THE NEW ARTS STRATEGY

THIS DOCUMENT IS DAVID UMMELS FULL SUBMISSION TO THE ART STRATEGY WORKING GROUP AND THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, ILLUSTRATING A NEW STRATEGY FOR THE LOCAL ARTS IN GUERNSEY. IT WAS PRODUCED BY INVITATION AS PART OF AN INITIAL CONSULTATION PROCESS AND CAN BE VIEWED AS APPENDIX 3 IN THE CONTEXT OF THE FULL REPORT AT WWW.FOUNDATION.GG.

INTRODUCTION

As a prelude to this report I would like to express my gratitude to the Guernsey Community Foundation for inviting me to join the Art Strategy Working Group. I also would like to extend my thanks to all the members of the ASWG for their positive attitude, their valuable views and their contributions.

METHOD AND APPROACH

The arts, in various forms, are present in so many activities — and it is very difficult indeed to draw a line between what is supposed to be “artistic” and “non artistic”, “creative” and “non creative”. The arts and creativity in general are central to a vibrant and cultured society and a successful economy. Art defines humanity.

A successful arts strategy depends on a deep understanding of both the supply side (i.e. what is narrowly viewed as the “artistic community”) and the demand side (i.e the wider community around the arts: suppliers, providers, sponsors, end users, and key structural stakeholders who have an interest in helping).

Beginning in December 2017, after I’d written the first draft of a new strategy for the development of the arts on the island, I consulted with over 100 individuals — not only artists, but key institutional, public and private stakeholders: local people from more than 25 different sector-related professional backgrounds.

My approach surprised many but to me made perfect sense. I saw such a wide-ranging consultation exercise as the best way to inform a successful arts strategy — a journey to engage and meet people, to collect their feedback, and try to understand the strength, weaknesses and aspirations of the sector.

I continued meeting stakeholders after the ASWG consultation event at St James on 25th May. Gradually, as things became clearer in terms of what strategic directions to follow, I engaged parties with a more defined agenda in order to assess the “do-ability” of the strategy and prepare ground for its implementation.

STATE OF PLAY

I feel privileged as a member of the Guernsey community to have met a great number of fantastic, talented and inspiring individuals over the course of this project. I met people who volunteered interesting ideas and shared with me the history of what worked and didn’t work in terms of promoting and developing the arts.

What struck me is that a large number of people in the arts community are realistic about what can be achieved and why, but they have yet to work out how. This is where I feel I can help.

Guernsey has a lot going for it.

First and foremost the island is beautiful, and there is a strong sense of community. There is a lot of trust in Guernsey, and, goodwill being a manifestation of trust, people tend to be generous with their time, resources and energy, especially when it comes to good causes. That is Guernsey’s most valuable asset.

The island has also a rich artistic and cultural heritage, and more could be done to celebrate it.

On the business side, there is a strong base of corporate and institutions in Guernsey who are naturally inclined support the arts — but they want to see purpose, impact and standards in any project that they may support.

In terms of infrastructure, we have a harbour that brings travellers via Condor and private yachting, plus 130,000 cruise ship passengers – all with high purchasing power. The airport manages 500,000 passengers per year.

Politically, Guernsey is lucky enough to be sovereign. Its own political and decision-making forces are locally based and accessible, and deputies are motivated to do their best for the island. Sometimes, because of the nature of the unique political system, locals bemoan the lack of speed from politicians and civil servants when quick decisions are needed; but on the flip side, we have a community that is virtually corruption-free, with an unparalleled ability to reinvent itself through the test of time. Given the significant successes in commerce, privateers, quarries, greenhouses, tourism and banking — as the latest manifestations of the incredible adaptability of Guernsey society and economy — who would bet against the Island to turning itself into a creative or artistic hub?

Guernsey was once “the Sunshine Island”; it could be the Creative Island in a not so distant future. It is highly unusual for a community of 66,000 to have all those competitive advantages and structural attributes; it constitutes an excellent starting environment for the successful execution of a bold, innovative and impactful plan for the development of the arts.

Regarding the arts sector, what strikes me most is its fragmented nature. It is made up of a collection of individuals and organisations which are relatively self-centred and focused essentially on their own specific interest, very often budgetary survival in mind and little business development vision.

Individual artists or art organisations have very pertinent views on what could be done to improve things and why such improvements are necessary. But it is my strong impression that, with some notable exceptions, they haven’t been successful in bringing about those improvements.

As someone who works with internationally renowned artists, I can say with confidence that it is very difficult to be an artist. To make a living as an artist requires a wide range of skills, and the competitive environment can be very challenging. Being an artist essentially means being an entrepreneur. You need the passion and the artistic skills and inspiration to start with, but that is not enough. You need to be able to manage a budget, source supplies, be your own head of marketing and legal, be smart and astute on social media, and then have the right confidence and negotiation skills to be able to represent yourself in public, or while engaging with potential buyers, sponsors or customers.

The probability of possessing all those skills at once is very low, and many talented individuals don’t make it because they are short of some of the skills.

The same applies to arts organisations: some of them are incredibly useful to a community and could offer immense value, but they remain relatively anonymous because of their lack of non-artistic skills and experience.

That is why having patrons, galleries, and private and public institutions supporting the arts sector makes a lot of sense.

The good news is that, thanks to the mixture of goodwill and experience in the community, the weaknesses in Guernsey’s art sector can be addressed immediately and effectively

Key supporting competences and assets (including accounting, marketing, design, social media and website management, fundraising and curating assets) could be provided to artists via a new art vehicle (e.g. a revamped Guernsey Arts Commission or similar). The new arts vehicle would have a clearly defined purpose (the definition of purpose could be artistic, charitable, educational, social, economic or other, it doesn’t matter; the key thing thing is that its purpose is properly defined). Artists and art organisations would be left to concentrate on what they do best so that standards can be raised across the board, making the arts sector more attractive to the outside world and its impact on the community more purposeful.

After addressing this first round of basic issues, the new vehicle would develop and implement an arts strategy that is bold, inspiring, economically viable, innovative and high impact. Such a strategy would exploit the macro and micro competitive advantages of the island whilst pursuing a range of objectives identified during the consultation.

VISION

How to build a vision that will address the first set of immediate issues and then take it to the next level, taking account of Guernsey’s innate competitive advantages and the results of the consultation process?

It seems that starting from “inclusive” but evolving to “creative” rather than “arts” would be a good long-term route.

Too often the arts are perceived as a manifestation of elitism. Sometimes they are perceived to be something for the wealthiest only, but more often than not the elitism also comes from the sector itself, where artists and/or various sector participants tend to be self-centred and adopt defensive postures that could be seen as intimidating by the rest of the world. Why are so many people saying that “they don’t know anything about art”, while most of them would accept that they have a certain level of creativity?

I believe that a new strategy around “the arts” could certainly be successfully implemented with great purpose and impact, but its potential audience could be limited in numbers; switching the focus on creativity rather than “arts” creates an opportunity to pertinently resonate to 66,000 people in Guernsey as each and every business includes an element of creativity (that is certainly my view as an entrepreneur) in its activities.

In a world where technology makes knowledge more accessible every day, surely one of the key valuable skills to have in the 21st century is the ability to think laterally, hence the need for creativity. Embracing “creativity” for the population is also a larger, more inclusive, and much less intimidating concept than going into “the arts”, even though the differences could be sometimes very semantic.

AS A REMINDER:

art 1

noun

1.

the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power

“the art of the Renaissance”

synonyms: fine art, artwork, creative activity

“he studied art”

2.

the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.

“the visual arts”

NEW GUERNSEY ARTS COMMISSION

The arts sector is fragmented; uniting those energies and complementary operating capacities is an essential first step towards a cohesive arts strategy. Having a fully integrated arts vehicle — a “one stop shop” — which brings all the best human resources, and implementing a strategy that is vastly supported by key stakeholders and sector members, would be the best choice. The GAC is a natural starting platform.

The GAC is a States-funded charitable organisation whose official role is to promote and develop the arts in Guernsey.

In their published audited accounts, besides sponsorship and donations of £76,580 (essentially to support ad hoc events), it reports States funding revenues of £151,100 (from various States sources, including a part that is at risk after the public funding saga of last year and the States questioning the value offered by the GAC to promote the island). More than 50% of that is dedicated to grants, so goes out the door after a grant selection process managed by commissioners and a subgroup.

The rest of the States funding is used essentially to finance a programme of local art exhibitions and to cover salaries (taking into account that the salary of the most senior executive is covered by the States directly as the role is seconded to the GAC) and administrative costs.

In my view, the GAC would need to address several challenges before it could become the starting point for the new strategy.

GOVERNANCE

The GAC is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. It has a Board of Trustees, a board of commissioners, a funding subgroup (to deal with grants), paid staff, and volunteers. I didn’t manage to find public information on the board of Trustees, so I am assuming that this is a dormant part of the governance structure. The composition of the Board of commissioners is disclosed in the GAC’s annual report. It is unclear whether the GAC has a service agreement with the States or not. Although the identity of the commissioners is disclosed in the annual report, art sector participants do not consider such information to be readily accessible. It is unclear how commissioners are elected and what their role is, and so there is a perception of a “club deal” – this needs to be addressed with more transparency and sector representation.

More than half of the revenues of the GAC are administered by the commissioners and the funding subgroup (another group on which there is very little public information), under the authority of the chairman to provide grants to external sector organisations.

This is a key activity. This process could be streamlined, consuming less time and resources, with increased transparency and purpose.

Specifically, in terms of purpose, the GAC hasn’t included in its decision-making process any preconditions or follow-up mechanisms to demand and measure purpose from the organisations receiving grants. It seems that once grants are allocated, the GAC doesn’t have anything to do with them. This is a huge missed opportunity to positively influence the sector and push it to raise its standards (not only culturally and artistically, but also in terms of marketing, community value, event management and curating, educational and mental health opportunities, tourism and hospitality benefits and cultural diplomacy).

