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nalgaoTrustees Membership 2006/07 ??Name

Officer position

Sue Isherwood

Chair of nalgao

Lorna Brown

Counties Representative and Vice-Chair

West Sussex CC

Mark Homer

Treasurer: nalgao

Lincolnshire County Council 01522 553300

Paul Kelly

Secretary: nalgao

01752 217281

Lorna Brown

Counties Representative

West Sussex CC

01243 756770

Susan Goodwin

Counties Representative

Shropshire County Council

01743 255078

Jane Wilson

Eastern Region Representative: nalgao

Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire (ADEC)

01353 669022

Nottingham City Council

0115 9158604


Sharon Scaniglia

EM Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)




01749 871110

01243 756770

Sara Bullimore

EM Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Lincoln City Council

01522 873844

Abby Vines

London Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

020 7361 2916

Katherine West

North West Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Vale Royal Borough Council 01606 867522

Andrea Bushell

North West Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Tameside MBC


North East Regional Representative: nalgao

Michael Johnson

Southern Region Representative (job-share)

Test Valley Borough Council 01264 368844

Hannah Cervenka

Southern Region Representative (job-share)

West Oxfordshire DC

01993 861554

Charlotte Gardiner South East Region Representative (job-share)

Waverley Borough Council

01483 523390

Gail Brown

South East Region Representative (job share)

Surrey County Council

01483 776128

Nickola Moore

South West Region Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Borough of Poole

01202 633973

Helen Miah

South West Region Rep: nalgao ( job-share)

Swindon Borough Council

01793 466544

Jonathan Cochrane West Midlands Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share) Redditch Borough Council

01527 63051

Lizzy Alageswaran

Yorkshire Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Rotherham MBC

01709 823636

Gill Cooper

Yorkshire Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

City of York Council

01904 554671

Kate Strudwick

South Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Caerphilly CBC

01495 228948


Carys Wynne

South Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Caerphilly CBC

01495 224425


Julie Meehan

North Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Conwy CBC

01492 575086

Ann Plenderleith

North Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Flintshire County Council

01352 701562


Chris Willison

West Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Pembrokeshire CC

01437 775246


Pete Bryan



0116 2671441

If you would like information about nalgao please contact: Pete Bryan, nalgao Administrator 01269 824728 email:

0161 342 2412

If you would like to write an article for the next issue, the next copy deadline is 1 August 2007. Please also talk to our editor Paul Kelly, Tel: 01752 217281 email:


Working for local government arts and creative industries The nalgao Magazine Issue 18 Spring 2007

The Future of the Arts: PublicValue or Private Passions?

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Front cover photo: Left: Music for change Global weekend commissioned by Make It Real, Canterbury City Council’s Urban Cultural Programme funded by Arts Council England, the Millennium Commission and the National Lottery. Photo courtesy of ACE. Right: Picture of Luciano Pavarotti courtesy of

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Sue Isherwood Chair of nalgao

nalgao National Conference Goes East National Conference 5th – 7th September 2007 Pete Bryan We are delighted to report that the 14th nalgao national Conference will be taking place in Cambridge from 5th – 7th September 2007. The event will be hosted by Cambridge City and County Councils, and will be in conjunction with Arts Professional and Arts Council England (as part of a 3-year GfA conference development programme). The programme will include keynote presentations, breakout sessions, study tours and a range of artist residencies and displays. The conference will also coincide with the nalgao AGM prior to the start of the conference on 5th September. Visiting Cambridge and the Eastern region affords various opportunities and themes to explore at conference this year. Included in the rich mix of presentations will be: • The impact of culture in the development of new towns in South Cambridge

National Spending Survey –Your help sought nalgao is working with Arts Council England to review Local Authority arts spending plans. A questionnaire has been emailed out to all nalgao members. Pete Bryan nalgao Administrator said, “We’re hoping for a big sample. One hundred returns would give us much more reliable data and a good sized statistical sample. I know the form looks longer than last time, but the more we get back the better we can protect and support Local Authority arts services.” Sue Isherwood, nalgao Chair added, “We are delighted that the Arts Council and the Welsh Arts Council are working with us on this. It is another sign that they really value Local Authority contributions to the arts.”

nalgao news


The programme will also include opportunities for one-to-one consultations and support with fundraising. Reserve the date in your diaries now! For more information on bookings, exhibition space and related matters, contact Pete Bryan, nalgao Administrator at or call him on 01269 824728.



