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Arts Strategy

Executive summary

Print version of the Creative Island Arts Strategy (13MB)

Art and culture are essential to Jersey. 

They are at the heart of Jersey's identity as an island with a very distinctive cultural and heritage landscape – with its own minority language and aesthetics, drawn from influences across the world. 

The Island is blessed with heritage buildings such as forts, churches and ancient monuments; and couched in an ancient landscape and seascape of enriching beauty and extraordinary archaeological significance. These are resources which make the Island special, which inspire the work of practicing artists, and which provide the context for lifestyle and identity through which arts and cultural activities take place.

In Jersey, the arts draw on these natural and historic resources to contribute to prosperity, social cohesion, and sustainable well-being; and they reinforce Jersey's image and influence in Europe and the world. As a small Island with a population of close to 100,000 people, Jersey has a scale where the impacts of the arts are tangible and measurable. This opens-up the opportunity to pioneer new ways of working, to innovate and trial approaches which position the arts to the heart of the Island's long-term prosperity, health and wellbeing.

This is a new five-year Arts Strategy for Jersey. It has been commissioned by the Government of Jersey and developed by Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy a leading international consultancy for arts, culture and the creative economy. It is inspired and shaped by the passion, imagination and commitment of the people of Jersey, many of whom have contributed ideas and an enthusiasm to work together to deliver on the recommendations and priorities of the Strategy. 

The strategy comes at a pivotal time for Jersey. The Government of Jersey has committed to investing in 1% of overall Government expenditure in Arts, Culture and Heritage from 2022. This represents a positive endorsement of the vital role arts and culture play for the Island. Moreover, it signals a commitment to increasing the capacity of arts and culture to deliver even more for an Island that has so many distinctive assets and qualities to build from.


The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed society – in Jersey and internationally. It has brought into sharp relief the structural challenges we face, such as health and income inequality, the fragility of large parts of the economy, and inequity of access to resources such as digital connectivity or good housing. The pandemic has also required us all to take stock and consider what we value, what we want to keep and what we need to change.

Arts and culture are playing a formative role in this process of re-framing or renewal: it is art and culture which so many of us have turned to during this year of lockdowns - for comfort, inspiration or a sense of community. It is also art and culture that have helped us to reconsider what we value and the kind of society we can build post-pandemic. This includes the kind of education we want our children to experience and their right to access arts and culture (Jersey is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). It also includes the ways we connect and participate as a community, how we interact with the built and natural landscape, and the tools we need to flourish.

Through a strong, diverse, inclusive and excellent arts and cultural sector, Jersey will be far better equipped to deliver a recovery underpinned by a balanced economy, distinctive and high quality places, environmental sustainability, and a pervasive sense of health and wellbeing.

This is an Island which puts arts and culture to the heart of a holistic strategic Island Plan. This is a Creative Island.

Arts to the Heart of the Island Plan

The Draft Bridging Island Plan for Jersey (to 2025), builds on the Government's Common Strategic Policy:

  • we will put children first
  • we will improve Islanders' wellbeing and mental and physical health
  • we will create a sustainable, vibrant economy and skilled local workforce
  • we will reduce income inequality and improve the standard of living
  • we will protect and value our environment by embracing environmental innovation and ambition

Each of these can be more effectively delivered if the arts have the capacity to thrive. This is because, as is well documented and evidenced by UNESCO and multiple exemplars across the world, the arts, as part of a wider cultural system, do not only provide direct value to society – for example, in terms of health and wellbeing outcomes or to the fast-growing creative industries. The arts also deliver added value – or spillover effects – across economy and society, from a high value cultural tourism sector to innovative approaches to place-making; from more collaborative, confident and aspirational young people, to a compelling narrative which drives-up national profile and positively impacts on cultural relations or 'soft power'.

Sustainable wellbeing

This links to a specific ambition for Jersey, as described in the Island Plan, for a sustainable wellbeing: "Sustainable wellbeing is a holistic concept that uses different tools to measure how well society is doing across the key areas that contribute to overall quality of life. It supports a focus on long-term progress rather than short-term intervention, and enables community, environmental and economic indicators of wellbeing to be measured. The Island Plan shapes the places that promote good health and wellbeing; defining how people live and travel; where they work and learn; and determines the quality of the built and natural environment that all Islanders share."

The overall value proposition generated by the arts is one that delivers impact across all areas of public policy and which can enhance sustainable wellbeing for every Jersey resident. Yet to maximise this value proposition requires new ways of working which are catalysed by structural change in the ways the arts are positioned, supported and invested-in.

In Jersey, an Island with some excellent, though under-leveraged arts and cultural assets, a significant gap exists between the potential of the arts to deliver and its capacity to do so.

Addressing weaknesses and building on strengths

Jersey has many of the raw ingredients to develop a thriving and vibrant arts and culture offer which can deliver value across all areas of Island life. But it is not currently playing to its strengths, maximising collaborative opportunities and setting its ambitions high enough.

The Island has a core of organisations receiving a level of regular funding from the Government of Jersey and pockets of excellence and innovation across the arts. At present, three organisations receive regular funding. Together they provide a vital set of resources and infrastructure to the arts and cultural offer of Jersey.

The Island has an impressively active voluntary and community sector, with multiple societies, clubs and networks. The Island is home to professional artists producing work of real quality, as well as a vibrant amateur sector which contributes so much to wellbeing and vitality. At a strategic and policy level, there is increasing literacy regarding the ways the arts can be interwoven across key areas of policy and development, such as in urban planning, tourism and management and re-imagination of heritage assets.

However, there are significant gaps and so much more to play for. There is limited capacity and infrastructure provision in some art forms – for example, in visual arts, dance, music and digital. In Jersey, arts and culture have not historically been afforded the level of strategic investment, support or profiling seen in many other jurisdictions across the world. The arts in Jersey lack capacity, scale, visibility, sustainability, a shared voice and a collective terms of reference built on shared objectives with Government and optimised through consistent reporting.

Jersey is also a difficult place to develop sustainable professional practice – i.e. to work as an artist. The high property prices and limited local market are obvious constraints, but this is also an outcome of historic under-investment in the arts and wider creative ecosystem. Bluntly, despite a growing portfolio of excellent and innovative artists and arts organisations, Jersey is not known for its arts scene or, more broadly, associated with creativity. Indeed, some consulted for this Strategy have pointed to the perceived acceptance of mediocrity, which in turn contributes to diminished pride for the Island and the lack of a compelling arts-driven identity.

Yet this is changing, with clear Government commitment to the arts and a growing consensus across the Island of the role and value of the arts for a future Jersey. The Island's deep and rich history, with its remarkable landscape and seascape; its cultural distinctiveness nurtured through influences from Normandy and England; its Jèrriais language; its more recent interculturalism which draws on active influences from Madeira, Poland, Romania and many other places; new major development sites such as the St. Helier Waterfront and a re-imagined Fort Regent; are just some of the tangible and intangible assets which can inspire and mobilise a fresh arts-led renaissance for Jersey.

Add to this a set of extraneous forces – notably Covid-19 and Brexit – and the stakes are raised. Jersey needs to find a new path for recovery; it has to be more proactive to ensure the prosperity, health and wellbeing of future generations; and it will need to be more open, collaborative and demonstrably innovative if it is to thrive as a hub rather than backwater in a post-Brexit reality.

This is where the arts can play a starring role. Alongside this Arts Strategy for Jersey is a new Heritage Strategy and a contemplative yet vital piece of strategic research on Island Identity. Put together and to the heart of the new Island Plan, we have the building blocks for a Creative Island.

Connecting agendas – a Creative Island

This Arts Strategy for Jersey focuses on the role and value of a set of familiar art forms – such as music, performing arts, visual arts and literature. It focuses on the infrastructure, investment and partnership models which support these art forms. It does this through the lens of strategic development areas, such as education, health and wellbeing and economic development.

This strategy also aligns with the Heritage Strategy, inclusive of some shared activities. Where the two strategies converge most emphatically is in their shared call for a more ambitious and innovative arts and cultural offer in Jersey, where a portfolio of assets form opportunities to reconceptualise Jersey overall as a Creative Island

Arts and culture?

This strategy focuses on the profile and dynamics of the Arts in Jersey. This includes activities in performing arts (such as theatre, dance, circus.), visual arts (for example, painting, sculpture, photography, digital and light art), music (of all genres), literature (including poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and spoken word), and some areas of film / audio visual. 

The Arts activities in the creation of new work as well as its production, distribution and sales. It includes participation in and experience of the arts.

The Arts includes the infrastructure for artistic practice (for example, art spaces, galleries, hubs and venues). It includes the platforms for presentation and performance (for example, festivals and events). It includes the contexts for arts development – for example health and educational settings, libraries and community infrastructure.

The Arts also converges or overlaps with the wider cultural sector, including heritage (tangible and non-tangible), which provides the inspiration and active context for arts practice.

The Arts forms a central part of the creative industries and wider creative economy – providing the talent, content, narrative and inspiration to fuel sectors such as fashion, gaming, design and crafts.

Vision for a Creative Island


Jersey is known internationally as a Creative Island. It positions the arts to the heart of strategic development to safeguard its future as a place of sustainable wellbeing. It prioritises excellence and innovation in the arts to support a healthy and happy population, an enriching environment and a productive and balanced economy. 

About the vision

As a well-connected Island with a stable system of government and strong civil society, Jersey can be an innovator in the areas of arts and health / wellbeing, arts and education, arts and environment, arts and economy and arts and place-making. Jersey can make its size and location count: as a leading creative Island capable of taking risks, piloting and demonstrating impact. It can make more of its heritage and landscape as a context for arts and creative practice: a place to dream, to collaborate, to create and make. It can become a more fulfilling and enabling environment for artists and creatives to develop their practice. This will require a long-term view, involve significant investment and convene new types of partnership including those which introduce expertise from across a range of sectors – both in Jersey and internationally.

Consultation for this strategy has signalled appetite to position the arts as a key resource for Island life and for new types of partnership and collaborative practice which can guarantee an arts-led future for Jersey. Thus, to deliver on the above vision will require elements of structural change and for all partners – from Government to individual organisations and practitioners – to work together for shared purpose.

