Cultural Playing Field


Catching up with BBC Outreach by Robin Simpson
August 17, 2012, 12:30 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , ,

On Thursday Laraine and I were at White City in London to meet Alec McGivan, Head of BBC Outreach. We discussed the success of our Up for Arts project with BBC Radio Merseyside and Alec offered to support the development of a similar project with BBC Radio Lancashire. We also talked about the possibility of asking all BBC local radio stations to run an Up for Arts event during Voluntary Arts Week in May 2013. Finally we agreed to work together on a pilot scheme to encourage BBC staff to volunteer to support local voluntary arts groups. It was a very promising and positive meeting and it is great to have strong support from such a senior BBC executive.

Robin Simpson.

Advertisements


Up for Arts, Liverpool by Robin Simpson
August 17, 2012, 12:20 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , ,

On Tuesday I was BBC Radio Merseyside in Liverpool to catch up with our Voluntary Arts Up for Arts project. Up for Arts Broadcast Manager, Helen Jones, gave me a tour of the radio station and updated me on progress in developing the project’s new focus on traditional crafts (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) as well as maintaining an underlying theme about health and wellbeing (funded by Liverpool PCT). We also visited the wonderful new Museum of Liverpool. On Tuesday afternoon I met our newest member of staff, Up for Arts Events Assistant, Khristina Radford. Khristina told me about plans for an Up for Arts event which will get people knitting. It was great to meet our two Up for Arts volunteers, Alison Reid and Nat Livesley, who do so much to support Helen and Khristina. I also talked to some of the BBC Radio Merseyside ‘A’ Team volunteers who run the station’s telephone helpline and direct callers to local opportunities to take part in the art and crafts. And it was good to have the opportunity to meet the new Managing Editor of BBC Radio Merseyside, Sue Owen. Our Up for Arts team is doing some really exciting work in Liverpool. You can find out more about the project at: http://www.voluntaryarts.org/take-part/up-for-arts-project/ and you can see details of some of the most recent events and activities at: http://www.voluntaryarts.org/?s=%22up+for+arts%22&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&lang=en

Robin Simpson.



Catching up with Meli at Arts Council England by Robin Simpson
August 10, 2012, 7:46 am
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , ,

On Wednesday afternoon I was Arts Council England in London to meet Meli Hatzihrysidis. We talked in detail about our Volunteering in the Arts project and the arrangements for publishing the resulting toolkit for arts organisations using volunteers, which is to be launched in Manchester on Monday 10 September. We also discussed the Creative People and Places programme. This week ACE announced the first seven consortia that have been awarded funding from Creative People and Places to undertake activities to increase engagement in the arts over the next three years (see: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news/arts-council-news/first-round-grants-empower-communities/). Meli and I talked about the support Voluntary Arts will provide to these consortia to ensure that amateur arts groups are involved in each case.

Robin Simpson.



StageWon by Robin Simpson
August 10, 2012, 7:46 am
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , ,

On Wednesday I was in London to meet Joy Taylor, the Chief Executive of StageWon. StageWon (http://stagewon.co.uk/) is a social online network for the performing arts, established just over a year ago. It provides information, advice and networking for actors, performers, set-designers, costumers, choreographers etc. The website provides opportunities for communication, self-promotion, news and reviews as well as a directory, who’s who guide and ‘Theatrepedia’ – a searchable wiki of plays and playwrights. StageWon is aimed at people working in the performing arts, those aspiring towards a career and amateur theatre groups. Joy and I discussed potential links between StageWon and Running Your Group.

Robin Simpson.



Scottish Community Foundation by Robin Simpson
August 3, 2012, 2:57 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , ,

On Thursday afternoon Fiona and I met Nick Addington and Ros Houldsworth from the Scottish Community Foundation to review our Make a Splash! small grants programme. We reflected on our experience of working together to distribute a total of £210,000 in small grants to voluntary arts groups across Scotland to enable them to try new ways to get more people taking part in their activities. Nick emphasised that, even though we have now finished distributing this particular fund, voluntary arts groups in Scotland are welcome to apply to the Scottish Community Foundation’s general small grants fund. This matches applications to a range of available pots of money, though the success rate for applications (40%) is considerably lower than our Make a Splash! scheme. Nick also told us about LocalGiving.com – an initiative of the Community Foundation Network. For an annual fee of £60 (+ VAT) LocalGiving.com provides a simple template for groups to create an online presence and processes donations for groups. Because the donations are made via local Community Foundations (who then distribute the money to the relevant groups) the groups themselves do not have to be registered charities and LocalGiving.com can automatically collect Gift Aid from donations for the groups.

Robin Simpson.



Luminate Festival by Robin Simpson
August 3, 2012, 2:56 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , ,

I was in Edinburgh on Thursday to meet Maggie Maxwell and Anne Gallacher at Creative Scotland to discuss the ‘Luminate’ arts & creative ageing festival. Luminate is a new annual festival, funded jointly by the Baring Foundation and Creative Scotland (initially for 3 years) in partnership with Age Scotland. The first festival will take place in October 2012. The festival aims to improve access to the arts for older people across Scotland. It will support work in care homes and with people being cared for at home, intergenerational activity and the careers of older artists. Luminate will celebrate the achievements of older people in the arts as well as trying to get more older people engaging with and participating in the arts. Voluntary Arts has been invited to sit on the small, high level Strategy Group for the festival as well as the Programme Advisory Group. On Thursday we had an enthusiastic discussion about the ways Voluntary Arts could get more involved with the festival next year and potential links between Luminate (in October each year) and Voluntary Arts Week (in May). See: http://www.creativescotland.com/explore/luminatefestival

Robin Simpson.