I believe that there are great examples of charitable organisations that the GAC could use as a benchmark to measure the value of its decision making on grants. The Youth Commission is an established reference in terms of measuring impact of its projects versus its mission statements and objectives, and they have a real methodology and a robust questionnaire to go about it. More importantly, the Youth Commission promotes the importance of “purpose” from the top of the organisation, ensuring that it is embedded in its culture.

Another relevant benchmark is the Guernsey Community Foundation, which is setting standards for charities to meet in order to access funding. The Foundation provides valuable feedback to unsuccessful applicants on how to improve, and supports successful applicants with the implementation of their strategy.

Arts for Impact, which was a start-up charity two years ago, also established, through the use of a very specific brief (helping to align a project with its clients goals), an impressive track record of successfully working with demanding organisations such as HSC, PEH, Generali, Agfa and the NHS, just to name a few, briefing and training its creatives to match demanding corporate or medical standards.

Finally, Art for Guernsey has over the last three years established new standards in terms of event management, curating, and outside-the-box thinking; in so doing it has created credibility with sponsors and maximised the purpose not only of the events that it organises, but also the subsequent allocation of the raised funds.

These are four concrete examples from which the GAC could draw inspiration in order to create a new, positive momentum in the sector. Stakeholders, sponsors and donors want to know how much value is created with the same unit of resource.

The consultation process I carried out demonstrated that within the corporate and the philanthropic world there is a real willingness to support the arts, but – thanks to the lack of purpose, benchmarks, standards and identifiable “returns” – few projects that are considered worth investing in.

This is the issue for arts funding — definitely from the private sector, but also, possibly, from the public sector (the States’ decision to cut funding last year surely came about in part because politicians and officials felt that not enough value was being created). In response, the arts sector must raise its standards and better define the purpose of its activities. It’s not so much that there is no money for the arts or no will to spend it; it’s an inability or an unwillingness to do what needs to be done in order to access it.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Nothing in any organisation happens without the right people. The new arts vehicle must be able to independently recruit its own staff so that the best available skills and experience can be secured.

The GAC should gain operating and decision-making independence and secure long-term funding from the States in exchange for a clear and robust service level agreement which sets the organisation’s key strategic goals. It would then be up to GAC management to select key people, implement the strategy, and plan and report on results to the relevant stakeholders. The new organisation would naturally prepare the ground for higher standards to be set across the board, giving the States confidence that taxpayers are getting a better return on their investment and creating conditions that attract more philanthropic, private and corporate support.

Every private and public stakeholder — every citizen in every country in the world, if given the choice — would want to live in a vibrant cultural and artistic environment. Creating such an environment requires, as a starting point, the right governance, the right people, and the right amount of funding; from there, passion, skills and experience, innovative ideas, energy, and outside-the-box thinking can be harnessed to deliver a plan and a strategy.

Funding cannot be secured without purpose, purpose doesn’t come without the right people, and the right people cannot be attracted without the appropriate governance structure.

THE EXISTING GAC MODEL

To be fair to the current GAC, they have managed to steadily improve things during their tenure. They now have audited accounts and a balanced budget, there is a will to be inclusive, and old conflicts have been resolved. The GAC’s funding model, however, is fundamentally flawed.

To a large extent, the GAC is not an organisation that DOES things. Instead, it’s an organisation that tries to connect people. I can understand that with a very modest budget, the temptation is to just focus on being a “clearing house” between ideas or market participants; but in a fragmented sector in need of support, resources and increased standards, the GAC should take the opportunity to lead by example — and this means creating new benchmarks.

The GAC simply accepts the existing standards of the participants and tries to help them without aiming to bring about improvements. Aspiring to do no more than connect the dots in the current environment will lead, at the very best, to a perpetuation of the status quo. Market participants will inevitably lose faith that things can be changed and gradually get exhausted.

Doing things with a specific sense of purpose is the key to unlocking funding. For that to happen requires a change of attitude. Some sector participants have been successful in generating what I call “high purpose”, and are examples to follow. But fundamentally this change must be promoted and delivered by a leading arts vehicle, working for the common interest of the arts in Guernsey.

RECOMMENDATIONS

By adopting a new business model based on requisite levels of governance, human resources and funding, the GAC could be transformed into the most professional, inspiring, creative and innovative art organisation in the Island — an organisation which is entrepreneurial in nature; which operates within budgetary limits but thinks outside the box; and which inspires sector participants to aim higher and acts as a central platform for a number of supporting services for the arts in Guernsey, providing accounting, business development, marketing, design, curating and fund raising support to members.

An organisation that allows access to those resources subject to standards, but that helps applicants reach those standards. An organisation that is able, thanks to its self-generated credibility, to create and identify new opportunities for sector participants. An organisation that’s not only focused on the local market, but is active internationally, inviting visiting artists, promoting local artists abroad, and thus playing an active role in a cultural diplomacy strategy for Guernsey.

An organisation that curates and manages events to the highest standards, that enhances the vibrancy of the local community with the quality of its exhibitions, and which generates support for the tourism and hospitality industries of Guernsey.

An organisation that also, thanks to its curating activities, can build a contemporary art collection for the Bailiwick of Guernsey and so provide a destination for the best local art; and, in the longer term, become a cultural, artistic, economic and even diplomatic asset for the community. Finally — and fundamentally — the new GAC must optimise purpose in everything it does, as the sole way forward to creating high value and unlock funding.

IMPLEMENTATION

To accelerate the GAC’s development along the lines described above I would recommend it merges with Arts for Impact and Art for Guernsey.

Arts for Impact could bring to the GAC its track record, its revenue-generating capacity, its ability to capture purpose in briefs and use them as a translation point to engage with the corporate and medical world and its ability to run health and educational art project with high purpose and to train its artists adequately to deliver that.

Art for Guernsey could bring its track record, its revenue-generating capacity, its curating and event management ability (including key curating assets unavailable in the Channel Islands that could immediately be made available to members), its innovative ability, its business development and strategic thinking capacity, and, most fundamentally, its ability to use high purpose to bridge the arts sector and the corporate sector.

I would also recommend that the GAC looks to the Youth Commission and the Guernsey Community Foundation in terms of governance, transparency and purpose-linked fundraising capacity.

With those additions (by no means exclusive but identified and realistic to execute), we would immediately bring significant credibility and execution capacity to the GAC, allowing it to make a giant step towards the recommended model – and to attract “best in class” employees.

The governance architecture of the new GAC should, in my view, be a company limited by guarantee, with charitable status. It would operate along the following lines:

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Board of Trustees would be made active again as a supervisory board, with a real chairman (who would also be the chairman of the new GAC). Other trustees could include key stakeholders such as the States, the Lieutenant Governor, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, the President of the Institute of Directors, a representative from the Guernsey Community Foundation, the GAC’s CEO, prominent local art collectors and entrepreneurs, professors, philanthropists, etc. The trustees would have a significant strategic suggestion capacity and would act to unite the key stakeholders of the island.It would also foster improved communications between the various forces of the islandwilling to support the arts and deploy goodwill. It must be a body that people feel very proud to be invited to join. The Trustees would also be responsible for providing oversight for the audit and remuneration committees, and would have access to executive management on regular basis.

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

The Board of Commissioners would play a key role in terms of offering to the arts sector improved transparency, more inclusivity, and a real opportunity for the opinions of the arts sector participants to be expressed and heard. Vacancies on the board would be publicly advertised so as to populate the board with a very representative, relevant and diverse number of members (sharing common goals and animated by the same constructive spirit than the last consultation meeting at St James). The Board of Commissioners would have a full artistic and creative knowledge and experience, make suggestions to the executive management, identify strategic opportunities, and offer relevant opinions. The board would have access to executive management on regular basis.

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Executive management — comprising an Executive Committee and a CEO — would have to exercise, independently from any external influences (besides the two boards), all the operating, management and strategic duties expected from executives and managers. They would deliver the goals as set in the business plan, mission statement and strategy and they would report and take responsibility on those deliveries to the stakeholders on the basis of a robust, clear and transparent service agreement with the States. The new GAC would then be able to recruit its own staff based on merits and attract “best in class” professionals willing to join a transformative venture.

MEMBERS

Very much inspired by the British Arts Council, sector participants in Guernsey would have the opportunity to be members of the new GAC, voluntarily joining the platform of services offered by the GAC and benefiting from its support — on the condition that each member delivers sufficient artistic or community purpose. In return the GAC would incentivise members to raise their standards. Like the Guernsey Community Foundation, the new GAC would provide tutorial advice and various sorts of support. A certain number of artists have suggested this solution and confirmed that they would be very interested to join such a platform and benefit from its support in order to be able to focus on their art.

KEY ELEMENTS THAT THE NEW GAC WOULD OFFER ITS MEMBERS:

The best social media platform of the island, full stop. The social media platform would consolidate all the information and news flows on the arts sector in Guernsey and beyond (such consolidated information is currently unavailable).

On a matrix basis, the GAC would promote the activities of its members, with capacity for the users to search by themes/names/subdisciplines of the arts.

The GAC would host its members’ websites, so that instead of tinkering with amateurish websites, artists and relevant organisations can spare their energy and resources and have a professionally maintained solution instead.

Act as a fundraising platform, again on a par for the course basis, where the fundraising projects of its members are structured, documented and supported by a common professional platform, and, with the help of professionals, able to bridge the culture and expectation gaps between the arts sector and the sponsoring/philanthropic/corporate world — with the full purpose and value of each funding project reviewed and sign off by the GAC before publication.

The new GAC would pool key supporting services available to its members, such as accounting, budgeting and business development support (in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Directors), design and marketing (for pitches, posters, invites, banners, websites), event management and curating (project management, planning, curating skills and assets such as panels, spots, filming and editing capacity for artist statements or films to support communication).

