How good is our creativity memory?

No country for a solo artist without modern technology…How to attract investment for creative projects in lower-income areas?

How to help creators regenerate our villages? abandoned ghost towns are not only for steampunk…

Although the Horizon 2020 Work Programme (2018-2020) accentuates that the future of Europe depends on inclusive, innovative and reflective societies, the literature on the role of culture, arts and creative industries on economic and social conditions (including wealth, social inclusion, creative thinking, spirituality, work-life balance, and many others) in a particular economy is rather fragmented. Many forms of creative industries, for instance Ballet, are considered a sign of cultural advancement, richness and diversity; however, the value-added of this art form to an economy is not fully tracked or deeper examined. A similar situation is with regard to other creative industries or art forms. Hence, this topic calls for a deeper investigation of economic and social value-added of creative sectors. For instance, Helena Wulff’s book, reviewed by Jeffrey Escoffier (2000), is one of the examples where apart from focusing on performers, a set of cross-cultural and occupational aspects of ballet are addressed, thanks to former dancing experience (Royal Ballet in London, New York’s American Ballet Theatre, the Ballet Frankfurt, and the Royal Swedish Ballet) and rather transdisciplinary knowledge, related to this art form.

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Wulf and Escoffier (2000) interpret ballet dancing via three pillars: an occupational vocation, an occupational culture, and the production of ballet performances. Wulff’s approach to Ballet as an art form, driven by international exchange of knowledge, migration of dancers and choreographers, shows how important is to acknowledge the role of international collaboration in nowadays’ context of creative industries and how vital is to have big creative hubs with corresponding infrastructure, education and talents (the centres, such as the Royal Ballet of London; New York City Ballet; American Ballet Theatre of New York; the Kirov Ballet of Leningrad, now the Maryinsky of St. Petersburg; Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet; and the Paris Opera Ballet).

Understanding the role of various art forms from a more generic perspective is an important point to start; nonetheless, monitoring of value-added is necessary to attract more attention of investors, governmental programs, policies, and talents. Relying on Report for Arts Council England (Cebr, 2019), it would be wise measuring multiplier impacts of the arts and culture while applying input-output model. According to the study, Turnover, Gross Value Added (GVA), Employment, Employee remuneration are the criteria to measure economic and social success of the arts and culture industry. For example, in 2016, these creative sectors contributed to the UK’s economy with £21.2bn turnover, £10.8bn Gross Value Added, 137,250 employment positions created and £6.1bn dedicated for HR expenditure, while for every directly generated £1 of revenue, an additional £1.24 could be added indirectly. Moreover, the arts and culture played a vivid role in cutting social exclusion and regenerating local communities, thanks to the power of the arts to engage citizens, gather community, reshape attitude and realign perception with a sustainable future growth (for instance, East London, Islington or Hackney were successfully regenerated). In parallel with the power to engage citizens, the creative, high-tech or digital hubs could boost social dynamics within a particular environment and become a centre of attraction for the talent base.


In light of the pivotal role of arts and culture, the national governments (via corresponding policies and programs) should have a clear strategy how to encourage the turnover growth from the creative production. For instance, based on the Creative Industries Trade and Investment Board (2017), in 2016, the UK’s exports in goods from creative sectors read £13.2bn, while services exports accounted for £27.1bn, while over the period 2018-2023 it was expected to improve the combined figure of creative products and services exports by 50% (with special focus on certain markets, such as China, the USA, the EU, the Middle East and Japan).

Given such big contributions of creative sectors to national GDP (UNIC 2019), it is worth analysing the most powerful and impactful creative industries. Taking into account that the year of 2018 was marked by nearly 1.3 billion cinema tickets sold across the Union Internationale des Cinemas/ International Union of Cinemas countries, Cinema is one of the most influential creative industries. For instance, the year of 2018 was led by such titles as Infinity War, Bohemian Rhapsody, the Incredibles or Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. The record years were registered for the UK (177 million admissions), Poland (60 million, which is 5.5% improvement) and Turkey (70 million of which 62.9% derived from national production), while French creators managed to attract over 200 million cinema-goers, of which 40 per cent were related to the national film production. Moreover, a rather positive cinema dynamics was experienced in the Baltic States in 2018, the results went up in both box office and admissions: Estonia (box office +6.3 per cent/ admissions +3.4 per cent), Latvia (box office +3.4 per cent/ admissions +1.9 per cent) and Lithuania (box office +11.1 per cent/ admissions +6.3 per cent) (UNIC 2019).

Such results reveal growing significance of the arts and cinema to the economic and social life of these countries, because cinema can be a strong hub to connect cultural and linguistic differences, to express local, national and European identity, facilitate social issues solving processes, gather community as well as foster creativity and innovation via new knowledge sharing systems and hubs. A unique cultural and social experience is provided via streaming platform projects, such as Walt Disney Studios. Moreover, the diversity can be witnessed in both the Film production and platforms which help disseminate and screen these films. Taking into consideration that the Film industry in Europe is responsible for c.a. one quarter of total world’s box office revenues (UNIC 2019), it is worth enhancing this art form while merging it with social innovation or technological progress, which are necessary, in light of growing competition (the countries, such as Mexico, Brazil, South Korea are capable to produce technically advanced and rather popular movies).

