And you have been a constant supporter over many years Anamaria - for which thank you so much. Your and others' enthusiasm for ArtsProfessional has kept us going through sometimes difficult times, and made it all feel worthwhile. We're passing it on confident that it is in a safe place to continue and further develop the work we started.
We're so pleased that it has been useful beyond the UK, and that you have found it valuable in your work. We're happy and confident that this will continue into the future. Thanks for your acknowledgment - very much appreciated.
That's very kind of you Anthony. We've always been so lucky to have a brilliant team working with us, who have been equally dedicated to making ArtsProfessional the best it can be. They will be continuing to do more - and better - under a new organisation with fresh ideas and strong skills in areas that we have always struggled with. It's an exciting and positive point for us to move on and let others lead. Thanks so much to you and all our readers for your support over the years.
Thank you so much for your warm wishes - very much appreciated. It's sad leaving, but comforting to know that ArtsProfessional has a safe home and a great team to carry on what we started all those years ago.
In fact it's thanks to our amazing volunteers, Robert Sanderson and Margaret Levin, who have been helping AP keep the show on the road while all our staff are on furlough. We are hugely grateful to them - more than words can say.
You’ve raised a very good point, which is a significant issue in the whole EBacc debate. In fact there are three reasons why I am swayed to view design & technology as an ‘arts’ subject.
Firstly, I think it is important to constantly reinforce the role of the arts within the broader creative industries, and whilst ‘design and technology’ is at the interface with ‘industry’, it is nonetheless a part of the continuum of creative activity. To separate it implies that the arts are somehow ‘fluffier’ than other creative disciplines – a contributor to ‘leisure and pleasure’ rather than ‘work and industry’. It’s a distinction that the government seems keen to pursue, having effectively ‘downgraded’ the arts (https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/news/arts-and-culture-downgraded-ministerial-restructure) by placing the sector in the portfolio of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, separating it from the Creative Industries, which remain in the portfolio of the Minister of State. The significance of this was thrown into stark relief when the Sector Deal for the creative industries left the arts out in the cold (https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/news/arts-side-lined-sector-deal-creative-industries)
Secondly, I believe definitions of the arts can introduce unhelpful hierarchies. For example, opera and musical theatre, classical and popular music, digital art and graphic design, maybe? Or perhaps the most interesting example in this context would be art and craft. Exam board AQA describes its design & technology GCSE as giving students the opportunity to “use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems”. I would argue that a student who applies their creativity to a real world problem should be categorised in the same way as, say, a sculptor or craftsperson producing a different form of creative output.
Finally, I am unswayed by the DfE’s own classification of the arts, as in my experience government classifications are created to serve their own political ends. If the arts sector fails to embrace design & technology, then it is cut adrift with no classification at all. Despite ‘food technology’ and ‘electronics’ being routes within D&T, Government has already excluded it from classification as a ‘science’, which would have meant its inclusion in the EBacc. Excluding design & technology from the EBacc is also inconsistent with the decision to include computing by classifying it as a ‘science’, though arguably it has much more to do with maths (data, algorithms and boolean logic, for example) and languages (coding). If the ‘technology’ bit isn’t sufficient for D&T to be classified as a science, then presumably the ‘design’ bit means it must be an arts subject!