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ARTSAT THE HEART Cities of Culture or cuts?

Inside: BoltonArts & Health seminar Nick Capaldi onWales’ investment review ACE’s new approach to partnerships DerrickAnderson: Managing performance

Working for local government arts and creative industries The nalgao Magazine Issue 26 Autumn 2010


Chair’s Introduction Seismic Times

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nalgao News

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Cover Features ACE:Targeting Future Partnerships ACW:Vibrant, Dynamic and Durable

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BackToThe Future?

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Outside In Seminar Changing The Culture Delivering Better for Less

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Arts, Health andWellbeing Seminar Introduction The Art of Raising Aspirations Big Society:Arts, Health and Wellbeing

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Cover Story Cities of Culture or cuts? Derry: Cracking The Cultural Code They also serve...

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nalgao Case Studies Severn Up Going Underground Special Delivery makedo&mend: Project Evaluation New Engine Powers Powys Theatre? It’s Our Future! Up In The Air

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Editor: Paul Kelly Cultural Futures Tel: (w) 01202 363013 (h) 01202 385585 Mobile: 07825 313838 Email: paul.kelly20@virgin.net Published by nalgao Tel: & Fax: 01269 824728 Email: nalgao@aol.com www.nalgao.org Editorial research time kindly provided by the Arts University College at Bournemouth

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“Resilience and creative problem solving are prerequisites for the job.”

Contents

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Seismic times ‘The plates aren’t just shifting, they’re spinning too’. Pete Bryan, our indefatigable administrator, summed up the current situation pretty succinctly as we surveyed the latest announcement from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport about the abolishment of a batch of cultural bodies including the Film Council and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. We find ourselves facing two major difficulties. The first, the economic steps to reduce the deficit will probably see central government funding for the arts seriously reduced. But there’s the potential double whammy for the arts that local government budgets are also to be reduced. As Local Authorities are the other major funder of arts and culture, the impact could be critical. That will of course have an impact on local government arts officers and few of us will escape the financial pain. Many councils are looking - yet again - at what they are required to do and what they would like to do and making hard decisions. As we are only too aware, nonstatutory services of all kinds will suffer. Most of us in public service aren’t here for the financial rewards (gold plated pension anyone?) but from a sense of public service and of contributing to society. The growing awareness that public service itself is being so fundamentally questioned adds to our unease. But resilience and creative problem solving are prerequisites for the job. We’ll need quickly to get a firm grip on the way our world is changing and how to respond most positively but already ways ahead are emerging. Derrick Anderson, the Chief Executive at Lambeth is a staunch supporter of arts, culture and sports. In “Changing The Culture” (page 12) Derrick argues that the sector must continue to improve its approach to evidencing culture’s impact. As the landscape we have understood shifts around us, how we develop and improve our services becomes even more important. Martyn Allison, picking up on the themes of our ‘Outside In’ seminar and report, gives us his view on the way ahead and the future of commissioning with a clear and helpful five point plan.The future of the National Indicator set looks doubtful – but local indicators could well be both more important and more relevant. Angela Watson sets out the lessons learned from the NI11 data. There’s still plenty to celebrate of course, and the City of Culture winners, Derry-Londonderry have lots to shout about. As indeed did the excellent presentations highlighted at the recent nalgao Arts and Health Seminar, generously hosted by Bolton at Home, and reported on here. The concept ‘Big Society’ is still unclear, but if it’s about empowering people and communities, the arts have a strong track record in doing just that – as Arts at the Heart so frequently demonstrates. Knowledge is our best tool for surviving in this rapidly changing climate, so do email nalgao and tell us what is happening and if you have found ways of protecting your arts service that others can learn from.

Lorna Brown Chair of nalgao

Cover photo: Young people in Derry celebrate becoming the first British City of Culture


nalgao news nalgao Conference Nalgao’s annual conference & AGM will be held in Brighton on 6th & 7th December.The conference will be addressed by EdVaizey MP, Minister for the Arts and will explore the challenges, threats and the opportunities for local authority arts services and for those of us working in arts development in the economic and political climate we find ourselves in. In particular it will consider: • Working within the new landscape and making it work for you • Fighting for your corner, and • Going it alone The conference will include a study tour of Brighton and breakout sessions on How to survive cutbacks and re-organisation, 2012 and making it work for you, the Big Society and discussion sessions on Coping with Stress and Leadership & Continuing Professional Development. The conference was previously scheduled for Sunderland in midOctober but this was prior to the Government’s Spending Review announcement on 20 October. This and member budget restraints has led nalgao to revise the conference programme, condensing the event into two days necessitating just one overnight stay to reduce delegate costs. The AGM will take place on the evening of the first day.We are also delighted to report that EdVaizey MP, Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries will give a keynote address on 7th December. Other keynote speakers will include Martyn Allison, Local Government Improvement & Development , Jonathan Banks, Chief Executive, Ixia and Alex Homfray, Senior Consultant, BOP Consulting. Full details are available on the nalgao website – www.nalgao.org The PDF can be downloaded from: http://tiny.cc/jy8nc

Improving Communications nalgao's Communications Sub-Committee has been hard at work reviewing ways of improving the organisation's communication services.The improvements will involve two or three phases. First, following a discussion with Trustees and a short survey and endorsement from the membership, nalgao has decided to make Arts at the Heart magazine a digital only publication from this issue for both environmental and cost reasons. InitiallyArts at the Heart will be published as a PDF and a link emailed to members for downloading.Very shortly though it is hoped to adopt a 'magazine reader' format which some commercial magazines use. Phase two is to develop an improved and more flexible and navigable website. A brief for a new site has been developed and work is well advanced on developing it. nalgao expects to launch the new website at the December Conference in Brighton. The new website will lead to phase three which will involve streamlining the weekly Ezine and reducing its bulk by carrying far more content on the website. It is expected that these changes will improve the way that nalgao communicates with its members and the services it can offer them.

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BuildingThe Big Society You’ve probably heard about the Big Society. But what does it really mean? The Conservative Party has produced an eight page policy paper outlining the philosophy and objectives of this initiative. The spring 2011 issue of Arts at the Heart will carry a feature on this. The PDF can be downloaded from: http://tiny.cc/fguji

StayingAlive Arts & Business has commissioned the economist and media specialist, Martin Smith, to research how the arts can cope when there is less funding about. Smith’s 24 page report “Arts funding in a cooler climate”, was published in May. Whilst it doesn’t provide definitive conclusions, it is a useful analysis of the landscape and contains some thoughtful insights. The PDF can be downloaded from: http://tiny.cc/jy8nc


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TARGETING FUTURE PARTNERSHIPS Richard Russell Several weeks ago Arts Council England published the findings of our Achieving great art for everyone consultation.This was a major piece of work for us where, in order to develop, our 10 year strategic framework for the arts we consulted almost 2,500 individuals and organisations involved in the arts in England. One of the main findings of the consultation was the need to encourage greater partnership and collaboration within the arts sector.These partnerships include the Arts Council itself, and we have bold new plans on how we can strengthen our links with local government.

With national and local government budgets under increasing pressure, it is clear that we are facing a difficult time for public funding for the arts. In June, along with all DCMS funded bodies, the Arts Council received a letter from Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, asking us to model for 25-30% cuts over four years. Though these cuts are not set in stone, the levels of reductions being considered shows just how tough this spending review will be. Cuts of this magnitude to the Arts Council budget would mean significant change, and we would be unable to fund many organisations in the way we have to date. These cuts would be doubly damaging if accompanied by significant reductions in funding from local authorities. In July, we wrote to all our funded organisations asking them to model for a minimum of a 10% reduction in funding in 2011-12. This approach allows 2011-12 to be a transitional year, as we move towards developing

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and implementing our 10 year strategic framework for the arts which will be published in October. Our funding decisions between 2012-13 and 201415 will be guided by the priorities set out in the strategic framework, our long term goals for the arts, and the current funding context. Where possible, we would welcome our local authority partners taking the same approach to this transitional year. Such a challenging time requires us to work in new ways with our partners, including those in local government. Local authorities play a crucial role in supporting the arts across the country, and we need to think carefully about how we can best work together as we adjust to a radically altered arts landscape. In the coming months we will be looking to establish sustainable partnerships with a number of local authorities where there is evidence of, or strong potential for, a shared agenda for the arts. These will be places where

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Big Dance in Trafalgar Square


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Both Photos: More views of Big Dance in Trafalgar Square Photos by Kois Miah

the arts are seen as central to a community’s well being and prosperity and there is a strong synergy between our goals and local government priorities. In particular we want to develop partnerships in areas with a critical mass of arts infrastructure, and to secure long term change in areas of limited arts infrastructure and lower level of arts engagement. Our partners in local government should see this as a step change in our commitment to working with them in a purposeful and meaningful way. We will provide advice about the arts and arts funding to all local authorities and will offer some programmes, such as Artsmark and Arts Award, across the whole of England. However, we will be increasingly focusing our resources in areas where we can build strong partnerships to achieve mutual goals. Arts Council funded arts organisations will be critical to making a success of these relationships, developing a broader civic role and demonstrating greater public value for

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their work. In many ways, how arts organisations operate is the very epitome of the Big Society, with organisations run on a mixture of public, private and volunteer support engaging people with their communities and enriching our experience of life. We hope the targeted partnerships we build will help us transform communities through shared action. We know, in these tough financial times, that we need to demonstrate the impact of our investment on people and communities. In July the first findings of the Culture and Sport Evidence (CASE) research project were published. This project is a collaboration between the Arts Council and a number of culture and sport organisations including DCMS, Sport England and the MLA. The research shows the impact that culture and sport have on health and wellbeing, and has created an evidence database that will give researchers and policymakers a better understanding of what drives engagement, what impact it has, and how best we value it.

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We hope this information will be useful to local authorities across the country, giving valuable insight into how arts and culture can contribute to their wider goals in areas such as health and education. Though it’s an uncertain time for the public sector, by adopting a strategic tenyear approach, the Arts Council, in partnership with local government and the wider arts sector, is working to ensure we are in the best possible position to deal with the challenges ahead. Our long term goals will enable the long term action the arts need to be the best they can be, ensuring they remain at the heart of successful communities across the country.

Richard Russell Director, Strategic Partnerships Arts Council England Tel: 0845 300 6200 Email: richard.russell@artscouncil.org.uk


cover features Actors at the new National Theatre of Wales

Vibrant, Dynamic and DURABLE Arts Council ofWales Chief Executive, Nick Capaldi, looks back over the work leading up to the announcement of its Investment Review.

With the news full of increasingly grim stories of public funding cuts, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Arts Council of Wales’s Investment Review was simply more of the same. But it’s not. We started looking at our funding priorities nearly eighteen months ago. What a difference a year makes. We knew from the outset that arguing for increased public investment in the arts would be challenging. So a key part of our strategy was demonstrating that we were using existing funds to best effect. We started by looking at the nearly 100 organisations that we provide revenue funding to each year. We were becoming increasingly concerned that we were spreading funds too thinly, depriving our most innovative and exciting organisations of the funds that they needed to thrive. Consultations with the arts sector confirmed that the majority agreed with our analysis. So we set ourselves a straightforward task: to look at how we might support a network of organisations across Wales, large and small, international and local, that are vibrant, dynamic and durable. Organisations whose work inspires, touches and engages us.

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It sounds simple, but we knew it wouldn’t be easy. Focussing support on a smaller number of organisations would bring with it all the difficulty and controversy that a selective process entails. So we consulted widely about how we’d conduct the Review, and published regular information on our progress. We invited 116 organisations to send us their business plans. We also looked more widely at how we use our funds, and what we’ve achieved. At the end of June we announced the results of our examination.We identified 71 organisations who will form our new portfolio of revenue funded organisations. 32 organisations will no longer be revenue funded after March 2011, and we’ll be exploring other ways of helping them to continue where this is possible. We’ve put in place transition arrangements and we’ll do what we can to secure the best possible outcome for those facing an uncertain future. A small number of organisations want to challenge our decisions, and that’s fine. We have an appeals process and it’s an important to ensure that even the most disappointed arts organisation feels that they’ve been treated fairly.


cover features So what now? As is becoming increasingly clear, nothing is guaranteed for anyone. The economic outlook is grim. But this isn’t why we originally undertook our Investment Review. It was never about cuts, it was about using existing funds to best effect. However, at this point in time, we’ve only been able to identify who we want to work with. We can’t say, yet, how much they’ll get. We should know in December, which is when we expect to know our future levels of funding from the Assembly Government. In the meantime, we won’t be sitting idly by. We’ll continue to present the case for the arts with vigour. And we’ll also be looking to see how we can reduce our own costs, to re invest back into ‘front line’ arts activity. The public rightly demands that the institutions they finance are efficient and effective. And we’ll also be talking with our local authority colleagues, all of whom are facing their own funding challenges. Local authorities in Wales are significant providers and funders of arts activity. We consulted with them at key points in the Investment Review process and this proved to be enormously helpful. Our conversations with local authority colleagues were, as one might expect, thoughtful, pragmatic and useful. In the majority of cases there was a clear alignment of our respective priorities. But in a small number of instances we know that the decisions we finally took have disappointed key local authorities whose partnership we value. We’re clear about why we’ve taken those decisions, but there are bridges to be re built nonetheless. We know that the arts within local authorities will be under the most severe pressure within recent memory. In the Autumn we’ll start firming up our funding options for the new portfolio. This will require a further round of local authority conversations where we’ll be trying to focus on

the what, ultimately, we’re all trying to achieve – high quality arts for the widest possible audience in English and in Welsh. Not all of the answers will be provided by the new portfolio of organisations. So we’re proposing new funds to develop community generated arts activity.There’ll be funds for commissioning, production and touring, and we’re going to take a new approach to funding Festivals through the Lottery. The centrepiece of our new strategy will be a more emphatic commitment to arts and young people. The arts make an enormous difference to the lives of everyone, but especially young people. So we need to do whatever we can to broaden our approach, making sure that more children and young people in Wales, wherever they live, whatever their circumstances, can participate in and enjoy a wider range of arts activity. In all of these areas we’ll be consulting on future proposals and the views of local authorities will be essential. So that’s where we are. The period between now and December is critical. We’ve acted today to keep the arts vibrant and strong for tomorrow, and we’ve got a strategy that we believe works. We’ve set out our stall. We’ve been bold, and we’ve made choices. Our task now is to persuade the Welsh Assembly Government of the tremendous benefits that the arts brings to the people of Wales.

