In the lead up communication to the 25th ENCATC Congress on Cultural Management and Policy (Sept. 2017, Brussels), ENCATC has profiled SPAR's article “Understanding the Role of Cultural Networks within a Creative Ecosystem: A Canadian Case-Study.” It appeared in the ENCATC Journal of Cultural Management and Policy Volume 6, Issue 1 (download here).
SPAR researcher Ian McWilliams presented SPAR data-talks (including the infamous SPAR Quiz) at two SAA outreach events in rural Saskatchewan.
On March 25, the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance with the Art Gallery of Swift Current hosted a community forum luncheon which welcomed people from all over the South West District of Saskatchewan. Concerns discussed were the latest cuts in the provincial budgets and artist isolation. However, those in the attendance brought their positivity that included their success stories and new ideas for their communities.
On April 7, Rosthern's Station Arts Centre hosted a SAA reception & round table discussion. The event brought together people from Rosthern as well as Warman and Prince Albert. The community was very positive and had many brags they wanted to share such as their successful projects with the youth of the community, Arts in the Alley, multitude of dance organizations that have a large number of new Canadians, successful fundraisers. Concerns discussed included artist isolation and the need for more artist training purposes, and concerns over library funding.
The Saskatchewan Arts Alliance (SAA) is partnering with the Art Gallery of Swift Current to host a community forum luncheon to bring artists and those with an interest in arts and culture together to share and discuss ideas. The event will take place at the Art Gallery of Swift Current March 25, starting at 11:30 a.m.
The community forum in Swift Current will include a presentation by Dr. Ian McWilliams, the research officer at SAA, about the results of a four-year study of the provincial arts ecology. The study was aimed to gain a better understanding of the working conditions, connections and networks of artists.
This Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research (SPAR) project is based at the University of Regina and involves a number of organizations, including the SAA.
The surveys included questions about the education of artists, their income from their art, their other sources of income and the time they spend on their art compared to their other work.
“Those are all really important questions for anybody who is trying to build a life, because the strategies that we use to try to continue in the arts needs to be shared and one of the things we’re most interested in right now in this survey is collaboration,” [SAA President Kelly Jo] Burke said. “We see collaboration being incredibly important for the art community remaining functioning and healthy and vibrant in a time when grant money is harder and harder to get.”
In February 2017,SPAR hosted an Saskatchewan Arts Educators meeting. As an introduction, data from SPAR surveys, focus groups and interviews was presented as well as data from the SAA's report: Fine Arts and Arts Education Resources at Saskatchewan Universities: An Analysis of Trends.
Craig Baird, Regina Leader-Post, Published on: February 17, 2017
With council approval, the City of Regina could enter into a seven-year, multi-party agreement that could bolster the arts and culture community.
“If council approves it, the City of Regina will be one of the 28 organizations that includes Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, that are in the partnership,” said Emmaline Hill, manager of community and cultural development. “The project undertakes work to build on research from the past and to understand the nature and extent of arts and culture in our community and what the impact of that activity is on factors like economic growth.”
The Prairie Partnership for Arts Research (PPAR) is being led by the University of Regina and builds on the research done by the Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research. That partnership was made up of Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Sask Culture and the University of Regina. Input from that program helped the city draft its cultural plan, which will now benefit from this new partnership.
SPAR's article “Understanding the Role of Cultural Networks within a Creative Ecosystem: A Canadian Case-Study” by Mary A. Blackstone, Sam Hage, and Ian McWilliams appears in the ENCATC Journal of Cultural Management and Policy Volume 6, Issue 1 (download here).
Using SPAR’s artist-centred, primary research, the article offers insights into the current dynamics of artists’ networks, how such networks function, and the health of the province’s creative ecosystem.
It demonstrates the value of this type of research in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
ENCATC is the European Network on Cultural Management and Policy (more info).
