With the recession still biting harder than a defensive pitbull, it’s the creative souls who tend to get chewed the most. Music, culture and art seem to be characterised as luxuries, rightly or wrongly, in the face of economic downturns. It’s something of a relief, then, to see that the Arts Council Wales are at least examining ways of making what money there is go to where it’s most required.
And their new Music Industry Development Fund seems, to our eyes, to be looking in many of the right places. It’s recent consultation document outlined the overall strategy as targeting the following:
“…creative workspaces for individual artists and embryonic businesses; encouraging those who produce original content to gain the maximum commercial benefit from their investment; and, working with partners to establish appropriate mechanisms for providing training and business support”
Broadly underpinning all of this, is the justified idea that the music industry has shifted somewhat since the times where record labels would take any budding artist to Claridge’s for breakfast. Focussing on the more recent creative models, where independent labels and artists are the backbone, the plans bode well for ‘Wales-based music creators with strong track records, enterprises investing in new music from Wales, those who create or commission challenging and original music, those wanting to develop innovative ways of promoting music from Wales, those looking for ways to take their music to an international audience or their enterprise to an international market, those wanting to develop their skills and knowledge to enable them to make a sustainable living from music’.
Admittedly, pretty much anyone working within the industry would classify themselves as at least one of those headings, and it’s unclear how the decision-making process for funding will actually operate. Nevertheless, a step in the right direction and one that can be improved if people respond to the consultation before 20th January 2012.