Nick Capaldi Chief Executive Arts Council ofWales Tel: 0845 8734 900 Email: info@artswales.org.uk www.artswales.org.uk

The Mission Gallery, Swansea

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cultural context Arts AtThe Heart Editor Paul Kelly takes a personal look back to the 1980s and asks are we going...

Back To The Future? Paul Kelly For those of you who joined the arts industry at some point over the last 15 years, the pressures and challenges the arts now face must seem daunting, possibly bewildering and rather threatening. For those of us who have been around a little longer it seems in ways like it’s 1979 all over again. Even though some of the circumstances are different, it’s worth reflecting on some of the things that happened in the 1980s. That era did not prove a particularly easy ride for the arts, but they survived and there were some curious and even some beneficial developments. The 1974-79 Labour Wilson/Callaghan Government was a very different animal to its Blair/Brown equivalent. It had an increasingly

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difficult relationship with its natural allies, the Trades Unions, which culminated in ‘the Winter of Discontent’ when public sector workers went on mass strike and rubbish piled up in the streets. Britain’s economy was in a far worse state than it is now. The country had had to resort to borrowing from the International Monetary Fund to stay solvent. Inflation averaged at 15.7% - peaking at over 24%. And the Government seemed to spend much of its time engaged in a grumpy public debate over the nature of society, chiefly with the Trades Unions. Margaret Thatcher’s majority of 43 at the 1979 general election was by no means substantial. What she did with it was. In its first two years the Thatcher

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government cut public spending and direct taxation and doubledVAT from 8% to 15%. It started to sell off state industries to the private sector and gave council tenants the right to buy. Growth was slow to come and at a cost. Unemployment rose from 1 million to over 3 million. At one point people found themselves paying 15% interest on their mortgages. “I came to office,” said Margaret Thatcher in a speech to the Small Business conference in 1984,“with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society - from a give-it-to-me, to a do-ityourself nation. A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain”. 1 Thatcher and her finance ministers sought to move Britain


cultural context Left: Norman St John Stevas Right:Toxteth Riots, 1981

from what they saw as a dependency culture to an enterprise culture, driven and defined by the free market. Thatcherism, said her Chancellor Nigel Lawson,“involves a mixture of free markets, financial discipline, firm control over public expenditure, tax cuts, nationalism, ‘Victorian values’ (of the Samuel Smiles selfhelp variety), privatisation and a dash of popularism.” 2 The Thatcher philosophy had both and an impact on British communities, society and culture.Three years later, talking to Women’s Own magazine,Thatcher famously said “there is no such thing as society”. 3 Frequently taken out of context it possibly wasn’t precisely what she believed, but it set a political tone. Interviewed in the Guardian two years ago, the writer Hanif Kureshi said that Margaret Thatcher actively hated culture, as she recognised that it was a form of dissent. 4 A culture of dissent spilled on the streets in the early 1980s with riots in Bristol in April 1980 and more serious riots in Brixton and Toxteth, Liverpool the following year.These signalled intense and growing inner city tensions. With Minister of the Environment Michael Heseltine’s help government funds started to be channelled into regenerative measures some of which involved culture, most notably a series of International Garden Festivals starting in Liverpool in 1984 with successors in Stoke, Glasgow, Gateshead and EbbwVale. Growing unemployment, much of it affecting the young, led to the establishment in 1983 of the government’s Enterprise Allowance Scheme (EAS) which provided a weekly payment of £40 to an unemployed person who wished to set up a business and was willing to invest a specified amount in it during its first year. A number of enterprising artists,

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managers and arts groups, including Oasis record boss Alan McGee, used the EAS as a form of start up or grant funding and the Enterprise Allowance not only got some young people off the unemployment register but sowed the seeds of cultural entrepreneurship. “The arts world must . . . accept the fact that Government policy . . . has decisively tilted away from the expansion of the public to the enlargement of the private sector.The Government fully intends to honour its pledge to maintain public support for the arts . . . but we look to the private sphere to meet any shortfall and to provide immediate means of increase.” No that’s not a quote from Jeremy Hunt or EdVaizey, but Norman St John Stevas, Margaret Thatcher’s first Minister for the Arts, speaking in about 1980 and encouraging arts organisations to seek alternative forms of funding. 5 But it has a familiar ring about it. In the late 1980s under Arts Minister Richard Luce, the government introduced the American concept of ‘Challenge Funding’ managed by ABSA - now Arts & Business. Challenge Funding was a sort of corporate version of Enterprise Allowance. If your organisation could raise, say, £50,000 for something which would generate additional income, you could apply for match

“The arts were now to be judged by economic yardsticks and were exhorted to throw off the culture of dependency.”

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funding to complete and deliver the project. It worked quite well, but was a relatively short-lived scheme and was never built into wider cultural thinking. Thatcher’s impact on the arts, says Professor Victoria Alexander, amounted to a dramatic shift in emphasis from the arts themselves whether in the form of art world concerns with excellence or policymakers’ concerns with access - to the prudent management of the arts.“The arts were now to be judged by economic yardsticks and were exhorted to throw off the culture of dependency, pull up their socks, and look for additional funding elsewhere.” 6 The result of cuts in Arts Council grant in the early 1980s and the encouragement of commercial thinking led to the rise of sellingfocussed arts marketing as documented by Gerri Morris. 7 It gave an enhanced role to the Association for Business Sponsorship in the Arts (ABSA) - now Arts & Business - and a re-positioning of the arts in policy terms. It also led to a dulling of artistic product. As Gerri Morris pithily put it, artistic directors completely gave up on their vision and just make assumptions of what the audience would respond to,“and it always seemed to be Noel Coward.” 8 “The arts are to tourism, what the sun is to Spain,” said the former Times Editor and 1980s Arts Council Chair,William Rees-Mogg.What Rees-Mogg was saying was to justify funding, the arts have to serve a wider public purpose. Given recent cultural debates, there is a deep irony in finding the origins of cultural instrumentalism buried back in the 1980s. Isn’t that what New Labour were accused of inventing? Some have also claimed that in


cultural context the same era, the lack of public funding and a Thatcherite entrepreneurial culture spurred on a group of art students who collectively became known as theYoung British Artists and who went on to fame and in some cases considerable fortune. This brief and necessarily selective review indicates some broad themes.Whilst there are similarities today with 1979, there are also some significant differences. Jeremy Hunt, the new Secretary of State for Culture and his Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, EdVaizey took care and time in the two years prior to this May’s election to court and reassure the arts world. There is, says David Cameron repeatedly, such a thing as society. “We just don't think that it's the same thing as the state." Britain today is far from the economic or social position it occupied in 1979. And the message from the Conservatives from David Cameron down has been broadly,‘we like the arts’. For one, arts and culture now benefit from a significant annual revenue flow from the National Lottery an institution for which we must give thanks and credit to the Conervatives who enacted the legislation and launched it in 1994. But there are some deeper issues to grapple with. The early 1980s were economically difficult. When recovery came by about 1985, the combination of wealth and ideology turned the citizen into the consumer.That has posed a challenge, in some parts of the country at least, to identity and community, one which David Cameron’s “Big Society” is trying to re-balance. But at the same time, the Coalition Government seems to be stripping the voluntary sector bare. As Polly Toynbee recently wrote in the Guardian,“the £35bn voluntary sector is 40% sustained by state support…so shrinking the state means shrinking the charitable sector, too.” 9 The Big Society seems set to be built on volunteering and if economic recovery falters there should be plenty of potential candidates. But whether

an ideology, which not a lot of people really understand, is going to help re-build local communities affected by public service and possibly private sector cuts, remains to be seen. All Governments take time to find their feet. What is happening now is the start of an experiment which will take time to unfold, so

“Arts and culture now benefit from a significant annual revenue flow from the National Lottery an institution for which we must give thanks and credit to the Conservatives.” long as the current Coalition government lasts. What seems clear today is that, just as in 1979, we are at turning point. We have enjoyed 15 years of a certain type of economic and cultural development and the certainty that comes from a particular political ideology and style. We now have to get used to something rather different. Strangely, whilst the public sector options may seem very stark - get seriously commercial or disappear - there may be a very viable middle ground through adopting the principles of social entrepreneurship. It’s worth reading or re-visiting Andrew Mawson’s ‘The Social Entrepreneur: Making Communities Work’. 10 "A government is defined,” said actor/Director Sam West on Radio 4 recently, “by what it chooses to spend its money on". 11 In broader cultural terms, the issue of Arts Council funding is, I would argue, a bit of a

sideshow. The real issue is how the government approaches the public realm and welfare in general and the Thatcher years throw up some interesting questions. How much will the government actually reduce or privatise the public services that we have come to know and expect? What impact will this have on the way that local communities function - or don’t? Will the public really accept all the changes that are being proposed especially when the real implications around jobs and services become clear? From an arts perspective the irony is that, on the one hand local arts provision is often seen as an expendable periphery. On the other hand, artists and the arts are often one of the most effective ways of bringing bewildered or broken communities back together. And there may be a much greater need for that in future.

Paul Kelly Email: Paul.Kelly20@virgin.net Paul Kelly started his career in the Arts in 1978 and is now Senior Lecturer in Arts and Event Management at the Arts University College at Bournemouth. A longer version of this essay can be found on the nalgao website – www.nalgao.org http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105617 Quoted Hewison, R. (1997) Culture & Consensus p.210 http://briandeer.com/social/thatcher-society.htm “Acceptable in the 1980s” - The Guardian 11 April 2009 Quoted in AlexanderV (2007) State Support of Artists:The Case of the United Kingdom in a New Labour Environment and Beyond. 6 AlexanderV. (2007) State Support of Artists:The Case of the United Kingdom in a New Labour Environment and Beyond, University of Surrey 7 Keynote address to the Arts Management Association conference 2004. 8 ibid 9 “The 'big society' is a big fat lie – just follow the money” The Guardian, 6 August 2010 10 Atlantic Books (2008) 11 You and Yours BBC Radio 4 11 August 2010

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From the ‘Winter of Discontent’ to global financial centre

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outside in seminar

Outside In Seminar London, February 2010

This seminar, now seems another world away, staged in different political times.Attended by over 200 delegates, it looked at how the arts could benefit from the way that Local Authorities were increasingly externally commissioning local authority service contracts. The keynote speeches by Derrick Anderson and Martyn Allison highlighted the impending difficulties local authorities were facing – regardless of possible political changes. Local authorities were facing a ‘financial Tsunami’ said Derrick Anderson.And Martyn Allison stressed the need for local authority cultural services to develop performance targets and data to demonstrate the outcomes they were achieving. We are pleased to be able to publish updated versions of their keynote speeches in this issue of Arts at the Heart. Paul Kelly, Editor 11

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outside in seminar

Changing The Culture Derrick Anderson

Derrick Anderson

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The cultural sector has achieved a great deal in recent years.The sector has shown itself to be adept at responding to opportunities presented by wider developments.As a result, the profile of the sector has never been higher. However, despite laudable efforts by the sector to take responsibility for its development needs, this new found profile has come at a price.Questions have been raised about performance and its impact on outcomes.As we enter a period of unprecedented pressure on public finances, these weaknesses threaten to undermine the ability of the cultural sector to compete for scarce resources. Faced with these challenges, the sector must continue to address known weaknesses around performance and, at the same time, boldly pursue new opportunities presented by the political consensus that is emerging around localism and new forms of service delivery. In many ways, the recent story of the cultural sector in modern times has been one of growing confidence and influence. As the 1990s progressed the sector moved beyond energy sapping battles over compulsory competitive tendering to position culture as a driver of economic and social wellbeing.The introduction of the Local Government Act 2000, which explicitly set out Local Authorities’ responsibilities in this area helped. But more importantly, the sector acted boldly to make space for itself at the top table, using the utilitarian arguments of the day. Much as I admire the way the sector has pursued the opportunities that have arisen, I also see that it has not been without its problems. Increased attention from beyond the sector highlighted longstanding weaknesses within. Lambeth was by no means alone in being criticised by the Audit Commission for the way performance was managed within its cultural services. In many ways, the sector came to the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) game late in the day and, at times, seemed resistant to doing what needed to be done to meet the new requirements of performance management. When I addressed the nalgao conference in February, I told delegates that only a fool would try to predict the outcome of the general election. As it happened, the outcome was even less predictable than I had imagined - the first coalition since the Second World War, bringing together Conservatives and Liberal Democrats for a term they hope will last five years. Five months later, I’m less surprised by the financial situation we find ourselves in. In the hierarchy of priorities for the national government, local government ranks far lower than hospitals and schools or defence. Local government had already been asked to find an additional £1.1 billion in savings this year when the government announced the curtailment of the Building Schools for the Future programme. And there is more pain to come, with the Comprehensive Spending Review expected to spell out cuts in departmental spending of at least a third over the next three years. Faced with these challenges, what must the culture sector do to safeguard its future? With the formation of the coalition government we now know that Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) is no more and, in the future,


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we can expect to see less emphasis placed on centralised inspection. However, the sector must continue to improve its approach to evidencing culture’s impact.The demise of CAA does not mean we should abandon sector-led efforts to build the sector’s capacity around managing performance and developing a robust evidence base.The work of Regional networks such as the London Cultural Improvement Programme and, earlier this year, the IDeA’s London conference, has confirmed that strategic commissioning will shape the sector’s future. Although initially caught out by the requirements of the CPA inspection regime, it must also be acknowledged that the sector has taken responsibility for its own improvement. With the help of Martyn Allison at the IDeA and others, the London Cultural Improvement Programme have worked hard to develop leadership capacity and develop more robust evidence of culture’s impact on wider outcomes. I am particularly pleased this improvement activity is recognised as serving the sector’s own best interests, and is not simply a response to external chastisement. Throughout the past decade culture has been subject to considerable attention. Positively, the importance of culture to communities and individuals has become more widely recognised than before, and new opportunities for the sector to work more closely with colleagues both inside and outside

DerrickAnderson CBE Chief Executive Lambeth Borough Council Tel: 020 7926 2134 Email:seniorprojectofficer@lambeth.gov.uk

The Outside In Report

Derrick Anderson addresses the delegates

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of local authorities have been achieved. Such opportunities though have presented challenges and questions over impact have exposed sector-wide weaknesses. Until now, fortunately, the cultural sector has responded positively, taking advantage of Beacon and Pathfinder programmes, making a commitment to self-improvement and actively seeking ways to engage with colleagues outside the sector. Now more than ever, in these times of fiscal austerity, we need to be able to prove our worth.With likely cuts to be announced of around 40% to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the sector needs to diversify its approach to funding even more.We can no longer rely solely on commissioning from Government and Local Authorities but must look increasingly to the private sector – we did it in the 1990s and, though doubly difficult in the current financial climate, we can do it again! The cultural sector is almost back on the right track.With continued commitment and the willingness to embrace the challenges that lie ahead, this positive progression will surely see us through these troubling times.