SPAR's talk: Artists, Connections, and the place of the University in the Arts Ecology of Saskatchewan at the UofR's MAP Presentation Series
Presenter: Dr. Ian McWilliams, Respondents: Dr. Mary Blackstone and Sam Hage
Date: Friday, November 25, 2016 -- 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: ED 113, Education Building, Main Campus
In a talk entitled The Nomad’s Perspective, SPAR presented interim results from surveys and consultations. A picture emerges of a healthy level of creative potential and productivity as well as a strong and complex web of networks linking artists and their communities. But is this sustainable? Challenges and obstacles threaten the ecosystem’s long term vitality. (Congress Program here).
The Saskatchewan Arts Alliance's 2016 Arts Congress hosted over 100 local, federal, and international artists, arts administrators, economists, researchers, and more. Speakers included Simon Brault, Director & CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts; John Holden, UK cultural expert on the value of culture and its relationship to society; and Tracey Lindberg, award-winning writer, teacher of Indigenous studies and law, and author of Birdie (shortlisted for Canada Reads).
SPAR gave a talk entitled This is How We Work Together as part of the 2015 Community Research Showcase, presented by the University of Regina’s Community Research Unit (CRU), in partnership with Heritage Saskatchewan. It profiled academic and community-based researchers whose projects demonstrate a commitment to collaborative research. Find out more about the CRU here.
SPAR’s presentation Cultivating a Creative Ecology from the Artists’ Perspective: Evidence from Saskatchewan was well-received at the Creative City Network of Canada 2015 Creative City Summit in Kelowna, BC.
In October, SPAR presented at ENCATC’s Annual Conference, “The Ecology of Culture: Community Engagement, Co-creation, Cross Fertilization,” in Lecce, Italy.
Learn about the Conference and Research Session, the U of R’s new membership in the ENCATC (via the SPAR project), and more in ENCATC News N°4/2015.
Also visit ENCATC's homepage.
SPAR's ENCATC paper: Understanding the Role of Cultural Networks within a Creative Ecosystem: A Canadian Case-Study is available in the conference e-book (pages 78-94), free to download, here.
Abstract: Despite prevailing theories which presume the importance of networks linking artists and others in their communities, we lack sufficient systematic, artist-centred, primary research for a good understanding of how such cultural networks function. To address this lacuna, a project fostered by the three major arts organisations in Saskatchewan is employing quantitative surveys of artists and the public as well as qualitative interviews and consultations to understand such networks and their connection with broader networks at local and national levels. With the first publicly funded agency for arts support in North America and until recently, a buoyant economy fuelling a diversifying and increasingly indigenous population, established formal and informal cross-disciplinary networks which created a vibrant cultural ecology in Saskatchewan are in transition. Insights into the current dynamics of these cultural networks and the health of the province’s creative ecosystem demonstrate the value of such research in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
If you are a Saskatchewan resident then the odds are very good that you regularly listen to music, read books, watch movies, partake in dance or live theatre, go to art exhibitions or buy crafts created by artisans. The odds are also very good that you place a high priority on such activities and engagement.
In a survey of the Saskatchewan public 18 and over:
Respondents’ reinforced these priorities with their time and money, reporting:
This dynamic is likely to continue; the vast majority of respondents with children reported that they also participated in the arts.
Mary Blackstone, Director of the Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research (which conducted this and another survey of artists) observed, “Thanks to these surveys we are beginning to form a clearer understanding of how artists and the arts are functioning within the province, and the picture that is emerging is one of a true ecology in which the close interactions between artists and members of their communities generate the glue which holds us together culturally, socially, and economically.”
Background: This survey was conducted by the Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research (SPAR), an organization formed in 2012 by the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture and the University of Regina. It is an ongoing study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada targeted at developing a better understanding of the arts ecology of Saskatchewan. The research team surveyed two key components of any arts ecology—artists and the public. An overview of the results of the Artist Survey—the first comprehensive survey of its kind in the province—was released in March 2015 with important new insights into artist working conditions, cross-disciplinary collaborations and community networks as well as their economic situation and other demographic details.