It would also make real estate available for exhibitions, but also for meetings, workshops or artistic activities requiring a studio. Finally, accommodations for visiting international artists or for Guernsey artists coming back for a residency or a show, would be available as well. On the real estate front, there are 3 concrete scenario so far.

1. The Market Place, which is effectively the home of Art for Guernsey. A very successful relationship has been developed between Art for Guernsey and the landlord over the last three years thanks to the success of the various exhibitions and the landlord is really supportive of our plans. A mezzanine for the arts is about to be constructed in the inner street (subject to planning) and Chamber, which will occupy Space10 from next October, is really keen to support creativity and make its space available to curate events. Flats and a studio could also be secured on the same location on very favourable terms, so that potentially the Market Place could be the home of the arts on the island.

2. Mill Street is a strategic area from many standpoints as it is on the agenda of the public authorities as a key area to regenerate and as it was previously a vibrant quarter for tourism, shops of all sorts and the arts. Serious discussions have taken place with an art collector and landlord, and potentially 2 premises could be secured on Mill Street, allowing the new GAC to play the role of anchor tenant on Mill Street and act as a real catalyst for the rejuvenation of the area, using the arts as an economic enabler. Real estate for exhibition, workshop, studio and artist accommodation could be secured on very favourable terms, thanks to the goodwill and passion for the arts of the landlord.

3. Exploratory discussions have been on and off with the States regarding the conversion of the Guernsey Information Centre into an Iconic Art Venue. Those discussions have been recently re-initiated at the initiative of the States and such a scenario, where the Guernsey Information Centre would be totally converted into an art platform, would not only allow for exhibitions of the highest standards to be hosted, but would also provide plenty of real estate for a studio, an office and accommodations for visiting artists.

So we have three non-exclusive scenarios where serious talks, significant goodwill and an in-principle-consensus has been reached on the relevance to pursue talks at the very least. There is more groundwork to do but for sure, the cost of rent, if any, has been conservatively assessed in the business plan.

It is as strategic to have the best social media platform of the island, than to have the right real estate. Those are two fundamental physical components of the strategy.

KEY ELEMENTS TO DESCRIBE THE NEW GAC

• Highest standards of governance and transparency.

• Entrepreneurial spirit.

• Goal- and innovation-driven.

• An organisation that DOES things. DOING things (with high purpose and standards) is also the key to create credibility with our community and our stakeholders. It will create the conditions for the community, but also the States, the corporate and philanthropic worlds to help. This is the way to unlock funding.

• Human resources – the “best in class” in their field.

• A “fair trade” organisation that pays market rates. Too often, artists are squeezed for the wrong reasons (lack of budget). Arts for Impact, for example, is using industry-approved guidance to remunerate the artists involved in its projects, while Art for Guernsey pays market price to all its providers (and gets great value from it as people go the extra mile). The revitalised GAC should have clear and precise policies in place to avoid any sort of conflict of interests, and to pay whatever is fair to the people involved. We will not succeed in developing the creative sector as a vibrant destination if we underpay.

• A membership-based organisation (inspired by British Art Council).

• An executive management team that acts independently from any influence outside the governance structure and is responsible for managing the budget, recruiting human resources, deciding on investments and setting strategic targets in consultation with the Board of Trustees and the Board of Commissioners.

• The new GAC’s social media must be the best in Guernsey by a mile: it should be used as a strategic asset to centralise relevant news, communicate, support members, fund raise, create a digital inventory of artists’ bios and artworks, and to promote the newly created contemporary art collection. The platform would create enthusiasm and momentum around the arts/creativity. It can also be an essential tool to implement a cultural diplomacy strategy and to engage abroad with like-minded organisations.

• In summary, a non-profit organisation aiming to generate resources in order to fund the common good of the arts in Guernsey and reinvest the generated cash flows into high purpose opportunities (Arts for Impact and Art for Guernsey do that very well).

• Strong service level agreements with stakeholders, each with clear goals, performance measuring criteria and reporting.

TEAM

A small, full time executive team plus a larger unit of part time “best in class” persons from the private sector. As in Guernsey, most of the sector participants are freelance — this model to partially bring the best of what the private sector can offer to the New GAC, is not only doable but would create great interest and facilitate the recruitment of fantastic people. I met a number of candidates over the course of my consultation process who in my view would bring the skills, experience, drive and spirit to execute the plan. Of course the final selection would require a proper and formal interview process.

BRANDING

Despite the efforts of the current GAC team, there is a certain negativity around the current GAC brand. I strongly believe that a full rebranding exercise would be beneficial. I like the word “creative”, but “creative” and “commission” are antonymic words.

I also would propose a new name for the GAC that suggests to the outside world that we are officially endorsed by the States of Guernsey. Such a name would open doors abroad, allow in the Island to engage with likeminded or state-owned organisations.

Sometimes, starting from a brand is better than starting from no brand, so they are arguments in favour of not twisting the existing brand too much. We could solicit the help of local youngsters and the Digital Greenhouse to generate re branding ideas. I also know a couple of marketing agencies who could be helpful pro bono. Not to mention our “A list” of potential key persons who have the skills and experience to contribute to this exercise.

MAIN GOALS

Priority #1: Implement a strategy that immediately helps the sector to improve standards and purpose. We should aspire to create an center of excellence, unifying the energies of the “best in class” key persons in the field of arts and culture — and, more widely, of creativity.

Through a common platform, the new GAC will be able to significantly support and advise its members, in particular with the following: accounting, budgeting, marketing, business development, marketing, event management and curating; and, most fundamentally, help to bridge the cultural gap between the arts sector and the funding world, therefore using the strength of its platform to unlock situations that participants cannot resolve on a fragmented basis.

Priority #2: The New GAC aims to directly pursue or identify for its members, new artistic and economic opportunities in various areas (corporate, charitable, education, medical and health, international, exhibition).

Priority #3: Develop Guernsey as a vibrant, creative standard bearer when it comes to art and culture for locals and visitors. With the support of key private and public stakeholders, we can develop the Island as a new destination for young local professionals and a welcome economic enabler for the tourism and hospitality industries. The Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, a large number of corporates, a significant number of art collectors, high net worth individuals and prominent members of the hospitality and tourism industries – all confirmed that they support these plans. This is one of the main benefits of the groundwork that I have done over the last 6 months or so.

Priority #4: Inspire and promote creativity on the Island in the most inclusive fashion, using the most creative, entrepreneurial and, sometimes, revenue generating ways.

Priority #5: Generate revenues from sponsorship, but also from commercially or culturally value-creating activities. The best way to convince a community that art and culture are worth supporting is to set inspiring and impactful examples ourselves, where high community value is delivered and revenues generated. Long term, the new GAC must not only aim to break even, but also to generate additional free cash flows in order to have our own investment capacity.

Priority #6: Be a key exponent of cultural diplomacy, i.e. be the “go to” place for the States of Guernsey to promote its artistic and cultural value abroad, and to provide artists, cultural content and assets to the States so that Guernsey can promote itself abroad.

GUERNSEY POUND CAMPAIGN

It will take more than a rebranding and marketing exercise to create awareness around the new GAC, communicate its goals and values effectively and establish it as a credible group in the eyes of the public, the arts sector and the key stakeholders. It will require a real communication campaign, putting a particular emphasis on one key element: the need to DO things with high purpose.

A very good theme for a campaign has been identified, to be carried out in the same positive and consensual spirit as the St James consultation in May: the new GAC would have locally designed the most beautiful bank note in the world, representing some of the beauties of Guernsey (I have identified the perfect local artist to do that).

On one face of the note there will be 1 pound surrounded by the design, on the other face the message of our campaign. Our goal will be to sell as many bank notes as Guernsey has inhabitants, i.e. circa 66,000. We would aim to sell one note to each inhabitant, achieving four major things:

Raising £66,000 (we would dedicate 100% of that amount to create more cultural and arts opportunity for the youth in Guernsey, so who is going to say no to that?).

Gaining a strong endorsement from the community (we would not sleep until 66,000 notes have been sold because that would mean that 100% of the population is supporting our cause and that would be an extremely powerful endorsement in order to (re)gain leverage) with key stakeholders.

We would capitalise on all the communication opportunities around this campaign to communicate our key values and goals.

Most importantly, we would just have just delivered our first “DO” project with high purpose, showing entrepreneurial spirit and opening our track record the right way in order to generate our first bit of credibility and create the conditions to seek institutional funding.

This pound note campaign could be repeated each year, each time with a different locally made design and the same specs so that it can take the same path as the Veterans’ Day with the poppy seed initiative, for example, but on a day specifically dedicated to the arts.

THE NEW GAC BUDGET

My initial financial model is based on the following assumptions:

1. The contribution of the States of Guernsey to the new GAC is assumed to remain unchanged in this model (in fact it should be raised significantly if the States are serious about this).

2. The Guernsey Community Foundation would contribute £100,000 per year for 3 years.

3. I have tried to book in fixed costs (rather than variable costs) and on full time basis (it is likely that some human resources would be part time) all the costs related to human resources (so that we have a conservative picture of the worst case scenario).

4. I used the publicly available document of the “established staff of the States of Guernsey” salaries as a benchmark. I used the salaries of “Senior Officer 1” (the lowest grade out of 12 to benchmark the salary of the CEO) and “Executive Grade 1” (the lowest grade out of 5 to benchmark the salary of management) in the model. It is difficult to argue to go lower than that and it has the merit to be objective.

5. I have assumed a low level of revenues generating activities for the new GAC to start with, with no growth rate over time, in order to be conservative.

6. I have booked the costs of the social media platform and the curating assets at their face value (which assumes no negotiations on our part), again in order to be conservative.