This Arts Strategy contains some specific recommended actions for each priority theme. These will be reviewed and evaluated annually in a Jersey Creative Forum at which the Government will provide a progress statement on the delivery of the Strategy and its role in the wider Island Plan. This Forum will focus each year on one of the key themes of the Strategy (as well as providing an overview of progress across all the themes). It is essential that this document is a 'living strategy' that can flex and adapt as the Island changes, so the Creative Forum provides a key moment for critical review and reflection.

Priority themes

The Priority Themes to deliver this Vision are:

  • Arts, education and personal development
  • Arts, health and sustainable wellbeing
  • Arts, environment and place-making
  • Arts, economic prosperity and inclusive growth

There are also some recommended cross-cutting priorities that Jersey needs to focus on to be successful in the delivery of its Arts Strategy. These include adaptation and improvements around governance and partnerships, investment models, internationalisation, communications, evaluation, and the relationship with other sectors.

The Priority Themes form the building blocks for a Creative Island. They combine to deliver on an ambition to:

  • Build a sustainable arts ecosystem where organisations are able to plan long-term
  • Develop an inclusive arts ecosystem, capable of reaching and inspiring everyone
  • Establish a transformational arts ecosystem which is diverse, agile, innovative, driving the creative renewal of the Island

Vision: Theme 1. Arts, education and personal development 

An Island…

  • where every young person has access to a diverse and dynamic arts education across formal and non-formal settings.
  • where the schools, arts organisations and artists work in partnership to co-design and deliver arts education and embed creative approaches across the curriculum.
  • where the arts are a key element in lifelong learning. 
  • which provides the space to learn and grow through the arts – for residents and visitors.
  • where the arts can help people build self esteem and feel a valued part of the society.
  • where the arts provide pathways to participation across the civic and social life; enhances the take-up of education and skills and contributes to job creation.
  • where an active appreciation of and appetite for arts and cultural activity makes Jersey more fulfilling as a place to live in, work or visit

Vision: Theme 2. Arts, health and sustainable wellbeing

An Island…

  • where the arts are a revitalising force that delivers a positive impact on health, cohesion and healing post-Covid-19
  • where the intrinsic values of arts participation influence people’s wellbeing, helping to build healthier lives, reducing isolation, and shaping participatory communities where creativity becomes part of the everyday

Vision: Theme 3. Arts, environment and place-making

An Island…

  • that pioneers environmental responsibility and innovation through the arts
  • that builds awareness and changes people’s behaviour through the work of artists in collaboration with scientists, technologists, planners and the Island’s communities
  • that engages the work of artists in planning and place-making activities
  • that interweaves artistic excellence and innovation in its built environment
  • that pioneers new types of arts infrastructure to encourage sustainable creative practice

Vision: Theme 4. Arts, economic prosperity and inclusive growth

An Island…

  • which invests in an inclusive and sustainable arts ecosystem
  • which supports artists to professionalise and reach new audiences / markets in Jersey and overseas so they can thrive as living artists
  • which invests in the development of new work – boosting artistic production. 
  • which fosters entrepreneurship across the arts, catalysing innovation and growth across the creative industries
  • which attracts inward investment in the arts – in festivals, events and as a location and platform for artistic practice
  • which positions the arts to the heart of its international cultural relations, inward investment and tourism. agendas

Shared principles

To ensure the priority themes deliver on the Vision for this Arts Strategy, the following shared principles will be paramount and be critical outcomes in the evaluation of delivery for publicly funded activities (see below). 

Principle 1

No one will be left behind. Access to creating, making and experiencing art will be for everyone who lives in or visits Jersey. The arts will be inclusive, affordable and equitable. Every young person has the right to access arts and culture in school and community settings.

Principle 2

Creating and making new work will be prioritised. Jersey will become a demonstrably productive landscape for developing new art, with the sustainability of organisations and artists facilitating this new era of creative making.

Principle 3

The arts play a leading-edge role in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals – In raising awareness and encouraging discourse, in directly delivering outcomes which contribute to different goals such as inclusive growth, environmental responsibility, and tackling prejudice and exclusion head-on.

Principle 4

Excellence and innovation will be required in all areas of arts activity - from the models of socially engaged arts to the commissioning of new art. 

Principle 5

The arts connect the local to the international. 

The arts can drive a new generation of internationalism – maximising the island’s international links and its diverse population. The arts can be to the heart of the Government’s Global Markets Strategy: cementing fresh relationships with France and Europe to overcome post-Brexit challenges; connecting the UK arts sector to Europe; and targeting new types of collaboration in other regions.

Governance and Partnership – a Fresh Model

The 1% for arts and culture commitment from the Government of Jersey marks a welcome uplift in investment and, more significantly, a validation of the role of arts and culture for the future of the Island. This raises the bar in terms of the role and value proposition for arts and culture. In doing so, it raises the importance of strengthening the Governance and Partnership landscape for arts and culture.

There are three main elements required to reform Governance and Partnership for the arts in Jersey. Together, they are based on a recognition that to deliver on its potential.

  • the arts needs to have a more visible strategic position and ownership within Government. Currently, responsibility for the arts is blended with responsibility for sport and the wider cultural portfolio (including heritage). Designated responsibility for the arts is required
  • the arts needs to have a clear route to Government and a shared strategic voice. This is so partners can co-design interventions prioritised in this Arts Strategy, so the arts can more effectively work with other related sectors to ensure a coordinated landscape of provision and development
  • the arts needs to have a structured and consistent terms of reference for Government investment so that the sector can work with Government to review performance and adapt delivery to ensure the priorities in this Strategy are effectively delivered while retaining an arms-length and independent role

There are three recommendations

Introduce a micro arts development unit in Government

Introduce a micro arts development unit in Government which works as the champion and advocate for the arts across Government; oversees a new arts investment programme (see below); and is partnership manager with arts organisations and other sectors which will be increasingly connected to the arts (for example, education, health and economy). The current sector lead post for the arts is diluted by a combined responsibility for heritage and sport. There is a need for greater capacity, resource and direct 'ownership' of the arts in Government. This 'unit', which need be no more than 2-3 posts, will also lead on the annual Creative Forum, facilitate an Arts and Creative Network for Jersey, and oversee the Culture Jersey web platform which requires re-invention as an active platform for arts and cultural practice across the Island. It will work closely with partners in Government to leverage investment and support for the arts across all departments. This will lead to an overall investment increase in arts development for Jersey – i.e. significantly more direct investment to artists and arts organisations than the cost of the micro-unit

Establish the Jersey Creative Island Partnership. 

Establish the Jersey Creative Island Partnership, modelled on place-based partnerships or 'compacts' in England, this work to boost the profile, connectivity and investment across the arts and build strategic relations with other key sectors. It will enable key regularly funded arts organisations to build a closer strategic and funding relationship with Government while retaining their 'arms-length' role. It will involve:

A network which includes the four regularly funded arts and cultural organisations; lead partners in sport, education, business, health, tourism and environment; independent expert arts and cultural advisors (who may be working internationally); plus a sample of creative practitioners and enterprises. The Network will provide a space for knowledge exchange, ideas generation and direct engagement with Government via the new Arts Development Unit and the responsible Minister. The network will establish a Reference Board which will work with Government to activate this Strategy. This Board will draw on expert advisers and facilitators – to ensure optimal decisions are made which are informed by expert independent insight. This Board will operate as the 'leadership group' for the arts in Jersey. It will meet every 6-8 weeks and develop its own terms of reference. Government (via the above micro-unit) will participate and the Board will be chaired by the responsible Minister. A set of smaller thematic 'task and finish' groups will be launched by the Creative Island Partnership. They will remain active for a minimum of 2 years – to kick-start the delivery of this Strategy. There will be one Task and Finish Group per priority theme. Each group will include a representative from a relevant Government department and a wider network of partners relevant to the theme. It will also be required to draw on expert independent advice, inclusive of commissioning research and feasibility activities. Each group will have a development budget to kick-start activities – for example, feasibility research.

An Evaluation Framework / Theory of Change for the Arts Strategy of Jersey

An Evaluation Framework / Theory of Change for the Arts Strategy of Jersey, overseen via a partnership of Government and the Creative Island Partnership, will provide a structured tool for measuring the impact of the arts across the Island. It will oversee the design and measurement of a set of arts outcomes which can be linked to the Government Performance Framework. It will map outcomes against each strategic theme / priority. It will be used to inform policy and investment, including the annual Creative Jersey Forum and Ministerial Statement. It will give funded / partner organisations clear guidelines and introduce a clarity of purpose overall. 

A New Arts Investment Framework

To deliver on the vision and priority themes of this Arts Strategy for Jersey will require a new approach to arts investment. The Creative Island Partnership will work with Government to revitalise public / private investment in the arts. This includes a role to ensure the % for art policy stands firm (on new developments), as well as to leverage arts investment via other means, with emphasis on developer contributions in priority themes (such as education, health / wellbeing, environment and economy). 

The Creative Island Partnership will also play a championing role alongside Government to court private investment in the arts. This can include the development of an investment prospectus for private giving (showcasing opportunities for arts investment); and an annual arts investor event (which connects investors to the arts and builds an arts philanthropy community) (see Section 3, Priority 4). 