“…same as the old boss”, as Roger Daltrey memorably sang in the Who’s classic ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. Our call for a new editor failed to yield a response, so I am delighted to be back in the hot seat on new terms and conditions. I hope you feel the style and content of this issue are up to the standards you have come to expect. Trying to produce a tri-annual magazine in a very fast changing environment is not without its challenges. However Arts At The Heart seeks to do two things; to reflect the innovative and creative practice that Local Government Arts Officers are supporting in their areas and neighbourhoods. And to give you the deeper background of policy and trends that are likely to shape the environment you are working in, whether you are an arts officer or one of nalgao’s growing band of Associates. I hope the information in this issue is timely and useful. My thanks to my colleagues and especially Pete Bryan, nalgao’s Administrator and our designer Ama Bharaj at Northbound for their help in producing this issue. Paul Kelly Editor, Arts At The Heart and Secretary, nalgao email:

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Welcome to another edition of Arts at the Heart. This issue arrives at a critical time. You will all have heard of funding reductions to the Arts Lottery. We now await the Comprehensive Spending Review which could do more damage by greatly reducing the Arts Council’s budget. We make no apology for heavily featuring these issues in this edition of Arts at the Heart, for they threaten to change the landscape we have come to know, value and operate within. As the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Culture have both pointed out in recent articles and speeches, the arts have done well since 1997 with increased funding to Arts Council England of around 70%. If greatly increased funding is one notable theme of the last ten years, the other, inescapably, is increased partnership working. Arts Council England for all its money and ideas cannot deliver on its own, it needs to work with partners of which Local Government is the most important both in terms of strategic planning and shared funding. It has invested heavily in its Regularly Funded Organisations and has declared its continuing commitment to working with Local Government. Thanks to ACE’s new policies the different parts of the arts funding system are now nearer to singing from the same hymn sheet than they have been for years. The reports and case studies in this edition of Arts At The Heart are also largely about partnership and the ways they can deliver real benefits to people on the ground. Whilst all our case studies were initiated by Local Authorities, many also involve Arts Council funding of one sort or another. Many of these projects focus on youth and young people and have helped young people to navigate their own paths in an increasingly complex and competitive world. Arts Council England’s public value enquiry says that these sorts of community focussed projects, also the theme of our last magazine, are just what the public wants and values. Yet by the most supreme of ironies, it is precisely these sorts of projects that will be put at risk by the cuts in Lottery funding which, our analysis of Arts Council England’s accounts show, are often used to fund innovative arts projects with a social purpose. When these cuts are combined with the long term ‘economies’ made in non-statutory Local Authority arts and cultural spending it is often the most needy in our communities which suffer this ‘double whammy’. I was particularly moved by the story in Rosemary Pennington’s report from Southend, of the homeless girl who arrived, slightly reluctantly, at a youth arts project, fresh off the streets and wrapped in a duvet. That girl now has a home and a job. Local Authority arts officers have the ability to find and engage with the hardest to reach groups. If the funding to create meaningful partnerships and powerful projects dries up, then just as Britain takes possession of the Olympic baton and responsibility for Olympic ideals, are we going to see our young people fired up or, alternatively, wrapped in duvets, on the streets and bedded down?

