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27th June, 2017

King’s College launches new report on cultural diplomacy


King’s launched the final report of its fourth Cultural Enquiry, Towards cultural democracy: promoting cultural capabilities for everyone. The report investigates the UK’s cultural ecology, highlighting the importance of ‘everyday’ creativity, and calls for a more inclusive approach to building the networks and partnerships that enable creativity in the UK.

Towards cultural democracy: promoting cultural capabilities for everyone is the final report of King’s fourth Cultural Enquiry. It is the result of a 15-month research project commissioned by King’s as part of the Get Creative campaign*. It shows that while connections exist across the boundaries of the publicly funded arts, the creative industries and everyday creativity, many more opportunities for creative practice and production would be supported if pathways across these boundaries were deliberately developed further.

In summary, the report:

  • Highlights the interdependence of the publicly funded arts, creative industries and everyday creativity – and calls for the latter to be taken seriously as a vital part of the UK’s cultural and creative ecology.
  • Argues that at a time of sustained economic pressures, when the arts and creative industries need to expand their audiences and rethink their business models, deliberately developing partnerships with the millions of UK citizens actively involved in ‘everyday creativity’ has huge potential benefit to creative organisations and businesses of many kinds.
  • Draws attention to the many forms of everyday creativity already taking place around the UK; but shows that through new models of partnership working and information-sharing, much more could be done to enable cultural opportunity – including opportunities for everyday creativity – for all.
  • Highlights how a better understanding of what people need to be culturally creative – including how local and regional cultural ecologies operate – would enable a more effective  approach to supporting cultural opportunity for all.
  • Calls for a radical re-focusing of UK cultural policy and its aims, moving beyond the current focus on access, outreach and participation, and instead establishing ‘cultural capability’ – the real freedom to make choices about one’s cultural life, including everyday choices not only to be an audience member, but also to make culture – as the key ambition.


Download the full report and a summary of the research findings.

The Cultural Enquiry programme at King’s provides the cultural sector, and wider society, with access to academic expertise and a neutral space in which to come together to discuss and address shared questions and common concerns.

*The report draws on 15 months of research with the Get Creative Research Project, and builds on the work of the Warwick Commission on the future of Cultural Value and on the AHRC Cultural Value Project. The BBC-led Get Creative campaign began in February 2015 as a celebration of creativity that happens every day across the UK, and was a response, in part, to the findings of the Warwick Commission. 

Towards cultural democracy: promoting cultural capabilities for everyone was commissioned by the Cultural Institute at King’s.

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