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Dr Dr DerrickAnderson DerrickAnderson CBE CBE Derrick Anderson, CBE, is the Chief Executive of Lambeth Council and started in post on 1 March 2006. He was previously Chief Executive of the City of Wolverhampton Council for 10 years. He was selected as a Local Government Network UK representative for South Africa/UK Shoulder to Shoulder Initiative. He was awarded a CBE for services to local government in January 2003 and holds honorary doctorates from Staffordshire University for work on social inclusion and cultural policy and from Birmingham University.With a keen interest in sports and the arts, Derrick’s outside interests include working with aid and development agencies in Southern Africa and the Caribbean.With many years of public service Derrick has spoken both nationally and internationally at conferences and events on local government and community issues.


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DELIVERING BETTER FOR LESS Martyn Allison

The story so far…

Positioning

Cultural services’ seven year improvement journey - often described as the sector needing to catch up with other public services - stands on the threshold of a new direction of travel created by an unprecedented period of financial restraint in public expenditure coupled with some fundamental shifts in national and local government relationships, a greater devolution of responsibility to people and communities and significant changes in policy. This will require a new enthusiasm and passion to increase productivity and real leadership will be required to square the circle of delivering better for less. The challenge ahead is huge and it will be very easy for the sector to revert to “victim mode” and complain about not being valued and being the first to suffer cuts. It will be equally tempting to simply campaign for protection through greater statutory recognition a campaign that will be doomed to failure from the outset. We have however some huge opportunities to build on our success and continue to position the sector at the heart of this new world. By the end of the next spending review period the sector could be 25% smaller in financial terms but not necessarily in activity terms and the 75% that remains must be better valued and perform better if it is to survive.

Culture and sport services are now well positioned in the strategic planning of about a third of single tier councils and better positioned in most.The contribution these services can make to peoples lives including health improvement, the improvement in independent living for older people, in improving life and educational outcomes for children and young people, in supporting the economy and in improving community safety and cohesion is valued but we still lack the real evidence to make our case.

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Performance The sector has been on a trajectory of improvement as measured by the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) and Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) and at the end of the CPA it was no longer the poorest performing service area. However when measured using the National Performance Indicators only adult participation in sport and active recreation has increased whilst adult participation in arts, libraries and museums has fallen back. Performance also remains patchy across councils and in different services.

Improvement The improvement project has been a remarkable process of sector collaboration with numerous organisations working to a

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common goal and strategy, “A Passion for Excellence”.Yet despite this the sector remains incredibly fragmented with numerous organisations competing for influence with continuing declining resources and capacity to do so.

A new political and financial context The election marks a moment of step change in the context in which we all work.The moment when the “plates moved”. History tells us that the sector traditionally has been poor at responding to change and tends to wait until the dust has settled before responding.This time we must avoid this and although there are risks in trying to guess the future these need to be judged against the risks of doing nothing until everything is clear. Our strategy must be to help shape the future and not wait until it is shaped for us. What does this mean for the sector and the improvement project?

Less resources Less resource will be the biggest driver of change for the next few years.The culture and sport sector will always be seen by some as the non essential and the first candidate for budget cuts. A sector that is 25% smaller financially is a likely outcome but this need not be a 25% reduction in activity. (See box on page 15 for possible impacts).


outside in seminar Less Resources For the sector this means: • Reducing costs and increasing productivity • Increasing income by actually increasing usage and levels of participation • Developing new approaches to philanthropy and sponsorship • Considering alternative delivery arrangements including private sector providers, developing more social enterprises, directly devolving service delivery to the voluntary and community sector • Developing more collaborative delivery models that share assets, share support services and share management • Working more collaboratively across traditional administrative boundaries including improved two tier working

WhatThe Sector Needs • Even greater focus on local leadership to position services alongside local needs and priorities • Continued efforts to provide the evidence of the sector’s contribution to outcomes and a means of measuring performance and value for money locally • The pooling of resources into place or area budgets • An even greater reliance on self and sector led improvement

• Responding to the commissioning opportunities particularly in the health, adult social care and children’s service areas

Localism The second key driver for change will be the reduction in national drivers of reform and improvement and the promotion of local accountability for service delivery and improvement.This is coupled with a desire to “roll back or replace the state” giving more responsibility to individuals and communities under the concept of “the Big Society” coupled with more reliance on professionals to innovate and respond to customer and user accountability rather than being driven by national targets.There is a strong desire to remove “the middlemen” or Quangos that sit between central government and those who deliver and receive services at the frontline. Although councils are seen to be important players in this new architecture there is also a desire to devolve beyond councils direct to schools, GPs, hospitals, business and communities themselves.Whatever the outcome councils will still remain the biggest providers and enablers of culture and sport services to communities. In terms of the sector this means: • Less national policy and advocacy for the sector from Central Government and Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) and much more reliance on local leadership. • Potentially less national and regional funding, capacity and support from the NDPBs

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although changes proposed to Lottery funding will generate increased resource streams. • An opportunity to help the voluntary and community sectors play an even greater role in the provision of culture and sport

Sector led improvement These drivers underpin further changes to the public service delivery and improvement architecture.We have already seen the demise nationally of Public Service Agreements and the Comprehensive Area Assessment with a promise of less regulation and inspection.There has been no mention yet of the future of Local Area Agreements or National Performance Indicators although changes and further culling of indicators is expected. Concepts of local partnerships led by councils are likely to remain with an even greater emphasis on joining up service delivery and removing overlap and duplication through place based budgeting with the continuing focus on improving outcomes for local people and communities with local information being used to promote greater transparency and accountability to local people on performance. The focus on efficiency and new service provider arrangements will mean that the concept of commissioning services will continue as the key process for matching needs, resources and procurement. Local service commissioning through local accountable

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bodies based on single need assessments and integrated service delivery will be an ambition. (See box above for what culture needs to do) So how do we respond to these new challenges? My suggested five point plan involves: 1. Stimulating and sharing innovation. 2. Helping develop and establish new provider models particularly using the private sector, social enterprise and the community and voluntary sectors that are transformational. 3. Working very differently with a greater reliance on councils themselves and local geographical improvement networks and professional bodies driving improvement. 4. Helping build capacity in the third sector and helping councils build that capacity locally. 5. Continuing to work collaboratively to maximise the capacity available to support councils improve.

MartynAllison National Advisor Culture and Sport Local Government Improvement & Development (formally IDeA) Tel: 020 7296 6880 Email: ihelp@local.gov.uk


arts, health & wellbeing seminar

nalgao Arts, Health & Wellbeing Seminar BOLTON, 20 JULY 2010 There is a small irony, is there not, in staging a seminar on arts, health and wellbeing, just as the arts and local authority sectors are facing one of the biggest threats in their post-war history. This seminar, generously supported by Bolton at Home, looked specifically at how the arts and health sectors could work together and at examples of good practice. Yet the keynote speeches by Jon Lord, Chief Executive of Bolton at Home and Clive Parkinson, Director of Arts and Health also dwelled on ideological issues and the bigger picture and these form the substance of Arts at the Heart’s report back from the seminar. Both are well worth reading. During the course of the day, Gail Helme , Fazila Dipoti and Hannah Schühle-Lewis put together a “Book in Eight Minutes” documenting some of the thoughts and views of the 120 seminar participants. The Book, they explain, has been designed as a conference tool which has the benefit of allowing the silent ones who do not speak out to have a voice, and to some extent diminishes the importance of platform speakers. Spontaneity brings surprise and new initiatives to the table. At Bolton, two typists produced 4,300 words from 19 people who wrote for 16 minutes.The full report will be placed on the nalgao website, but here are two short extracts to whet your appetite:

Paul Kelly

e Guitar Funny Thing th the raised on one of I was born and castle and ew N estates in cil un co st he ug to s. Crime void of prospect faced a future de and the unities were low was rife, opport y an m mething that arts were not so her ot m y m Christmas people did. One very a e m ht ug mily) bo (single parent fa to g offend itar- not wantin cheap classic gu could e w it was a gift her, and realising or at e, tic ac gan to pr barely afford, I be rect di a As e. tic to prac least to pretend ged, an y social circles ch loped consequence, m ve de e and confidenc tside my aspirations ou ld or w a n to see and slowly I bega e to tate.This lead m of the council es learn g, in rit w ng so ke up study music, ta e lif d my working piano and spen benefits of arts e th advocating ildhood, y peers from ch participation. M - funny prison or worse many are now in thing the guitar. Paul Devlin

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Art, Balance and Curiosit y To have a healthy well-bein g you need to have a good balance betwe en work and home. You need to carry out some form of physical activity and eat a healthy diet. It is important not just to look after your physical health but you also need to look after your mental health. You need to carry out act ivities that will challenge your curiosity. Som e of these activities may include goi ng to the theatre to watch a drama or read a good book in which you need to concen trate on to follow the tale. One that makes you curious in a way that you have to carry on reading and cannot put dow n. Anon.


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The Art of Raising Aspirations Jon Lord

Why would an organisation whose primary role is to manage and repair 18,000 Council homes in the North West of England invest around £400,000 in the arts each year? Why would it keep doing it for thirteen years? The answer is pretty straightforward. Bolton at Home is not just a housing company, we have a clear belief in working with people, either as individuals or in communities, to raise aspirations, choices and opportunities – and nothing beats art for doing this. That is why we were very happy to host the recent nalgao seminar on arts and health and welcomed agencies, artists and local authorities to look at great examples from around the country (and Bolton!) of artists and communities using different media to improve peoples’ wellbeing. Our “percent for art” scheme started in 1997 as a partnership between what was then the housing department and the arts unit, both in Bolton Council. Basically, this was a bringing together of resources and willingness to take risks for results on one side, and networks and relationships on the other. It worked; Bolton at Home is now the Arms Length Housing Organisation (ALMO) that has evolved from the local authority housing department and we employ four arts officers and commission significant numbers of local and developing artists to work with local communities on a wide range of art projects.We are currently looking at becoming a wholly independent housing provider and the offer to tenants includes engagement in the arts alongside other mainstream housing services. Bolton has a good reputation for partnership and the strong relationship between Bolton at Home, Bolton Council and other housing associations has meant that the political support and resources have developed and become even stronger over the years. It is these partnerships and on-going networking that ensure we continue to move the arts forward both within the organisation and with residents. So how do we use the arts? Our Arts Officers work with groups, communities and interested individuals to develop projects that seek to challenge perceptions, create opportunity, provide fun

Jon Lord, Chief Executive, Bolton at Home

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Bolton at Home were key supporters of the Arts, Health & Wellbeing seminar

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arts, health & wellbeing seminar

Right: Jon Lord at the Arts, Health & Wellbeing Seminar Below: Kearsley Youth Brass Band – supported by Bolton at Home

and open people’s eyes to their skills and potential. This can be through any art media, where the process is as important as the output, but where the outcome is pride, new ambition and an increased level of self or collective realisation. Writing or telling stories, acting out personal drama and experience, dancing at the age of 90, children designing posters, marching in torchlight parades, inter-generational groups designing collages, expressing trauma and feelings through image or film and neighbours coming together to sing - all these and more make the arts in Bolton special, and they take place in some of the most deprived communities in the UK. As a housing company we constantly strive to improve our houses so that, to the residents, they can become homes they are proud to live in. Housing is a fundamental building block to a good quality of life. It is about safety, shelter, warmth; a place where we communicate with family and friends. We believe the arts are also an essential building block of life quality, to create and develop new skills and confidence, to challenge others and perceptions are important to us as human beings and this become even more important if you have had fewer life chances, educational opportunities, poor health or mental health issues. Yet it is these people who are often pushed furthest away from art in our culture. It is also these people who prove they are incredibly and often movingly creative when working with an artist to express their frustrations, experiences and joys through words/music/drama/ pictures. The nalgao seminar certainly showcased examples of this from a range of places very well. It is the experience of seeing a group of homeless men performing a drama and seeing the transformation of their view of themselves and each other that moves; the multi-visual display expressing Asian women’s experience of domestic abuse that brings tears to the eyes, and the feeling of pleasure in seeing people who had never spoken to their neighbours then standing with those same neighbours singing their hearts out. That is why the arts are important to local communities and it is the direct relationship we have as a housing provider with those communities that

makes Bolton at Home a good facilitator for the arts. Using art as a tool for engagement as well as a creative process is a key part of regeneration. As a housing company, along with our usual partners, we can focus on physical regeneration but have learned in the past that you also need the tools that can develop people as well. This can be through volunteering opportunities, supporting social enterprise, providing work experience and apprenticeships or simply supporting family fun days or other social activity. Our contribution through arts activity is absolutely key to this commitment to people who live on our estates and has led to numerous individuals finding skills and choices they did not know they had. That can trigger a regeneration in an area that is lasting and sustainable. It saddens me that local authorities and other public bodies have been so slow at realising the power of genuine community based art. It is also a disappointment that other housing providers don’t put substantial resources into activities that liberate, challenge and develop residents. We have found that unless an organisation invests in its own capacity, and that of its partners and local community, the best that can be achieved are ‘one-offs’ which, although good in their own right, do not create sustainability and deliver for communities in terms of helping them strengthen. Bolton at Home is going to carry on, do even more, get a broader range of staff involved (as it also liberates them) as well as customers. We will take risks, no doubt be criticised as ‘money wasters’ and, critically, back initiatives with hard cash. We will measure what we do and its impact through longitudinal study as that is the only way to assess success in this area. The development of our residents, communities, local artists and the staff within the organisation are results that outweigh any costs. It is also an emotional journey and one that other agencies working in deprived communities should go on.