Meet The New Boss…

• Research programmes on vital communities • Greenheart development and building schools for the future & creativity for life • European issues and links • Arts and young people • Community music programmes and engagement • Cultural tourism development and regeneration • New technology • The Scottish and Welsh Experience: Arts entitlement in rural areas • The Participation agenda • Voluntary arts support • A survival guide for officers newly in post

nalgao Magazine

Editorial nalgao news nalgao reports The Participation Agenda – the nalgao/VAN seminar Features Leading the Field Learning from Lahore - Culture Across Continents End of the Path? Lessons from a Cultural Pathfinder Cover feature The Future of the Arts: Public Value or Private Passions? The Arts Debate What the Public Wants Changing Direction? - ACE’s Arts Debate & The Strategic Challenges Nalgao Comment The Comprehensive Spending Review and the Arts – A Bluffer’s Guide Clusters of Opinion Case Studies Being Here Breakin’ Convention in Bucks Shared Vision: Lessons in public art New Face In Town Getting Animated in Hampshire Schools Partnership news Focussing on under represented groups - PSA3 target for the arts: Leeds Gets Creative The Rate of Exchange – NCA ‘Marriage material’ - Built To Last Reviews

Community focussed projects are just what the public says it wants and values. Yet, it is precisely these sorts of projects that are at risk through cuts in Lottery funding


An Olympic challenge ahead

Think Tank supports nalgao campaign Meanwhile, the growing concerns of arts budget cuts in Local Authorities have been picked up by leading think tank Demos. Its Head of Culture, John Holden, who co-designed the Clore Leadership scheme, has published a ’provocation’ called “Local Authorities: A Change in Cultural Climate”, which quotes information? researched and published by nalgao. While the paper doesn’t reach firm conclusions, it’s very valuable for the issues to be raised in this way, and Holden asked Prime Minister Tony Blair about Local Government funding for the

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Youth Arts Conference on the Way Following discussions between nalgao, ENYAN – the English National Youth Arts Network – Arts Work, the National Youth Council, and the Voluntary Arts Network, a shared national conference for senior managers on Local Authorities and youth arts provision is to be organised in Autumn 2007 or early 2008.

nalgao Refocuses 03 04

For the last three years nalgao has had the benefit of a two-day-a-week salaried Strategic Lead – Sue Isherwood – also

nalgao’s Trustees have agreed the proposals.

Membership growth Nalgao’s membership continues to grow, reports Administrator Pete Bryan. “Despite the budget difficulties faced by Local Government arts officers we have already attracted 16 new members and 177 Authorities have already renewed membership. The more members join or renew, the stronger we become.”

400 Podcasts A new partnership between nalgao and Arts Professional magazine was one of the outcomes of the Participation seminar nalgao staged with the Voluntary Arts Professional (AP) recorded and podcasted the speeches by Paul Kirkman, Head of Arts at DCMS and Robin Simpson, VAN Chief Executive made at the seminar. By late March over 400 people had downloaded one or both podcasts, reports AP’s Editor-in-Chief, Liz Hill.

nalgao and AP are in discussion about future collaborative ventures. You can still download the podcasts from The nalgao “The Participation Agenda” National Seminar took place in Bristol at The Watershed on 9th March 2007. The day was a partnership event with VAN (in conjunction with Voluntary Arts England and Wales) and ACE, with Bristol City Council hosting the event. It explored the partnership between voluntary arts and local authorities through a programme of case study breakouts and keynote presentations from Paul Kirkman (Head of Arts at the DCMS), Robin Simpson (Chief Executive of VAN) and Phil Cave (Director of Participation Strategy at ACE). The following questions were central to the day and were explored in the breakout sessions in the morning and afternoon: • How can local authorities effectively engage with the voluntary sector? • How do we respond to the government’s participation agenda and how do the sectors work together to deliver the agenda and demonstrate our effectiveness? • How can local authorities help the voluntary sector, not just with small grants, but also with training and other capacity building? • How do we record, evaluate and feedback good practice? • How do we ensure joined up working across the sectors for the future? Breakout sessions were developed to create maximum opportunities for delegates to discuss the questions above. Each breakout included a 20-minute presentation, followed by a facilitated discussion, with most delegates fully contributing to the day. Action points and comments arising from various breakout sessions throughout the day are included in the panels below. nalgao is working with VAN in the development of a second seminar, this time aimed at the voluntary sector, and managed by VAN, which should take place later in the year.