With this set of assumptions it seems that first year, considering the contribution of the States and of the Guernsey Community Foundation as part of the “revenues” (technically they should probably be booked as sources of funding rather than “revenues”), adding to that the contribution of the revenue-generating activities, we are reaching a first year “revenue” of £471,000, with a break-even point just under the £400k mark.

Obviously this is very much a high level only projection, but it appears that the new GAC would be able to generate about 25% of its resources in Year One from its own activities. That is not a bad start with this set of conservative assumptions.

INSPIRING BENCHMARKS

Dartagnans (www.dartagnans.fr), key example (fund raising for a Vassarely exhibition in a secondary city in France, where through corporate and crown funding, 40 artworks were borrowed and transported from the Vassarely Museum in Budapest. Dartagnan’s website is organised as a matrix, that users can twist to watch the information from different angles, and this backbone architecture in my view could be ideal for what we are trying to achieve with the social media of the new GAC.

L’echo (questions d’argent) (www.lecho.be), key example, weekly 2/3 minute interview. Each week, Belgian personalities (art, economy, media, industry, politics, sports, gastronomy, culture, charitable world) are interviewed and asked about their relationship with money. No question spared. Very successful format. Personalities are very keen to be interviewed and readers look forward for to the next one. The same format should be applied for the arts, culture and creativity in Guernsey, as a way to create awareness and momentum within the community. Indeed, any interviewee becomes a convert, and after 52 weeks that means that we would have converted 52 key personalities to the cause of the arts in Guernsey. Digital only or paper version in JV collaboration with local press.

Art Marathon Boston (bostonartsmarathon.com), the New GAC should pursue bold and innovative projects to showcase local artists running workshops/art lessons for the local community for a weekend or some period of time.

Young Art Project (https://www.facebook.com/MiniAbsilYAP/?hc_ref=ARQph9Ka8QqGZok1_48RL-Y3FYZ8JwU4Gj9Kh_AtN4eJ7YojpfZ0xP-FqzIgki9afHg), we should pursue the opportunity to support young local artist with the curating of their creative projects.

The Finnish State Art Commission (http://kokoelmat.fng.fi/vttk/app?si=http%2525253A%2525252F%2525252Fkansallisgalleria.fi%2525252FE78.Collection_Valtion_taideteostoimikunnan_kokoelma&lang=en), this commission, as they started from scratch, is a source of inspiration in terms of having a high impact on a community with the arts and in terms of establishing a collection of meaningful importance now use to represent the values of a community inside Finland and abroad used as part of a Cultural Diplomacy Strategy.

@Sweden (https://twitter.com/sweden?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor), In 2011, Sweden was the first country to hand over its official Twitter account to its citizens. The project, “Curators of Sweden”, an initiative of the Swedish Institute and VisitSweden, could be an inspiration for us to ask the members of the art sector as a minimum, or the residents of Guernsey as a maximum, to manage a Twitter account promoting Guernsey as an art location/destination.

#tatemodern @tate The Tate Modern has a programme to let young and promising artists run their social media account for a day, giving them an opportunity to shine and create awareness. Olivia Kemp, the 2017 artist in residence of Art for Guernsey, managed their accounts for a day this year and hugely benefited from the momentum. Opportunities exist as well for the new GAC to approach locally based corporates and offer them the opportunity to have their media (or social media accounts) curated for one day by local artists, thus helping the businesses to create internally (for the staff) and externally (for the clients) a positive feeling of corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship value. That scheme could be coupled with charitable endorsement of the artist or simply with an artistic project run by the artist in parallel.

Muzéo (www.muzeo.com) — a brilliant example of how to include art in the design of decoration/renovation projects for private individuals or for the hospitality industry. They use a database of 200,000 artworks to design and realise decoration projects. In Guernsey, the hospitality industry is very keen to create content to improve their customer experience or attract new visitors. The opportunity exists to align ourselves with them and provide ad hoc art-intensive design and decoration services, relying on the skills of Arts for Impact and local artists. I would also expect to be strongly supported by some prominent local architects on this.

Centre national d’art contemporain de Grenoble (“Le Magasin”) is a very interesting example of an art centre which has adapted to the limitations of its available real estate, moving from the rigid format of “exhibitions” to a larger concept of “art performances” and “workshops”. In 2018 they will run a full season without any artworks…! Not something that we necessarily aim to emulate, but I find it inspiring as one of the key issues in Guernsey is the lack of top tier exhibition space. So smart ideas are welcome to adapt our curating policy accordingly.

Also inspiring is the groundwork laid down by the City of Rennes over the last 40 years to create a local art economy, retain local artists, make real estate available to them to live and curate, and run a policy to build a contemporary art collection in order to support local artists to raise standards, launch various art festivals (especially street art) in parallel, and now have a situation where beautified public spaces and those festivals have greatly improved the quality of life and constitute a great asset for the local tourism industry.

SEVEN STRATEGIC AXIS OF DEVELOPMENTS

1. CORPORATES

I strongly believe that we can get much closer to corporates very quickly and not only engage into revenue-generating activities with them but also use their powerful network and leverage to create awareness about the new GAC and its causes, and align its credibility with theirs.

Credibility is a big asset to raise funds. For this, the new GAC should enlarge its vision (“Creativity rather than “Arts”) and deliver highly purposed artistic projects and events across the board. Many corporates would naturally wish to support our sector but only if they feel alignment with the project and, most importantly, if they feel that it contains high community, artistic or charitable value.

It is very important to find ways to open the communication lines with the corporate and business world, so that gradually we can use those channels to create awareness about our pipeline of opportunities and convert them as active supporters/sponsors/partners.

“Adopt an artwork” would be an ideal scheme to achieve that. The States’ collection includes at least 6,000 artworks, for which no inventory exists. The justification for this seems to be that it would take too much time to run an inventory and that those artworks are “probably” worth only between £500 to £1,000 each, as most of them are local 18th or 19th-Century landscapes and seascapes. That is not an acceptable position. Firstly, based on the statistical law of the large numbers, I can almost guarantee that we would find a few gems out of the 6000; but, most importantly, this inventory could be a key strategic asset. I suggest that the new GAC puts together the resources and time to digitally create this inventory in exchange for the management rights of the collection. Our qualified team (reinforced by an identified local expert in art restoration) would propose to run this inventory on behalf of the States (so at least the States know what they have, which also helps for all sort of integrity risk management) in exchange of securing the management rights of the collection. We would then engage with the Chamber of Commerce (biggest corporate database of the island), the IOD, the table sponsors of the main event of Locate Guernsey event in London, plus all our other existing relationships with corporates, banks, trust companies, law and accounting firms and businesses, to launch a vast and ambitious “adopt an artwork” scheme on the island, where artworks, on a “water the plant” basis, would be lent to corporate (monthly or quarterly) to decorate their board or meeting rooms. The scheme could be sponsored by an art Insurance company or at the very least insured very advantageously (like “Art in School”, the innovative art lending scheme of Art for Guernsey).

As most of the artworks will have a relatively modest monetary value despite their high decorative value we would charge a monthly or quarterly management fee to customers, thus running the scheme on a positive cash flow basis. The real strategic purpose of this scheme is to open the right communication lines with the business world and have regular opportunities to speak to them.

“Adopt an artwork” for local artists can be run on exactly the same basis, with the new GAC sourcing art from the local artists and managing the lending process to the corporate world. That would therefore constitute a key opportunity for local artists to get to be known by the staff and clients of those corporates, raise awareness, and potentially sell artworks to them or engage into projects. For the corporates, it would be an attractive corporate citizenship scheme that could be the platform for them to do more in the field of arts and creativity.

The Chamber of Commerce, the IOD, and a significant number of entrepreneurs and business owners are totally aligned with the idea of supporting the arts on the island, and therefore there is a massive opportunity to align the activities and the strategy of the new GAC with those organisations on an “open door basis”. That is uniquely attractive because it would also mean, from day one, that the credibility of the New GAC would be associated with theirs — and credibility is one of the most difficult and time-consuming assets to build in business, one that usually comes from creating value with high purpose. The fact that these potential partners are open to work with the new GAC could save us YEARS in terms of how effectively we could engage with key stakeholders on topics such as funding and therefore have an impact on how quickly we could create value for the arts sector and the community.

The new GAC and its members would also have a huge potential to engage with organisations on the concept of using art as a central and direct enabler to achieve their goals. The key element to create such an opportunity is to be able to incorporate the goals of the client into a brief and thereafter deliver the project with high purpose along those lines. That is exactly the same mechanism used in investment banking.

For example, Arts for Impact, when asked to design and beautify specific spaces at the PEH, included in its brief the goals and feedback directly provided by medical professionals (reducing stress level in dentistry, increasing stillness in X-ray environment or stimulating activities in rehab environment), therefore delivering the artistic project with high purpose for the client.

Arts for Impact beautifies various medical imaging machines on the basis that it is easier for Agfa to sell spaceships, jungles, submarines or Star Wars robots, than plain and bleak X-ray machines. Art, in this instance, creates a key differentiation criteria for a multibillion global company which sees commercial purpose in directly embedding art into some of its products and services.

Communication strategy is a very important topic for the corporate world, and in particular the fund industry. Guernsey is hosting thousands of companies and funds and I believe that the opportunity exists for the new GAC and its members to engage with local companies and help them to improve the quality of their annual reports by inserting designs and artworks produced by local artists inspired by the key values/motto of the business. I know that the most progressive part of the corporate world in Guernsey will be open to consider that. Annual reports should contain art, especially where the report covers corporate citizenship and social responsibilities.

The new GAC, relying on the existing track record and know-how of Arts for Impact, should seek to develop its execution capacity, therefore creating opportunities for its members to

be involved — to design and beautify various sorts of corporate spaces while potentially associating internal staff/management to the creative brief (entry and exit points of each project include Q&A and feedback, so the clients feel strongly aligned with the end result) or directly in the execution phase (Generali, for example, where staff use their charity day to contribute to the design of their coffee corner).

