Cultural Playing Field

Networking in Bracknell by Robin Simpson
October 9, 2008, 1:43 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , ,

On Monday evening I was at the South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell to address the first meeting of a Creative Network for local amateur and voluntary arts groups organised by Bracknell Forest Borough Council. Arts and Heritage Officer, Lynne Dick, hopes to organise two or three events a year to support the sector. This first meeting was extremely successful with just under 30 groups represented and lots of useful networking and sharing happening from the start. I spoke about the ‘Our Creative Talent’ research into the voluntary arts sector in England, stressing that local groups were far from alone and had plenty to learn from each other. I invited everyone to tell me the most pressing problems or issues for their groups and then compared these with the national findings from ‘Our Creative Talent’. There was a reassuring match with the main issues being: cost of venues; suitability of venues; funding for additional activity; attracting new members and audiences; recruiting volunteers to manage the group; access to equipment; and dealing with bureaucracy and legislation. It was great to see so many people on Monday and to hear them quickly beginning to try to solve each other’s problems. One person said: “there are groups here we didn’t know existed” and hopefully, having started to discover the benefits of talking to each other, the Bracknell Creative Network will thrive.

Robin Simpson.

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