On Friday afternoon I attended the second half of the Voluntary Arts Scotland annual networking event ‘The Art of Conversation: Membership or Bust?’ in Glasgow. Representatives of voluntary arts groups and umbrella bodies debated the changing nature of membership, how to attract new members, what puts people off becoming members and the use of digital technologies in relation to membership. There were presentations from Laraine Winning from Voluntary Arts England, Isabel Cleary from Voluntary Arts Ireland, Helen Black from the Citizens Theatre and Liz Whitehouse, Chief Executive of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, as well as contributions from Voluntary Arts Scotland staff and Committee members. I chaired the final panel session and it was interesting to hear a variety of innovative and intriguing ideas that had emerged during the day.
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