Jon Lord Chief Executive Bolton at Home Tel: (01204) 335100 Email: jon.lord@boltonathome.org.uk

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arts, health & wellbeing seminar

: y t e i c o S g i B ellbeing W & h t l a e H , Arts Clive Parkinson

Planning for the nalgao seminar on Arts, Health and Wellbeing was easy; just stand there and illustrate all those exemplar arts/health projects around the UK, but then the day before the event, David Cameron announced his Big Society plans in Liverpool, and on the back of the NHS White Paper, changes to the voluntary sector and the coalition government’s determination that the public should pay for the crimes of the bankers and the alleged mismanagement of the previous government; my agenda seemed somehow, more difficult to pull off with any credibility. In truth, I’d planned to discuss Big Society anyway, but with a distinctly proactive focus, because I believe with passion, that the arts and culture have a blindingly obvious place in thriving communities. So this was an

opportunity, to explore how the arts might be central to this emerging agenda. For me the arts/health agenda is way bigger than any conversation about putting pretty sticking plasters on infected wounds, our interest is firmly rooted in public health and inequalities across society. But judging by the prevalence of millionaires in the current cabinet, (‘…of the 29 Ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings, 23 have assets and investments estimated to be worth more than £1 million’) I’m not quite sure what the government understands by inequalities.

Transformation We’re all aware of the disparities in affluent societies and how the inequality gap has widened under the market triumphalism of the last three decades.The arts might just enable us Clive Parkinson contemplates Big Society on Broken Hill

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arts, health & wellbeing seminar

Wellbeing Subscales Pre and Post Scores

Pre

64 62 60 58 56 54 52 50 Autonomy

Environmental Mastery

Positive Relationships with Others

Personal Growth

Purpose in Life

Self Acceptance

Subscale As part of the Invest to Save research, the Ryff’s Scale Of PsychologicalWell-being shows us that engagement in the arts contributes to a range of well-being factors.

opportunities for dialogue; but if you ask questions, you must be prepared for unexpected answers. The Invest to Save research ties into work coming out of the new economics foundation (nef) and their Five Ways to Well-being, which reviews the most up-to-date evidence, suggesting that building the following five actions into our day-to-day lives is important for well-being.

nef describe the importance of 1. connecting with the people around us and how 2. investing time in building these relationships will enrich our lives.They illustrate how being active and discovering the importance of physical activity that we enjoy, clearly enhances health and well-being and they go on to 3. encourage curiosity through taking notice of the extraordinary things in our day-to-day lives, urging us to be more aware of the world

UnexpectedAnswers People found that as a result of participation in arts activities they were more able to cope with life situations and have more choices. For those people coping with anxiety and depression, engagement with the arts resulted in significant reduction in symptoms along with improvements in confidence, motivation, and well being. These were important developments that strengthened a person’s capacity to cope with situations in their lives or to change them. Moreover, transformational change was seen to occur not in response to information or advice, but where people are motivated and perhaps inspired to want to change for themselves. An individual is then in a better ‘place’ or ‘state’ to look at cause and consider change from a more connected and balanced perspective. These elements of wellbeing are significant to this Big Society agenda, because marginalised people who take part in these inspirational projects are more connected, more active and critically, more able to engage with life beyond the boundaries of illness. If the Government genuinely wants to engage with diverse communities across the UK and not just the articulate middle classes, grass-roots cultural engagement like this will offer genuine

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Post

66

Scores

to shift the way we address inequalities across the board from a deficits model to an assets model.What we need to do, is refocus on the untapped wealth of our arts and cultural assets as part of a collective enquiry. Whilst the government is saying ‘we need an ambitious strategy to prevent ill-health which harnesses innovative techniques to help people take responsibility for their own health', there is ample evidence of the reach and impact of the arts, both instrumentally and intrinsically. For me, a useful place to start is with some research we completed at Manchester Metropolitan University a few years ago. As part of our on-going partnership with Arts Council England, North West and the Department of Health, North West, we undertook the Invest to Save: Arts in Health project to better understand how the arts impact on individuals and communities across the North West region. Using a range of measurement tools and appreciative enquiry, we worked with six robust arts/health organisations to gather something of this impact. (Details of all these tools can be found on our website www.artsforhealth.org). And yes, we found significant reductions in stress, anxiety, depression and other symptoms of illhealth, but the really interesting part of our research focused on what it was about these creative and cultural activities that enhanced health and well-being. In other words, it didn’t just focus on illness and morbidity, but on development and transformation.

Ken in the allotment at BlueSCI

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around us and what we are feeling, and learning to reflect on this. Crucially they 4. emphasize the importance of learning and taking on new challenges, to improve selfconfidence. Finally 5. nef stresses the importance of giving and seeing ourselves in relationship to the wider community; being a part of civic society.

Politics of the Common Good A part of me can’t help feeling a little nervous, as it seems we’re being told something blindingly obvious, particularly when many of our target populations may experience resistance and apathy in relation to the all the strategies and initiatives pitched at them. This has led to what has been described as a ‘poverty of aspiration’ where many people have little motivation, desire or opportunity to aspire to anything beyond current circumstances or health status. So these Five Ways to Well-being might be obvious to those of us involved in arts/health, but like the five a-day approach to healthy eating, it’s a useful vehicle for wider understanding. nef acknowledge there is little medical evidence examining measures and determinants of well-being. But they do note that more recent studies have begun to look at the effectiveness of specific interventions on the promotion of well-being. Just looking at these themes around social relationships, activity, awareness, learning, and giving; one can quite clearly see the role of arts and culture. The recent Demos report,‘Civic Streets:The Big Society in Action’, explores how the government needs to ensure that its investment in communities is attached to, and reflective of, the long-term nature of community regeneration.The report illustrates that democracy works, when communities establish a plan of action and consult the wider community, but that too often the attitudes and approaches of primary care trusts, local authorities and other state actors get in the way of communities. This Demos report makes clear that people feel a positive change but cannot prove it and suggests that there has to be real, swift progress in this area to enable communities to understand the scale of their deprivation and to measure the success in tackling it. In his Reith Lectures for the BBC in 2009 Michael Sandel, Harvard Professor of Government, echoes this theme and invites us to think of ourselves, less as consumers and more as citizens, and argues for ‘politics of the common good’ where commodities of community, solidarity and trust are not commodities that deplete with use, like our finite environmental or economic resources, but are more like muscles, that grow stronger with exercise.

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The late Brazilian cultural activist Augusto Boal might teach us a thing or two about this through his revolutionary approach to the arts, and not explicitly focused on health, but passionate about equity. In his seminal book, Theatre of the Oppressed, Boal argued that mainstream theatre was an instrument of ruling-class control, aimed at sedating the audience. But Boal also showed how the dramatic arts could be used as a weapon, turning the spectator into an actor, the oppressed into revolutionaries.

CognitiveLossReducesInhibition Organisations like Cardboard Citizens that have empowered homeless people through the arts, have clearly learnt a great deal from the philosophy of Boal and illustrate that the arts and cultural agenda can offer so much more to democracy and civic engagement than the government is aware of. However, our window of opportunity to persuade them of this value may be short-lived and we should bang this drum as loudly as possible right now. However, the poverty of aspiration I alluded to earlier isn’t just about health and social choices, but cultural ones too. Many of the communities we aspire to work with instinctively feel that the arts aren’t relevant to them, and there are still great divisions between what is seen as high and popular art.

Banksy image – from street to high art

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I’d like to think that our agenda on one hand might be about the instrumental benefits of the arts, but equally be about their intrinsic value. There are some powerful examples out there too.The reach of Banksy in Bristol last year was huge with the Bristol Museum having seen the highest number of visitors it had ever achieved matching the museum’s annual turnover in just twelve weeks.Voluntary donations were in excess of £45,000 – nearly four times the annual amount.The museum employed an extra 30 temporary members of staff. But, more than that, the effect of people coming into the city brought an extra £15 million into the local economy. In their drive to attract new audiences, galleries and museums are having quite an impact on people who are normally excluded by ill-health and isolation. I read an article recently in the Guardian about the trauma of caring for someone with dementia and the impact it has on the family, and with our growing aging population and increase in this disease, it’s a real concern for the future. The work that the Museum of Modern Art in NewYork (MoMA) has been undertaking, has been based largely on the thinking and research of Professor Gene Cohen and the artist/writer Anne Basting who don’t particularly focus on memory, but the fact that the resulting


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impact of cognitive loss reduces inhibition in people affected by the disease.This in turn, has a profound effect on individuals’ creative potential through imagination, which it’s suggested, can thrive.This is an interesting hypothesis, born out by the remarkable work at MoMA and an area of current research we’re developing at Arts for Health. Quite simply, educators in the gallery, introduce people to 20th Century and contemporary art in a way that works in the moment and engages people deeply in their own creative potential.The impact on individuals and carers is potent and astounding. So both Bristol museum and MoMA are really engaging with diverse audiences, one illustrating a strong economic and popular relevance, the other a significant impact on wellbeing. Leading up to the recent change in government, we’ve had an amazing few years in arts and health, with a Department of Health national prospectus, a debate on arts and health in the House of Lords championed by Lord Howarth and subsequent questions in the House of Commons and public commitment from Alan Johnson when he was Secretary of State for Health.There are two new international arts/health journals and in Mike White’s exploration of Arts Development in Community Health, the first coherent account of this field of enquiry.The continued lobbying of Breakthrough: Arts in Mental Health ensures that this work remains politically connected, active and representative of real voices, and whilst we lost the National Network for Arts and Health in 2007, there has been a drive and commitment amongst regional partners to develop a National Forum forArts and Health

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where the thriving regional and sub-regional networks link into a national network of networks. This is a model that’s being explored by the London Arts and Health Forum at the moment. The Department of Health Working Group for Arts and Health established by Harry Cayton and until recently led by Professor Louis Appleby, is I imagine, awaiting direction from ministers, and as Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley describes it, a new Public Health Service that will be part of a “movement which not only transforms the way we deliver public health, but also revolutionises the way we think about it”. As the National Campaign for the Arts and Arts and Business collaborate through the Culture Forum to lobby government, the pressure will be on Tim Joss, (chair) Guy Eades and Damian Hebron as three of the twenty six cultural members with interests in the health and well-being sectors, to make a strong case for the arts, and not only as a concern for the DCMS, but for inter-departmental collaboration, cross-party support and wider public awareness.

GivingPeopleaRealVoice In the Guardian,Polly Toynbee recently asked, “what is the ‘big society’ if not arts for everyone?” It is easy to see how one or two global exemplars have shared similarities, and there are of course, many, many more. Disability in the Arts/Disadvantage in the Arts, in Western Australia (DADAA); the Bromley by Bow Centre in Tower Hamlets and BlueSCI in Trafford all have some key characteristics in common.They all have incredible leadership, are deeply engaged at the heart of the communities they

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serve, illustrate entrepreneurial zeal and philanthropy. the arts are central to their agenda; they market themselves skilfully, nurture diverse partnerships and have vision beyond stasis. Whilst the voluntary sector has an important role to play there’s a danger that the government will suck the life out of it and use its successes as a justification for reducing investments in the professional arts sector. I started by suggesting that the arts have a place in this Big Society agenda and I believe this with conviction. But I also believe that the essence of what the arts are about, isn’t about pacifying people and enabling them to engage in a purely benign and soporific activity. It’s about giving people a real voice, and the challenge to government, local authorities and health commissioners, will be to listen, support and respond to communal civic voice. As part of the Invest to Save research that I mentioned earlier, we not only gathered data around the impact of the arts through questionnaires, but also through extensive individual and group interviews.This provided a rich source of data to unpick and as part of the process of understanding transformation, autonomy, environmental mastery and the other components of well-being, we recruited artists, writers and filmmakers to help us make sense of these stories. Writer David Gaffney and illustrator David Bailey worked with some of the words of Stan (not his real name), who had experienced chronic depression for over 40 years, but had found a way out of it through participation in the Start in Salford arts project. Stan


arts, health & wellbeing seminar described his experience of depression as like having a lighthouse strapped to his head 24 hours a day. And the beam of this lighthouse burned into him, focusing this cold white light on all his problems; his unemployment, his failed relationships, his lack of work.This all-absorbing depression blinded him to anything other than his ill-health. However, he described how when he was deeply engaged in the arts, when he was challenged and pushed to succeed in this new experience that was way beyond his comfort zone, something significant happened; the beam of the light-house shifted, and for a time, possibilities of new opportunities were illuminated. He no longer looked inwards, but towards the potential and possibilities of the wider world. This is key to my understanding of how the arts are clearly central to this bigger society and always have been.The ‘space’ or ‘flow state’ that Stan describes so lyrically, offers a real opportunity to practice being well, and from that connected place, be in the position to make changes and grow. Whilst it would be reassuring for the sector to have a mandate from the government to pursue this agenda, the army of artists and health practitioners that are out there and are in fact already embedded in communities, galleries and health settings, will shrug their shoulders and carry on regardless. I know artists who would loath to be ‘mainstreamed’ and positively relish the challenge of having a government to poke and question.Throughout history art has been a powerful vehicle for voicing both outrage and vision.This arts and health movement can influence the Big Society debate and bring the Government to account, because health and well-being are surely less about prescribing and more about being fully engaged and inspired to make changes.