In terms of designing and beautifying space with a high purpose, our execution capacity and existing track record allows us to operate in medical environment (hospitals), corporate environment (coffee corner, meeting rooms, canteen), infrastructure environment (visitors hall of the harbour), hospitality environment (art room, specific hotel area) and school environment (arts center or sports center). I received some strong marks of interest on that front from the hospitality sector. This activity has the potential to create high value for the customers and create an interest with them to support our causes on other fronts, but also to create new artistic and economic opportunities for the members of the New GAC. And there is one fundamental point that outsiders of the arts sector tend to forget whenever they try to figure out the priorities of the artists. Artists all need to pay bills.

Significant opportunities also exist for the performing art professionals to run different sorts of workshops for corporates in the context of their continuous training program, aiming to improve communication and leadership skills of their staff through short theatre plays and various creative exercises. A beta testing project is currently ongoing involving the Performing Arts Department of the College of FE at Waitrose as part of their training program. The Guernsey Community Foundation sourced that opportunity and they can certainly be of great help in this area considering their network and impressive track record.

The opportunity exists to officially and fully align the efforts of Chamber and the New GAC to promote creativity on the island. The IOD also expressed enthusiasm at the highest level. We can be trusted and credible partners as creative skills are as important for business as they are important to a civil society. A Joint Venture on mutually agreeable terms would give us access to the best professional database available on the Island and would conveniently create for Chamber opportunities to better use it and create more value for its members. Contact Magazine and the full networking and lobbying force of Chamber could support our cause as well.

A very concrete first example is that Art for Guernsey and Chamber will curate digital late night shopping in the High Street in 2019, where digital art will be displayed on the front shops to incentive customers to take part in a late night shopping experience. This is a good example of how art can be a very central enabler to deliver a commercial project. Creating awareness of those opportunities with traders and retailers, and opening communication lines between the arts sector and the retail sector, surely is the right platform to guarantee that more mutually beneficial collaboration can happen in the future.

It is important to make a case to retailers on how the arts can be used very effectively to achieve their goals. Obviously, the other massive benefit from that project will be that each shopper coming will be able to enjoy the arts and that those vibrant and innovative initiatives are contributing to place the arts at the heart of the community in day to day activities.

Suggestion has been made to install a “messy desk” permanently in corporate environments, to allow staff to engage into creative activities during break time, or to be used as a platform for stimulating and relaxing workshops to be held for the wellbeing of staff. I have noted by the way how life-drawing lessons are extremely popular with a number of legal and accounting executives as a very effective way to maintain wellbeing and similar activities directly on corporate site could be greatly successful.

We can also invite corporates to challenge their staff with short brainstorming cases on creative problem solving to stimulate outside the box thinking with their staff (Prodrive example).

With its activities around health and well being, Arts for Impact has been able to engage from scratch, on a revolving basis, with HSC and with corporate or public clients as prestigious as Agfa, Generali or NHS. Art for Guernsey, over the last 2 years, has been able to secure a significant, loyal and growing list of corporate (Bullionrock, Carey Olsen, Hiscox, Kleinwort Hambros, Lancaster Trust, Ravenscroft, Sydney Charles), charitable (Sarah Groves Foundation) or philanthropic (Community Foundation) sponsors for its events, as they felt aligned with its projects and the community value created, so it is not that we would start from a blank sheet basis. Some of them are ready to step up their contributions if presented with the right project.

Moreover, inspired by the activities of Art for Guernsey, Bailiwick Estates Ltd (the Market Square is a very significant corporate stakeholder in Guernsey) decided last year to permanently dedicate part of their real estate in the Inner Street to art curating. Chamber, which will soon occupy part of those premises, is very keen to collaborate.

The interests of the New GAC could be significantly aligned with those parties as they would commit their real estate (for a flexible no/low rent and for the sake of bringing footprint into the Market Square) and their marketing resources to support an event while we would bring the content, and the curating and event organising capacity.

As mentioned above, locating the New GAC at the Market Place, with all the shops and restaurants, Chamber and the Guille-Alles Library across the road, presents significant advantages, but is not the only scenario as Mill Street, the Guernsey Information Center, and any other potential location should be considered with an open mind. But for sure, the New GAC must be in a key location. It is central to the strategy to be central in terms of accessibility and footprints. Members of the arts sector, or simply the public, must adopt the habits to come and go and see our premises like a natural destination.

In terms of business development and communication strategy, I believe that it would be extremely productive to run a weekly digital interview of a Guernsey personality on the same concept that “mon argent” run by L’Echo”. It is a 2/3 minute reading time interview that would include personal and original questions around art and creativity in general, where the interviewee would have a chance to shine and be converted to our cause. The Q&As is also very entertaining and easy to manage from our standpoint. To manage cost, we would only publish digitally on our social media or team up for example with the Guernsey Press and occupy one page of their weekend edition (we would bring the content, they would bring the paper). It is a very cost effective, easy to manage but extremely productive way to raise our profile, to create indirect awareness around our activities and convert key decision makers to our cause. While interviewees would come from different horizons (not only business), I am confident that it will be a massive tool to align businesses with us.

2. CHARITIES

There is a significant number of charities (Guernsey based or not) which have art related needs (and a budget available for it), with whom we can collaborate, in particular in the field of youth, education, but also wellbeing and health.

The GAC of course had number of collaborations with charities over the years, but on some occasions my understanding is that the projects lacked purpose and were therefore discontinued or at least questioned. This is not something that the New GAC can afford, firstly because it wants to create more opportunities for its members, but also, most importantly, because delivering a project lacking purpose destroys credibility, and credibility is what the New GAC needs to turn around the situation of the arts in Guernsey.

Art for Guernsey and Arts for Impact both have an existing, successful track record in terms of working with charities. There are a number of ongoing collaborations that could be further developed by the New GAC (Guernsey Cheshire Home, Sarah Groves Foundation, Floral Guernsey, Styx Community Center, Arts for Prescription… just to name a few relationships with potential for significant development).

It is probably worth mentioning that the Youth Commission relationship with the States, and therefore its ability to access public funding, is articulated and structured within a clear and precise service level agreement, setting up missions and goals to be achieved. This is therefore no surprise to see the Youth Commission being so focused on creating high value for the its stakeholders and the community. This is a precedent to emulate for the New GAC.

In summary, the execution capacity of the New GAC be deployed to design, decorate and beautify spaces, and to provide artistic or educative content to events, but also to improve the communication strategies or the policies delivered by other charities. As value is created and delivered, budget can also be captured. The Guernsey Community Foundation and the Youth Commission can play a key supporting role to accelerate the development of the New GAC in the charitable space.

Those collaborations can be charitable (because it should be one of our aims to support the charitable sector as a whole) or revenue generating, as the value delivered creates a win-win situation.

Art for Guernsey has the capacity to identify high value opportunities with a selection process that usually belongs to the investment management world. Art for Guernsey’s motto is to share that ability with the charities with whom it collaborates (private equity “bear hug”, i.e. you invest money AND time), therefore improving significantly their business development abilities. A good example is the successful JV between Arts for Impact and Agfa. No artist, creative organisation or charity could have pulled that deal on their own, without the confidence and the business development advises provided by an experienced entrepreneur.

Arts for Impact is unique on the Island; it employs artists who are specifically trained to embed the client’s priorities and goals into projects. Each project includes a preliminary phase with a very collaborative brief-building process involving the customer, while the post delivery exit point includes an impact measurement and feed backing stage.

In terms of engaging with the charitable world, the role of the Guernsey Community Foundation is absolutely key. They have a long and successful history of joining the dots in that space, to the highest standards. They are not only allocating philanthropic donations to highly purposeful projects and selecting them using the highest standards of governance and diligence, but they are also aiming to diffuse those high standards into the charitable sector by providing advice to charities aiming to access their funding, and giving ongoing support to the charities benefiting from their funding. I find the process very positive and the New GAC should very much be inspired by that process to raise the standards within the arts sector as well. I feel very much aligned here. I believe that the Guernsey Community Foundation can also play a key role in identifying and originating the collaboration opportunities for the New GAC within the charitable sector, as no organisation has a better visibility than them in Guernsey. Also – as an additional benefit – it would keep the New GAC on its toes, permanently aiming for best practice, because the Guernsey Community Foundation doesn’t settle for less.

Finally, the Youth Commission has a very unique cross positioning in the field of youth, as obviously their activities are very diverse and include a large number of projects with very different goals. This is an organisation that has developed very efficient qualitative capacities to measure the impact and value created by their activities versus their mission statement and goals. It is a chance for the New GAC to be able to find inspiration from that existing and successful local benchmark.

3. SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION

It is strategically important for the New GAC to collaborate with the schools, as children and students are a key target audience to generate high positive impact on our community with our creative activities.

Many arts-related organisations or festivals are already taking excellent steps to interact with schools (Literary Festival, Photography Festival, Sovereign Art Foundation, Performing Art Department of the College of FE to name a few, + various organisations in the field of music), but they do so independently. I feel that the New GAC should be actively supporting those efforts, as they bring a high complementary value to the curriculum of the schools. The New GAC should use its resources to maximise the impact of those initiatives and create communication lines between participants, so that the best ideas can be shared and inspire other groups on how to best engage when interacting within the schools.

Art for Guernsey has an excellent working relationship with Education. A large number of pupils from most Guernsey schools come to visit our main art exhibition each year (the visits are logistically organised by Education Services so it proves that they can be very reactive and collaborative in their attitude to seize educational opportunities). Our guest artist in residence also typically runs a number of workshops within schools over the exhibition period.

