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In classes we often talk about the importance of a proper ending of a project. In reality this rarely happens. The project is reported back to funders, papers filled in, employment ends, and the project results, people and process just disappear in to the daily work and next steps.
To address this unsatisfactory way of working we last year put an effort into creating a project model, specific for Nätverkstan and our projects. It’s quite simple. Just a lot of questions and things to think of when you start as a project team. Who is responsible for what? Deadlines? Expectations? Decision-making processes? Small and large things to go through to elucidate the project for the full project team.
And of course, the ending. How do you end the project?
Yesterday we ended and celebrated the project Cultural entrepreneurship workshop (Knep) which two years has now come to an end. We still have the final report to write. Despite this, we invited the people around the project, both the project team and the consultants, to a pack-it-together-dinner where we over wonderful food shared goodies and difficulties during the project period, what we learned, what we thought, next step.
From now on this is how we will end all projects. A salute to pack-it-together-dinners!
When the Swedish Council for Cultural and Creative Industries formed in 2010 we were many that hoped this would mean a thorough and serious review of Sweden’s position and standing-points in the cultural and creative industries.
So far the regions had been the main motors in the discussion of CCI, this gave an opportunity for the state, the Department of Enterprise and Department of Culture, to form strategies and activities for CCI grasping everything from the single artist running her own one-woman-business as a platform for her artistic work to the larger businesses within areas such as music, film, and design.
Being one of the members of the Council, I wanted to see a more content-based discussion on CCI and in this include the artists and their specific situation.
At Nätverkstan we have written two reports on the this topic: Den ofrivillige företagaren (The reluctant entrepreneur, 2002) and Örnarna och myrstacken. Vad vet vi om kulturnäringarna? (Eagles and the ant-hill. What do we know of the cultural industries?, 2010), the last report on commission from Region Västra Götaland. Both these two had the ambition to put a perspective on CCI which include the whole complexity of the cultural field and which takes its standing point in the artistic production.
On February 5 the Council presented the report and a film clip from two years work. Disappointments were many, and perhaps most frankly declared by the Association of Swedish Illustrators and Graphic Designers where they simply state in an article ”No thanks to counsels from the Council!”.
Although the role of the Council was vague and was never meant to be other than a council, a discussion partner to the political structure, expectations were much higher than what came out.
Now the state shows minor interest for these questions and the main drivers of these industries in Sweden are still the regions. This means – as it looks at the moment – that the regions will act very differently around the CCI and depending on where you live in the country it can be a large public authority interest and thereby also possibilities for artists and cultural entrepreneurs, or it can be quite quiet. It will be continuously difficult to compare and evaluate incentives and policy work within CCI between the regions.
The gap that this creates leaves room for anyone to define CCI as they please and without a state policy framework the potential these industries hold will be lost. Sweden will continue to lagg behind in the European discussion in this area.
Read also Nätverkstan’s report written on commission of the Region Västra Götaland on CCI ”Örnarna och myrstacken”,(Swedish) here: ornarna_110925.
Nätverkstan is publishing translated (into Swedish) essays from two cultural economists shortly: A book with two essays by Italian Cultural Economist Pier Luigi Sacco together with an interview of his story, and a book with two essays by Cultural Researcher Giep Hagoort from Netherlands and an interview. Published in end of February.
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