Clive Parkinson Director Arts for Health www.artsforhealth.org A longer version of this article with full references can be found on the nalgao website.

Depression: a lighthouse in your face. Illustration by David Bailey

‘The bloke from Salford has a lighthouse on a long stalk that dangles in front of his face.The rotating lamp is stuck, so it shines into his eyes continually. He looks like an angler-fish at the bottom of the sea…’ David Gaffney

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cover story

Paul Kelly

CITIES OF CULTURE OR CUTS?

It’s strange but true; all three cities which have won campaigns to be UK culture capitals, lie at what might conceivably be called the Celtic fringes of British life. First Glasgow in 1990, then Liverpool in 2008 and now Derry-Londonderry which has been awarded the inaugural title of British City of Culture for 2013. These three cities are all, in different ways, border territory, on the margins, and each with ‘more respectable’ competition an easy car drive away. Whether Glasgow, Liverpool and Derry’s respective mix of history and positioning have been reflected in their bids, or whether it has created conditions ripe for culturally-led regeneration, we’ll leave for the academics to debate. But it must make comfortable middleEnglish city candidates weep periodic tears of frustration. The City of Culture scheme was proposed less than two years ago by Phil Redmond, Chair of Liverpool 2008. Launched by the then Culture

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Secretary Andy Burnham, it now seems from a different cultural age. Changing political and financial values have altered the landscape the scheme sits in. But no government money is attached, so it may fit well with the new ethos. From a Local Government perspective the City of Culture scheme keeps culture high on the local political agenda at a time of worrying financial cuts. It is heartening that the three cities that made the shortlist but not the prize Birmingham, Sheffield and Norwich - have pledged to implement some of their proposed City of Culture programmes. Their plans are outlined on page 30 and Arts at the Heart will follow these up in future issues. It took both time and a succession of crises before Liverpool 2008 was an assured success. Its achievements were significant - 7,000 Events, 1 Million hotel beds sold, 15 million visits to a cultural event or attraction and £800m Economic benefit to the Liverpool City Region.

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It goes without saying that all four shortlisted candidates for the new British City of Culture deserved to win. That the winning bid went to the smallest and most peripheral candidate sends out some interesting messages and also creates several challenges. The City of Culture scheme ought to help keep culture high on the local government radar. But that depends what remains of local government cultural leadership and services after this Autumn’s spending round, how bad the shellshock is and how long it lasts. In Olympic terms 2013 will be a post-coital year, especially in Britain. That may be an opportunity but it may also be a challenge. Derry needs to create a successful year for itself. But if it can also re-kindle the cultural flame in UK cities across the water then, curiously a city that has experienced the difficulties of sectarian division could play an important role in raising and unifying cultural aspirations in Britain.


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Cracking the Cultural Code City of Culture brings Derry-Londonderry in from the margins Derry Carnival

Paul Kelly If you were looking for a template to help you re-evaluate the arts and cultural programmes at a time of immense change, then you could do worse than read DerryLondonderry’s bid for City of Culture. The 112 page document makes a coherent case for the city, is well structured with clear objectives and well articulated plans. One would expect no less. And yet, historically, this has been a city wracked by incident and division, clearly evident in the dualism of the city’s name, and also affected by tragedy. “The opportunity to become the first ever UK City of Culture in 2013” says the bid at the outset,“and the journey we have undertaken so far, have

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unlocked a compelling set of historical, economic and political resonances that draw out what is special about this place and differentiates our proposal from all others.” 2013 marks the 400th anniversary of the Plantation of Ulster and the construction of Derry-Londonderry’s historic city walls by, it should be added, the City of London and the London Guilds. But whilst this is an huge historical convenience, the essence of DerryLondonderry’s bid is about looking forward and especially building on the peace and reconciliation opportunities offered by Northern Ireland peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.

Autumn 2010

Like every good bid, Derry-Londonderry’s proposal has a motherhood and apple pie vision, in this case to provide cultural access for all, confidently and creatively and to connect Derry with the wider world. The third largest city in the island of Ireland, with a population of 107,000, Derry has largely unrecognised international links. Having developed as a port and commercial centre for the North West of Ireland, it became the primary transit point for the massive emigration to North America during the 1800’s. More recently, Project Kelvin, a 30 billion Euro cable project, will


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give the City and Ireland West unrivalled digital connections to the UK, Europe and North America. Derry-Londonderry believes it can be the Digital Cultural Champion for the UK and its plans reflect its international vision. Three layers lie underneath DerryLondonderry’s overarching vision, layers which make its bid credible and coherent. The first is a hard-nosed appraisal of the city’s strengths and weaknesses with an associated set of baselines from which to measure improvements. Weaknesses include health and education inequalities, high levels of unemployment, low visitor numbers, the lack of high quality visitor attractions that reflect the city’s unique history and a disengaged community that is not connected to the wider world. These issues are the instrumental planks upon which Derry is hoping to build an attractive, forward looking city that people will want to visit. The Derry-Londonderry bid identifies five step changes it is seeking to make, with associated major interventions and output indicators, that address each of the strategic weaknesses. The risk in this hard-edged approach is that you produce a bid that is logical, instrumental, and deliverable but one which says little about

Echo echo, dance in Derry

culture and which lacks a creativity, poetry and personality. The end sections of the DerryLondonderry bid document are crammed with tourism development graphs and the necessary financial information. But amidst the advocacy and inevitable conviction-politics, Derry-Londonderry’s bid has managed to find that vital creative voice. It hits you from the bid’s front cover which quotes a highly apposite extract from local boy Seamus Heaney’s play ‘The Cure at Troy’ – adapted from Sophocles. And the poetry continues inside with the detail of some intriguing creative ideas. As if to emulate the dualism in the city’s name and the cultural dualism in the balance between intrinsic and the instrumental, there are two clear delivery paths in the DerryLondonderry bid. The first, as we have outlined, comes from a hard-edged analysis of the city’s strengths and weaknesses and an instrumental step-change programme. But the more creative and poetic route starts with the vision, translates it into the objective of ‘Cracking the Cultural Code’ and seeks to achieve this through four programme components. What is this ‘Cultural Code’? Is it unique to Derry-Londonderry and why does it need cracking? Many cities in the UK have undertaken physical regeneration programmes over the past 20 years. Some have also had social and cultural programmes attached.

“Amidst the advocacy and inevitable conviction-politics, Derry-Londonderry’s bid has managed to find a vital creative voice.”

Fireworks over the Foyle

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A view over the city

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But given that culture, even if it’s just expressed in shopping or drinking, is a central and integral part of people’s lives, it’s been disappointing how many times culture has been marginalised or trivialised in the regeneration process and how many opportunities have been missed. What makes Derry-Londonderry’s bid compelling is that combination of regeneration opportunity and the desire to include culture at the heart of the regeneration process. So for Derry-Londonderry,‘Cracking the Cultural Code’ is based on the principles of the city’s regeneration plan and has four key components under which the 2013 programme and events will be delivered. (see box and diagram for details) And the detailed programme elements which will articulate the four cultural

Tradition

programme components will contribute to the instrumental step changes that the city has targeted. Derry-Londonderry has lined up some key players and exciting partners to deliver quality programmes. Sir Ken Robinson has been working with the city on the creative education programme and will continue to do so. Seamus Heaney will judge the ‘Disobey Gravity’ digital poetry competition. The historic relationship with the City of London will be celebrated through partnerships with some or all of the Barbican Centre,The London Symphony Orchestra, the City of London Festival,The Roundhouse, LIFT and others. All of this will build on and strengthen indigenous creative activities. Derry-

Diversity

Londonderry has a rich framework of festivals, spanning jazz, drama, comedy and film amongst others. City of Culture status will enhance these and develop new opportunities too. To strengthen Derry’s cultural infrastructure, to symbolically heal its divisions and to create vital visitor attractions, the city plans to turn the former military Ebrington Parade Ground, which is bigger than Trafalgar Square, into a major space for anything from outdoor markets to rock concerts for up to 15,000 people. A total of 14 buildings of historic and architectural note on the Ebrington site will be retained for re-development and the remaining structures will be demolished. Ebrington’s underlying focus will be on the interaction

Spectacle

Derry:A walled city that now welcomes the world

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The culture of division

DERRY-LONDONDERRY’S CITY OF CULTURE PROGRAMME ELEMENTS Unlocking Creativity Will act as a stimulus to create programmes that will provide unique learning experiences, inspire our educational curriculum and unleash the talents of our people connecting them to the wider world.

Creative Connections Will engage communities in innovative and ingenious ways giving them a voice, often for the first time.This component will showcase our creative talents and those of others through a variety of contemporary music, dance. theatre, arts and performance that will link our diverse and often divergent cultures in programmes of exploration through Celebration and Inquiry.

Digital Dialogue Will maximise the creative opportunities provided by the Kelvin transatlantic link and the massive local optical fibre connectivity it provides making DerryLondonderry one of the best connected Cities in the world.This provides a significant opportunity for creative exploration, play and distribution of new ideas.

Gateway to Derry and the future

of visual and material culture and reformation of identity, in past, present and future tenses. This physical provision will connect the dynamics of contemporary art practice and inquiry alongside an in-depth exploration of maritime narratives in a new museum. The bid’s capital cost for the cultural regeneration programme estimated at £11 million and the revenue cost of a five year City of Culture programme is put at £22.7 million of which Derry City Council is projecting to provide a modest £14.9 million – two thirds of the cost. Bids like this are also a chance to remind the world and celebrate local talent that has ‘made good’. In Derry-Londonderry’s case their bid has the support of Nobel Laureates Seamus Heaney and John Hume, playwright Brian Friel who taught in Derry, locally born actors James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson, locally born singers Dana, Cara Dillon and Fergal Sharkey singer of late John Peel’s favourite single,‘Teenage Kicks’ and now Head of UK music. The bid is also supported by a host of Irish cultural luminaries from North and South of the border. All the four shortlisted cities made credible bids to be the first British City of Culture in 2013. Yet of the four there is a sort of

symmetry about the Derry-Londonderry bid. Every good bid of this type needs a rationale, a programme and a legacy. The DerryLondonderry bid is a bit like a sandwich. All the programme meat in the middle will become apparent between now and the end of 2013. But the supporting bread of their sandwich – the vision and legacy is highly poetic, drawn in part from Seamus Heaney’s ‘The Cure at Troy’

Derry-Londonderry’s context

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As a cultural melting pot we recognise that our cultural and political traditions approach the past from divergent places and that the truth itself can be lost in translation.This “sum of unreliable parts” ultimately leaves us with some prejudicial thinking and we plan to use our Cultural Programme to define a new narrative through purposeful culture-led inquiry which will allow for alternative views and ideas to be absorbed and considered.

Derry-Londonderry today is a place on the cusp of change. A place of hope, optimism, determination, enquiry, history and joy.

Derry-Londonderry’s legacy So hope for a great sea-change on the far side of revenge. Believe that a further shore is reachable from here. Believe in miracles and cures and healing wells. From:‘The Cure atTroy’– Seamus Heaney

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We wish the city fair winds in its exciting journey and will be reporting on developments in future issues of Arts at the Heart.

Paul Kelly Editor,Arts at the Heart Email: Paul.kelly20@virgin.net Derry-Londonderry’s bid document can be downloaded from: http://tiny.cc/n789x


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City of Culture: Shortlisted Cities

They Also Serve

Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield have all pledged to run City of Culture programmes in 2013. Here are some selected highlights from their visions and programme.

Birmingham

Clockwise from left:

Birmingham’s bid was based around three themes, packed full of opportunities for engagement and participation.

Pulse,Terry Jones a Python

Birmingham’s culture map, Birmingham Heritage: Steel gets passionate

Great International City of the Future Celebrating the world class skills of Birmingham people, companies and facilities and acknowledging Birmingham’s industrial heritage and showcase as the city’s future in a changing economy.

Next Generation Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe and there will be a whole programme of activity designed, led and curated by Birmingham’s young people. Birmingham has created a group of children, young people and their families from across the city to develop this programme.

Culture onYour Doorstep UK City of Culture is as much about activities in local neighbourhoods as it is about the big celebrations in the city centre.There are some very talented people in your local community and the bid aims to engage them in activities. At the centre of celebrations in 2013, Birmingham will be the opening of the new Library of Birmingham, the largest public sector cultural project in Britain. In addition, there will be a brand new Autumn Festival and a special exhibition of the extraordinary Anglo Saxon Hoard at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery along with ‘A City in the Making’, a groundbreaking new history gallery which will tell the story of Birmingham and its people.