However, a New Arts Investment Framework for Jersey will need to do more than leverage new / additional resources for the arts. It will facilitate a fresh approach to investing existing budgets and to maximising the impact of the 1% uplift from 2022. If we are asking for ambition, innovation and excellence from the arts, then investment needs to facilitate and incentivise this:

  • Continuity, stability and clarity of purpose: Current regularly funded arts organisations (ArtHouse Jersey, Jersey Arts Centre and Jersey Opera House) will form an official regularly funded portfolio which receives in principle revenue funding over a three-year period (rather than the current one-year). The current Finance Law does not allow for funding agreements beyond a 1-year model. However, in-principle arrangements would enable arts organisations to more effectively plan for a longer-term approach, with 1-year funding contracts a technical aspect of a three-year approach to partnership and investment. An annual review will take place based on the Theory of Change model. This review would not be to cancel funding agreements, but to undertake a light-touch exercise which reflects on the outcomes delivered by the investment, key learning points, and options for adapting the approach to strategic delivery for the following year. Applications for the next three-year round of investments will take place in quarter 2 of year 2
  • Growth and Diversification: An ambition of this Arts Strategy is for the regularly funded organisations to grow and become more sustainable. A further ambition is to support the growth of other organisations and programmes which in turn could qualify them to be a new portfolio organisation for Jersey. This is to nurture a ‘middle tier’ of arts organisations which can help diversify and enrich the overall arts ecosystem of Jersey. This includes non-building-based organisations such as festivals, residencies and cross-sector organisations such as those working in arts and health or arts and tourism. It is likely these organisations do not currently exist, or if they do, they will need to formalise and develop their model if they are to be in receipt of more sustained Government investment
  • Innovation and Start-Up: Jersey has an incredible number of individual artists and has a track record in starting-up arts-led activities such as festivals. However, the Island is not renowned as a place for artistic innovation – either in product or the strategic impact of arts practice. This needs to change if Jersey is to retain and attract creative talent. With the exception of lottery funds (which predominantly focus on micro grants for society-facing one-off arts projects), Jersey lacks flexible funding for new types of arts activity. This dampens the innovation capacity of the sector and limits the potential of the arts to deliver dynamic impacts in other sectors. This Arts Strategy proposes for a flexible and rolling Grants for the Arts Fund which seeds new activities (from new or existing organisations and practitioners), and which prioritises cross-boundary or interdisciplinary activities (for example, art and technology, art and science, art and health). The ambition is to establish a fund of £400,000 per year (perhaps as an Endowment – see Section 3, Priority 4), with the goal to disburse up to 15-25 development grants per year, with a minimum spend of £5,000 and maximum of £50,000. The grants will be overseen by the proposed arts unit in Government, with decisions informed by the four priority themes and five commitments of this Arts Strategy. This will play an invigorating role for the arts across the Island
  • Strategic Programme Funds. The arts can play a starring role across the key priorities of the Island Plan. This can be partially achieved through reform to arts investment as described above. However, the role and impact of the arts can be accelerated and expanded with a set of strategic programmes which have arts to their core. These strategic programmes may start as pathfinders or pilot exercises. However, they will, by their nature, be ambitious and provide opportunities for scale. It is anticipated Government will help to seed such programmes and work with the sector (for example via the Creative Island Partnership) to support their sustainability and extend their reach by attracting additional investment (from both public and private sector). Each of the priority themes for this Arts Strategy has, in addition to targeted recommended actions, a Strategic Programme attached to it (See Section 3). In addition, it is recommended that a new International Programme be established – as a ‘cross-cutting area’

The Creative Context

Research and consultation for this strategy has reached out and connected with a range of voices from across Jersey. It has sought to understand the Island’s cultural distinctiveness, its strengths and challenges, and what its citizens care about. It has uncovered an Island of incredible heritage, of beauty and often surprising diversity. Indeed, Jersey is an Island of surprises, of contrast, of changing light and shifting perspectives. 

It is at once a place of stability, consistency and continuity. And yet Jersey is an Island of innovation which has constantly evolved to find a role in a changing world. Its history of maritime and agricultural innovation, its unique approach to citizenship, governance and taxation, and its flexible relationship with its larger neighbours, all point to a resilience and capacity for embracing the new. 

It is a relatively prosperous Island - which has benefitted from a shift to financial services and become a magnet for wealth and capital. And yet Jersey is an Island with significant levels of social, educational, health and economic inequality with a housing shortage (and shortage of affordable housing), significant pressure on space and resources, and obvious vulnerability to market forces beyond its control – for example, Brexit, shifts in tourism, and automation. 

It is an Island with a very distinctive cultural and heritage landscape – endowed with its own minority language; infused with influences from Normandy, UK and beyond; replete with heritage buildings and distinctive architecture such as forts, churches and ancient monuments; and couched in an ancient landscape and seascape of enriching beauty and extraordinary archaeological significance. Many practicing artists engage with these resources in their work. And yet Jersey is an Island with a somehow loosened grip on its identity, caught somewhere between a distinctive past and a more complex present. There is a sense of fragmentation, of drift, in what Jersey stands for and what it can become. 

It is an increasingly ‘global Island’ - with a population drawn from across the world, an inherently international financial services sector, and a diaspora settled in many other countries. Local communities of Madeiran, Polish, Romanian, British and other backgrounds, enrich the Island and open-up opportunities to create new cultural identities and fresh connections. And yet Jersey does not make the most of its ‘diversity advantage’. The domestic approach has been one of multiculturalism – celebrating and providing for perceived differences rather than exploring what people share and what they can achieve through collaboration. The international approach would benefit from a stronger narrative with the arts as a critical resource and from a rejuvenated relationship with Normandy and Brittany. In turn, this would greatly increase the attractiveness of Jersey to the arts and creative industries of the UK.

It is an active Island – in sport, leisure, outdoor pursuits and art and culture. There is a very strong voluntary sector which plays a vital role in reaching communities across the Island, reducing isolation and encouraging active lives. There are more than 500 voluntary and community organisations active in Jersey, and 11,000 Islanders volunteer their time. There are scores of sports clubs and an avid community of runners, walkers, cyclists, surfers and swimmers. There is genuine breadth and depth in arts and cultural activities: an Island of choirs, musicians, drama societies and art clubs. And yet, in Jersey, there are many who do not actively participate, who are left behind. Through the actions of Jersey Sport, there is a legibility and coherence to the ‘sports offer’, yet for the arts, it is less clear what activities are available, how to access them, and how they connect with other activities across the Island.

Jersey's arts ecosystem

It is an Island with a diverse and changing arts ecosystem. For example, Jersey has a portfolio of building-based arts cultural organisations which provide the infrastructural enabling conditions for arts and culture to flourish to the heart of Island life. An extensive mapping exercise has been undertaken for this Arts Strategy and is available as an Appendix. It features the full range of arts and community infrastructure. Leading lights in this ecosystem include:

  • ArtHouse Jersey is a pioneer for socially embedded artistic practice and programming, managing to reach and inspire audiences from all communities, facilitate an enabling environment for arts practice, and connect the local to the international as equals. It is a critical agent of progressive change for the arts in Jersey
  • The Jersey Arts Centre provides a vital and inspiring role as a hub and connector for participatory arts, providing a safe space for artistic expression and engagement while working closely with Islanders of all backgrounds. It programmes local, national and international performances, exhibitions and residencies; provides educational and outreach activities and experiences; and animates key Island events and anniversaries – which all enhance cohesion, health and wellbeing
  • The Jersey Opera House symbolises the cultural confidence of early 20th Century Jersey. Built in 1900 and re-built in 1922, it provides a platform for performance across different art forms and is set for a process of re-imagination to ensure a dynamic and sustainable future
  • Jersey Library (with a main library in St. Helier, mobile library and branch at the Communicare Centre in St Brelade), plays a vital role in lifelong learning, advancing knowledge and enriching Jersey’s cultural life through the management of outstanding collections. Specialist service areas include adult lending, young readers, reference and information, local studies, music, school resources, home library services, open learning centres and the Barclays Eagle Lab
  • St. James Youth Arts Centre in St. Helier, a States owned Youth Service facility overseen and developed by a charitable Advisory Group. The Centre provides creative opportunities for young people aged 11-18yrs and facilitates access to its resources for all members of the community. It includes music rehearsal facilities across 3 fully equipped music rooms
  • Jersey Museum and Art Gallery (Managed by Jersey Heritage), explores the story of Jersey from Neolithic times to the modern day. Permanent exhibitions include the Story of Jersey film and Jersey - 100 Objects
  • Infrastructure such as CAA Galleries International (a commercial gallery that brings the opportunity to view and purchase work by international and local artists) and Public and Private (a fine art dealership specialising in modern and contemporary international art in all mediums), point to opportunities to grow the arts economy, plugging into the international arts market. Jersey has several micro galleries such as Harbour Gallery, Victoria Gallery and the Pitt Stream Gallery, providing opportunities for visual artists to present and sell. Plus, Jersey is home some serious art collectors, and in turn is a base for some extensive art collections
  • The Island has an extensive portfolio of community and learning infrastructure assets – such as many community centres, public halls, recreation centres, independent cafes and bars, hotels, churches, schools. Highlands College is a vital amenity, providing facilities and courses in arts and creative subjects to Level 3 Extended Diploma level. All are mapped in Appendix 1. All play an enriching and enabling role in the arts of Jersey – as venues, providers of activities (from formal arts education to informal participation), and as programmers of artistic content (from music gigs to art exhibitions)
  • Jersey’s heritage assets play an inspirational and enabling role for arts development. They include the range of historic buildings managed by Jersey Heritage, and range from the natural and maritime landscape to historic houses, forts, parks and gardens. In addition, the Island’s leisure and recreation assets, including Jersey Zoo, provide part of the wider experience economy alongside the arts and creative industries

Jersey is also an Island of artists, creatives and makers

  • Across the Island, artists and makers of international repute are developing new work, often hidden in home studios and largely exhibiting elsewhere. RampArts is a relatively new platform and network which connects and gives profile to Jersey artists. Yet in general the skills, creativity and imagination of professional and amateur artists are under-utilised resources in Jersey
  • Morning Boat is an artist residency and arts development project which explores critical issues and real-life practices that are central to the Island’s economy, social fabric and way of life. Its activities focus on local industries which are often referred to as the foundations of the Island economy and explores their impact on people’s lives. Morning Boat signals what is possible by exploring Jersey’s distinctiveness through artistic practice and exchange
  • The voluntary sector is engaged in activities of genuine quality and impact, delivering outcomes for health and wellbeing, education and cohesion. For example, the Performing Arts Development Group has played a longstanding role in nurturing active participation across the Island. It recently identified 34 amateur performing arts groups across Jersey. Jersey Amateur Dramatics Club and Jersey Green Room Club have a deep and significant history of community engagement and participation (they are, respectively, 82 and 112 years old, with the latter playing an active resistance role during the German occupation). Youth Arts Jersey is a provider of access to facilities, courses and events involving music, dance and drama. Arts Society Jersey and Society of Jersey Artists are among of a number of societies and clubs which convene creative practice across the Island. The Theatre Workshop offers training in the dramatic arts from the age of 6 and above. Jersey has a very active dance sector – with several dance schools and voluntary groups. These include the Central School of Dance and the Emma Jane Dance Academy; and dance groups which feature everything from ballroom to Scottish dance
  • Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Jersey Chamber Orchestra are examples of the musical excellence which thrives across Jersey and of the passion, resilience and commitment of the volunteers make them such features of the arts landscape. The new Jersey Music Association, which emerged through the Covid-19 lockdown, already has over 250 members, bringing together music teachers, choirs, songwriters and music producers as a collaboration and exchange platform for music on the Island. The Jersey Songwriters’ Society is a collective that supports and showcases original music, poetry, and art. It provides a vital role in connecting the grassroots music scene. Musical Originals is an exemplar choral group with a growing international profile
  • Jersey has a small but distinctive portfolio of festivals. There are traditional civic events such as the Flower Festival, Liberation Day and the Jersey Eisteddfod (in which over 20% of the population actively engages); festivals which explore contemporary arts and cultural narratives and forms. Other festivals provide learning opportunities, such as the Jersey Festival of Words, and engage with the Island’s natural landscape and heritage, such as the National Trust’s Love Nature Festival, which are alongside popular crowd-pleasing music events such as Weekender, Reasons, Liberation and Electric Park.  The Corn Riots Festival has proved hugely successful in 2021, re-energising audiences post-lockdown and demonstrating how festivals can play a dynamic role for a Creative Island. These festivals are critical for talent and audience development, commissioning new work, inspiring active participation and animating public space. They are also important contributors to Jersey’s visitor economy, both attracting tourists and enhancing the quality of stay

Map of cultural infrastructure

Map of community spaces

And yet, in Jersey, the arts ecosystem remains fragile.

