What is Resilience Anyways?

A Review

Sophia Woodley, Patrick Towell, Richard Turpin, Sarah Thelwall, and Philippe Schneider

Arts Council England commissioned Golant Media Ventures and The Audience Agency to research:

  • how resilience is currently understood in the arts and culture sector – and whether the understanding of funders and policymakers is congruent with that of others within the sector
  • to what extent, and how, organisations are responding to a need to become more resilient
  • what opportunities there might be to develop the sector’s resilience in the future

The new study, said to be the first substantive piece of research on resilience published by ACE since 2010, involved experts, academics and practitioners in the sector. The findings are drawn from a wide range of sources, including a literature review, interviews and over 1,000 responses to a survey.

The research set out to discover how the concept of resilience is understood in the arts sector, and by funders and policymakers. It also sought to explore how organisations are responding to a need to become more resilient, and to identify opportunities to develop the sector’s resilience in the future.

The highest proportion of those surveyed (31%) defined resilience as being “open and responsive to change, flexible, adaptable”. Other common answers included “planning, preparing and anticipating”; and “having multiple or alternative funding sources and income streams”.

The report stresses that an ability to ‘bounce forward’ and focus on medium- to long-term goals is important for arts organisations, rather than short-term adaptation to shocks, such as cost-cutting in response to funding cuts.

Source: Report on Article