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Norwich The key aim in Norwich’s bid was to explore and celebrate everyone’s potential to engage with, describe and change our world for the better.We will make Norwich a crucible for experiment, play and debate about how to live creatively and sustainably in the 21st Century.

Norwich has announced that some of the creative ideas that were included in the bid will still happen in the run-up to and during 2013 as follows:

Culture we will release 2,013 paper lanterns into the skies each containing the hopes and wishes of a Norwich resident – a Norfolk & Norwich Festival event.

• To mark the start of the year of the UK City of

• A ‘Festival of Britten’ with the Britten Sinfonia and Norwich Theatre Royal to celebrate Benjamin Britten’s centenary in 2013. • Hundreds of young people will take part in a volunteer-led mass literacy project based on creative writing, led by the Writers’ Centre Norwich. • A 1,000-strong choir will perform at Norwich City’s Carrow Road stadium in a mass community event. • A new consortium that will bring together community-focused organisations such as The Garage, Future Projects and Norfolk & Norwich Community Arts (NORCA) to develop the arts by bidding for funding.

Norwich Castle

Sheffield Sheffield’s bid was about the people, communities, businesses and organisations in the city creating, making and participating in the 2013 programme. Sheffield already has a superb track record for delivering major events and boasts the largest theatres complex outside of London.The ‘Made in Sheffield’ brand is globally recognised and its central role in the bid makes a perfect platform for the city and the region to accelerate the selling of the city’s contemporary image and wider tourism offer. Sheffield will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the invention of stainless steel in 2013 and will sit at the heart of the most digitally connected region in the UK. Sheffield’s bid identified 13 reasons why it should be Britain’s first City of Culture including:

The Sheffield programme would/will include: • Every child in the city being involved in music in 2013 • The UK’s largest children’s festival • A world creative forum • A major Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons exhibition • A celebration of Stainless Steel • Exporting elements of Sheffield’s cultural programme to London and Paris by train • A twinning programme with planet Mars thanks to a Roger McGough poem - chiefly implemented through light and sound spectaculars.

• Its international music track record • Its digital connectivity and 5 international airports within an hour of the city • Its talent • Its creative and cultural industries • Its festivals • Its green credentials

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Top right: Graffiti art from Sheffield-based Kid Acne Bottom right: Fargate Street Life People

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nalgao case studies

Severn Up: An Opportunity or a Cost to Gloucestershire? Helen Owen Can local authorities afford to subsidise the arts in these difficult economic times? Is promoting a major cultural project an opportunity? Or is it an unaffordable cost, something best deferred until the public spending squeeze eases? The Severn Project 2009, promoted in summer 2009 by Gloucestershire County Council in partnership with Shropshire County Council, Gloucestershire District Councils and a wide range of arts partners, engaged well over 10,000 people and provides an interesting case study. This major scale project was some three years in the making. In 2007, I was approached by my counterpart in Shropshire, Sue Goodwin.

Would Gloucestershire like to partner Shropshire and ten other local authorities along the length of the River Severn in a celebratory outdoor arts performance project, which aimed to use the arts to interpret the Severn? The partnership offer sounded attractive - an opportunity to be part of something bigger than we could achieve on our own, and to share the fundraising. A very small Gloucestershire pilot project followed that summer. But it was enough to convince us of the potential of the project to engage Gloucestershire people’s passion for their place, and for the mighty river which is key to the county’s identity. By this time, Arts Council England (our

The Severn Project:A new dawn for artists

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principal fundraising target) had introduced a ceiling of £100,000 on regional Lottery funding applications, and it was clear that we would need to fundraise for the Gloucestershire (South West) project separately from our West Midlands partners. Developing the Severn Project was a steep learning curve. Neither I nor Gloucestershire County Council had a history or experience of devising and promoting outdoor performances. The work needed fitting into a busy day job with a wide range of other responsibilities. It also required championing within a sceptical Council climate. I owe a tribute here to our artistic directors, Desperate Men theatre company, and to the many arts agencies and partner County Council


nalgao case studies

The Severn Project Outcomes • We fundraised a total of £115,000 inward investment into Gloucestershire through this project, for minimal County Council outlay.

• We delivered an ambitious community education programme which reached 1,259 participants, leaving a lasting legacy of skills.This public participation was at the heart of the project.

• Our two festivals had a significant impact in raising community and landscape awareness in the host towns, and helped to boost the local economies by bringing people and business intoTewkesbury and Lydney.

•Our 18 principal artists and companies benefited from significant creative and professional development opportunities,gaining exposure and forming new networks and partnerships.

• Our multi-agency, multi-artist partnership offered a case study of cross-service, cross-authority working, although it also presented challenges.

•The Severn Project gained Inspire branding as part of the national Cultural Olympiad,significantly raising Gloucestershire’s cultural profile and initiating our engagement with London 2012.

• As project leader, I, Helen Owen, won BBC West’s award as Cultural Olympiad Champion last year.

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cultural services who formed our multi-agency partnership, which brought the project to fruition. Arts Council South West awarded us National Lottery funding worth £72,000 by Christmas 2008 – definitely the best Christmas present ever – and, with the appointment of Deborah Harrison as our project manager and marketeer, we were off on a very tight schedule to plan, rehearse and deliver the project by June 2009. The project took the innovative form of commissioning a major new work by a nationally renowned writer, Alice Oswald, and using her extraordinary poem for voices, A “Sleepwalk on the Severn”, as the centrepiece of our artistic programme. Sleepwalk was adapted into a number of performances and interpretations through music, dance, street theatre, visual arts and heritage. Six community choirs learnt and performed a challenging, jazzy song cycle by Pete Rosser, directly inspired by the poem. Musician Eddie Parker led workshops in five small primary schools, who relished this rare opportunity

for curriculum enrichment. Gloucestershire Archives commissioned a family-friendly roadshow from actor John Bassett, dramatizing the River’s history and heritage, which was enjoyed by 900 people. Gloucestershire Dance commissioned a new dance piece, danced by professional and young dancers, beautifully integrated by our choreographer Marie-Louise Flexen. TaurusVoice theatre company toured a production of Sleepwalk to fifteen village halls and other venues. Libraries themed their summer reading challenge around watery quests. Adult Education commissioned local charity Art Shape to deliver creative workshops to disadvantaged families. The centrepiece of the project were our two free outdoor arts festivals at Tewkesbury and Lydney in June 2009, which together attracted an audience of 10,000 people, and from which we received fantastically positive feedback.

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Wire-walker Lindsey Kwabana provided a hairraising climax to the Tewkesbury event by crossing the river on a tightrope, partially reenacting the true story of one Harry Kingscote who drowned in the river. So, to return to the question posed at the start of this article, was Severn Project an opportunity for Gloucestershire, or an indulgence? Project outcomes (listed opposite) were produced by an independent evaluation undertaken by the University of the West of England, Countryside and Community Research Institute, and available on request. Even better,

Crossing without drowning

we have a 10 minute DVD film of the project with interview footage of artists, participants and audiences at. Overall the results strongly suggest that we created an opportunity not a cost.

Helen Owen Arts Development Officer Gloucestershire County Council Tel. 01452 544049 Email. helen.owen@gloucestershire.gov.uk


nalgao case studies

Neville Gabie - five of the ‘joiner’ photographs produced during Neville Gabie’s residency at Combe Down village, 2008/9 © Neville Gabie

Going Underground: Combe Down Stone Mines Public Art Project Ann Cullis Public art is usually perceived, by the public at least, to involve tangible and usually permanent works of art – often sculptural in nature. But as the thinking about this type of work and the opportunities have evolved, so has its form.The Combe Down Stones Mines (CDSM) Public Art Project owes little to traditional notions of public art. If it had followed tradition, most of it might not be visible to the public gaze. By breaking new ground (almost literally) it has probably been the most successful public art project that Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) Council has been involved in. And part of its success has lain in how it has engaged an anxious and sceptical public, whose lives have both been directly affected by the cause of the public art project, and enhanced by its outcomes.

The Project Background Combe Down (part of the World Heritage Site of Bath) is a beautiful historic village, associated since Roman times with stone mining and where Bath stone was extracted to build the Georgian city of Bath. Stabilisation of the derelict mines was necessary to counteract years of extensive mining that by the 1900s had left the village in a dangerous

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position, with over 600 houses above the failing mines. Starting in the mid1990s, a £166m major civil engineering project was instigated to infill the mines void. By the end of 2009, the 25 hectares of very shallow limestone mine had been filled with approximately 591,000 cubic metres of foamed concrete, the largest project of its kind in the world. The CDSM public art project, funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA, formerly English Partnerships), was conceived in 2007 to mark the successful stabilisation of the mines, celebrating their social and natural histories, the tradition of work there, and the village and its residents. The stabilisation project was overseen by BANES’ development and major projects department with specialist project management subcontractors, and arts development was approached at an early stage to assist in developing ideas for public art. Consultants Frances Lord and Steve Geliot were appointed in May 2008 to manage and deliver a public art scheme within a £250,000 budget.The stabilisation project had been extremely disruptive for residents, who had lived for many years in real fear that their homes could collapse. When the public art project was proposed, the stabilisation was still in progress and there was understandable concern from some residents at resources


nalgao case studies

ChrisTipping - Chris Tipping’s ‘1479 plates’ installation shown at the Octagon, Bath, 2009 © Kevin Fern

CELEBRATE event - September 2009. © Vik Martin

being spent on non-essential activity when people’s homes were still at risk. Experience in community consultation was therefore an essential part of the project managers’ brief, and Steve and Frances were appointed because of their track record and sensitive approach.

marked the ‘saving’ of the village in fine style. This event included performances of the commissioned poetry, pageant, music, film, and an underground fly-through experience created using 3D laserscan data. Over 2,000 people attended and Combe Down resident Alan Thomas designed the label for the ‘Oolite Ale’ (sold to raise funds for an interpretation centre in the village) - just one of the elements demonstrating the considerable talent and energy to be found in this unique village. The Combe Down Stone Mines project has helped build relations with local people, calm their anxieties and leave a legacy about an extraordinary underground area which helped create our World Heritage city.

Artist selection,consultation and commissioning process A steering group was set up to guide the overall strategic direction of the public art project and its legacy. Ideas developed by the consultants were circulated for comment to the Legacy Group, and were then presented at several public consultation meetings. Of the eleven project ideas initially presented, six were fully developed and costed within the budget. A sub-group, which included residents representing a number of interest groups and

societies in the village, interviewed the artists based on the consultants’ shortlists. The need for meaningful involvement by different groups meant that the shortlisted artists were faced with an interview panel of fourteen people, including residents, Council officers, elected members, a senior manager from HCA, and others.Whilst such a large panel was unusual for a public art project, it worked extremely well and the contributions of everyone involved were thoughtful and pertinent. Right from the start residents wanted to be involved. Heated debates about how the public art budget should be spent and what sort of work should be commissioned were a feature of early meetings. However, as the appointed artists became known in the village and their enthusiasm for the place became apparent, trust and confidence grew. ‘Meet the artist’ sessions held at the church, pub, rugby club and Information Centre provided informal opportunities to promote the project and a forum to discuss ideas and present design proposals.

Commissioned works

Poetry Picnic - held at Combe Down Primary School, June 2009 © Frances Lord

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The budget of £250,000 allocated by HCA to the project enabled the Council to commission some significant work which is detailed on page 35. Upon completion of the artsworks, a final event in September 2009,“CELEBRATE!”,

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Ann Cullis Arts Development Manager Bath & North East Somerset Council Tel: 01225 396455 Email: ann_cullis@bathnes.gov.uk Thanks to Frances Lord for contributing to this article. For further information about the stabilisation project: http://tiny.cc/6sig9 A website with more details about the project and offering on-line purchases will go live in 2011.


nalgao case studies

Combe Down –

The Creative Content Photography:Neville Gabie

Music:Paul Englishby

Sculpture:ChrisTipping

Neville was appointed to record the underground mines experience before the tunnels were filled with foamed concrete. A concertina leaflet of 19 ‘joiner’ images highlights some of the photographs from his residency, as do three large-scale light boxes to be installed in locations around the village. Neville described the extraordinary world that was just beneath peoples’ houses and gardens: “The first time I went underground one of the miners told me you could hear the sound of cars and lawnmowers just above our heads. He said you could even smell the fresh cut grass, which might have been an exaggeration. But what was extraordinary is the extreme difference between the domesticity of the small Bath village above and the heavy industrial world below. […] In fact there were parts of the mine where the physical distance between these two worlds was only six feet of stone and earth.”

The brief was for a composer to work closely with the community - schools, young people, residents, miners - to create several short pieces of original music. Musicians and singers who lived or worked in the village were recruited on a voluntary basis, eventually numbering over 80. The participants worked alongside a small group of professional musicians for six months, leading to a recording and performance of ‘Fireworks’ at the final CELEBRATE! event. ‘Fireworks’ was based on the four elements, with 'Fire', 'Stone', 'Song' and 'Waterways', referring to the mining and engineering history of Combe Down.

