The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) launched Vital Arts and Public Value: A Blueprint for 2014 to 2020, in October 2014.
Vital Arts and Public Value, encapsulates the two sides of OAC’s mandate which is to serve both the arts community and the public.Vital Arts and Public Value builds on the work that began with OAC’s two previous strategic plans, Connections and Creativity (2008-13) and Stability and Strength (2003-06).
Work on the strategic plan began in the spring of 2013 with an environmental scan, followed by an online questionnaire to 28,000 people – individual artists, organizations receiving operating grants from OAC, other funders and stakeholders in the arts.
The survey covered a variety of topics including: the key needs and issues facing the arts sector, those that OAC should address, OAC’s roles, the appropriate focus of OAC’s activities, an exploration of public value, and OAC’s goals over these next six years. A total of 1,858 individuals responded to the survey, resulting in 1,460 completed questionnaires. This was followed by a one-day focus group session with 50 people to probe more deeply into key themes that emerged from the survey.
The findings from the environmental scan, survey and focus group session are provided in the Summary of External Consultation Phase.
It’s clear from the number of individuals who took the time to complete the online survey or participate in the focus group session that people care deeply about the arts in Ontario and about OAC. The respondents and participants – including a diverse mix of artists, arts organizations and others, from across the province – shared their candid views about what OAC might consider addressing or fulfilling over the next six years. Their thoughtful opinions, responses and ideas helped shape OAC’s new strategic plan.
Informed by these consultations, OAC board and staff participated in several facilitated sessions over the fall and winter of 2013-14. The entire process culminated with the writing of Vital Arts and Public Value: A Blueprint for 2014 to 2020, the published plan.