With the release of this overview, Understanding the Arts Ecology of Saskatchewan from the Grassroots: Results of the SPAR Survey of the Public, May 2014, both reports are now publicly available on the SPAR website (www2.uregina.ca/spar) along with supporting maps.
CARFAC Saskatchewan's May/June 2015 newsletter features a substantial article by Gregory Beatty who interviewed SPAR Director Mary Blackstone about the Understanding the Arts Ecology of Saskatchewan Project, our first report of initial findings of the Artist Survey, and possible future directions for the project.
Since the release of the SPAR report: Understanding the Arts Ecology of Saskatchewan from the Artist’s Perspective: An Overview of Results from the Artist Survey of 2014, SPAR has been sharing its findings throughout the province.
SPAR Data public presentations to date:
March 6, 2015 -- Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild conference: Talking Fresh 13, University of Regina, Regina, SK
March 28, 2015 – The Parkland Valley Sport, Culture and Recreation District and the City of Yorkton’s Culture Session: Creative Entrepreneurship – Turning your Passions into a Business.
April 27, 2015 -- SaskCulture Sport, Culture & Recreation Districts on April 27, 2015, Saskatoon
April 20, 2015 -- Saskatchewan Arts Alliance (SAA) Community Forum: North Battleford
April 30, 2015 -- SAA Community Forum: Moose Jaw
May 4, 2015 -- SaskCulture meeting with Provincial Cultural Organizations, Regina
March 3, 2015
For Immediate Release
Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research
University of Regina
The average Saskatchewan artist is older and more highly educated than most Saskatchewan workers, but they work as much as 8 hours more per week for an income of just $15,380 from their creative work annually. Only 29% of artists received any direct grant money in the past 2 years, and over half found it necessary to supplement their income through other employment in order to bring their average gross income up to $44,335.
These are some of the findings released today by the Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research in its report, Understanding the Arts Ecology of Saskatchewan from the Artist’s Perspective: An Overview of Results from the Artist Survey of 2014. Conducted between April and May of 2014, this was the first comprehensive survey of artists across the spectrum of the arts in the province. The artist survey and a parallel survey of the public conducted at the same time were the first stage in a 4 year study of the provincial arts ecology which seeks to better understand the working conditions of artists and the health and sustainability of the connections and networks they form-- which have been identified as essential to creative communities and economies.
Survey results reveal that Saskatchewan artists are exceptionally cross-disciplinary and collaborative in their creative practice forming links not only among themselves and with arts organizations but also with a complex network of educational institutions, businesses and organizations outside the arts in both of the province’s major cities as well as more rural communities and regions.
The Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research was established in 2012 by its four partners: The Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture and the University of Regina. It is funded by the four partners and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. In its next stage of research it will be undertaking more qualitative consultations with artists, arts organizations and whole communities, and it welcomes expressions of interest in participating in this next phase of research.
Congratulations Carmody Hallamore of Saskatoon and Linda Mikolayenko of Air Ronge!
They entered their name (after completing a survey) and won!
"Great news! I'm thrilled!" - Carmody
"Well, that's a surprise! Thank you!" - Linda
Thanks to everyone for your participation.
-- SPAR, July 4, 2014
THE STARPHOENIX May 6, 2014
"We are hoping to hear from as diverse a selection of Saskatchewan people as we can," research assistant Ian McWilliams stated in a press release.
In part, the organization is looking at how people engage in cultural activities, how they interact with artists and the importance they place on artists and culture. Information from the survey will help governments and arts agencies form better policies and programs that will benefit artists and their communities.
There is a general public survey and a Saskatchewan artists survey. May 14 is the deadline. Find out more online at http://www2.uregina.ca/spar/.
SPAR is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and is a partnership involving the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture and the University of Regina.
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