Skip to main content

DACS celebrates one year on from the launch of the Smart Fund campaign

A photograph showing a red cloud low to the ground, with coniferous trees.
Landskip, 2000
Simon Patterson. Curated by Locus+, Compton Verney House.

Today marks a year since DACS alongside a coalition of arts organisations, launched a campaign for the Smart Fund which could generate between £250-300 million a year to better support visual artists and the wider cultural industries.

Over the past year, the campaign has received significant cross-sector support with a letter in The Times signed by over 100 major cultural figures from Oscar winners to recipients of the Turner Prize and award-winning writers.

In October, the coalition launched a report to government The Smart Fund: Tech Enabling Creativity which outlined how the Smart Fund can offer a sustainable funding opportunity to support artists by ensuring they receive fair remuneration when their work is used digitally.

What is the Smart Fund?

The Smart Fund will use a small portion of the sale price of electronic devices that allow people to copy, store, and share creative content to fund artists and other creators. It is a proposal that does not add additional cost to consumers but requires technology manufacturers to contribute financially towards sustaining culture.

The Fund echoes mechanisms that exist in 45 other countries, where levies applied to the sales of electronic devices are paid to creators as a copyright royalty. Many countries also use these funds to invest in cultural programmes with wider societal benefits.

Enabling culture to drive social regeneration

The report sets out how the Smart Fund could not only directly benefit creators financially, but also establish a creative community fund that can support innovative collaborations between artists and communities

DACS’ Manifesto for Artists shed light on the devastating impact that Covid-19 had on artists, who already often faced financial hardship. The report for the Smart Fund demonstrates how this idea, new to the UK, could generate up to £300 million annually for both creators and communities.

Find out more

Read the Smart Fund report Read the Smart Fund report
Keep up to date on our campaigning - sign up to our newsletter