A survey out this month from Arts Quarter shows that over half of UK cultural organisations in the survey already have formal partnerships with higher education establishments and a further 25% are considering it. Partnerships include joint training programmes, sharing physical facilities and equipment, placing interns in the cultural organisation, academic research, marketing to staff and students and, in a few cases, financial support from the higher education body.
Moving to a mixed funding model leads to re-imagining of the role of cultural organisations and their relationships with all sectors of society and local communities. There are many examples in the UK and other countries of dynamic and creative relationships with a wide range of partners which go a long way beyond traditional funding, and which help the cultural organisation to achieve artistic and social objectives. Cultural organisations are becoming more involved in their communities and less like temples – this makes them stronger and more resilient.