Cultural Playing Field


Volunteering in the Arts webcast by Robin Simpson
April 26, 2013, 1:14 pm
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On Tuesday Daniel and I were in Rhyl in North Wales to interview Tim Day, Director of Volunteering and Policy at the Wales Council for Voluntary Action for Running Your Group LIVE. Our discussion about Volunteering in the Arts looked at a wide range of issues faced by small, local, voluntary arts groups trying to recruit and manage volunteers. When most voluntary arts groups are first set up they tend to be run by a small group of friends and acquaintances: Tim talked about how groups could take the next step and look outside of their circle for volunteers with specialist skills. He discussed the importance (and the difficulty) of turning potential volunteers away if their skills don’t match what is required. Tim also looked at the emerging new forms of volunteering, such as micro-volunteering and remote volunteering. It was a really interesting interview – one of the best Running Your Group LIVE online events we have done. You can watch the recording at http://www.runningyourgroup.org (login and click on ‘Live online events’). Many thanks to everyone who joined in the live online discussion on Monday and contributed questions for Tim.

Robin Simpson.



Running Your Group LIVE – Nick Livingston at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland by Robin Simpson
March 8, 2013, 4:22 pm
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On Friday I was in Belfast to interview Nick Livingston, Director of Strategic Development, at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for Running Your Group LIVE. ‘Ambitions for the Arts’ – the new five-year strategy for the arts in Northern Ireland – is currently out to public consultation and we took this opportunity to ask Nick about the Arts Council’s position in relation to the voluntary arts sector. The draft strategy refers to the Arts Council’s mission to place the Arts at the heart of social, economic and creative life. It goes on to talk about engaging people and deepening their involvement in the arts. I asked Nick about the role practical participation in the arts has to play in helping the Arts Council deliver its mission. The strategy also talks about promoting access and diversity through a wide range of target groups. Volunteering and voluntary activities are a key component of the strategy. I asked Nick what the Arts Council sees as the benefits of volunteering in the arts and what risks volunteering creates. You can watch the full interview at: http://www.voluntaryarts.org/runningyourgrouplive

Robin Simpson.



Running Your Group Weekly, 18 February 2013 by Robin Simpson
February 21, 2013, 3:18 pm
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On Monday I hosted Running Your Group Weekly which featured two Epic Award winners – Liz Stone from the Welsh Basket Makers South Wales Group who joined Daniel in our Cardiff office and Sarah MacLean from Barra Bunting who spoke to us live from Barra. It was great to hear more about the stories of these amazing projects and to learn how Liz and Sarah first got involved in their craft activities. Both were also able to show us some examples of the willow weaving and bunting created by their award-winning projects. You can watch our discussions at http://www.voluntaryarts.org/running-your-group/running-your-group-weekly/ and please join us there next Monday at 5 pm for another Running Your Group Weekly video webcast.

Robin Simpson.



Running Your Group Weekly, 11 February 2013 by Robin Simpson
February 15, 2013, 11:01 am
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On Monday I hosted Running Your Group Weekly. Kevin and I were joined by Irene Heathcote from Quilts 4 London – the winners of the 2013 England Epic Award. Irene told us how a simple idea to make gifts for the athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games developed into a massive project that involved thousands of people across the UK (and Australia!) with Irene’s postman making four deliveries a day as the pennants rolled in. You can watch our conversation with Irene at http://www.voluntaryarts.org/running-your-group/running-your-group-weekly/ and please join us there next Monday at 5 pm for another Running Your Group Weekly video webcast.

Robin Simpson.



Running Your Group Weekly, 4 February 2013 by Robin Simpson
February 7, 2013, 1:42 pm
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On Monday I hosted Running Your Group Weekly. Daniel, Kevin and I were joined by Niall Bogue from Project St Patrick in Fermanagh – the winners of the 2013 Ireland Epic Award and the Peer Award for Excellence. Niall told us about the casual conversation over a few drinks which led to the development of a new kind of St Patrick’s Day Parade involving 500 participants and an audience of 14,000 people. He explained how this massive undertaking is still managed by a committee of nine volunteers and described their eclectic approach to making the St Patrick’s Day celebrations a truly cross-community event. You can watch our conversation with Niall at http://www.voluntaryarts.org/running-your-group/running-your-group-weekly/ and please join us there next Monday at 5 pm for another Running Your Group Weekly video webcast.

