Cultural Playing Field

ACEVO Arts, Culture and Heritage Special Interest Group meeting by Robin Simpson
May 16, 2014, 10:42 am
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On Thursday afternoon I took part in a meeting of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations Arts, Culture & Heritage Special Interest Group. Our guest speaker was the Shadow Culture Minister, Helen Goodman MP and we had a very interesting discussion about the role of arts and heritage organisation within the voluntary sector, the part culture can play in the wellbeing agenda, the effect of cuts in local authority funding and the importance of active participation in cultural activities.

Robin Simpson.


Connection Culture, Peterborough by Robin Simpson
May 16, 2014, 10:41 am
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On Wednesday I was in Peterborough for a meeting of the Creative People and Places consortium – now called ‘Connection Culture’. We worked on the details of the three main strands of our programme to increase engagement in the arts in Peterborough. These strands focus on young people, diverse communities and voluntary arts groups and will be backed up by a ‘Chamber of Culture’ which will provide advice, training and mentoring to local artists and cultural organisations.  

Robin Simpson.

Meeting the Shadow Culture Minister by Robin Simpson
May 16, 2014, 10:40 am
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On Monday I was at Portcullis House in Westminster to meet the Labur MP, Helen Goodman – the Shadow Culture Minister. We discussed the Labour Party’s recently-launched consultation on the future of the voluntary sector and the role that cultural organisations play in the wider voluntary sector. We also talked about the Voluntary Arts campaign for renewed national cultural policies to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure and the role that Voluntary Arts might be able to play in addressing the impact of cuts in local authority arts funding. It was a very interesting and wide-ranging conversation.

Robin Simpson.

Family Arts Campaign by Robin Simpson
May 9, 2014, 8:12 am
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Also on Wednesday I met Mari Hunter, the Manager of the Family Arts Campaign – a UK-wide initiative, supported by Arts Council England, to increase levels of arts engagement by families. We talked about the Family Arts Standards, which have been developed by the Campaign, and how we might promote the standards through the Voluntary Arts information services. We also discussed potential links between Voluntary Arts Week and the Family Arts Festival (17 October – 2 November 2014). See:

Robin Simpson.

The ecology of publicly-funded, amateur and commercial arts and cultural provision by Robin Simpson
May 9, 2014, 8:10 am
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I was in London on Wednesday for a meeting with Geoff Crossick and Patrycja Kaszynska from the AHRC Cultural Value Project. Following a discussion at the last meeting of the Cultural Value Project Advisory Group Geoff had brought together a few members of the Advisory Group to look in more detail at the ecology of publicly-funded, amateur and commercial arts and cultural provision. We talked about the movement of people and funding between these overlapping areas and how we might investigate the interdependence between publicly-funded cultural activity and the amateur and commercial sectors. 

Robin Simpson.