David Maggs named inaugural Metcalf Fellow on Arts and Society
2021

The Metcalf Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of David Maggs as our inaugural Fellow on Arts and Society, effective January 2022.

Canada’s arts landscape is facing massive change. Growing demands around equity, digital fluency, climate change, and most recently, a devastating pandemic, have rendered business as usual impossible. While society has transformed in recent decades, Canada’s non-profit arts sector has struggled to keep pace.

While pandemic relief funding has prevented the full consequences of these upheavals from being felt, there is increasing recognition that a return to the status quo for the arts sector is neither feasible, nor desirable.

This new fellowship builds on the work of David’s Metcalf Innovation Fellowship and his paper, Art and the World After This. A central premise of the paper is that when we attempt to address the various disruptions that are affecting the arts sector separately, we get stuck treating the symptoms and fail to recognize both the underlying pattern of transformation shaking the world right now, and the role the arts might play within it.

We have seen tremendous interest from the arts and culture community on the ideas presented in the paper. Hundreds joined the virtual launch and discussion event on September 15, and posed many questions and recommendations about the future of Canada’s arts sector that are ripe for further exploration.

Through this new role, David will nurture and support the desire in Canada’s arts sector to move with and shape ongoing patterns of transformative societal change. He will work with the Foundation and the communities we engage with — both inside and outside of the arts and culture sector — to lead dialogue and convenings, expand on existing research, and explore promising practices to cultivate a healthy and vibrant arts sector in Canada.

 

At the heart of Art and the World After This lie two crucial questions: what does a cultural sector do? And what should we do with a cultural sector? This new fellowship will give David a robust opportunity to delve into these large and timely questions, advancing some of the promising ideas outlined in the paper.

 

We are extremely pleased to have David continue his engagement with Metcalf and we look forward to involving the broader community, and sharing his work and insights along the way.

Sandy Houston

President and CEO, Metcalf Foundation