Art in School, our innovative art lending program, has been a resounding success, as more than 90% of the Guernsey schools enthusiastically engaged into the scheme. Artworks of museum quality are lent to any Guernsey school willing to use them for project based learning opportunities. The artworks stay in residence with the schools for one term and constitute starting points — not only for art lessons, but for cross-disciplinary learning. The new so called “joyous and purposeful” curriculum greatly helps the schools to very quickly embrace the project as it provided them with the right “mandate” to use the artworks to support lessons in other contexts than art (maths, creative writing, geography, history, food tech, science, fashion, music, geometry, English, foreign languages, drama, ect..).

Some schools engaged a significant number of their pupils on term long project as a direct consequence of Art in School. A documentary film is currently being made on this initiative and will be released in November. I was very impressed by the way the schools, headmasters, teachers, parents and pupils embraced this initiative, with a high level of motivation and a very high engagement. The opportunity exists to improve and establish the existing scheme into a world-class educational project. It also demonstrates that Guernsey, as a community, sits on a very significant resource: goodwill. Where in the world would it be possible to approach a group of art collectors and convince them to lend some of their artworks to schools for the common good? Where in the world would it then be possible to instantly convince significant art insurers of the merit of this community initiative and get incredible preferred rates (considering as a starting point that it is 4 to 5 times cheaper to insure art in Guernsey than in France, for example). Where in the world, in a matter of weeks, could a private party approach Education, propose such an innovative initiative, get their almost immediate attention, and go live with such a groundbreaking project a few months later with their full support? Those are important questions and it simply shows that Guernsey has significant competitive advantages on its side.

Digital curating can also provide extra educational materials to local schools. Of course, inviting schools to exhibition events or festivals makes perfect sense as local children sometimes find it more difficult to gain first hand access to art or cultural events for logistical reasons.

For example, over the last two years, Art for Guernsey has been sponsoring the yearly performance of the Performing Art Department of the College of FE, allowing 1200 pupils to see the play for free. Those sponsoring opportunities create great value for the community, but also great feel-good value for the sponsors, and it would be very easy for the New GAC to use its platform and network and source corporate sponsors to support similar projects giving an opportunity to children to gain exposure to art and cultural events. But those fund raising efforts needs to be coordinated by a New GAC using an adequate fundraising platform guaranteeing high purpose for donors. It would make a massive difference versus the current situation, where each single participant of the arts sector is running its own fund raising strategy, sometimes relatively randomly.

Providing assistance to schools to develop the creative element of the curriculum should also be a high priority. In collaboration with Education, the opportunity exists to run workshops adapted to school environment and raise awareness on important educational, social or individual topics (the Youth Commission/Education Services are playing a key role to do that and I feel that the New GAC should be more engaging to support their efforts and help them to be more innovative in the way the messages are delivered). For example, awareness around issues such as bullying, gambling, alcoholism or drugs in schools could be raised using drama, rather than the usual leaflets or visitors presentation.

The drama sector in Guernsey is very vibrant and innovative and I feel that more can be done with them to deliver key messages within the schools environment. Also, short but stimulating workshop sessions could be run by artists to encourage pupils to think outside the box (one of the most sought after skill by the business world). In my understanding, the new curriculum, and most importantly, some of their key people at Education, are perfectly aligned with that.

Arts for Impact has the ability to beautify all sort of spaces in a way where the input of the school and the pupils is taken into account, and with impact measurement at delivery versus the initial brief. It is currently involved in a project at Blanchelande College, where, on three floors, the walls of the Arts Center (Drama, Visual Arts, Music) will be decorated by artworks directly inspired by the curriculum of the school. It will cover antiquity, renaissance and modern times, and will encourage pupils’ curiosity and resilience through the theme of a hero’s journey through the arts. The Phase 1 of this project will be delivered in September and it could become a real benchmark on how school environment can be improved with high purpose. The funding of this project has been privately sourced and the New GAC could use its platform to fund such similar opportunities in the future, and of course also create new economic and artistic opportunities for its members.

This year, Art for Guernsey collaborated intelligently with the Sovereign Art Foundation (who has been organising an island-wide art competition for the schools for some years now), using the proven “origination” capacity of Sovereign (about 70 students participate each year) to select a dozen of art students finalists for the Art for Guernsey art scholarships. Each of the 12 finalists had the opportunity to meet with a Jury made of three London professionals, introduce their portfolio to them and receive lots of positive counselling. The two winners were selected to attend a two week long “young masterclasses” course at the Royal Drawing School, and had the opportunity to experience a potentially life changing experience. This is a great example of collaboration between two charitable initiatives where value was mutually added with no overlap. I very much feel that the New GAC would have no difficulty to source corporate sponsors for such opportunities going forward.

The Eisteddfod Festival is another key institution for pupils within the education space. It has to be celebrated and highly appreciated, as it creates so much value for the community by offering multiple opportunities to the children of Guernsey to express themselves in various creative ways and build self-confidence through live performances. It needs to be helped, but not with money (providing more public funds to the Eisteddfod Festival without changing the management model and the overall strategy would be a mistake, as they would then continue to do more of the same). In my view they would benefit from a younger team, more purpose, fresh ideas, and new communication and fund raising strategy.

Many more educational opportunities can be created around art exhibitions, especially in the summer, for local but also international art students, especially on the back of “Art Academies” Curating (see below).

4. CURATING

The New GAC should aim to curate exhibitions and events of different levels, but always with the highest purpose and with the view to inspire, be inclusive, innovate, stimulate creative thinking, and support the local heritage and the community values.

Those exhibitions or events should constitute real inspiring benchmarks for the entire sector to up its game. The New GAC should also support its members as previously explained, make available a number of assets (panels, spots, exhibition space) or services (design, marketing, fund raising, event management) that can instantly allow artists and other art organisations to focus on the artistic element of what they do as peripheral materialities are taken care off. It has to be a very positive, sometimes tutorial process, where the New GAC works hand to hand with the arts sector to make things happen, listen or find new curating ideas, and together with the local artists, transform their ideas into accomplished projects.

Some cultural organisations or festivals are already operating with high professional standards but I feel that there is always room for improvement and closer and positive collaboration with them should be entertained to help them to go to the next level.

Regarding individual artists, all of them, without exception, need massive support as accessing the aforementioned assets or services is simply unrealistic for them at present, and that inability inhibits their artistic production. Most of them are either stopped by organisational, budgetary or event management issues, and don’t curate events or curate them on a sub standard basis with what is available. It doesn’t do any service to them or to the sector on the long term.

It is also worth mentioning that there are a few art galleries on the Island, mostly non-permanent, and run by absolutely passionate people, who played a key anonymous role supporting the arts during all those years of lack of funding for the sector. They need to be closely associated to the activities of the New GAC. The same goes for key local artists and festival representatives; they too should have a say on the strategy, in the same positive spirit as the last consultation at St James. The ideal governance body to achieve this is the board of commissioners. That board of commissioners needs to be truly representative of the diversity of the arts sector in Guernsey and needs to be populated as a result of a transparent, advertised and public recruitment process.

In terms of visual arts, over the last three years, Art for Guernsey has been a leading force in terms of high standards and purpose. Its main activity, once a year, is to invite an artist of international standing to discover Guernsey, be inspired by it, produce artworks that will create an artistic legacy for Guernsey, and exhibit them free of charge to the community at the Market Square. Around this event, community value is being maximised in different ways, and resources are generated for charitable causes. It intends to continue that, and develop it further. Art for Guernsey has acquired all the tangible curating assets to organise art exhibitions by the highest standards (panels, spots /no equivalent assets in the Channel Islands) and has ongoing relationships with a vast array of service providers to complete the offering (marketing, advertising, design, publishing, medias, event management, catering, insurance, logistics).

Art for Guernsey is also very successful at finding sponsors, despite very limited targeted efforts (no dedicated fund raising team, no active search for sponsors but only word of mouth) as the high purpose of its events does the talking. Much more could be achieved on the sponsoring side for the New GAC, with a focused and organised team.

The New GAC should aim to tap into those resources and relationships and make them available to its members.

Physical or digital exhibitions can be organised around different themes: local artists, local art students, local artists living abroad but coming back to the island for a show, art collections locally held by institutional (funds/trusts/banks/States) or private collectors, visiting art academies, “second view” high quality exhibitions sourced from the international market (they are literally dozens of boutique art organisations or town museums in Europe who managed to borrow a prestigious collection from a top tier provenance, so the question is simple: “Why don’t we do it ?”). There is a long list of opportunities that can be successfully pursued to transform Guernsey into a vibrant arts and culture destination.

Curating around local artists and local art students is self explanatory for an organisation with our list of goals. The New GAC should really have, in house, all the required curating and fund raising assets, skills and experience to be able to significantly support those categories of artists to exhibit their art and raise the standards of the sector.

Art for Guernsey has also extended its curating policy to local artists with three exhibitions in 2018: Rosanne Guille from Sark, Clarice Greening (one of our 12 Art Scholarship Finalists) and Charlie Buchanan. None of them are full time artists and the support provided by Art for Guernsey has been the essential difference between show or no show. There are plenty of talented artists locally, and implementing a real curating strategy from the New GAC would almost immediately be extremely effective as each event could be easily self funded by the fund raising platform.

There is also the opportunity to curate around the artworks produced by younger school pupils. For example, as a virtuous consequence of “Art in School” running for its first full year, hundreds and hundreds of artworks have been produced by the pupils of Guernsey and some were exhibited last June alongside the originals masters artworks which inspired them. It was a massive celebration of Guernsey youth creativity, showcasing the positive impact of learning from innovative project-based opportunities and strongly inspiring the young ones to do more next year.