For example:

  • The main arts organisations are working to extend and diversify their role. Innovation and quality of provision are shared commitments, and some organisations have accelerated processes of renewal to enhance provision and adapt to changing needs and opportunities. This Arts Strategy calls for a concerted effort to enable growth and diversification across the Island's arts ecosystem, supporting organisations which embrace change which delivers on its four themes and five principles
  • Many artists (or would-be artists) struggle for visibility and voice, including access to affordable space to create and show their work and access to mechanisms to develop socially engaged practice (for example, in education and health settings). There are also limited opportunities to contribute to matters of Island development such as to processes of place-making and planning, to how the Island works internationally, and to the visitor economy narrative
  • Festivals lack access for sustainable investment and some distinctive and high-quality events have been allowed to fail rather than championed, these are the catalysts for developing a dynamic arts ecosystem.
  • For too many people, access to the arts (as audience or active participant), is out of reach or infrequent. Relatively good participation figures overall mask significant levels of little or no participation for some members of the community
  • The voice and perspectives of young people are not driving arts development as they should. This is an outcome of a still piecemeal approach to arts and creative education and the dominance of an older demographic in the voluntary sector. The lack of consistently excellent arts and creative education across every part of a child's education presents a serious barrier to long-term personal development, social vitality and wellbeing
  • The international opportunity for Jersey and the arts is very under-explored. Post-Brexit, Jersey will need to work harder and smarter for visibility and relevance. It will also need to proactively reframe its approach to cultural relations, with an opportunity to embrace much closer collaborations with Europe as a way of gaining respect and influence with the arts and creative industries of the UK (which, for the most part, is keen to limit any divergence from markets, colleagues and friends in the European Union)

In Jersey, there are pockets of excellence and innovation across the arts. But there is not yet ecosystem-wide excellence and innovation and for too long this has been a politically acceptable reality. There is much to build from and work toward, but it is important to recognise the fundamental development challenge for the arts in Jersey: that the capacity of the sector to deliver on its potential is limited.

To deliver its potential will require more than the additional investment of 1% of Government Expenditure. It will require new levels of strategic commitment, co-investment across different parts of Government, and a collaborative push to elevate the arts as a key element in the Island's future and sustainable wellbeing.

Arts, education and personal development

​Existing qualities
​Structural challenges
​Pockets of excellence – for example, some brilliant arts teachers (for example, in music and drama); plus some emerging partnership activity which connects the arts to education. 

The Genesis Education Programme is a good example of arts and education partnership. It involves a partnership between ArtHouse Jersey and the Government of Jersey’s Department for Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES).

The first Genesis project is the Map of Wonders - a seven-part series of quests being rolled out across primary schools by seven uniquely produced films, created by ArtHouse Jersey, featuring local artists. Each ‘episode’ focuses on learning about aspects of Jersey using tales of local history and folklore to engage children in their Island history and the creative arts, while enhancing their sense of belonging.

Jersey Arts Centre has an extensive role in bringing the arts to educational and community settings. For example, its Theatre in Education Company has regularly toured Island-specific productions across all primary schools since 2004.

Jersey Music Service works in partnership with schools in the Island to increase access to quality music making and to raise the standard of music education by providing high quality creative and inspiring musical experiences across a wide range of musical genres.

Informal learning and youth participation activities in the arts are commonplace – for example, the Library Service, via St James Youth Centre, Youth Arts Jersey, Dance Academy, and multiple groups – such as in drama (for example, at Jersey Arts Centre), youth radio, and music groups. The Schools Programme of the Festival of Words is an example of arts learning via arts development. 

Jersey has a strong volunteer arts sector – which delivers positive outcomes for personal development, including life skills, which also contributes to wellbeing. 

There is some further education provision in arts and culture – for example, Highlands College provides Foundation to Level 3 courses and diplomas in a range of art forms. 

The private arts sector is offering an emergent learning and engagement role – for example, CCA Gallery offers internships and Private and Public Gallery works with secondary schools on visits to the gallery and with schools on public realm projects. 

​There is a large disparity in the quality of life and opportunities for children  - including access to extra-curricular activities in the arts. 

Jersey currently lacks a cohesive approach to arts education.  Although there are pockets of excellence, the capacity of providers tends to vary, and the arts are prioritised differently in individual settings.  

This includes a lack of structured arts and creative curricula and learning tools; a lack of professional development opportunities for artists working in education settings; a lack of coordinated arts and creative participation programming for youth; and weak connections between arts engagement and creative industries skills and entrepreneurship.

In Jersey there is insufficient intercultural arts development – connecting Jersey’s diverse communities. The diversity of the Island is an asset – to develop new types of cultural practice based on exchange and mutual understanding. Currently the diversity of Islanders is not positioned as a focus area in arts education.

The Island also misses out on the opportunities brought by higher education arts provision (for example, an arts school or degree level (and higher) courses in the arts and creative industries - meaning creative talent loss, mostly to the UK; and the absence of the energy of a creative student population

​Arts, health and sustainable wellbeing

​Existing qualities
​Structural challenges
​​The arts are already contributing to a healthier Island, with high levels of active participation in arts activities across all age groups and communities; with an incredible voluntary sector leading the way. The impacts are hard to quantify, but many of those consulted have pointed to the undoubted value of the arts to their own health and wellbeing.

The Arts in Health Care Trust makes the arts available to those who would otherwise have limited access due to illness, disability or infirmity . It also supports those who organise social activities in care settings through support for the work of the Social Activities Forum; and works holistically to promote the role of the arts for a range of therapeutic settings, as well as to engage artists to develop their practice in health and care settings. 

MENCAP is engaged in a range of vital and impactful interventions which attend to mental health challenges through the arts.

Key arts organisations are playing a vital role in engaging vulnerable and harder to reach communities as a way of enhancing wellbeing. Jersey Arts Centre has been working with Brighter Futures since 2014 and has created and developed four theatre pieces with and for its participants, with a fifth in development.

The Man Up Project, supported by both ArtHouse Jersey and Crestbridge, is a short film created by local musician turned filmmaker Ben O’Shea. The film explores the reality of men’s mental health in Jersey, right in the middle of National Mental Health Awareness Week.

Libraries are important safe spaces for arts engagement and as brokers between health and social professionals and the arts. They also provide resources and information which could advance approaches to arts and social prescribing. 

The arts are increasingly recognised for their role in giving confidence and comfort to vulnerable groups, increasing people with different disabilities. For example, the Mavericks project by ArtHouse Jersey engages young people with special educational needs as an ‘accessible after school club’.

The arts are understood as a key ‘wellbeing asset’ – as demonstrated in the commissioning of public art (through the % for art policy), and in how they are becoming part of the narrative on Island identity.

Jersey International Centre for Advanced Studies (JICAS) provides an ambitious and innovative platform for collaborative learning and R and D linked to some of the key global challenges and with regard to sustainable development. There is scope to extend and diversify this model as a learning lab for Jersey linked to this Strategy.

​Significant health inequalities across Jersey, with 80% of the population falling below World Health Authority recommended levels of physical activity and widespread challenges linked to mental health.

Physical and mental health challenges have been accelerated by Covid-19 – which brutally exposed inequalities and heightened issues such as isolation and mental health issues. 

There is a strategic disconnect between sport and arts – where the former has been recognised for its role in preventing and treating ill-health; whereas the role of the arts for prevention and as a health solution is not widely understood or invested in. The forthcoming Active Wellbeing Hubs provide an opportunity to align sport and arts in health and wellbeing provision. 

There is a lack of local evidence capture on the health and wellbeing outcomes of the arts – which in turn limits awareness and reduced opportunities for prescribing arts activities as part of a holistic solution. There is however ample evidence from other places – for example, UNESCO features multiple examples of how the arts can positively impact on physical and mental health .

Arts, environment and place-making

​Existing qualities
​Structural changes
​The heritage and natural landscape of Jersey provides an inspiring context for artistic creation and participation. Jersey’s beauty and its rich sense of place are invaluable assets for the arts. Jersey Heritage and the National Trust work in different ways as active partners to the arts, encouraging arts activities, commissions and interventions as a much-valued part of their asset management and programming.  

Landscape, environment and ecology act as renewable resources for the arts in Jersey. Many practicing artists engage these resources in their work. In fact, these resources are central to the Island’s artistic aesthetic and narrative – as explored in the residencies of the Morning Boat or, for example, in ArtHouse Jersey’s ‘Roaming Soundtrack’, an audio-visual art project curated by Camp Bestival and Worldwide FM’s Rob da Bank.

Jersey Arts Centre has for 15 years animated many of the Island’s heritage sites – including Mont Orgueil, La Hougue Bie and Hamptonne Country Life Museum. 

The built environment provides both a distinctive setting and a range of space resources for the arts. Some heritage assets have been imaginatively re-modelled as art spaces. From the Jersey Museum and Art Gallery to Greve de Lecq Barracks to Elizabeth Castle, the built environment, arts and heritage intersect to enhance the quality of place and environment across Jersey. Some spaces provide for an inspiring base for events and festivals. There is scope to make more of these heritage assets for arts activities – from making to showcasing work. 

