the 26 projects focus on the refurbishment or extension of existing arts buildings, and range from the replacement of critical equipment to large scale renovations and improvements
Investment in digital infrastructure
An organisation’s digital infrastructure is now becoming as important as its bricks and mortar infrastructure.
That’s not just empty hyperbole – take away the ability of an organisation (especially one that’s not venue based) to market itself and sell tickets online and watch their costs soar and their reach, effectiveness, range of opportunities plummet.
So If we’re investing in one, we should invest in the other. I’d like to see the Arts Council supporting the refurbishment, extension, renovation and improvement of websites, mobile apps, database and CRM systems, box office infrastructure and so on.
I’d love to see the capital fund’s description being tweaked slightly for a Digital Capital fund:
Our digital investment programme will support organisations to develop resilience by giving them the right technological and digital infrastructure to deliver their work, and to become more sustainable and resilient businesses.
I figure the money might go further too. £214.6 million over three years to sort out the 696 organisations in the National Portfolio would give everyone £100,000 to use. Not that I’m saying that’s how much money should be spent or that it should go to that group – that’s just an example. Still, imagine.