The report, prepared by the European Audio-visual Observatory for the European Commission under the Creative Europe Programme (2019) accentuates the diversity of local and regional funds for audio-visual production, accompanied by 50/60/100 rule (50% of the production budget as a general rule; 60% for cross-border production; and 100% for difficult audio-visual works) along with linguistic diversity, promotion of cultural identity and helping solving social problems (although territorial exclusivity might be considered as a side-effect jeopardising creativity and diverse thinking as well as limiting the creative potential). In addition, the role of specific distributors is increasing (Poort et al., 2019), in particular, when the European (EU) films are on average less successful in attracting larger audiences than American films.

Over the period from 2012 to 2017, the European share in the EU cinema admissions varied between 27 and 34% versus 63 and 70% of the market for the US films (EAO, 2018, p. 15). A somewhat weaker marketing performance or insufficient capability to create a mainstream movie, rather than focusing on a niche production, calls for the need for additional funding mechanisms, such as Creative Europe programme for the period 2021-2027, where the increase of overall budget (from € 1.46 billion to € 1.85 billion) reads 27%, out of which a large chunk of money is dedicated for stronger marketing and sales efforts: the increase from € 820 million to € 1.081 billion (32%) is witnessed for MEDIA expenditure, including international promotion, innovative storytelling, and virtual reality (Poort et al., 2019).

In line with KEA & PPMI 2019 Research on key future developments challenges and opportunities among creative sectors by 2030, the experts recommend paying attention to six dimensions: cultural diversity, labour market, skills and education, sustainability of creative and cultural businesses and organisations, diversity and inclusiveness, and the role of arts and culture in European economies. First of all, marketing and sales of creative production should be executed via digital channels and modern technologies, such as AI and machine-learning algorithms. Secondly, rather volatile and fragmented employment practices call for more engaging, socially value-adding and long-term projects (where knowledge and experience sharing could help cut social exclusion, gather community and create stronger identity), along with creative diversity. The third important pillar is related to continuous lifelong learning, in particular, in the areas, such as entrepreneurial and technological skills.

While monitoring the care of culture and creative activities, it is worth checking how countries preserve the cultural heritage, where a positive experience of the leading countries, such as the UK, could help unleash creativity and innovation. For instance, based on the Heritage Alliance Report (2019), a lot of answers to present challenges within creative industries are hidden in our national heritage, which was created many years ago via creative projects and activities. GILE experts make the assumption that ‘similarly to our muscles, creativity has its memory and can be easily refreshed and boosted via programs that link the heritage with creative activities or through helping some cultural environment use this experience in solving social problems’, which can be challenged by a lack of diversity in terms of heritage, cultural environments, economic development stages, status, ethnicity, ability/ disability, age, and many other criteria.

A somewhat smoother communication between entities and individuals, related to the heritage and creative industries, might be established via projects, knowledge sharing, social inclusion programs (in particular, in the industry of tourism), which could facilitate creativity and social/ economic value-added creation. Young High-tech or Arts graduates should be a catalyst for this combination. Relying on Deloitte’s report ‘Building the creative economy’ (2019), there are 6 drivers which trigger the development of creative industries: Automation, Experience Innovation, Cyber Security, Real time Data Intelligence, Game Changing Technology and Connectivity: all of them contribute with information security and social challenge solving.

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Based on the methodology of mapping creative industries in the Olomouc Region (Chech Republic), Netek et al. (2019) examined the spatial location of elements in cultural and creative industries (1,211 subjects contributed with employment positions for more than 5,000 people). The authors came to the implication that the largest cultural and creative content is concentrated in the city centre or higher-price areas. This conclusion is of significant value for the regeneration of peripheral environments, marked by lower income or being more difficult to reach geographically. Suciu et al. (2019) relate lower cultural and creative concentration to lower-income demographics; for instance, Romania is suffering from brain drain of talented people who choose higher paid creative jobs overseas or switch to a better paid career in Romania. Harc et al. (2019) liaise the dimensions of creativity and entrepreneurship: on the one hand, creativity might lead to a great innovative business idea, its commercialization and innovative solutions to strategic challenges; on the other hand, entrepreneurs could regenerate various regions via creative activities and projects or foster spill-over effects to other sectors if advanced mass communications and cluster-based collaboration are implemented (Dronyuk et al. 2019).

According to Lauzikas and Miliute (2020), the Lithuanian government should draw more attention to projects linking experts from the cities and periphery in order to attract investors to the countryside areas (which are often rich in cultural heritage, but lack talents and entrepreneurship/ managerial/ technological knowledge, along with educators in these specific areas). According to the experts, digital hubs could help link different stakeholders via creative projects in Lithuanian villages, if a fundamental technological knowledge is enhanced.



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