John Holden is a visiting Professor at City University. He was previously Demos' Head of Culture until Sept 2008.
John Holden was previously Head of Culture at Demos and is a Visiting Professor at City University. He has Masters Degrees in law and in art history and his main professional interest is in the development of people and organizations in the cultural sector. He has been involved in numerous major projects across the sector, from libraries to music to heritage, and has worked with many organizations and funders including the Royal Shakespeare Company, British Museum, V&A, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, and Gulbenkian Foundation. He was a principal organizer of the influential Valuing Culture conference in June 2003, and has developed a theme of work around the topic of cultural value and democratic culture. John has spoken at many conferences in the UK, Europe, the U.S., Asia, Australia and New Zealand. John is a member of the Strategy Board of the Clore Leadership Programme, the Advisory Board of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the European Expert Network on Culture and is a Trustee of the Hepworth, Wakefield. John’s website is johnholden.info
Recent publications include:
- Influence and attraction
- Culture and Learning: towards a new agenda
- Publicly funded culture and the creative industries
- Cultural Diplomacy
- Local Authorities: Change in the cultural climate?
- Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy
- Capturing Cultural Value
- Creative Reading
- Challenge and Change
- The Right to Art
Valuing Culture was an event held at the National Theatre Studio on 17th June 2003. Looking at arts and culture in the UK, speeches explored the balance between meeting social policy targets on the one hand, and recognition of the intrinsic value of cultural activity on the other.
Public libraries are uniquely placed to nurture creativity in young people, but government, schools, library administrators and the cultural sector will need to work closely together to realise this potential.
Transforming the 'Right to Art' enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights from an aspiration to a reality will have many benefits, both tangible and intangible, for the UK.
New methods must be found to validate public funding of culture and the arts. These should draw on disciplines as diverse as brand valuation by accountants and the language of sustainability used by environmentalists.
The work of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has broadened the social base for the enjoyment of heritage, according to a report by John Holden, Head of Culture at Demos. The report celebrates the diversity of contributions by the HLF to the UK's national story.
The Sage Gateshead is the new home for music, and musical learning in the North East. This report examines its role at the heart of an ecology, investigating how a learning and cultural institution can fit its regional surroundings.
Valuing Culture in the South EastRegional Development Agencies are charged with improving regional economic performance and identifying strategies for achieving that aim. In the context of the South East of England, this paper asks how can culture contribute to improving regional economic performance?
The 'cultural sytem' has become a closed and ill-tempered conversation between professionals and politicians. Instead, arts professionals need to find new ways to build greater legitimacy directly with citizens.
With the moving image sector the fastest growing part of the creative economy,Demos Head of Culture John Holdon has written this study of the nine Regional Screen Agencies. The Big Picture looks closely at how the screen agencies work, highlighting their impact across communities, creativity and the economy.
Produced in partnership with The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), this report looks at the changing face of our museums, libraries and archives.
This report warns that in some places in the UK, culture faces a crisis at Local Authority level.
Cultural Diplomacy argues that the huge global reach and potential of Britain’s world class artistic and cultural assets – from Razorlight to the Royal Ballet - should be at the heart of government relationship building abroad.
In the brief history of the internet, the cultural sector has followed two related paths: on the one hand, the digitisation of content and provision of information and, on the other, interactivity and opportunities for expression. Some have seen these as in binary opposition.
Towards a Strategy for Workforce Development
This report looks at deep-rooted organisational change in the creative industries, following the Royal Shakespeare Company's story of organisational turn-around.
This pamphlet grounds public policy in people’s real, lived experiences of ageing.
Following the recent public diplomacy review, now seems like a good time to revisit what we mean by cultural diplomacy and the ways in which culture helps to deliver Britain’s foreign, developmental, and sustainability objectives. This project asks what this means for cultural institutions and whether they could play a role in fostering public debate and engagement. It also set out a new and practical framework for policy makers and practitioners in the UK and beyond.More
This project highlights the evidence for the central importance of museums, libraries and archives to our future. By understanding their role as a public service, delivering public value, it will demonstrate what the sector does in terms of values that are intrinsic, instrumental and institutional, and show what they mean in practice.More
Culture Online has pioneered a project-based approach to bring new audiences to arts and culture using new technology. In this it differs significantly from the portal approach of many cultural websites. Demos is working with Culture Online to place their achievement in a wider context of policy development, and to articulate lessons for practitioners and policymakers.More
We are working with the Royal Shakespeare Company as it embarks on a major programme of change in the way it is led and managed, to mirror the physical transformation of its home in Stratford-upon-Avon.More
One of the most successful sectors of the British economy is the creative and cultural sector - creativity has become increasingly important in other sectors as well. This series of seminars brings together representatives of successful and creative organisations to identify common challenges and examine what lessons there are in how they have each met them.More
Only an abstract here, but the article is worth a read. Argues that government is caught in a 'cycle of intervention', in which intervention (e.g. precription over funding and qualifications) leads to market failure...leading to more intervention and funding being ploughed in. Suggests that independent voices (trade unions and business) should be given a stronger role in policy formation, acting as strong partners.
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David Blaine's forthcoming stunt of starving himself whilst suspended over the Thames...