The arts are increasingly recognised for their influence on high quality and distinctive place-making. An active role for the arts is being considered as part of the St. Helier Waterfront development, including scope for new arts infrastructure (for example a gallery or cross-art-form facility). A cultural strategy is being developed for the old hospital site, with new arts infrastructure under consideration. The Fort Regent site is under review, with options to include a cultural venue. Plus other locations, including the old Odeon Cinema in St. Helier, provide opportunities to uplift the arts infrastructure of Jersey and to animate and enhance the quality of place. 

The % for Art policy guarantees some investment in public art across the Island. Application and implementation of this policy could be stronger. Commissioning needs review to ensure quality and coherence to public art commissions. 

Jersey is becoming a more active environment for meanwhile or ‘pop up’ arts and cultural activity (and ArtHouse Jersey has its own pop-up exhibitions programme at Greve de Lecq Barracks). Pop up activities across the Island include the use of retail space for creative making and exhibition; the role of festivals and events animating public spaces; an active busking scene; and even some examples of street art – as evidenced in the St. Helier Art Trail. 

​Jersey does not have an overarching policy commitment to art and the environment. 2021 is the UN Year of Creative Economy and Environmental Sustainability. Now is the time to act on climate crisis and through an active commitment to the arts as a progressive force for environmental sustainability and responsibility.  

Jersey has a set of specific cultural infrastructure gaps and challenges, with key venues in need of a revamp and / or relocation to allow for expansion and diversification. For example:

  • Jersey lacks a cross-art-form and multi-purpose hub of scale and flexibility – capable of providing space for arts activities across the value chain – from R and D to production to presentation 
  • existing community infrastructure can be more effectively utilised for art production and presentation – for example parish halls as part of a fabric of cultural infrastructure for social impact
  • Jersey has a growing audience for live music, but the lack of a dedicated venue and coordinated programming limits the dynamism of the live music sector.

In Jersey there is, still, an emergent role for the arts in re-imagining and animating heritage and natural assets. Commissions and projects tend to be one-offs rather than as part of programmes. 

There is a limited role for artists and creative practitioners in informing planning and development processes – for example, in creative approaches to place-making.

There is a lack of coherence across interventions in public space – for example % for art commissions do not have curatorial or thematic consistency. 

There is limited innovation across public space – for example in the role of creative design and art in the public realm, in utilities (for example transport infrastructure), and in signage.

There is a low profile for the arts in highlighting climate emergency and in driving agendas on environmental responsibility. 

Arts, economic prosperity and inclusive growth

​Existing qualities
​Structural challenges

​In Jersey, the economic contribution of the arts (as part of the creative industries) has not been measured. It is not clear, for example, how many professional artists, makers, musicians, animators, film-makers and games designers. are operating on the Island, which means there is a data and evidence gap on the profile and dynamics of the overall creative ecosystem. Plus, the economic contribution of festivals and events has not been measured in a consistent and robust way. This ‘missing baseline’ makes it difficult to proclaim the economic significance of the arts in Jersey. However, it is safe to assume that the arts do make a significant direct impact to the Jersey economy and, more substantially, an indirect impact on the Island’s economic competitiveness, innovation capacity and attractiveness. 

This is because evidence demonstrates the economic contribution of the arts and creative industries. 2019 research for Arts Council England  shows that:

  • The arts and culture industry has grown £390million in a year and contributes £10.8billion a year to the UK economy.
  • The sector contributes £2.8billion a year to the Treasury via taxation and generates a further £23billion a year and 363,700 jobs.
  • Productivity in the arts and culture industry between 2009 and 2016 was greater than that of the economy as a whole, with gross value added per worker at £62,000 for arts and culture, compared to £46,800 for the wider UK economy.

In Jersey, qualitative consultation for this Arts Strategy indicates:

  • The Island is home to some very well regarded and well-connected professional artists, makers, writers, musicians, theatre producers and film-makers. For most, Jersey is the base for developing work, operating as a kind of creative sanctuary. Although the Island has a growing contemporary arts market – as evidenced by CAA Gallery, the ‘market’ tends to be overseas (especially the UK), with opportunities to sell work, and exhibit due to its scale and infrastructure.
  • A further barrier to attracting professional talent and thus building a strong and entrepreneurial arts and creative sector is the difficulty in obtaining licenses. Professional artists and creative entrepreneurs of calibre would help elevate the standard of arts management, production and delivery in Jersey, yet it is currently either too bureaucratic or expensive to relocate to the Island.
  • Without an arts school / university, the profile of professional arts practice in Jersey is relatively low and those who do pursue an arts education and career tend to leave the Island. The Jersey diaspora has many successful professional artists, most of whom accessed higher education in the UK. This presents an opportunity: to build the capacity and attractiveness of Jersey as a place for professional creative practice, with a level of on-Island creative higher education provision an important contributor.
  • The creative industries are an emergent part of the Jersey economy, with significant room for growth. Digital Jersey is working to position the Island as a sandbox for digital innovation, with a focus on immersive technologies. This offers exciting opportunities for convergence with the arts, which are critical providers of content and innovation for activities such as animation and gaming. In addition, the arts and heritage provide exciting content and contexts for immersive technologies – for example for site specific art works, for re-imagining heritage, and for museum innovation. 

​Key arts organisations have made significant advances to diversify income streams and develop ‘blended business models’, but there is scope for growing private giving and sponsorship as part of the arts economy.

Many residents do not access opportunities to participate or develop their talent in the arts. In turn, this limits the ‘talent pipeline’ and establishes the professional arts and creative industries as a relatively middle class and mono-ethnic sector.

There is an infrastructure gap in creating and making new art, especially for those without space in their house / garden. The lack of affordable creative studios and workspaces limits access to less affluent creatives and reduces the visibility and dynamism of the arts overall. 

There is a management and entrepreneurship gap across the arts, with limited capacity to translate arts practice into viable creative enterprises. This is despite a high-spending local market and scope for internationalisation. 

The spillover effects of the arts have not been fully explored / realized. For example, the arts as a central asset for the visitor economy, for innovation, and for ‘brand Jersey’ and associated inward investment and talent attraction.

The creative industries have not been prioritised as a key sector for Jersey. This is despite its growth profile and capacity to drive innovation across the economy. The arts is central to a successful creative economy. 

Map of development sites

The Creative Island opportunity

In Jersey, we need to re-evaluate the role of the arts: from where the arts are understood for pleasure, a leisure activity or nice thing to have / do; to where the arts help define who we are, where we are going, and provide us with the tools for a better society. By working together with passion and purpose, we can achieve for Jersey where other places fail  – to be a Creative Island that embraces the arts to tackle our core strategic challenges and to provide alternative pathways for renewal, innovation, sustainable wellbeing and inclusive growth.

There is a clear alignment for this Arts Strategy and other key strategies and plans, not least the Common Strategic Policy and (Bridging) Island Plan. 

Sustainable wellbeing

The new Island Bridging Plan, as the title suggests, bridges the current Island Plan (2011 to 2021); and a future Island Plan (2025 to 2034).

“The Plan will be key to ensuring that we can deliver sustainable development that will meet the needs of the community, as we balance the future economic, environmental and social needs of the Island in a way that is best for Jersey and which reflects the vision and aspirations of Islanders”.

Jersey’s Common Strategic Policy 2018-22 connects key strategies across Government and seeks to marshal a process of recovery by emphasising sustainable wellbeing. The arts, as part of a wider cultural landscape and creative economy, can play a vital role for Jersey in delivering outcomes for sustainable wellbeing.

For example:

  • The arts can be the transformative agent for more distinctive, engaging and productive neighbourhoods and town centre(s). They can play a role in revitalising town centres and generating wellbeing in smaller settlements. They can also, through imaginative programming, help connect urban and rural areas, bridging socio-economic and cultural divides
  • The arts can inspire us to invest our time and emotions in our local community
  • The arts can instill us with curiosity, criticality and a hunger for vibrancy
  • The arts can help reduce isolation, improve confidence and enhance our sense of self and collective worth
  • The arts can help us to re-imagine key elements of our physical landscape – injecting creativity into how places are designed and planned
  • The arts can help rebalance the economy, widening the shoulders of the tourism season, offering depth and quality to the evening economy, and driving innovation across the creative industries. Post-Covid, the arts and creative industries can be productive beneficiary of 'fiscal stimulus' alongside sectors which more regularly benefit from such approaches (such as construction)
  • The arts can help us act sustainably, providing critical tools to conceptualise ways we can respond to and tackle climate emergency, how we act local to affect the global

Government of Jersey Performance Framework

The Performance Framework adopted by the Government of Jersey is currently 'arts and culture light'. This measure could be extended to include more indicators reflecting and measuring the growth and impact of arts, culture and creativity in the life of the Island – for example, add arts and creative industries as one of the key sectors to be measured.

With the 1% uplift for arts, culture and heritage expenditure, plus with an ambition to leverage investment in the arts from other parts of Government, it will also be important to establish a framework which measures arts impact consistently within a wider Performance Framework that includes economy, social and environment. Demonstrating how the arts contribute holistically.

Figure 2 below positions the Arts Strategy as a key part of the strategic dashboard for Jersey, adding value and facilitating an innovative approach to sustainable wellbeing. However, it must be noted that currently, too few of the following strategies directly promote the arts as a key contributor to their stated goals. It will be paramount for future strategies to recognise the manifold ways the arts can deliver on their goals – from education to health to economic prosperity.

Four themes for a Creative Island

This Arts Strategy for Jersey positions the arts to the heart of the wider strategic policy landscape. It promotes the role of the arts for their intrinsic value – as part of the expressive reality of being human, as a vital affirmation of life. It also promotes the role of the arts for their social, economic and environmental value. Taken together, Jersey can build a sustainable wellbeing with the arts to the centre. The four Priority Themes for this Arts Strategy are re-introduced below, alongside some outline recommendations. They follow a reminder of the value the arts can deliver to Jersey – as a Creative Island. 

