Arts Research Digest

Editor, Ian Gasse

Summer 2000, Issue 19, 60 pages. Published by Arts Research Ltd, 52 Norland Square, London, W11 4PZ, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7229 2710; Arts Research Digest, University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, Tel: 44(0) 191 227 3894.

A quarterly publication summarizing a wide variety of types of arts research, Arts Research Journal offers a structured, well-organized look into arts and cultural studies. It is published in the United Kingdom, and most of the research covered was conducted in the United Kingdom. Some work from the U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, and continental Europe also is summarized. Although reviewed in a previous issue of GIA's Newsletter, Arts Research Digest is notable in offering a reader from the United States highlights of the differences and similarities between the arts and cultural scenes in Europe and the United States.

Numerous studies grow out of an economic and job development effort in the UK to foster "creative industries" in poorer regions to counteract the loss of aspects of the industrial economy. Findings from across this research includes:

• An audit of the “creative industries” — both commercial and nonprofit — in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland reveals that about 4.3 percent of the UK workforce is engaged in the creative sector, though this figure does not include many who are self-employed. Key issues for the sector are “ overview on policy development, a lack of general strategic thinking...a shortage of detailed information, inappropriate business support structures...and retention of talent.” “Creative Industries: The Regional Dimension” is available for free from the London-based Department of Culture, Media & Sport.

• The first report from the British North West Arts Board, “A New Approach to the Generation of Small and Micro Business Growth in the North West of England,” by Hackett and Warnock examines existing structures for micro-businesses in creative fields. The authors conclude: “If they [small creative industries] realise their potential in terms of contributing to social and economic social regeneration, then new forms of support and investment must be found or developed, which do not rely solely on existing patterns of public sector subsidy or conventional commercial investment.”

This overview is just a taste of the Journal's many offerings which also includes a helpful index of contents and summary of coming conferences.

Review by Frances Phillips, Walter and Elise Haas Fund