The arts continue to gain recognition as a vital part of society. In education, the arts develop the creativity and alternative thinking skills required to interpret the world and more fully participate in it. New technologies are allowing unique and hybrid art forms while changing conventional relationships between the art maker and the consumer, empowering the rise of the “citizen artist”. The hot spots of arts and innovation are shifting to emerging countries such as India, Brazil and the African continent. Despite the benefits of the arts to society, many governments continue to severely reduce financial support for the cultural sector as part of austerity measures. Conflicts, such as those in Mali and Syria, are also destroying important heritage sites.