The arts value proposition for Jersey

  • The arts in Jersey are expressive of the diverse and changing identities and sensibilities of Islanders. The arts enable us to reflect on who we are and what we want to be
  • The arts are for every day and for the special occasion. They bring us together and let us dream and create in perfect isolation
  • The arts are enjoyed can be enjoyed and help us to live more enriching lives - at home, on the streets and across every neighbourhood
  • The arts are a catalyst for economic diversification and inclusive growth; and a dynamic independent arts scene can do wonders for talent attraction and retention; for inward investment and tourism
  • The arts can help us to breathe, to feel part of something, to express shared emotions, in turn helping us to heal or even preventing us from getting sick
  • The arts can facilitate new ways of thinking and doing, letting us create alternative futures which are more inclusive, cohesive and environmentally sustainable. 
  • The arts can inspire the crossing of boundaries – for example, of discipline and nation - powering innovation and enhancing trust and mutuality
  • The arts are: our lives, identities and communities; organisations and institutions; festivals and events; artists and makers; audiences and markets. The arts help us define ourselves and to make Jersey a more enriching and rewarding place to live in or visit

Theme 1. Arts, education and personal development

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Author and futurist, Alvin Toffler 


An Island…

  • where every young person has access to a diverse and dynamic arts education across formal and non-formal settings
  • where the schools, arts organisations and artists work in partnership to co-design and deliver arts education
  • where the arts is a key element in lifelong learning
  • which provides the space to learn and grow through the arts – for residents and visitors
  • where the arts can help people build self-esteem and feel a valued part of the society
  • where the arts provide pathways to participation across the civic and social life; enhances the take-up of education and skills; and contributes to job creation
  • where an active appreciation of and appetite for arts and cultural activity make Jersey more fulfilling as a place to live in, work or visit


Consolidation and growth of arts and creative cultural education and participation across the Island – prioritising inclusion; advocating for the arts; more effectively placing arts and creative activities at the heart of the curriculum and school experience through effective partnership between schools and arts organisations; and enabling a clear route from cultural learning and participation into skills development, further and higher education, employment, and continuous development throughout working lives. 


If Jersey is to flourish, then partners will need to commit to arts, creative and cultural education. This is to enrich the lives of young people and build a culturally active population for the future via continuous access to arts and cultural education and learning. In turn this can generate pathways for long-term cultural participation, technical and professional development, and routes to employment in the arts and cultural sector and creative industries. The arts are also so central to forming engaged citizens, giving people agency and confidence; in building cohesive communities; in tackling inequalities; and in enhancing the dynamism and quality of place.

Jersey, as a small Island with a limited number of schools and education settings, could have the most joined-up arts education offer in Europe. This would include a committed and coordinated approach to arts, creative sector and cultural education (see below); the development of clear and accessible skills programmes which link talent to employment (including self-employment); and a continued learning and skills offer which enables the talent base to constantly re-skill, adapt and explore opportunities throughout their careers across the Island and through international collaborations.

Vital here will be stronger partnerships that connect cultural participation, education and pathways.


The Creative Island Partnership will set up an Arts, Education and Personal Development Task and Finish Group to kick start this process. It will also reflect on and draw from best practice elsewhere – for example, the long-term strategic approach to creative education in Finland; the Criw Celf arts education programme in Wales ; and the Creative Schools Programme in Ireland. 

Key recommendations

  1. Strategic Programme Recommendation: The design and trial of the Jersey Arts and Cultural Curriculum. This will involve a shared arts and cultural education offer for schools. Based on a review of global best practice and co-designed by arts and cultural organisations, creative professionals and participating schools, this is a way of building in coordinated arts offer which matches educational and institutional priorities to the skills and aspirations of the Jersey arts sector. It will enable a smart packaging of arts activities which are legible, easy to introduce, and which build from the distinctive qualities of the Jersey arts sector
  2. A STEAM pathfinder – led by a cohort of arts and environment organisations and schools to connect STEM subjects to the arts and cultural sector. This will trial the convergence of science and cultural learning and commission environmental scientists and artists to collaborate to generate new learning tools and experiences which connect the arts to environmental sustainability. The current STEM programme led by Skills Jersey (as part of the Primary Engineer Programme) can dovetail with a fresh set of STEAM activities – as a first step in co-designing a STEAM pathfinder
  3. A Young People’s Creative Makers Space and creative making programme – a creative learning hub and activity programme which explores digital fabrication alongside arts-led workshops and project activities, including games design, coding, animation, and explorations with immersive technology. This can plug into / complement the Barclays Eagle Lab Maker Space at Jersey Library, while also have a peripatetic function across the Island

Additional opportunities for consideration

  1. Youth Arts Council / Network / Ambassadors – a platform and network which promotes arts and cultural activities relevant to young people and provides a voice for young people to articulate their needs, desires and aspirations. This can work as the key engagement mechanism which connects Government to young people through the arts. Such a role is played by the Youth Arts Network of Wales. 
  2. Test and model the potential for a Jersey School of Arts. This can be a public-private joint venture which seeks to build the professional capacity of the arts in Jersey; to boost long-stay sustainable ‘residency tourism’, and to shine a light on arts practice for the wider population. One model to learn from is Newlyn School of Art in Cornwall  – an arts school led by artists for artists and to celebrate the love of arts “with the desire for artists to share their practice and their process…it’s all about artists telling other artists how they make their work: tips are practical and aesthetic, advice is physical and philosophical, and there is something of communicating the habit of art”.

Other models include the co-design and delivery of arts and creative courses in Jersey with an existing higher education partner (for example, UK- or France-based). Jersey International Centre for Advanced Studies (JICAS) is already testing this approach – fror example, via an MSC in Island Biodiversity and Conservation. An MA in environmental arts and / or in arts, health and wellbeing could be a logical next step. 

Theme 2. Arts, health and sustainable wellbeing

“Everyone should have the right and equal opportunity to engage in art and participate in cultural activities. This is irrespective of where a person lives or their living or work environment, according to the extent that their desire, ability, and creative resources will allow, for the whole of their lifespan” Päivi Nykyri, Special Advisor at the Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health.


An Island…

  • where the arts are a revitalising force that delivers a positive impact on health, cohesion and healing post-Covid-19
  • where the intrinsic values of arts participation influence people’s wellbeing, helping to build healthier lives, reducing isolation, and shaping participatory communities where creativity becomes part of the everyday


The role of arts in supporting good health and wellbeing is well recognised internationally. In Jersey there is some way to go to effectively integrate an arts offer within the health and social sector. The size of the Island and existing reach of the voluntary sector should facilitate a ‘best practice’ opportunity for Jersey to the heart of the ‘Creative Island’ proposition. The Jersey Care Model has the aspiration of transforming from a hospital centred care system to a more community model with greater focus on person-centred and self care, where community assets help support staying well and recovery. Arts and culture can play a hugely value-adding role in this context. 


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore evidence of how arts and culture can deliver a range of positive outcomes for health and wellbeing. In the UK, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing report  found that art can help meet challenges in health and social care around ageing, loneliness, long-term conditions and mental health. It also found that art can help save the care sector money.

Consultations for this strategy suggest that arts and culture are already making a big difference to the health and wellbeing of Jersey’s residents. The Island has relatively strong civic participation with good audiences for most art forms. There is some excellent practice, with key arts organisations and charities providing safe and inclusive activities, and arts provision such as in dance, storytelling and music are delivering positive impacts for ‘ageing well’, which is in turn vital for reducing incidences of dementia and a range of mental health issues. However, too many people feel disconnected from the arts and cultural life of the Island; loneliness and depression are major issues in contemporary society; and the role of arts and culture as a preventative tool relating to a range of both physical and mental health issues are under-explored.

As society begins to heal post-Covid-19, it is especially important that the arts play a central role in tackling issues relating to mental health as well as physical recovery. Many studies and examples have shown that participation in artistic and cultural activities strengthens health and social wellbeing. The effects can be seen in multiple fields: participation in cultural activities will prolong life expectancy, affect experienced health status, and can be equated with health-promoting exercises. In the workplace, art-based methods can be used to find solutions to different problems, generate new innovations, and improve wellbeing. 

Key recommendation

  1. Strategic Programme Recommendation: The Creative Island Partnership set up a Task and Finish Group for arts, health and sustainable wellbeing with a role to co-design and trial an arts and cultural prescribing model in Jersey. This should be based on informed review of good practice elsewhere and be shaped in partnership with the Arts in Healthcare Trust. This has the potential to be an R and D development activity undertaken in partnership with a University, perhaps with scope to develop an MSC in Arts Health and Wellbeing via the JICAS platform. It can also enhance the Jersey Care Model – adding arts and culture to community care provision.

Other recommendations

  1. A coordinated community infrastructure offer with Jersey Sport. Central here is the potential for co-located arts and sports infrastructure as part of the Inspiring Active Places programme: “We also want to focus on improving both the mental and physical health of Islanders, which is particularly important due to the impact of Covid-19 and our suggested state-of-the–art sport and wellbeing hubs, will focus on just that.” New wellbeing hubs will be developed at four locations. These can include a coordinated approach to engagement, signposting, and volunteering; matching participants to a portfolio of sports and arts activities; the introduction of appropriate flexible space for arts development activities – for example, rehearsal space, studio space for music recording, and ‘wet space’ for different types of visual arts and crafts activities. 

  2. 2023 - Year of Arts, Health and Wellbeing. As the first full year of post-Covid recovery, Government can work with the arts to co-design a program of socially engaged arts activities which shine light on recovery and promote the arts as a key part of a healthy Jersey for the future. Existing festivals provide a rich seam from which to build capacity and to extend and diversify programming. For example, the Corn Riots Festival and Eisteddfod can connect the Island’s agrarian past to a contemporary wellbeing focus on eating and living well. This is a future-facing and arts-led approach to the ‘harvest festival’, encouraging people to collaboratively engage with the land and its riches. Scotland’s Dandelion Project is an exemplar – the “largest grow your own project of modern times” .

  3. Accessible Jersey – Building from the Disability Strategy, commission an annual project which celebrates the Island’s full diversity and builds capacity to enable artists and audiences of disability to fully participate in Island life. Bristol’s ParaOrcherstra  and Extraordinary Bodies  are benchmarks for Jersey – demonstrating that world class innovative art can be developed by exploring widest notions of diversity.

Theme 3. Arts, environment and place-making

“Art and culture are at the heart of the challenges we face globally, notably the transition towards a green and digital economy. Building forward better and more sustainably will require cultural changes for us all.” UNESCO and European Commission 2021 .


