Fireworks: “21st Century Aesthetics, Exploding Culture and Massive Diversification in Public Arts”

By Dan Eastmond.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper is about the arts sector, but it’s also about arts venues, those supposed crisp and modern chapels of culture that should lift the population onto their shoulders and say “Look at what we have made. Look at who we are”. It will end by saying that our arts venues struggle to survive because what they are selling is a 16th century product to a 21st century consumer. Our arts venues have become barely distinguishable from museums, certainly in the minds of our audience, and doom awaits us if we fail to make a brave leap into the future. The paper argues a need for a 21st Century aesthetic, and that to find a new aesthetic the sector must first explode the culture that it has become entrenched in. Furthermore, “Fireworks” will explore the notion of massive diversification in the arts. Massive diversification advocates an extreme approach to partnerships and a mixed economy model, to challenge and break existing notions of arts practice, leading to a new aesthetic and financially independent sector. Initially intended to offer some internal evaluation tools and frameworks for the team at Firestation Arts, this paper hopes to provide an informed and contemporary set of ideas relating to modern cultural production as an influential, profitable, socially minded industry. It’s a fourth sector notion, and no industry needs it more.

Keywords: Arts, Culture, Aesthetics, Public Arts, Arts Venues, Diversification, Mixed Economy Model

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.311-320. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 928.257KB).

Dan Eastmond

MD, Firestation Arts & Culture, Windsor, Berks, UK

Dan is a highly motivated and dynamic professional with significant senior level management experience in the arts, entertainment and hospitality sectors. He has a wide ranging and detailed skills base including project planning and delivery, strategic management, company level accounting, market analysis and marketing, team building and natural front line client and community engagement skills. His career has taken him from arts co-ops and pirate radio to the music industry, nightclubs and entertainment venues, online communities, galleries, members clubs and public arts spaces. Some have been commercially very successful, most have just about stood up on their own, a couple have bombed spectacularly. All have in common the aim-thankfully often achieved-of making meaningful encounters or chapters in other peoples lives, whilst making commercial sense for those involved, however humble. Dan is currently MD of Firestation Arts & Culture CIC, a social enterprise based in Windsor, UK.


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