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The economic crisis has squeezed the cultural sector across the world. But cut-backs, closed theatres and moth-balled arts centres are only half of the story. When critics and historians look back to our times, they’ll be less preoccupied with the art that wasn’t made and more with the art that was. Art that could explain how we arrived here, art that could do something about it and art that showed the possibility of different ways of living. Not for the art that was shaped by the economy, but art that forged alliances with the people and forces that could reshape it. That’s what this paper is about. Inside IETM and beyond we found artists keen to explore what people value and whether the economy actually reflects it. We found fringe-institutions, networks and conferences attempting to open up a space to question and attack judgements made by politicians in the name of economy. We found artists active in their communities experimenting and rehearsing with their own ‘micro economies’ as co-operatives, time-banks and demonstrations of different forms of community. Where politics has been asphyxiated by a cadre of economists, art is administering a kiss of life. But neither artists nor the cultural sector are separate from the economy. The answer to inequality, democratic disengagement and climate change is not simply more art. But rather a different place for art. Artists who question values of the economy, inevitably end up questioning the values of the cultural sector. In the face of more politically-engaged, socially curious art, new networks, institutions and approaches are needed to support it. Art not just as an input or output of an economy, but art that challenges the assumptions on which the economy is based.