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Impact Investing in the Cultural and Creative Sectors: Insights from an emerging field

East London Youth Dance Company - dancers performing on stage

This report identifies a burgeoning movement of investing for impact in the cultural and creative sectors globally, emerging at the precise moment that the sector urgently needs to examine new funding models.

Commissioned by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (Creative PEC), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Impact Investing in the Cultural and Creative Sectors: Insights from an emerging field has been produced as a collaboration between Fran Sanderson and Seva Phillips in the UK, from Arts & Culture Finance by Nesta, and David Maggs in Canada, who is Metcalf Foundation’s Fellow on Arts and Society. It is essential reading for cultural and creative sector practitioners and entrepreneurs, public and private funders and investors in these sectors, and policymakers looking to stimulate new funding paradigms for the cultural and creative sector.

Hasan Bakhshi, Director, Creative PEC says:

“We are pleased to publish this report exploring the current state of and potential for this emerging funding source for the creative and cultural sectors. We know that the arts and culture sector is a critical part of the creative industries ecosystem, and that funding models are shifting and changing. The perceived dichotomy between subsidised arts organisations, usually constituted as charities, and commercial creative companies run primarily for profit inhibits the development of this ecosystem, and impact investment could be a helpful way of starting to understand and encourage the interplays between them in a more nuanced and fruitful way.”

The team behind the report are keen for the cultural and creative sectors to move from the wings towards centre stage within the theatre of impact investing. A key recommendation of the report is the development of a global community of practice. Anyone already investing for impact is invited to join the conversation, together with all those curious about this emerging field.

Three online launch events, designed to cover all time zones, will take place on 28-29 November. These events will introduce the report, offering an opportunity to hear from the editors together with leading experts from impact investment and the cultural and creative sectors, including Hasan Bakhshi; Laura Callanan, Founding Partner of Upstart Co-lab and member of the PEC’s International Council; Georgie McClean, Executive Director, Development and Strategic Partnerships, Creative Australia; Ada Wong, convenor of MaD at the Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture; Hoda Judah Armani, Founder of InHouse Records.

The authors, commissioners and experts will discuss the profound social impact and potential of the cultural and creative sectors, and how new investment models can support and boost this impact while also providing the incentive and capital required to develop and scale new business ideas. The launch events will also host Q&A and live discussion with attendees, and will look at challenges around building new investment models for the sector, and how to create the conditions to ease these.

For full details and to access the recordings of these launch events, please visit:

Image of East London Youth Dance Company by Roswitha Chesher.

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