The ‘1479 plates’ project is a 9mx5m map of 788 bone china dinner plates which explores the relationship between present day engineering and mining technology, stone mines heritage, natural history, and two 18th century entrepreneurs: Ralph Allen, who owned much of the mined land at Combe Down, and Josiah Wedgwood. The piece combined layering of digital data from engineering drawings, bat routes and Ordnance Survey maps, with hand-drawn elements such as leeks representing the Welsh miners, flora and fauna of significance to Combe Down, and archaeological finds. The work was created in collaboration with Autonomatic the 3D Digital Research Cluster at University College Falmouth and was manufactured by Digital Ceramic Systems of Staffordshire. Chris also worked with Ralph Allen Primary School where the children made 400 individual ceramic figures of miners, glazed and fired. The second part of the ‘1479 plates’ project was the gifting of a plate to 615 households affected by the stabilisation works. There was much pride among residents fortunate enough to receive a coveted ‘1479’ plate – one small part of the map representing their individual property and the mining underworld beneath it. The ‘1479 plates’ bone china map will eventually form a large-scale permanent installation in Combe Down village. Oh, and if you’re wondering why 1479 plates, the number comes from adding the number of plates it was physically possible to intall in the space (788) to the number of households affected (691).

Detail of Chris Tipping’s ‘1479 plates’ installation © Kevin Fern

Poetry:Andy Croft Andy worked closely with Combe Down Primary and Ralph Allen secondary school over a six month period. The publication ‘Time in the Shape of a Mine: Poems from Combe Down’ brings together 18 poems by children, six poems by Combe Down residents, four by miners, and two by Andy, including the epic poem ‘The Work of Giants’. ‘Combe Down:The Hole Story, a historical pageant’ written by Andy and performed by Combe Down primary and secondary pupils with one professional actor, tells the story of the village from the Romans through to the 21st century.

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Film:SimonWhittaker Simon, a film-maker based in the village, was commissioned to document the public art project. His film ‘Unfinished Nature’ follows the commissioned artists over seven months, above and below ground, as they work with the community. The film includes footage of the mines, coverage of the artists' fact-finding visits, interviews with the artists, extracts from the CELEBRATE! event, and the work of Oxford Archaeology.

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Sculpture:Alec Peever Work by stone carver and letter cutter Alec Peever is due to be installed later in 2010. Small carved sculptural works in Bath stone, with poetry by Andy Croft, will be placed in and around a new wall as part of the reinstatement of Firs Field in the centre of the village.


nalgao case studies

Tracie Meredith

The interests of the able bodied are so often so clearly articulated that it is easy to overlook the needs and potential of young people with special needs. The arts can be both a great way of communicating with young people with special needs but also a valuable way for them to express their feelings and ideas.

Springfield Community School workshop

Staffordshire Arts and Museum Service wanted to explore how we could reach such young people, so we worked with three community special schools in the Staffordshire area to develop some models of good practice. We decided to use multisensory arts and the results were, to say the least, exciting.

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As a starting point, we used tactile sculptures by the Somerset-based sculptor Jan Niedojadlo which were already housed in the County Council Collection. Jan is passionate about the environment and in opening up ways of enabling us to understand ourselves and our place in the world and has exhibited all over Europe. His sculptures are designed to encourage stimulation through touch, smell and sound and are constructed from a variety of materials, including foam, rubber and felt. They incorporate sensory elements such as, sound, vibrations and smell. The sculptures were installed within the schools for the children to explore and interact with. Alongside the sculptures, each school had a series of creative workshops led by three artists, Julie Edwards, Gizella K Warburton and Rachael Lines using a variety of multisensory approaches. Jan’s work acted as an initial catalyst, exciting and intriguing the children, and then through using movement, textiles, printmaking, collage, colour mixing, clay and plaster the three artists challenged and engaged the children in creating their own work. In total 192 pupils took part over the course of the workshops.

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Julie Edwards of Planet Arts worked with Hednesford Valley High School. Her workshops encouraged the students to create clay and plaster blocks embedded with organic and man-made materials. Julie said, “One of the key staff loved the cause and effect of the process - they loved the sensory qualities of all the materials, and the control the students had.” The workshops were so successful that staff are now in the process of creating a sculpture trail in the grounds, using the pieces created during the workshops. Gizella K Warburton worked with Springfield Community Special School and devised a series of creative activities based on the idea of fruit as abstract, tactile, sensory objects. Students worked with a wide range of materials to investigate combinations of colours and textures in response to the theme. During the sessions, one Teaching Assistant noted, “One student in particular was more vocal than I’d ever seen before!” Rachael Lines of Frontline dance worked with Wightwick Manor School. Wightwick had never had an artist work with them before, and were excited by this opportunity to develop new ways of working. Through a combination of dance, movement and


nalgao case studies

What the Staff and Students thought “I liked doing dancing. I liked making the shapes. Dancing made me feel happy.”Wightwick student “It created focus for those who normally struggle.” Wightwick staff “The children have asked us to buy more plaster to continue the activity once Julie has gone.” Hednesford staff “Even the less able members of the group took part in their own ways, and the sessions were very loose and free, with different levels of activities on offer.” Springfield staff

Hednesford Valley workshop

“The children were being fantastically creative and there was a really positive atmosphere in the room, whether they were quietly absorbed, or excitedly animated.” Gizella K.Warburton “He was more vocal than I’d ever seen him before.” Springfield staff “I learned you can eat your art work!” Wightwick student

Artwork from Springfield Community School workshop

Pupil at Hednesford Valley

sensory exploration, Rachael enabled all the students to participate and staff were impressed with the results, commenting, “It created focus for those who normally struggle”.

What we learned We learned that although many Special Schools have multisensory resources, the benefits of the artist facilitated workshops were invaluable. Teachers were witnessing outcomes that had not happened before (see responses in the box below). Staff were pleasantly surprised to observe some children sharing and supporting one another having not demonstrated such behaviour before. One student surprised staff by staying for the whole session which was a big achievement for him. They were also pleased to see unexpected team work and sharing between some students, demonstrating behavioural qualities previously unseen. Staff were impressed by the high quality of engagement that an artist could achieve with the students and the wide range of positive behaviour demonstrated by the students, particularly where they had not previously

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experienced an artist working in their setting before.

Building for the future

The three projects have enabled us to develop a simple and practical set of resources for introducing creative multisensory arts activities to special educational needs schools, community groups and Individuals. This resource ‘pack’ entitled ‘EXPLORE’ consists of 2 parts; • A fun and user friendly guide with an overview of each case study including advice on how to recreate the activities, planning and reflection advice and guidance on commissioning artists to run workshops in your own setting. • A web resource with more activities to download, further information on the sculptures and details of how to obtain the guide and sculptures free of charge. Explore is full of lively images of the children taking part and the work they produced. It

Autumn 2010

“The Children were confident to move to observe and participate in different activities in different parts of the room. Children were lifting, reaching, winding, unravelling, teasing, rubbing, stamping, using all body parts in their explorations.” Gizella K.Warburton

includes tactile qualities with interactive and interesting elements which make it more fun to use individually or as part of a group. The resource pack also offers advice on commissioning artists to facilitate workshops, how to ‘do it yourself’ and provides a list of useful websites and contacts, and suggested reading material on the subject of multisensory creative activities. We aim to carry out further workshops in the public domain to publicise the resource and the benefits of multisensory arts. We will be looking at further evaluation by trialling and testing the resource with various groups. The project was monitored and evaluated throughout and recorded as part of the live case studies which are outlined within the resource pack.

Tracie Meredith Arts & Project Liaison Officer Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service Tel: 01785 278571 Email: tracie.meredith@staffordshire.gov.uk Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service’s Multisensory resource pack can be viewed here: www.staffordshire.gov.uk/explore


nalgao case studies

makedo&mend: PROJECT EVALUATION Debra Coates-Reynolds & Felicity Hall Two years ago Epping Forest Arts wrote an article for Arts at the Heart magazine about our makedo&mend project. When we started to plan makedo&mend we had no idea we were ahead of the times, and yet, in many ways I think we were as our interest in economy fashion seems to strike a chord with the utilitarian climate we are now in! makedo&mend was a multi-disciplinary arts project delivered by Epping Forest Arts, the Arts Service provided by Epping Forest Council, from 2008 to 2009.This multi-disciplinary arts project was inspired by the ethos of post war make do and mend.

The Programme

Bringing back 1940s style

The two years of activity culminated in an exhibition at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey, and a programme of public workshops including an introduction to fashion illustration, a Big Draw event, jive, lindy hop and swing dance, and how to get by on makedo&mend. Duplicates of exhibition boards featuring images and text from the project were also installed in the wheelchair accessible Waltham Abbey Library, next to the museum. The final event in the session was a matinee screening of Brief Encounter in Waltham Abbey’s art nouveau Town Hall, complete with period costumes, tea and cake. The project was delivered in partnership with London College of Fashion, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Essex Council IntegratedYouth Service, Epping Forest District Museum and various artists including the Jiving Lindy Hoppers and DJ Danny Fresh.

Objectives What we sought to do was to build links between different groups, and individuals and

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inspire them to create new and original work by recycling and remaking. We also wanted to present the work of all the participants professionally, and to contextualise it within the historical framework which inspired the project. Developing partnerships was another important objective.We wanted to attract new museum audiences and by transforming the museum gallery using second hand/recycled materials we were able to develop the concept of making do and mending. In addition we wanted to develop wider relationships with partners and community and cultural groups to help meet our council’s corporate objectives, including working with Essex County Council’s Team Around the School, Child and Community (TASCC) to target socially excluded young people Through all of this we aimed to deliver a comprehensive and high quality arts programme to meet community well being objectives including provision of cultural activity at a local level.

nalgao Magazine

We worked with five partners within the Epping Forest District which included day centres, youth clubs and a residential home for the disabled, as well as the London College of Fashion, and local artists. The programme included designing and making clothes, lindyhop workshops, reminiscence sessions, film and choreography sessions and sound workshops. Nearly 130 people of all ages took part in the workshop sessions and the resulting exhibition was seen by 2,000 people.

WhatWe Learnt Any project like this is a dynamic activity. Even well developed plans, and ours were, need adjusting as things developed. We learned some useful lessons from this project (see box on right) which will feed into future projects we undertake. Overall though makedo&mend was a great project which brought the past to life for young people, brought memories alive for the older participants and brought generations together. And as we said at the start, it seems to have anticipated the times we’re now in.

Autumn 2010

Lessons from makedo&mend Partnership working Projects are most successful when partners fully understand and trust EFA’s work. Pilot projects and taster workshops are invaluable in enabling this. Project Management Every project has to have a project manager supporting the lead artist, to enable the artist to focus on artistic content and delivery. Planning Every project has to have a structure from the outset, which is adhered to, but which balances the need for flexibility wherever possible.This process needs to be very rigorous identifying what is feasible and possible for a project within its timeframes and resources. Time needed Every project needs time built in for research, evaluation and project reports and archiving as tasks. Each project plan must establish clear blocks of time dedicated in advance to these specific tasks. Accessibility Projects need to ensure that venues used are as accessible as possible for all participants. In situations such as makedo&mend where a specific venue has to be used then EFA needs to develop creative solutions to allow participants and others to view the work.

Debra Coates-Reynolds Assistant Arts Officer Epping Forest Arts Tel: 01992 564558 Email: dcoates@eppingforestdc.gov.uk Felicity Hall Arts Officer Epping Forest Arts Tel: 01992 564553 Email: fhall@eppingforestdc.gov.uk


nalgao case studies

Lucy Bevan Artists and performers in Powys are currently benefiting from their very own equivalent of Google, through a pioneering new initiative from the County Council's Arts Development Service supported by the Arts Council ofWales. arts-engine is a new, searchable online directory of Powys artists and performers and has been developed in response to an evident need to assist the many cultural and creative industry practitioners based in the county to promote their work to new audiences via the internet.The ultimate aim is to include every professional or semi-professional artist and performer, across all arts disciplines, in the county. Powys is the largest county in Wales covering over 5,000 square kilometers but with a population of only around 130,000. Whilst rural isolation is an issue here, the region has, over decades, attracted a wealth of professional artist practitioners and creatives who are working, often remotely, across a wide range of disciplines. arts-engine will be the key for many to unlocking their talents, both for the benefit of local communities and by showcasing their products and services effectively to the world, which will enhance their own economic and professional success. Connectivity to the market place is so vital for small creative businesses and arts-engine is contributing to servicing this essential global link. The website is free to members and users and is being promoted vigorously to the private, public, voluntary, community and business sectors, both within Powys and further into Wales and the rest of the UK, linking artists with potential new markets and audiences for their work. Members of arts-engine each have their own profile page which can host up to thirty high quality images of their work, movie and sound files as well as information about their work, qualifications, exhibitions or events, contact details and links to their own websites. Over 320 practitioners have registered in just over twelve months and many are reporting having made new contacts which have led to professional opportunities. The resource can be used by galleries, collectors, school and community groups, businesses and other artists to locate people, products and services, this in turn increase sales and employment. Crucially, arts-engine also puts artists in touch with one another and stimulates collaboration.

“This facility puts Powys ahead of the game, not just in Wales but across the UK. By generating new contacts for the county’s creative practitioners, arts-engine helps to promote small businesses, and enables them to succeed here and to contribute tangibly to the economic regeneration agenda.” Gwyn Gwillim, Portfolio Holder for Arts & Culture, Powys County Council

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NEW ENGINE POWERS POWYS More than ever, when funding for the arts is diminishing, it is essential that artists get serious about promoting their work resourcefully. By supporting them to create a strong and connected web presence we hope to increase their individual and collective profile in a cost effective way. Many artists living in rural areas experience difficulties in accessing vital networking and promotional opportunities; arts-engine is intended to help address this professional barrier. It's also a pioneering initiative, as the first resource of its kind in the UK. Arts-engine also acts as a useful database and network tool for an arts development service, being particularly effective in disseminating valuable information to the sector. Now that it has been developed, it would be beneficial to roll it out nation wide across the country to further strengthen and enlarge the network of British arts professionals.”