Action points from the seminar • There is a need to demonstrate and advertise what arts are doing across departments and within the authority. We need to be our own advocates and also find advocates within other departments. • There is a need for more connected working, with a shared strategy for arts in each area, which includes capacity building and training for the voluntary sector • PSA3 targets for ACE and the DCMS need to be live, not just talk • We need to identify barriers to participation to overcome them and there needs to be real links between participation and learning/creative practice (e.g. arts projects need to link with mentors with young people) • We need to overcome our comfort zones and extend out Local authority arts services can engage with the voluntary arts sector by: • Supporting capacity and networking locally and also regionally • Developing local arts databases • Developing standards for good practice • Offering training support • Recognising good practice and acknowledging it in reports etc • Involving them in decision making by creating local arts forums and networks, • Directing local arts groups into regional & national umbrella groups • Mapping pilot projects through local authorities • Measuring and defining participation (by social class, by artform, by cultural grouping, by age) and by the ongoing monitoring of participation locally • Brokering partnerships between voluntary arts organisations and local schools, health organisations, youth and community programmes, etc. ACTA in Bristol work with a number of agencies and organisations, including: Museums, Youth Service & young people’s projects, the Parks Dept, Neighbourhood renewal teams, Creative Partnerships, Social Services, Health centres and NHS trusts, local schools and the Education authority • Being better connected across the authority, and developing inter-council relationships (i.e.

with regard to joint funding pots etc) and communications Local authorities can assist the voluntary arts sector with capacity building by: • Building a relationship with your local voluntary arts sector, built on trust • Offering training opportunity in key areas (i.e. disability and race issues, access etc), and potential accreditation • Matching training with a small grants programme for capacity development • Sharing good practice amongst voluntary organisations through local events, focus days, newsletters, websites etc. • Sharing information on funding and resource development good practice etc • Hosting open surgeries for the voluntary arts sector • Emailing contact lists and information, including perhaps the development of a local e-bulletin • Grant aiding projects and programmes through local community funds rather than just direct provision • Ensuring that council officers are accessible and supportive of developing relationships with the voluntary arts sector • Using council websites to promote the voluntary sector within your catchment by databases and directories Voluntary and participatory arts projects should be recognised as offering offer good practice and can demonstrate the following learning points: • That they are often organic and free-flowing so how you engage people in the first place is vital • Initial support can lead to higher levels of involvement and partnership. Other learning points included: • Building relationships can take time • Think small-scale as well as global • Evaluation needs to be enjoyable – “tear up your tick boxes” • Evaluate throughout the course of a project, and always document through photos etc. • Be creative in evaluation • Make people comfortable when they visit, as a first visit to a local authority office can be daunting!

nalgao reports

• The provision of advice and information to Members through continued employment of an Administrator • The weekly Ezine • The Arts at the Heart Magazine, three times a year • Financial support for Regional meetings

Pete Bryan


New nalgao officers will be sought at this September’s AGM. Sue Isherwood is intending to stand down after four years as Chair. Paul Kelly has just left Local Government after 15 years at Plymouth and will thus be standing down as Secretary and it is likely that Mark Homer will be seeking a replacement after 6 years as Treasurer. “These posts are an excellent form of career development,” said Sue Isherwood. For a small amount of work, you get up to the minute information about what’s happening and get to all sorts of meetings and conversations that can help enhance your knowledge and standing.” Lorna Brown, Vice Chair added, “nalgao has really come of age in the last few years, we now really do need new blood to keep the momentum going.” For an informal conversation about the roles and opportunities, call Sue Isherwood on 01749 871110, Vice Chair Lorna Brown on 01243 756770 or nalgao Administrator Pete Bryan on 01269 824728.