Robin Simpson.



Running Your Group Weekly, 21 January 2013 by Robin Simpson
January 25, 2013, 1:48 pm
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On Monday I hosted ‘Running Your Group Weekly’. Daniel and I were joined by the volunteering consultant Rob Jackson who spoke about the lessons learned from the London 2012 Games Maker volunteer programme. You can watch the recording of Monday’s webcast at: http://www.voluntaryarts.org/running-your-group/running-your-group-weekly/.

Robin Simpson.



Running Your Group Weekly, 14 January 2013 by Robin Simpson
January 18, 2013, 9:40 am
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On Monday I hosted ‘Running Your Group Weekly’ live from Edinburgh where Cassandra joined me and Kevin to talk about Voluntary Arts Week 2013. You can watch the recording of Monday’s webcast at: http://www.voluntaryarts.org/running-your-group/running-your-group-weekly/.

Next Monday at 5 pm Running Your Group Weekly will focus on the effect London 2012 has had on volunteering with the volunteering consultant Rob Jackson joining us to talk about the lessons learned from the Games Maker volunteer programme.

Robin Simpson.



Running Your Group Weekly, 7 January 2013 by Robin Simpson
January 11, 2013, 10:13 am
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On Monday I hosted ‘Running Your Group Weekly’. Daniel, Kevin and I were joined by the freelance charity technologist, Louise Brown. Louise spoke about using technology to help your committee or board operate more effectively. She described a range of free online tools including Doodle, various Google applications, Delicious and the remarkable possibilities offered by IFTTT (If This Then That) which I hadn’t come across before. You can watch the recording of Monday’s webcast at: http://www.voluntaryarts.org/running-your-group/running-your-group-weekly/

Next Monday at 5 pm Running Your Group Weekly will focus on Voluntary Arts Week 2013 with Cassandra Barron joining us to talk about how to get involved.

Robin Simpson.



Running Your Group Weekly, 17 December 2012 by Robin Simpson
December 21, 2012, 11:16 am
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On Monday afternoon I hosted the last Running Your Group Weekly of the year. Kevin, Daniel and I were joined by special guest John McBride from North West Volunteer Centre. John is the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Derry/Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 and spoke about the City of Culture volunteering programme, given us details of some of the planned initiatives and a sneak preview of some of the major events that will be taking place in Derry/Londonderry next year. The City of Culture programme sounds very exciting and it’s great to see volunteering at the heart of the plans.

Kevin using Running Your Group Weekly to announce a new initiative offering amateur artists and voluntary groups the opportunity to help celebrate Derry/Londonderry UK City of Culture in 2013 by putting on special events in the Verbal Arts Centre during the year. ‘Our City of Culture’, an initiative of Voluntary Arts Ireland and the Verbal Arts Centre, invites amateur groups to make their own contribution to the 2013 celebrations by putting on a special event or performance in the historic Verbal Arts Centre on the city walls, see: http://comartspartner.org/?p=117256.

You can watch the recording of Running Your Group Weekly at: http://www.voluntaryarts.org/running-your-group/running-your-group-weekly/.

Running Your Group Weekly will return at 5 pm on Monday 7 January.

Robin Simpson.



Running Your Group Weekly, 10 December 2012 by Robin Simpson
December 14, 2012, 2:31 pm
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On Monday I hosted this week’s Running Your Group Weekly in which Kevin and I reflected on our ‘Digital Creativity and the New Amateur’ seminar in Cork last week. Watch the recording at: http://www.voluntaryarts.org/running-your-group/running-your-group-weekly/ and do join us there next Monday at 5 pm.

Robin Simpson.