Lucy Bevan Arts Development Officer Powys County Council Tel: 01597 827564 Email: lucy.bevan@powys.gov.uk

www.arts-engine.org.uk The Benefits toArtists Blue MacAskill is an artist who has recently moved to Powys and she comments: “I needed to locate a group of collaborators to take part in a new project.arts-engine made it simple to contact and arrange meetings with 30 artists,sculptors,musicians,actors and playwrights I had never met before in Powys.One of them lives around the corner from me,but if it wasn’t for arts-engine we may never have met!”


nalgao case studies

Theatre?

It’s Our Future! The context

Terry Hammond

The development of the Thames Gateway is one of the largest construction and development projects in Britain if not Europe. New housing developments might solve physical problems by giving people affordable homes. But how does one create a sense of community identity and solidarity in a new area without any real history? And what are the implications for young people of growing up in the area? Although close to London, the new developments within the Thames Gateway run the risk of isolation usually associated with rural areas. A Unitary Authority with a population of 150,000,Thurrock sits on the North side of the Thames estuary. Its most prominent cultural feature is either 18 miles of waterfront or The Lakeside Shopping Centre, depending on your outlook. A young and growing area,Thurrock also has a number of issues in common with developing Urban Centres. My challenge as, Curriculum Development Manager 14-19 at Thurrock Council, was about finding new and exciting ways to re-engage young people in learning.

Right:Theatre makes them jump for joy. Photo by Karen Bethell

When I met Stuart Mullins, CEO and Creative Director of Theatre Is... in Norfolk, he introduced me to an initiative he was working on called “It’s Our Theatre” (IOT). My experiences as a teacher had shown that being part of a performance, either behind the scenes or on the stage, inspired and motivated young people. It focused their efforts and energies in a creative and positive direction. The original pilot of “It’s Our Theatre” (IOT) took place in Norfolk as part of a major government initiative to deepen the engagement of young people in theatre. IOT Norfolk was one of just nine national projects developing unique and innovative ways of engaging burgeoning young professionals of the future.The question was: could it work in a more urban setting such as Thurrock? Thurrock has a number of young people who could be described as isolated, disadvantaged, at risk, unengaged or uninspired. Stuart and I spent 18 months convincing partners, fundraising, researching and trialling the project in Thurrock schools.The trials were a form of consultation asking young people not only what art forms excited them, but also how they would like to build a cultural offer for the people of Thurrock. Stuart’s vision was a bold and exciting one, my experiences so far endorse every word of that vision. Since September 2009 IOT Thurrock has tapped into and built an environment of aspiration amongst those young people who are in need of an alternative path. (IOT has a clear objective to provide an alternative path for any young person aged between 14-19, who is not in education, employment or training (NEET), or identified as pre-NEET.

Below:Thames Gateway area

The process It’s Our Theatre projects are led by young professional Hip Hop practitioners from the hip hop collective Throwdown UK who are inspirational role models for our young participants.The workshops cover rap, music, singing, hip hop dance, breakdance, beatboxing, performance skills and graffiti. Participants are able to learn new skills or improve on

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nalgao case studies

10 Years From Now Photo by Melissa Page

existing ones. These skills-based workshops lead to Slam Night talent contests. A Slam Night forms a regular series of final performances from groups of young people who make up the Its Our Theatre programme. In Thurrock, a series of recruitment roadshows attracted 440 applicants. From these, 144 young people were then selected to take part in initial workshop weeks held in October 2009. Applications were received from a range of groups including students at schools and colleges, as well as young offenders, and those registered with Connexions. Each week three groups of workshops concluded with a slam night. The whole workshop process culminated in a Thurrock-wide slam night in Grays at the Thameside Theatre Following these workshops and slam nights, we held auditions.This led to a group of 20 young people being chosen to make up the “It’s Our Theatre:Thurrock Events Team”. As “Frontline”, this team then put on the first of their own Thurrock Slam nights in May this year. 13 to 19 year olds performed along with invited counterparts from Norfolk and Hertfordshire to showcase Thurrock’s rising talent. Nearly 2,000 young people saw the IOT Roadshow.The day ended with a group performance where everyone took a turn to show the skills gained. It was refreshing and exciting to witness the way in which young people supported and celebrated every

10 Years From Now. Photo by Melissa Page

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contribution.There are a lot of projects which seek to engage young people but there is something different about It’s Our Theatre’. Somehow in the space of just four evenings the young people and the artists become a community, one which does not end on night four but carries on into the future The role of Stuart Mullins and Theatre Is in this has been crucial.Theatre Is… empower young people to develop and take ownership of their local arts infrastructure. It develops their skills in dance, music and performance, and encourages young people to lead and produce their own cultural events

EngagingYoung People Sunny Bull, a 15 year old from Chafford Hundred School in Thurrock and long term active member of the It’s Our Theatre Thurrock Events team raved about the programme saying,‘‘I know personally in October I would not have got on stage and done what I’d done and that’s thanks to the roadshows and the events team. Everyone’s bonded so well, we’re one family.We’ve learnt to jam with each other. I know my behaviour’s got better as well!’’

developing a creative space on a school site and obtaining a performing skills lorry to allow access to creative and media skills across the Borough. Are we being successful? The answer is a resoundingYES. Over 90% of young people on our Engagement Programmes progress to college or jobs with training.We have reduced NEET and exceeded the stretch targets set in our Local Area Agreement. It’s Our Theatre is one of the reasons we are succeeding, it has a special ingredient, and as the team at Theatre Is likes to remind us they are here to stay For Stuart Mullins and Theatre Is, the project in Thurrock has only just begun.The young people he is working with are now being trained to become young entrepreneurs, developing their own social enterprise and working to engage other young people throughout Thurrock.They are making a new theatre piece called 10Years From Now which opened as a project in development with a scratch performance at the Thameside Theatre in March 2010 and will later this year tour the area encouraging young people to think of Thurrock as a place to build their lives, a place in which they can have a say in their own future . Some will achieve an Arts Award, some will go on to take the Creative and Media Diploma, and some will be trained in the performing arts. Some may do none of these and just become great social entrepreneurs and professional artists of the future. And to cap it all, along with our partners at The Hat factory in Luton, It’s our Theatre:Thurrock has just been invited by the East of England office in Brussels to perform as part of the Open Days European Social Fund week of meetings and debates in October.

Terry Hammond 14-19 Curriculum Development Manager Thurrock Council Tel: 01375 413796. E-mail: thammond@thurrock.gov.uk More details of Theatre Is... can be found at www.theatreis.org/site/

The way forward The success of our partnership with Theatre Is… reflects the quality of its team. Jonathan Meth, Executive Director of Theatre Is, maintains regular contact and ensures that the project is going in the right direction for Thurrock.With this level of communication and partnership I look forward to an ongoing relationship with Theatre Is…Thurrock which is becoming the home of the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills.The Royal Opera House is building a production park, to house much of its back-stage development work, at Purfleet.The 14-19 Capital programme is

Autumn 2010

Frontline Slam. Photo by M. Corley


nalgao case studies

r i A e h T n I Up Angela Watson d When the last government publishe the single set of national indicators back in 2007 it shone a torch on the arts in every local authority in England. It introduced a national indicator for measuring adult attendances and participation in the arts (NI11) and a consistent . methodology for capturing the data the on res For the first time robust figu y performance of every local authorit arts the of ct aspe nt orta area on an imp d were to be published and compare es over time. And for more than 40 plac 1 NI1 nst agai improving performance has been a priority, with challenging targets set in their Local Area Agreement (LAA). l Now that the future of the Nationa s doe t wha air, the in up is Set r Indicato ent agem this mean for measuring eng in the arts?

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thing. A national indicator for the arts is a good a at l pane ting That was the view of the deba , 2010 uary Febr 11 on conference in London t’s Increasing engagement in the arts – wha Arts by d sore spon ?, next re whe ing; work ries Council England and the Museums, Libra ipal of Princ y, Vese Chris As and Archives Council. d Boar and ge Colle hire ords Central Bedf put it: Member of Central Bedfordshire Together, cially espe , place “It means there is no hiding ey where there are stretch targets with mon sure mea to ation oblig .The them attached to It engagement in the arts is a huge benefit. t wha at ing look means local authorities are s thing join to how and it they do, how they do up.” Chair This idea was taken up by Mike Hoskin, Arts and p of the nalgao NI11 Task Grou ty Development Manager for Dorset Coun nal ratio inspi an to rring Council. Refe

Autumn 2010

by presentation on Barnsley’s experience given tive Crea and re Cultu of Head Helen Ball, t was a Industries, earlier in the day he said: “Tha has NI11 defining moment in how works. fundamentally changed how a council ing learn of level real a is ity activ the all Behind and ge chan about how organisations need to ional work in partnership. It’s about organisat change.” the Philip Mind, Senior Policy Consultant for nded remi Local Government Association, .“As a delegates of the policy context for NI11 and nts eme agre result of local area are performance indicators, public services g in a thinking more about what they are doin ps ershi partn r bette to place and this is leading more a have now e ing.W and joint work ce and transparent understanding of performan a s bring h variations in performance, whic sharper focus on improvement.” His view


nalgao case studies

selves was that citizens increasingly define them rding acco h, whic , have they es rienc expe by the and to Tricia Kilsby, national lead for culture ion, miss Com t Audi the third/private sector at le. peop g givin in role” huge a the arts “play and Martyn Allison, National Adviser Culture ent lopm Deve Sport for the Improvement and in part rtant impo an as Agency, described NI11 to ” poor “data g bein from r moving the secto ent “data rich” as part of an overall improvem journey. But panellists acknowledged that it’s still us early days.The data set is too new to tell and es danc atten arts in ges chan t abou much that icted participation. Philip Mind pred me maintaining the momentum would beco ate, clim cial finan nt curre the in more difficult t will spor and re leisu re, cultu for gets “bud when More ge.” avera be more constrained than the before: determination will be needed than ever more and r close h muc be to “There is a need with the accountable to citizens, to work closer sport and re voluntary sector and to link cultu like ’ lems prob le more closely to ‘intractab chronic illness and young people who are disengaged.” this Chris Vesey offered an insight into how to core are ips nersh could be achieved. “Part munity. making anything happen in a local com main the to link a find to need arts The work partners like health and education and enge is chall .The ation their way into their oper a find and LSP the of mind to get into the link the e mak will who LSP the in with n patro . It’s with d erne with everything the LSP is conc the ng findi and rship about people and leade people who will make things happen.” it Mike Hoskin agreed.“It’s a long process,

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’ve takes time to get the partnership right.We s. year n seve for LSP our been working with s is Now how the cultural partnership work e of som d stan with will it so d edde emb really the future challenges.” of Tricia Kilsby sees variations in the security re Whe try.“ coun the ss acro t spor culture and places culture and sport are really connected to seen are they as re they are comparatively secu is t wha and rtant impo is to be part of what not wanted. But where the groundwork has not is t spor and re cultu and done been t to connected to what other partners wan ult.” diffic achieve, it’s really d. This is a picture Martyn Allison recognise of role the d “Around a third of places understan s third two r othe culture and sport but in the ces in the sector is largely invisible. Cultural servi but s urce reso the in ing suck at good some are may be ld others who are not where they shou e who lose out. There’s a middle ground of thos ing mov in ort supp need have started and forward.” data As it’s too early to really know what the yn Mart ? rtant impo is telling us, why is NI11 so of way a have t don’ Allison again:“If we valued. measuring accountability we won’t be it tions But it is only an indicator – the ques too ge whin we If . poses are what’s important ty plen be will there ator indic much about the time first the For it. of rid get to y read of people to the sector is being measured and we have t wha of ons work through the implicati accountability means.” ates There was a strong message from deleg to inue cont that Arts Council England should er matt no , cted pay for the data to be colle set. what happens to the national indicator

Autumn 2010

s time Significantly increasing engagement take a and while Sport England has given le commitment to extend the Active Peop such no , data the ct survey to colle the Arts commitment has so far been made by Council.1 be Delegates also wanted more learning to in NI11 have that s place the shared beyond ator has their LAA, particularly on how the indic in with ce helped reposition the arts servi are on councils. Making sure arts organisations re matu a in trail’ n paig the same ‘cam partnership is important too. ent But in debating where next for engagem nded remi were ates deleg in the arts and NI11, p what really makes things happen. As Phili t bring don’ ators indic ce man erfor it,“p put Mind like le Peop about improvement, people do”. ty Gail Brown, Arts Manager for Kent Coun call: ing rally ed, ssion impa an gave Council, who take to have we , case the e mak to have “We to brilliant case studies to the DCMS, we have ah’ ‘hurr say to time the is stand together. Now for culture’.”

AngelaWatson Principal Partner AngelaWatson & Associates Tel: 01827 714733 Email: angela@awatsonassociates.co.uk 1

until the future of Arts Council England has since said that er and how wheth assess to early too is it known is NI11 re arts measu to used be to ue contin will e Active Peopl Arts Council, engagement at local authority level. The tly working DCMS and other cultural agencies are curren ies and the most together to establish future research priorit ed, in the context effective way of generating the data requir of available resources.


Derry dignitaries celebrate with ed Vaizey and Phil Redmond

nalgaoAnnual Conference -Arts &“The Big Society� 6th & 7th December 2010 The Hove Centre (Hove Town Hall), Norton Rd, Brighton & Hove BN3 4AH

Full details from www.nalgao.org or email nalgao@aol.com The next issue of Arts at the Heart will be out in January 2011. Copy deadline for the next issue is Monday 25 October 2010. If you would like to write an article for the next issue, please talk to our Editor, Paul Kelly Tel: 01202 385585 or email: paul.kelly20@virgin.net

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If you would like information about nalgao, please contact: Pete Bryan, nalgao Administrator Tel: 01269 824728 or email: nalgao@aol.com

AAH Autumn 2010  

Arts at the Heart Autumn 2010 Issue

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