Report on“The ParticipationAgenda” nalgao/VAN National Seminar:

Spring 2007

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

nalgao news

New nalgao Officers Sought

nalgao’s Chair – who has been able to open doors and strengthen strategic relationships with bodies like the DCMS, the National Culture Forum and the Local Government Association. The funding for this post ran out at the end of March. Sue has agreed to continue to undertake most aspects of the work until September when she is intending to stand down as Chair. Other members of the nalgao Executive will also assist in its external relations. This has meant a temporary re-think of nalgao’s priorities until its application for charitable status is completed and fundraising plans progressed. If things go to plan, nalgao could have a full time Chief Executive within a year. Meantime a personnel sub-committee of Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary have reviewed nalgao’s finances and business plan. The sub-committee has recommended that nalgao should focus on the following core tasks which can all be funded from membership income:

nalgao Magazine

Arts after the PM’s Tate Modern speech on 6 March again raising the issue. Demos is concerned at the level and quality of data on Local Government arts finance and is considering ways of collecting better quality data. More information at

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This discrepancy had some relevance to me, along with the aforementioned ties, just where was my next step on the career ladder? Speaking to many peers in the arts it seems many of us feel that the progression routes are not obvious. This programme is one of many that are beginning to emerge in the cultural sector addressing the issues of leadership, although this is the first course in the country that is accredited. Leadership is an area that is receiving international attention as a consequence of high profile failures in leadership, like that at Enron. The government has been keen to invest in the future of cultural leadership: to secure against a repetition of recent failures; to meet the demands of the ever growing and economically significant creative industries; to build on the strengths of the investment made in the ‘90’s to the capital infrastructure and also to address

Taking Risks The CCL course runs in three strands, looking at personal reflection and evaluation, cultural leadership theory and collaborative learning, centring on action learning sets. We are also matched with a mentor. My mentor has been a leader in the cultural sector for many years. I have learnt how to evaluate my experience to find ways of making positive changes and I have for once sat down and concentrated on setting goals and creating a vision for myself. I’ve really enjoyed the theory aspects of the course; it has opened up a kind of private member’s club of leadership I hadn’t previously been party to in terms of the learning needed to take the next step. Overall my confidence, knowledge and direction have improved immensely so far. So where next for me? As I had hoped, the course has inspired me with new career ideas and directions. My respect has grown for the opportunities the voluntary and charitable cultural sector can offer, simply through meeting so many talented and interesting emerging leaders working in this field who are taking part in the course. They have animated my view of and impressed me with what this sector has to offer. Also, astonishingly, as part of my learning to take risks, I have even begun to consider that I may work for myself in the future. The next step isn’t yet obvious but now I won’t just wait for it to happen to me, I will actively seek it, be ready for it and will lead the way in it!

Jacqueline Eggleston Arts Development and Events Manager London Borough of Redbridge. More details of the Certificate in Cultural Leadership from

Robina Sheikh As part of professional development and to mark the end of the national Festival of Muslim Cultures, Robina Sheikh, Trafford MBC’s Arts & Cultural Development Officer, was awarded a North West nalgao Bursary to carry out a research visit to the capital of Pakistani culture, Lahore – a city also known as the Gardens of the Mughals or City of Gardens, after the significant rich heritage of the Mughal Empire. Here she outlines what she found. Prior to the three day tour in mid-March, numerous meetings were arranged with organisations providing arts and culture to a large percentage of the Lahori population. I was delighted with the response and enthusiasm shown to me on my semi-official visit. Chief Executives to Directors of Beacon House Education System, Alhamra Arts Centre, National College of Arts to Officers of smaller art galleries and community centres took the time to explain how Pakistani arts are funded, how community engagement takes place and unusual practices that have been introduced to increase audiences. I was amazed at the amount of arts & cultural activities taking place in Lahore, most of them free of charge and open to men and women of all ages and backgrounds. I had this perception that arts would be very elitist, some areas were, but it was interesting to witness over 500 people, young and old coming to the open air concert on the grounds of Alhamra on

a Saturday night to see talented local people perform Urdu/English Pop to Jazz to Qawwalis (devotional music) in front of a packed excited audience. I was told that these concerts take place each Saturday and people have to be refused admission due to health and safety.