An Island…

  • that pioneers environmental responsibility and innovation through the arts
  • that builds awareness and changes people’s behaviour through the work of artists in collaboration with scientists, technologists, planners and the Island’s communities
  • that engages the work of artists in planning and place-making activities
  • that interweaves artistic excellence and innovation in its built environment
  • that pioneers new types of arts infrastructure to encourage sustainable creative practice


The arts at the heart of Jersey’s approach to environmental sustainability and high quality place-making. Here the arts help to build and inspire environmental responsibility among residents and visitors. The arts also act as a vital force in improving the quality and distinctiveness of place, in enhancing the built and natural landscape, and in supporting the protection and reanimation of Jersey’s heritage. 


The United Nations’ Agenda 2030  is the most comprehensive and ambitious agenda for development the world has ever seen. It sets out 17 Sustainable Development Goals which cover most areas of public policy, from social, economic and environmental sustainability to the protection of fundamental freedoms. Several Sustainable Development Goals refer explicitly to culture (and implicitly to the Arts), but there is wide agreement that arts and culture directly and indirectly contribute to Agenda 2030 as a whole.

The relationship between arts and culture and the SDGs is one of mutual dependence. Economically, arts and culture are multipliers that drive innovation in digital, tourism and other sectors. Socially, cultural heritage and the arts help to foster cohesion. By greening its operations, the arts and cultural sector can reduce its carbon footprint and act against climate change. Last but not least, musicians, writers, filmmakers, actors, museum curators, heritage professionals and others working in creative sectors can harness the convening power of art and culture to raise public awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and their promise of a more just and equitable world. 

Jersey, as a small Creative Island, can put arts and culture to the heart of its approach to sustainable development. This does include approaches to economy, education, health and wellbeing, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability, excellence and innovation in place-making. 


The arts in Jersey can be supported as a vital enabler for high quality, distinctive places where environmental sustainability and sustainable wellbeing are to the fore. The Creative Island Partnership can set up an Arts and Environment / Place-making Task and Finish Group with responsibility for super-charging the arts as a sustainability resource for Jersey.

Key recommendations

  1. Strategic Programme Recommendation: Our Creative Island arts and culture commissioning programme and cultural tourism itinerary. The arts, working with Visit Jersey, Jersey Heritage and The National Trust, can establish a distinctive ‘arts and cultural tourism product’ as a key element in the Island’s cultural tourism and brand which acts as an enriching amenity for Jersey Residents. Modelled on England’s Creative Coast (which includes the world’s first art geotour) , this is an ambitious long-term (10 year) programme. Arts and heritage organisations would lead on the design and delivery of a commissioning programme and dovetail with Visit Jersey which would lead on the development of the cultural tourism package / itinerary. This would involve:
    1. Site-specific commissions for public art works (permanent and meanwhile) at key heritage and natural landscape sites
    2. Arts education and wellbeing interventions which connect different communities to the Island’s natural and cultural landscape via themed activities
    3. Talks, workshops and digital tools which deepen relations with the land, its heritage, and its increasingly diverse communities
    4. Digital signposting and wayfinding which enables visitors and residents to tour the Island through its arts.

This is an ambitious intervention which will require substantial planning and a new level of partnership. It presents an opportunity to support Jersey Heritage and UNESCO toward the designation of a UNESCO Geopark. Currently Jersey is positioned as an ‘Aspiring Geopark’ and has registered an intention to apply for full Geopark Status:

“The Geopark project, rooted in the stories of climate and sea-level change revealed in the geo-archaeology of our Ice Age Island programme, provides a framework to develop a commitment to the natural environment in support of Island policies…A UNESCO designation would bring international recognition to Jersey’s geological, natural and cultural heritage and a framework to engage with Channel Island, regional and international partners”. (Jersey Heritage Strategy 2021). 

A successful geopark will involve a strong and imaginative role for the arts, including landscape and environmental arts commissions which vividly tell the story of the Island’s physical and cultural geography, arts education and learning activities which bring the Geopark to life. The arts and technology interventions can illuminate the landscape as a cultural asset and as special part of the cultural tourism offer. Key arts organisations and artists can collaborate with Jersey Heritage to co-design a role for the arts to the heart of the geopark.

Overall, this can be a breakthrough intervention which significantly boosts the attractiveness of Jersey as a high-quality destination for a more immersive, sustainable approach to cultural tourism. 

  1. Arts and development. Jersey is undergoing considerable development-led change. This includes a totally new district at the Waterfront, a re-imagined / re-purposed Fort Regent, and a new micro-district at the St. Helier hospital site. There is also significant development pressure given the shortage of affordable housing. The arts have, to date, been relatively marginal to approaches to place-making and planning. Opportunities have been missed to establish innovative and imaginative public realm, to interweave arts infrastructure into new developments, and to utilise artists in processes of community engagement and place visioning

For ongoing and future developments, it is recommended:

  • The % for Arts policy is effectively activated, with a % for arts panel set up to advise on public art interventions and pool contributions to avoid a ‘piecemeal approach’. It will set up guidelines on quality and work to ensure art is integrated into schemes rather than added as a stand-alone art work. Arts education and arts for community engagement should also be prioritised as part of the activation of development schemes. The Waterfront development can be a ‘test-case’ for activating this policy
  • Spaces for arts production are prioritised. Jersey lacks affordable and visible spaces for arts and creative production  – for example arts and crafts studios and maker-spaces. Such spaces can add vitality and attract a diversity of complementary uses (for example cafes, independent retail). Opportunities for integrating arts and creative production into new developments should be encouraged. Opportunities for meanwhile arts production spaces should also be activated – for example in retail and office accommodation in ‘high street’ locations as part of the process to re-imagine the future town centre(s). A further (and priority) option is to endow an arts organisation with property assets which can be modelled as affordable and accessible studio spaces. This has been critical to nurturing inclusive and sustainable arts ecosystems in high cost property contexts – for example see Bow Arts Trust in East London, which manages a portfolio of studios, which in turns generates revenue for a wider set of educational and social engagement activities . There is also a need to support the live music ecosystem, with a dedicated music venue a medium-long-term priority
  • Artists work to provide innovative and imaginative solutions to community and transport infrastructure. For example, Jersey can be a pioneer in commissioning green and creative infrastructure as part of the renewal of utilities such as bus shelters, street lighting and traffic calming. This is to reconceptualise a seemingly prosaic intervention (such as purchasing new bus shelters from a catalogue) and turning it into a creative commission. Inspiration here can be sought from Sheffield’s Grey to Green initiative , where public art, imaginative design and a process of re-wilding’ have turned sections of otherwise hard-edged road infrastructure into a high quality hybrid landscape where nature, art and contemporary design converge to support integrated use for cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Jersey, as a Creative Island, can aim higher and see every intervention in planning and development as a creative opportunity
  1. Performing Arts Venue Review. Jersey has a rich heritage of performing arts provision and activity, symbolised by the Opera House and animated by a strong voluntary or ‘amateur’ sector. However, the Island can be a more attractive, dynamic and sustainable hub for the performing arts if it attends to the ongoing structural challenges set by capital refurbishment needs, identifies opportunities for flexible rehearsal / production / presentation facilities at a range of sites, and – critically – coordinates approaches to performing arts development, programming and promotion. This is a complex and sensitive issue which requires extensive expert-driven attention. A preferred approach would be to:
    1. Trigger a performing arts re-imagination process which takes an asset-based approach to present a set of options which can achieve a more sustainable, productive and coordinated approach to performing arts provision and development.
    2. Develop options which will help establish a flexible hub for performing arts development at the heart of a wider coordinated programme of delivery. This can include consideration of a centralised box office and promotion platform for local and visiting productions. It will be vital to retain the arms-length principle for arts organisations in terms of development and programming while facilitating a coordinated and accessible offer overall. 

In addition, new and future development sites should be assessed for their role as hubs for new arts infrastructure which can boost the capacity and profile of the arts in Jersey. There are two main considerations here:

  1. To introduce major new arts infrastructure for which there is no existing comparable offer. This includes a proposed new National Gallery, possibly as part of the Waterfront development. This is conceptualised as a distinctive and high quality new exhibition and events space which can house permanent collections (based on those already present or in storage in Jersey), and attract international touring shows. While the case for such infrastructure has some merits (for example such infrastructure can significantly boost Jersey’s profile as a Creative Island, with subsequent growth in tourism and inward investment), this Arts Strategy does not recommend the development of a National Gallery for Jersey as a short-medium term priority. Full feasibility and a business case will need to be established from 2022, including an assessment on how such an investment would impact on the existing arts ecosystem of the Island and how expert programming and innovative production can be hard-wired in as a guaranteed element of any new infrastructure. This should also consider other models which may be more relevant to both need and opportunity – for example the establishment of a cross-art-form facility (co-locating amenities for different art forms) which combines space for production, rehearsal, exhibition / presentation, and a set of social and wellbeing functions. Exemplars here include Manchester Home , Adelaide Festival Centre in Australia , or Espoo Cultural Centre in Finland . These facilities help to boost local production, grow new audiences, and offer a scale model which can be flexed for different types of events and festivals. Such an approach would involve re-imagining a new type of arts hub where world class art from across disciplines can co-locate with world class approaches to arts education, wellbeing and environment.  A new National Gallery can be part of this ‘mix’ in a longer-term vision for a Creative Jersey. It is more likely to be both feasible and sustainable if it follows an intensive period of arts capacity-building and growth via the successful implementation of this Arts Strategy. 

Other recommendations

  • In 2022 develop feasibility and options for a cross-art-form centre (inclusive of a Gallery) to anchor a new development (for example Waterfront or, possibly, Fort Regent) and supercharge arts development as a longer-term outcome of this Arts Strategy (i.e. 2026 onward)
  • Undertake a visioning and feasibility exercise for the Hospital Site to become a mixed-use development with an ‘arts village’ to its heart. A cultural strategy is being developed for the hospital site. This will consider a range of options including provision of new infrastructure
  • Develop a creative renewal plan for Fort Regent, to include space for arts production, events space, and a role for artists in the re-imagining of the site as a major cultural asset for the Island

Theme 4. Arts, economic prosperity and inclusive growth

“Arts and culture changes lives, but it also means business, making money for our national and local economies” (Arts Council England – Let’s Talk Money) .