The children’s artworks were professionally presented (framed, spots and panels + marketing campaign + full artist statements for each school and supporting film), creating an opportunity to reinforce the confidence and the self-esteem of the young artists. Those are key targets for any community, and we feel that this exhibition achieved the same sort of goals (confidence and self-esteem building) that the Eisteddfod Festival so brilliantly offers.

In my opinion, the curating strategy of the New GAC systematically needs to integrate the children’s interest in the way the purpose of those events is designed. Even for supposedly “fine art events”, I witnessed first hand with Art for Guernsey that the impact of an on site visit has been profoundly positive for the children. They “get it”, unlike some of their parents, and they are the generation that we need to look after in order to have a long term impact on the attitude towards the arts.

Regarding locally held art collections, indeed, the Island is home to a significant number of fine art collectors, who, thanks to a very high level of goodwill (one of the key assets of Guernsey), would consider lending some of their collections to the right projects. Guernsey does not have an iconic art venue where the highest quality of artworks can be curated,

but we can be successfully active just one notch under, in what I would call “boutique type” international exhibitions. I previously mentioned three realistic scenarios on which serious talks have taken place with the landlords: the Market Place, Mill Street and the Guernsey Information Center.

Much remains to be made but it can be accomplished in a short period of time and bear significant fruit in a few years.

New premises can also appear quicker than expected on the radar screen and can be used for curating purpose. For example, this year Art for Guernsey has curated an exhibition of Chris Riddle’s art at the Guille-Alles Library, a beautiful and popular community asset that used to hold art exhibitions back in the days, hence creating a new perspective for this space to be used again in similar fashion. Another example is the Market Place. Art for Guernsey, by bringing the arts within these premises on very regular basis, has now converted the landlord to support the arts as he can see the significant community and business benefits to bring the arts within his premises. More key venues could be explored and converted into temporary exhibition space, therefore giving new ideas and perspectives to landlords.

The GAC is of course active in terms of curating. They organise 4 or 5 exhibitions each year, at the gallery rented to them by Candie Museum, but the space is not adequate for exhibition. It is poorly located, small and also the standards and purpose of the curated exhibitions could be improved.

A significant sign of lack of purpose is that GAC very rarely finds a sponsor for an exhibition. Actually, I understand that they don’t actively seek sponsorships, on the rationale that they don’t want to compete with the local artists for the same funds. In my view this wrongly assumes that (a) the sponsoring pound is a very small one, and (b) that the artists are actively and successfully fund raising.

There is a significant potential to fund raise in Guernsey but it needs to be unlocked by value and purpose. Also, most of the sector participants don’t know how to raise funds, feel intimidated by the task to approach potential donors, use the wrong pitches (they typically talk about their costs rather than about the value that they will create), attempt to use personal connections or “champions”, rather than purpose, and overall do a very ineffective job fund raising. So actually, nobody is doing the job to properly fund raise for exhibitions. The New GAC needs to address that and use its platform for the common good.

Again, no significant money can be raise without purpose, so the platform must support and diffuse purpose across the sector as a condition precedent for successful fund raising results. That is something that the arts sector needs to take responsibility for. Yes the States’ lack of interest and disregard to the arts is shocking, but the sector needs to up its game as well in order to make it impossible for the States to disregard us, to recognize the value brought by the arts, and to support it with adequate funding commitment. It is not enough to use as a slogan that “the arts has an everlasting positive effect on your well-being”. That is very true in general, but specifically to Guernsey, the sector participants must still do things with adequate purpose.

We should also work to develop a network of like-minded organisations abroad so that we can engage with them and create destinations for their shows in Guernsey (vice versa, we should aim to offer exhibition opportunities abroad to our local artists). There are hundreds of opportunities every year for artists to participate in art fairs or exhibitions. They can physically travel there or simply send their artworks for the duration of the show. This is what most artists do when they start, they simply use the Post Office to submit work and participate in art events, and create opportunities for themselves to shine. I do not understand why local artists do not do that (I discovered Eugen Gorean’s art in 2011 in a watercolour exhibition. He had posted two artworks and won the first prize. At the time he was a student in Moldova and was eating once a day to save money to buy drawing paper, but still was smart enough to find the budget for sending artworks abroad, build his pedigree and create opportunities to be seen, so I am not accepting any excuses to justify why this is not being done in and from Guernsey).

Also, on the more established segment of the market, once an art exhibition of high standard, involving an renowned artist or an art collection from a prestigious provenance (museums, foundations or collections), has been organised abroad (say in a European country), most of its costs have already been amortised by the organiser and it would make perfect sense to “recycle” it and import it to Guernsey, on a “second view” basis. It is not a problem to curate version 2.0 of an art exhibition as even fantastic shows tend to have a limited geographical footprint (maximum a few hundred kilometres), so our audience would be untapped. We would also be able to leverage from the names of the cities or museums who have organised exhibition 1.0 to create a buzz around Guernsey. This would be strongly aligned with the local tourism and hospitality industries, who are desperate to see Guernsey offering more substance to attract visitors. I believe that some of the key actors of those industries will support us.

Guernsey is very fortunate to have an airport (500,000 flights a year, but only 100.000 flights from visitors) and an harbour (130,000 passengers from cruise ships plus a modest amount of day trippers through Condor). Those are key infrastructure assets at our disposal to support our goals, but vice versa, assets that potentially would function better if we manage

to create more reasons to visit Guernsey. We can curate those types of international 2.0 exhibitions only to a certain standard, as for the highest one we simply don’t have the right venue in Guernsey yet (the case has been officially put to the States by Chamber in 2017, and I led that effort). Nevertheless, up to an extent, Space 10 for example, could host boutique exhibition of a certain level, or Candie Museum, despite the disadvantage of their location.

During this consultation process, I had the opportunity to develop a good collaborative relationship with the Candie Museum and I now better understand how the New GAC could closely collaborate with them in good intelligence. To invite a visiting collection borrowed from a prestigious provenance you need the right relationship to source it (Art for Guernsey feels very strongly that it has those), but also the adequate venue (nothing ideal at present in Guernsey), the insurance and logistical capacity (we have that on the island, in particular with Hiscox), and the relevant accreditations so that the lending party can technically feel comfortable that the lent artworks will be transported, stored and curated by certain market standards. The New GAC would not have that day one, but Candie Museum is part of a number of international associations of museums and proved their worth already, for example most recently when they successfully convinced the French National Library in Paris to lend them artworks made by Victor Hugo. I believe that the New GAC should work very closely with Candie Museum on that front for the common good.

There is an additional opportunity that is very doable: to invite each year an internationally renowned Art Academy to exhibit the artworks of their best students and run a number of summer masterclass workshops open to local or international art students. It would create an opportunity for the visiting Art Academy to promote itself on the international market and score PR credibility earners around the event. It would also create an opportunity for Guernsey art students to discover a new potential destination to pursue their education. Such a summer art masterclass, if appropriately advertised, could establish Guernsey as a destination for international art students willing to have an experience abroad, in English and exposed to the quality of prestigious tutors. Broader diplomatic, cultural or business angles (States, Chamber, Guernsey Finance, Locate Guernsey, Emirates…) could potentially be developed around this event.

On the music and drama fronts, those sectors have enormous potential to thrive.

On the music side, with very diverse background, budget and priorities, several organisations are run by people with passion, energy and skills (e.g. the Guernsey Music Service, the School of Popular Music, the Town Carnival, Guernsey Symphonic Winds, and of course St James, to mention a few). There are also individuals with exceptional talents such as Nessi Gomes or Lydia Pugh and I feel that the New GAC should sit down specifically with all the participants of the music sectors to design a strategy, or at least identify common ground and figure out who wants to become a member and how we can collaboration on projects with common agendas or effectively use our fund raising platform to help, and I have no doubt that purpose can be reached. For example, specifically for the above-mentioned individual performers (who I understand have very strong positive feelings about Guernsey), the New GAC should do much more to promote and organise local gigs around those talents with an international reach. The fundamental question for the New GAC is to sit down with St James and constructively discuss who does what. Should the New GAC take music within its attributions and then support St James as one of its members, or should St James look after the music sector? They are pros and cons and it is not an area on which I reached any conclusions.

Regarding Drama, I also feel that there is a strong potential of development. The Performing Arts Department of the College of FE is simply excellent. Art for Guernsey has been sponsoring their yearly performance over the last two years and in both instance, for the Wind in the Willow and Bugsy Malone, it was incredibly well delivered by last year students who for the most part, will be trained highly enough to be accepted with open arms by the best drama universities in the UK.

GADOC is also another key asset for the sector, as for example, testament to their standards, they are the only “amateur” theatre group in the world autorised to play “Les Miserables” by the International Victor Hugo society (holding the family rights). Tin Whistle is another emerging force in the sector, set up with the support of the College of FE, the Youth Commission and Art for Guernsey, it is aiming to be the first professional theatre group on the island, producing its own shows. Art for Guernsey has underwritten all the cost of their first production (The Chronicles of Sarnia) and it will go live this December, so we should carefully monitor the outcome of that new production. It is exciting time for the sector as the presence of a professional group sustainably established on Guernsey soil would create new opportunities for the vast cohorts of very talented Guernsey people currently performing abroad to come back, and it would of course reinforce the vibrancy of the arts and culture for the local community.

In terms of real estate assets for the Music and Drama, Guernsey has the Princess Royal Center for Performing Arts, a beautiful asset, purposely constructed, but in my view wrongly located and with a full capacity of only around 300. Tin Whistle and the Performing Arts Department of the College of FE will play there, as the College of FE has ambitions to make better use of this asset. GADOC plays at Beau Sejour sold out shows of 500, but Beau Sejour is not really adequate or comfortable for such shows, and then there is St James.

This is the state of play. I feel that the Music and Drama scenes in Guernsey have the potential to significantly develop in the future and offer great cultural value to the community as there are a number of established talent/groups who also managed to get themselves properly structured and organised. With the support of the New GAC, I have no doubt that funding for purpose could be found.

