Cultural Playing Field


Connected Culture by Robin Simpson
March 11, 2011, 4:59 pm
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On Thursday I also met Bonnie Mitchell and Arti Prashar from Connected Culture – the network celebrating adult participatory arts (http://connectedculture.ning.com/). We talked about developing better links between professional community artists and companies working in the area of adult participatory arts and the amateur arts sector and agreed to involve Connected Culture in the Arts Participation Manifesto development group.

Robin Simpson.

 



Arts Participation Manifesto development group meeting by Robin Simpson
March 11, 2011, 4:58 pm
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Also on Thursday I chaired a meeting of the Arts Participation Manifesto development group. This group, which includes representatives of the National Campaign for the Arts, Audiences UK, the National Culture Forum, Mencap, the Foundation for Community Dance and NALGAO, is proving to be a very fertile forum for debating all aspects of arts participation and updating each other on relevant current issues. At this week’s meeting we talked about the Taking Part questionnaire refresh being undertaken by DCMS (deadline 23 March), the I Value the Arts campaign, the legacy of Arts Council England’s abandoned Arts Nation campaign and encouraging the development of local cultural strategies.

Robin Simpson.



Meeting Louise de Winter at the National Campaign for the Arts by Robin Simpson
January 14, 2011, 2:36 pm
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I was in London on Thursday for my regular meeting with Louise de Winter at the National Campaign for the Arts where the big news was that Louise is leaving NCA to take up the position of Chief Executive of a small health charity. Louise has been at NCA for four years and we have worked closely together, particularly on the Participation Manifesto. She has been a very supportive friend to Voluntary Arts and I’ll really miss our regular chats. Once we had finished discussing Louise’s departure we also talked about a wide range of subjects including visas, Epic Awards, philanthropy and Darren Henley’s review of music education.

Robin Simpson.

 



Participation Manifesto development group meeting by Robin Simpson
July 8, 2010, 4:47 pm
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On Wednesday afternoon Mary and I were at the headquarters of Mencap in London for a meeting of the Arts Participation Manifesto development group, at which we welcomed David Brownlee, Chief Executive of Audiences UK, who has joined the development group. In a wide-ranging, passionate and intense discussion, we discussed whether, in the current financial and political climate, the focus of the group’s work should now be about explaining the value of arts participation and helping those involved in providing opportunities to participate to argue for continued support. But we were also keen not to lose sight of the original motivation for developing the Manifesto, which was about encouraging those providers of arts participation opportunities to work with each other to increase participation, particularly amongst those sections of the population who are under-represented in terms of arts participation. In the end we agreed that these two are not mutually exclusive: reduced support for participation is likely to increasingly skew the profile of arts participants away from those under-represented groups. We came up with a host of ideas for how the Participation Manifesto – and the broad coalition of providers of participation opportunities it represents – might be able to help to address these issues. We agreed to develop a detailed action plan for the Manifesto development group to guide our work over the coming year.

Robin Simpson.



Implementing the Manifesto for Participation in the Arts & Crafts by Robin Simpson
April 23, 2010, 7:40 am
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On Tuesday afternoon I chaired a meeting of the Participation Manifesto Development Group. This was our first meeting since we formally launched the manifesto at the NALGAO Conference last October. More than 240 organisations and individuals have now joined the www.participationinthearts.net website to support the manifesto and continue the debate about how to increase participation in the arts. The level of interest and the range of types of organisation signing up to the website has been very encouraging but we agreed we need to do more to encourage the kind of debate and sharing of experience about arts participation that we hoped to create. The Participation Manifesto Development Group is also hoping to run an annual conference on arts participation to bring together the broad range of organisations involved in the development of the manifesto to continue to look at how we can work together to increase arts participation. We decided to plan the first of these conferences to take place in November 2010.

Robin Simpson.



Catching up with the National Campaign for the Arts by Robin Simpson
October 16, 2009, 10:04 am
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On Tuesday I was in London for my regular meeting with Louise de Winter at the National Campaign for the Arts. I reported back to Louise about the launch of the Participation Manifesto at last week’s NALGAO conference in Swindon and Louise formally pledged NCA’s support for the manifesto on the Participation in the Arts website. (If you haven’t already done so, please do register and pledge your support for the Participation Manifesto at http://www.participationinthearts.net ) We also discussed the NCA’s forthcoming workforce survey and agreed the inclusion of a question about volunteers. Finally, Louise gave me advance notice of an NCA debate at Kings Place in London (as part of the ‘Words on Monday’ series) on 1 March 2010 which will address the motion “this country can no longer afford to subsidise the arts”.

Robin Simpson.



NALGAO Conference 2009 by Robin Simpson
October 8, 2009, 2:32 pm
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On Wednesday and Thursday I have been at the National Association of Local Government Arts Officers conference in Swindon where I formally launched the Participation Manifesto with NALGAO Chair Lorna Brown completing NALGAO’s pledge of support for the manifesto live on the website at the end of my presentation. I urge you all to visit http://www.participationinthearts.net, register and pledge your support for the manifesto and use the website as a forum to continue the discussions about how we best encourage, increase and diversify participation in the arts. I also ran two breakout sessions about volunteering and the voluntary arts which generated some really interesting discussion. The NALGAO conference is always a great event – a credit to Pete Bryan, Helen Miah and all those involved. There were some brilliant performances by local young people and lots of enthusiastic and constructive debate. And it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces. Many thanks to Ginny and Rosemary for running our information stand – it was great to have a substantial presence at the conference.

Robin Simpson.