Cultural Playing Field

ACE Amateur Arts Partnership Development Programme steering group meeting by Robin Simpson
June 4, 2010, 1:50 pm
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On Thursday Mary and I were at Arts Council England in London for a meeting of the Amateur Arts Partnership Development Programme steering group. As well as representatives of ACE and DCMS, this time we welcomed Liz Lawson from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Natasha Innocent from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council who were attending their first steering group meeting. It was extremely useful to have Liz and Natasha there and we had one of our most positive and productive meetings. Despite the current climate of budget cuts and uncertainty, we managed to identify a number of areas in which we might be able to link existing initiatives and agendas across Government departments and agencies in order to make real progress in addressing the recommendations of the DCMS/ACE ‘Our Creative Talent’ research for developing the amateur arts sector in England. In particular we agreed to work together on three key areas: support for setting up new amateur arts groups, opening up spaces for amateur arts groups to use and developing local champions and ambassadors. There was an enthusiastic reception for the Voluntary Arts England ‘Epic Awards’ which were launched this week (see and congratulations were noted to all those involved in developing the scheme. We came away with lots of actions and work to do but it really felt like we had managed to move things forward – an excellent meeting.

Robin Simpson.

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