Finally, digital art will soon establish itself like an integral part of visual arts. The entry barriers to access the technology and to invite world class artists are currently very low as it is still an emerging area. Therefore, the opportunity exists for the New GAC to curate ground breaking digital events on Guernsey soil, use the digital technology with high purpose in some of its projects, inspire the population with novelty and create value from a cultural diplomacy strategy with international headlines relatively easy to achieve. Art for Guernsey has some projects in the pipeline on that front.

5. INTERNATIONAL

The opportunity exists to establish productive working relationships with likeminded organisations abroad, creating opportunities to:

1. collaborate on common projects

2. find a destination for our art students or local artists, to either participate to workshops or to exhibit their art abroad, and vice versa

3. import “second view” art exhibition of excellent standards, which have been curated, ran and amortised abroad, and which could be showed again in a new territory.

It should be one of the key and most exciting aims of the New GAC to stimulate international exchanges for the cultural benefit of our community — but also to promote Guernsey’s image abroad through a cultural diplomacy strategy that benefits Guernsey’s key stakeholders and community members as a whole, not only the arts sector.

Moreover, opening up new opportunities and new educational destinations for our students but also welcoming students from abroad has very strong long-term benefits for a community (Bordeaux, for example). I can see how we could create a real market for high quality summer art education on Guernsey soil as we attract highly reputable academics to run workshops in parallel with exhibition of their Art Academy students.

As an example, if we take the last three artists in residence of Art for Guernsey (studied respectively at the Moldovan Fine Arts Academy, at the Royal Drawing School and at the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture), it would be very easy to create ongoing relationships with those institutions and invite some of their best academics and students to Guernsey. In the field of fine arts, access to academic or artistic excellence is still “cheap”, with low barriers to entry, and this is something that the New GAC should capitalise on to take vibrant and innovative international initiatives. I am convinced that high purpose can be reached in that space, and therefore that sponsors can be found.

6. COLLECTING

Collecting relevant and meaningful artworks from local artists and from visiting international artists should be a goal for the New GAC in order to create an artistic legacy. It is one important element of a cultural and art diplomacy strategy. In the long term, those artworks would allow Guernsey to promote itself abroad by sending an itinerant collection, or internally, by using this collection to decorate and beautify public spaces, indoor and outdoor.

The Finnish State Art Commission is certainly a source of inspiration. Since 1956, they have accumulated more than 14,000 artworks from approximately 1,900 Finnish artists, which are deposited in more than 600 places across Finland and abroad. Those locations include schools, universities, hospitals, public indoor and outdoor spaces, and their location is available online in real time. All the details of the artists are public in a standardized form and it greatly contributes to promote their art. Indeed, for the artists, having an artwork which is part of a public collection is a must have box to tick in their pedigree. In Finland, University students are surrounded by art, to such extend that it represents an important part of their work environment.

Another inspiring and close example to us is what the city of Rennes managed to achieve in about 40 years (their representatives came to Guernsey and I was introduced to them, courtesy of the GAC). The local public authorities made some real estate available to local artists, so that they would not emigrate to Paris to seek opportunities. A collection of contemporary art was set up, with a budget provided partially from public funds (the other part was from philanthropic sources) and an active policy to establish various art festivals was put in place, in particular in the field of street art. A local economy around the arts developed and public spaces got beautified by commissioned local artists, which helped them to raise their standards. Exposure to the international festivals ran in Rennes also helped local artists to aim higher. It also created summer destinations for the growing tourism industry. Some local artists have now gained international fame (WAR is a very well know street artist) and the image of the city has been positively modernised thanks to this very successful initiative. The art and culture team of the City of Rennes is open to develop collaboration and I have had several communications with them since we met last Spring. There is already a project to invite one of their artists to Guernsey for a commissioned work for one sponsor of Art for Guernsey.

I believe that artworks can be acquired for cash from local artists, but it would make much more sense to acquire them in kind, in exchange for different sorts of services and access to curating assets. Indeed, as the New GAC establishes itself as a centre of excellence and creates tangible value to support local or visiting artists, that value can then be partly compensated with donated artworks. This is the business model of most art residencies in the world, where artists invited to a particular art residency program find an accommodation, a creative environment and a potential market to sell their art, in exchange of donating artworks. Between artists, this is also how they recompense services that they provide to each other. So clearly this is a very familiar and comfortable proposition for artists.

Parallel to building such a collection for relatively modest cash investments, we would have to get closer to the Planning department and aim to develop together a bold and ambitious public art policy to showcase art in more Guernsey public spaces.

7. INNOVATION/TRANSFORMATIVE PROJECTS/CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

On a very regular basis I would like all the key people involved in the New GAC to meet, specifically to brainstorm on innovative and challenging opportunities. I am sure that each of them would have suggestions in their own field of expertise, especially with the governance reshaping that would ensure a greater diversity and representation of the sector, but also, fundamentally, to have direct access through our governance bodies to top tier personalities of the civil, philanthropic, artistic, political and business societies. The New GAC vitally needs those direct connections.

The New GAC must establish itself not only as the most innovative and forward thinking vehicle of the Island in the field of the arts, but also like a suggestion force available to the States and the key stakeholders to support ambitious and wider goals for the community. It should be the “go to” party for the public and private stakeholders of Guernsey when in need of solving issues or nailing concepts for projects that requires creativity. It should be a problem solving force for corporates with their event management for example, or with their sponsoring strategies.

For example, I had a recent conversation with one sponsor of Art for Guernsey who wants to invest significantly in sponsoring; they asked my advice in terms of what to purposefully do, because they see me as “in the market” and credible. The corporates will naturally take advise or at least ask questions from credible sources in order to build their own sponsoring strategy, and the New GAC should play a key role there as the most credible force of the sector.

Finally, the New GAC should make itself available to the States as an innovative and forward thinking “SWAT team” in order to support the delivery of an inspiring and effective Cultural Diplomacy Strategy for the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Possible bold opportunities:

• The New GAC could consider designing a strategy to prepare ground for the application of the harbour of St Peter Port or the South Cliffs to be listed as a Unesco World Heritage site (Bordeaux is a good example of how transformative their successful application was, with the number of visitors up 50% over the last five years). The support of a very innovative and creative group could be a great asset for the States to use, should they want to integrate such application in their tourism and hospitality strategy.

• The New GAC could also explore ideas around breaking an art-related Guinness World Record (for example through an Art Marathon, showcasing the skills of the local artists for one specific weekend).

• The New GAC could also promote the idea at States level to organise an open door day for heritage, art and culture, and provide access to States-owned estates, buildings and collections that are usually not accessible to the public.

• France is running a nationwide “music celebration” on the 21st of June, when local bands take over the streets for a day. That day is now institutionalized in France and it would not take much to put it in place in Guernsey.

• Creating a shelter where travelling artists from all over the world could stop to reflect and produce, and use it to run all sorts of workshops is also a real possibility if the right framework is put in place (see the Beehive concept in early 20th century in Paris). We would heavily promote this through our social media and it would then get us promoted by the participants themselves, significantly and positively refreshing the image of Guernsey abroad.

• The New GAC has a real opportunity to JV with Chamber and IoD to promote creativity together on an aligned interest basis, and benefit from the immediate leverage and credibility provided by those well-regarded partners

• The New GAC should approach fund management industry representatives and suggest a jointly promoted policy to beautify the thousands of annual reports produced by Guernsey based funds, and to increase the visibility of social responsibility and corporate citizenship in those annual reports.

• The New GAC should initiate the review of existing policies and regulations designed around the creative sector and have a certain capacity to make suggestions. The legal sector in Guernsey is very good at that as historically a limited number of leading local law firms have been able to analyse the needs of their fund industry, corporate or insurance customers and suggest regulatory frameworks to the States which allowed them to establish thriving legal and regulatory environments for their clients. It is a key competitive advantage of Guernsey that on a relative basis the States are so accessible, and that ad hoc policies and regulatory environments can be easily designed and put in place in comparison with other jurisdictions. We should aim to emulate that for the arts. This could be a strong source of structural funding for the sector as, for example, we could suggest to put in place a regulatory environment for some type of investment vehicles incorporated in Guernsey to voluntarily contribute a very modest amount of their resources to local arts, or simply for funds, trusts and foundations specifically dedicated to art investments and incorporated in Guernsey to invest a certain percentage of their Net Asset Value in local arts, even a few basis points. I strongly believe that we could find a lot of pro bono support from some of the leading law firms if required and we should associate them to our strategic thinking.

CONCLUSION

In my view, the creative sector in Guernsey is not so creative at managing and reinventing itself. It is very fragmented and lacks entrepreneurial spirit. It also lacks support and resources. There is talent, goodwill, passion and strong structural ingredients for the sector to be potentially successful, but it requires leadership and funding. The leadership should be provided by a New GAC acting with a new governance and a new model, with the “best in class” human resources recruited on merits. That vehicle should aim to DO things by the highest standards, with passion and vision, engaging in innovative projects using arts as an central goal enabler, and providing exciting curating benchmarks for the sector to emulate. It should also make available to its members a number of supporting services and curating assets, subject to those members aiming for high purpose.

Purpose is the key ingredient to create credibility and therefore access funding. There is no other way. The New GAC should also seek to align its goals, e.g. promoting creativity on the Island, with credible and non-artistic well-regarded partners so that it can accelerate track record building, align its credibility with theirs, and secure the attention and support of Guernsey’s key public and private stakeholders.

The only way forward for New GAC is to create high value, to be passionate and entrepreneurial, and to deliver high purpose with a vision — and to do all this so well that it is impossible for the community not to be enthusiastic about it. Anything that creates high value for the community is of sponsors and politicians interest. That should be the plan…

…and yes, as I dared say last May at St James….it is still a walk in the park…