Cultural Playing Field

Community Media Association Arts Project: Yorkshire stakeholder meeting by Robin Simpson
March 5, 2010, 4:52 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , ,

This morning I was in Dewsbury to speak at the first of 9 regional stakeholder meetings as part of the Community Media Association Arts Project. This meeting brought together local authority arts officers, Arts Council England officers and representatives of other institutions and funders from across Yorkshire to discuss how community media organisations, arts organisations and artists might work more effectively together. Denise Fahmy from ACE was keen to encourage the arts sector to meet the digital challenge – working with community media organisations to create new content and reach new audiences. She emphasised that ACE wants more people to take part in the arts and said she felt community media was a great way to do this. Tamar Millen from the Community Media Association stressed that many community media organisations are already working with arts organisations but she thought there was much more potential in this area. CMA Chief Executive Jacqui Devereux explained the ways in which community media organisations are particularly well equipped to increase participation: they are trusted, flexible, local organisations engaged in intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, often working in a variety of community languages – a good way of reaching those sections of the community who do not go to theatres, concerts or galleries. We then heard three fascinating presentations from local community media organisations. Seven is a community TV station in North East Lincolnshire which runs a training programme using the television production process to equip hard-to-reach groups with a variety of soft skills. West Hull Community Radio runs a weekly 60-minute arts show which interviews both professional and amateur local performers and producers. Bradford Community Broadcasting undertakes outside broadcasts covering local arts events at least once a week. Looking at these particular examples in detail it was obvious how much voluntary arts organisations have to gain from developing relationships with community media organisations – in order to promote their activities, to provide a platform for disseminating their work and to develop collaborations to create new artistic content for broadcast. The Community Media Association Arts Project will be organising a series of regional roadshows around England later this year to provide opportunities for arts groups to meet community media organisations.

Robin Simpson.

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