An Island…

  • which invests in an inclusive and sustainable arts ecosystem
  • which supports artists to professionalise and reach new audiences / markets in Jersey and overseas
  • which invests in the development of new work – boosting artistic production
  • which fosters entrepreneurship across the arts, catalysing innovation and growth across the cultural and creative industries
  • which attracts inward investment in the arts – in festivals, events and as a location and platform for artistic practice
  • which positions the arts to the heart of its international cultural relations, inward investment and tourism


A dynamic arts ecosystem which can power Jersey’s creative industries, support the sustainable growth of cultural tourism and can play a game-changing role in the Island’s international relations. Jersey has a small but excellent professional arts sector, with room for growth. The Island also has a very emergent cultural and creative industries sector which can help rebalance and drive the Island’s future economy, with sectors such as design, computer games, film and animation offering real potential. Plus, as the tourism sector pivots towards a more sustainable model of high value longer-stays, arts and culture will be key in increasing the Island’s attractiveness for this changing market and in providing itineraries of excellence. 


The Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs), which have the arts at their heart, are much more than just another sector, they offer a pathway toward a different type of economy which is more resilient, innovation-based and knowledge-driven. In 2019, the CCIs represented 4.4% of EU GDP in terms of turnover, with annual revenues of €643 billion and a total added value of €253 billion. CCIs were also one of Europe’s leading job providers, employing more than 7.6 million people, more than eight times the telecommunications industry .

The Covid-19 pandemic has proved hugely damaging to the CCIs, exposing the fragility of work for creative freelancers and micro-enterprises, and, with the lockdowns, stifling opportunities for income generation for many arts and cultural organisations. But the pandemic has also accelerated innovation in the CCIs, especially with regard to digitalization. It has also facilitated an upsurge in demand for cultural content – on-line but, as we emerge from lockdowns, for live and face-to-face cultural experiences.

Now, as the pandemic subsides, the CCIs can play a vital role in recovery and help us to reboot the economy. But to deliver on its potential, the arts sector needs support: to build its capacity and enhance its sustainability; to seed new creative enterprises and facilitate collaboration where all segments of society have an opportunity; and to provide the type of quality of content and experience which will enhance the tourism offer. 


For a strong and dynamic creative economy, Jersey needs to first get the basics right. The Creative Island Partnership can set up an Arts Economy Task and Finish Group which prioritises the following outline recommendations:

  1. Strategic Programme Recommendation – the New Arts Investment Framework (See Section 1.2) - Supporting a sustainable arts ecosystem. There is a need to ensure that existing arts organisations can operate sustainably, with a healthy balance of public, private and revenue-based income. The uplift in Government investment (facilitated by the 1% policy) and in-principle 3-year funding agreements will make a significant difference, as will project grant funding to build the innovation capacity of the arts. A further recommendation is for strategic programme investment for the priority recommendation of each priority theme for this Arts Strategy. In addition, it is anticipated that Government will work across different policy areas (health, education, planning, economy, international), to unlock seed funding for the wider portfolio of recommendations outlined in this Arts Strategy. Together, this package of investments and incentives will stimulate growth, innovation and sustainability across the arts of Jersey. 
  2. Boost private giving and sponsorship for the Arts. This Arts Strategy provides a Framework for development and investment in the arts. By linking the arts to the sustainable wellbeing of Jersey, this should broaden its investment appeal from the Island’s many high net-worth individuals who are looking to give something back to the local community. It should also increase the attractiveness of the arts for charitable sponsors – for example in the finance industry. However, it is recommended that the investment appeal of the arts is made even more explicit via:
    1. An annual arts fund-raiser event linked to the proposed Jersey Creative Forum (see Section 1) – for example a gala dinner or ‘meet the investor’ dinner where the arts are showcased as vital to the Island’s sustainable wellbeing. This can be supplemented by an illustrative toolkit on how the arts delivers value and a social return on investment. Care would need to be taken to ensure this fund-raiser does not impede on the personalised and targeted fund-raising activities of individual arts organisations. It should be positioned to raise awareness of the arts as an investment opportunity and facilitate stronger trust-based relationships between the arts and potential investors.
    2. Feasibility for an arts endowment: where Government and private investment come together as a renewable arts investment fund which can be used to support and sustain key activities recommended in this Strategy. Jersey is well-placed to pioneer such a model. An exemplar is the small town of Kristiansand, Norway (pop. 80,000). In 2002, Kristiansand sold off some of its energy stocks to start an arts foundation, Cultiva , with an endowment of 1.4 billion Norwegian kroner — currently the Sterling equivalent of around £170 million.
  3. A Creative Entrepreneurship booster programme, working with Jersey Business and Digital Jersey to provide tailored specialist advice and guidance to artists, creative freelancers and micro enterprises. These organisations will require some professional development and be able to recruit specialist expertise - to enhance their understanding of and relevance to the arts and creative industries (augmenting existing expertise in digital and finance sectors). This programme will focus on establishing sustainable businesses, with information and signposting on areas such as intellectual property, accessing new markets, and collaborating with / providing services to other sectors such as tourism and finance. This will boost the creative content offer in Digital Jersey, connecting artists to technologists. It could also ignite a Creative Industries Business Network for Jersey – to increase the profile of the sector and facilitate collaboration and trade. It will be important to connect this booster programme to arts education and learning activities – to source talent from across the island and ensure harder-to-reach communities have access to opportunities to explore their creative entrepreneurship potential. One way of increasing the visibility of and access to the Creative Industries as a viable and validated career path is through showcase and awards models such as the global Creative Business Cup . This could have a focus in Jersey on Young Creatives who are just starting out. Jersey could participate in this global programme, which operates on a network model. 

Cross-cutting priority: Arts International

To deliver on Commitment 5 of this Arts Strategy, there is a need to build international exchange, programming and relations across all priority themes. This is vital for a small Island nation with historic ties to both the UK and France, a distinctive role in international finance, an increasingly diverse local population, and an economic profile for which international tourism is a significant sector. 

Brexit has put Jersey in an invidious position – as demonstrated by the recent détente on fishing access. For Jersey to prosper – economically and culturally – its international profile and role will need a revamp, positioning the Island as a place of interculture, where different cultures meet, exchange and create something new, progressive and innovative. The arts are critical in shaping Jersey’s international future – they can play a defining role in fostering cultural relations which in turn influence soft power and economic development. But more essentially, they can help foster a sense of community, of being of the Island but also of Europe and the world. 

This Arts Strategy will provide an uplift in the capacity and profile of the arts in Jersey. It will increase the potential for the arts to make a difference for Jersey at an international level, which in turn opens-up opportunities to bring international arts and culture to Jersey. 

In addition to the key recommendations set out for each of the Priority Themes of this Strategy, the following introduce some outline recommendations to put ‘the international’ to the heart of this Arts Strategy for Jersey:

  1. A dedicated commitment to internationalise Jersey’s arts sector via collaborative commissioning and a strategic role for the arts to the heart of external cultural relations. This includes a warm and open relationship with France and the positioning of Jersey as a post-Brexit hub for contemporary arts practice and exchange. The current Global Markets Strategy for Jersey does not feature arts and culture as a strategic driver of international relations or as a soft power asset. Yet, as evidenced in small island nations across the world – from Jamaica to the Faroes – arts and culture can provide the ‘break through’ in the battle for attention in a global marketplace. These are sectors which tell stories and fire the imagination, yet they are largely missing from Jersey’s external narrative. It is recommended that:
    1. The Jersey Global Markets Team, Visit Jersey and Creative Island Partnership review the current role and positioning of arts and culture in the Global Markets Strategy and identify some shared opportunities to promote Jersey through an arts and cultural lens. This can include strategic artists’ residencies and exchanges; arts and cultural twinning between Jersey-based and international arts organisations; and a focus country at the proposed Creative Island Forum.
    2. The above partnership co-design a programme of ‘outward missions’ to priority countries (and creative markets / events in these countries) to showcase Jersey creativity as a coherent and compelling brand.
  2. France / Portugal / Poland / Romania / Jersey Arts and Culture Exchange. In addition to the above recommendations, there is an urgent and long-term need to build much stronger cultural relations and artistic exchange with countries across Europe. Jersey is an increasingly international and intercultural Island which draws from a diverse range of cultural influences. This presents opportunities for cultural relations activities which can include approaches to shared programming, artist mobility and exchange. By positioning Jersey as a creative hub for intercultural and pan-European exchange, this will boost the attractiveness of the Island as a place to develop arts and creative enterprise. It will also invigorate the arts and cultural life of the Island, connecting its own world class assets to those of other countries – such as Portugal, Poland, France and the UK. We can take the example of France and in particular Normandy and Brittany, to illustrate how a coordinated approach to international exchange and programming can invigorate Jersey as a Creative Island. Similar approaches can be pursued with Portugal, Poland, Romania and other countries with extensive demographic and cultural links to the Island. Not only does Jersey have a shared heritage and deep bond with these regions, it also has a shared future. Post-Brexit, Jersey can be a vital hub for arts and cultural practice which connects French and Jersey practitioners. Jersey can also provide a platform for exchange with the UK arts and cultural sector - which is absolutely determined to retain, indeed improve, creative exchange with Europe. Through consultation for this Arts Strategy, Maison De La Normandie and De La Manche and The Alliance Française have both expressed a strategic aspiration to build arts and cultural ties with Jersey. The Alliance Française de Jersey does all it can to strengthen relations with France, but is limited in its capacity. This new Arts Strategy for Jersey can herald a new and ambitious era for arts and cultural exchange with France which prioritises the mutually beneficial development of the arts and cultural sector and the development of shared audiences. It is recommended that the Government of Jersey, through its new Creative Island Partnership, commission a Plan for France / Jersey Arts and Cultural Exchange. This will work in partnership to co-identify opportunities for:
    1. Festival and events development: showcasing French and Jersey arts and culture in both contexts. This should seek to grow and diversify Le French Festival and boost the profile of Jersey in France; and to build a stronger profile for the Island’s diverse communities by incentivising collaboration between Jersey and, for example, Poland, Romania and Portugal. Existing Jersey festivals which have a wide appeal – such as the Eisteddford and the new Corn Riots Festival –can provide exciting platforms for intercultural exchange. 
    2. Artistic exchange and residencies – to build a professional community of practice.
    3. Growing awareness of shared heritage via arts and heritage activities, including provision in Jersey from French artists and organisations and visa versa
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