Arts Council England and Learning to Fail Well
We’re nearing completion on the Reservoir 13 Performance Web App, which was financially supported by Arts Council England. It’s the second project I’ve worked on that was made possible by a Grant for the Arts, and as I think about the next crazy idea I would like to bash into the shape of an application, I took stock of something I’ve learned from these two projects:
It’s Okay to Fail, as long as you’re learning and sharing it
The feeling of being given a chance (via funds) to do something is great, but also carries with it a responsibility to deliver.
The danger lies in confusing the ‘deliverable’ with a ‘product’. In my experience, the funding is an investment in you based on your idea. You had a great idea, communicated it well, thought about it pragmatically – now let’s see how it goes.
That’s the beauty of Arts Council England (and other incubators like Makerversity and Sound & Music) – they allow the chance to explore ideas to see IF they are possible. Not BECAUSE they are possible. Investment does not always mean that ideas SHOULD be possible. Some things don’t work, but you can’t know that until you work into the idea, try it out, iterate it and try again.
And as long as you’re learning, that’s an invaluable process.
And by sharing it, you can inspire or steer others.