Cultural Playing Field

Champions, spaces and running your group by Robin Simpson
September 10, 2010, 11:35 am
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , ,

On Thursday afternoon I was at Arts Council England head office in London for a meeting of the Amateur Arts Partnership Development Programme steering group. This was a special meeting to look in detail at three key areas. First, we considered a range of local volunteer ‘champion’ and ‘ambassador’ schemes and whether there was scope to join some of these up. We heard from Liz Cousins who is responsible for the ‘Community Learning Champions’ scheme established by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and discussed the idea of using this as a framework for the development of the Voluntary Arts England Voluntary Arts Ambassadors scheme. Secondly we looked at several initiatives to open up venues and spaces for local community activities, including work funded by BIS and the Communities & Local Government/DCMS empty shops scheme. Finally we compared a number of resources to help people to establish and/or run local self-organised groups, including the Voluntary Arts ‘Running Your Group’ material and advice developed by BIS for self-organised learning groups. In all three cases we identified some clear opportunities to address key needs of the amateur arts sector identified in the DCMS/Arts Council England ‘Our Creative Talent’ research by working in partnership with other Government departments and agencies.

Robin Simpson.

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