Breaking the Chains of Prejudice The ‘community’ theme was evident in all the activities taking place, artists from National College of Arts working with groups to produce gigantic floating cultural figures on the Lahore Canal for Jashan e Bahar (Spring Festival). A total of 25 objects depicting all types of cultural life were further enhanced at night when they were all illuminated by thousands of lights. As Information Technology increases (even in the developing countries), internet is being used more and more, organisations such as have set up to promote arts & cultural events in Lahore and Karachi. This group of young people, Pakistani and Austrian have invested so much in time and money to develop this unique website. A social change theatre company Ajoka, just premiered its play called Burqavaganza. The play was an “outrageous musical extravaganza” written to challenge the mindsets, provoke the audience to rethink and break the chains of prejudice and

outdated values.” The issue of hijab, burqa or purdah, for instance, is drawing huge debates from western and as well as eastern societies. According to Shahid Nadeem, the writer of Burqavaganza, the objective was not to hurt anyone’s beliefs or feeling. “We wanted to prompt a different thought process … one that can change the system through self-criticism. We should be able to see for ourselves where we are in the world with respect to real issues like survival, justice, freedom, human rights, quality of life and not be fixated with base issues like how much we should or should not be covered,” he said. It was interesting and reassuring to find the arts being used as a means of engaging in social debate in communities in Pakistan, just as they are in communities in England. Robina Sheikh, Arts & Cultural Development Officer, Trafford MBC Robina Sheikh will be delivering a presentation to members of North West nalgao on how arts centres and galleries are engaging with communities and increasing audiences. For more information contact Robina on 0161 912 4057 or email: for more information see and


A New Type of Leader

diversity and the growth of participation in the sector. To do all this, theorists argue, a new type of leader may have to emerge. A model of leadership termed ‘Relational’ by some, adds the values of consensus building, collective ownership and nurturing to the make up of a good leader. Research is also showing that it is women who are strongest in this type of leadership so it is of comfort that we may at last have our day, despite some still very depressing statistics on how even women don’t associate ‘female’ strengths with leadership strengths.

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

Jacqueline Egglestone, recounts the benefits of cultural leadership training. I have a varied, interesting and often challenging role leading on arts, events and other cultural areas in Redbridge, north east London. It’s an exciting location, benefiting from the focus on the Thames Gateway and Olympics. So although I have been in the same authority, if not always the same post, for over eight years I still have plenty of reasons to remain . However, I suppose I do worry that I may not be benefiting from the perspective gathered by moving location more often, so when I spotted the Post Graduate Certificate in Cultural Leadership (CCL) at City University it seemed the ideal way to broaden my career by improving my sector knowledge and benchmarking with peers without leaving my armchair, as it were. Acceptance on to the programme came with a scholarship made available via European funding awarded to the course in its pilot year to actively address the discrepancy between the percentage of women working in the cultural sector (up to 80%) and that of women in leadership positions in the cultural sector (about 20%).


Jacqueline Eggleston

Learning from Lahore Culture Across Continents

Photo: Lahore, Pakistan

features ARTS AT THE HEART Spring 2007

nalgao Magazine

Leading The Field

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End of the Path? Lessons from a Cultural Pathfinder

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‘What we say matters’ From the very beginning the Arts Service’s contribution to this project has been significant and dynamic. Over the past eight years, we had developed a nationally-recognised sustained programme of work for vulnerable young people at risk of exclusion from formal education. And unlike many of our neighbouring authorities, we have developed a substantial programme of

project and to consolidate lessons learnt with a closing project led by the young people themselves. The resulting project, ‘Culture Vultures’, was developed by the Arts Service on behalf of all project partners and involved Children Looked After, with their nominated friends and foster family members, exploring themes of culture and leisure through photography. The project was led by artist Othello De’Souza-Hartley who worked with the participants to explore our borough’s cultural past, present and future and to produce a public exhibition to be opened at the end of the Cultural Pathfinder project in May 2007. The project united cultural services, as well as other cultural providers and organisations from the wider voluntary and commercial sector, into one joint celebration, testing how working together can be managed, linking all the sites with the exhibition and raising awareness of the project to the general public and the sector. So what have we learnt? Throughout the course of this programme we have encountered many obstacles and challenges all of which have offered valuable lessons in how we deliver our services for this vulnerable, and unique group, of young people. (see panel)

