Panic! 2018

It's an Arts Emergency

Four posters pasted to an orange wall

Who makes and consumes art? Who works in the arts? How do they get in, and get on? And what are the consequences for culture in the UK?

These questions form the basis of an ambitious research project led by sociologists from the Universities of Edinburgh and Sheffield, investigating artistic, workforce and audience inequalities within the creative economy and arts & cultural sector. For the first time in a decade, researchers will compare large-scale national datasets on social mobility with industry-specific information, including almost 300 hours of interviews with creative professionals collected following a national survey in 2015 as part of the first Panic! project.

The Barbican is partnering with Create London and Arts Emergency to share the outcome of these investigations with the wider sector and the public. Over the next year, a series of concise working papers will be published, exploring a range of themes, including: Meritocracy; Unpaid work; the ‘London effect’ and Cultural consumption - these aim to provide a timely opportunity for reflection and discussion on issues of exclusion and inequality.

Part of our 2018 Season, The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and can potentially effect change in the social and political landscape. Find out more here.

As part of Panic! 2018, the Barbican will host a symposium and talk in Spring 2018, the above findings will provide a departure point. Additionally, Panic! 2018 will also comprise talks, a creative careers project for young people, and a publication on research findings.

Panic! 2018 is a continuation of a nationwide survey and events programme in 2015. Find out more here.


Collection: Creative Learning

Working to inspire, influence and create opportunities within the arts for people of all ages and backgrounds across east London, learn more about the work of our Creative Learning programme, in partnership with the Guildhall School

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'You can really see the passion and the love everyone has for the arts'

Fiona Shaw shares how the Barbican helps encourage and inspire artists and we speak to some of the young people who bring our education projects to life every year.


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Listen: Barbican Recommends

Not sure what to listen to? Every month we update our Barbican Recommends Spotify playlist with what we've been listening to in the office. Expect everything from Actress and Arcade Fire to Kamasi Washington and Omar Souleyman.