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In issue 49 of Arts Research Digest, we ask how our sector is coping globally with economic cutbacks. Almost all the research we have reviewed champions collaboration and partnerships within and beyond the sector as the most efficient and sustainable way to survive. So, which organisations are best placed to weather the current cutbacks?

Partnerships minimize risk, extend reach, pool resources, and help to secure development funds. We may be more used to engaging competitively  than collaboratively with other cultural organisations, but digital innovations are providing many opportunities for joint project development and relationship building. Can our policy framework keep up?

Many unofficial partnerships already exist within the sector and are widely recognised within the community, while public participation creates a ‘virtuous circle’ between service providers and their communities. This should not just be seen as a ‘hidden resource’, but the fundamental driver that decides the survival or failure of policies and systems.

The research covered in this issue analyses many different models of collaboration, between the public, private enterprise, public services and arts and cultural organisations, from a wide range of interests in the arts and cultural sector. As ever, we hope you find the reports featured here practical, prescient and inspiring.

Ann Winter


Arts Research Digest

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