Dramatic Street Artwork

Indispensable Role

Another project, ‘Street Art’, involved Children Looked After working with graphic artist Ollie McKenna to create a dramatic collaborative street artwork based upon the view from Richmond Hill which is one of the most painted views in England. This project culminated with a public exhibition in the Stables Gallery at Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham. Both of these projects provided a focal point of engagement to help the Arts Service and our colleagues from sports, libraries and parks to identify both the opportunities and barriers to engaging with this vulnerable group of young people. Building upon lessons learnt we made gradual, ongoing changes to the delivery of our services with a goal of involving even more young people in our programme and ‘retaining’ those already involved for a sustained period of time. As the programme began to draw to a close the Arts Service felt it was important to provide a celebratory focal point for the outcomes of this

Richmond’s cultural pathfinder reminds up that we must accommodate and adapt the delivery of our services for the varying needs of our customers – particularly when dealing with vulnerable groups of people. The aim of our project had always been to embed culture within the lifestyle of these young people, to influence their choices and decisions in life and make a long-term impact upon the well-being of them and their families – whilst it is of course an impossible task to measure the enduring impact of our project at this early stage we feel that the impact upon individual persons has been significant and we have witnessed significant changes in the young people involved. By the time you read this the programme will have formally drawn to a close and the participating authorities will be about to submit their evaluation reports to the DCMS/LGA. At a national level it is anticipated that there will be a final public report with key findings from

respective authorities and a strategy for mainstreaming lessons learnt. Our Cultural Pathfinder experience has enabled us to further embed cultural services within the strategic framework of delivering services for children and young people but as usual there is much work still to be done. In the ever shifting world of local government we must continue to address an ever-expanding set of priorities and we must demonstrate, evidence and quantify our contribution to the achievement of these priorities. It is about building a recognition of the value of cultural services at all levels and across all sections of the Council and developing a indispensable role for cultural services.

Adam Coleman Arts Co-ordinator London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Tel: 020 8831 6000 email For details of the other pathfinders, go to What we learned • Cross-departmental partnerships solid, open and reliable relations with our key partners were crucial. • Individual interaction with young people has been a key factor in the success of this project • The weight of attention - many of the children and young people felt threatened by the sheer weight of attention placed upon. Giving them a sense of community belonging reduced the threat. • Clear progression routes – these were needed to enable participants to move from one form of activity to another. • Effective outcomes - embedded culture in their family lifestyle gave them confidence in culture. • Quality of experience – was a crucial success factor. It was important to us that this project stretched the young people beyond their expectations to enable them to achieve things that may not have thought possible or get involved in activities which they would have otherwise considered ‘not for them.


direct service provision through our programme of exhibitions, events and educational projects. From this position we were able to significantly drive initial stages of project development and draw upon our wealth of experience of developing programmes for vulnerable groups at later stages of operational delivery. One of the key lessons learnt early on in the project was the need to develop additional project-based provision targeted specifically toward this group of young people and the Arts Service were quick to respond to this need by developing a series of projects proposals. One such project was ‘What We Say Matters’ which was an animated film project for children and young people led by artist Will BishopStevens and which built upon the earlier programme of work ‘Every Drawing Matters’ facilitated by artist Nathalie Palin, which actively engaged children, young people and families in the local implementation of Every Child Matters (the government's approach to delivering services for children and families). What We Say Matters provided Children Looked After with a voice to interpret the ‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes in relation to their own lives through the creation of short animated film.

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

In 2005 the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames was one of thirteen local authorities selected by the DCMS and LGA (drawn from 88 who applied) to take part in the Cultural Pathfinder programme - a pilot two-year programme aimed to highlight innovation, learning and transferability in using cultural services to address the seven shared priority areas. The programme aimed to provide the selected local authorities with a focus for innovation and experimentation to strengthen the practice and recognition of culture’s contribution to meeting community needs and driving service improvements. The portfolio of projects to be delivered by the selected authorities differed significantly in terms of both format of delivery and anticipated outputs. Our project - Culture 4 Keeps - focused very specially upon utilising cultural services as a driving force to improve the attainment of Children Looked After - i.e. those who are in the public care of local authorities - which is a key priority area within our Public Service Agreement and of significant concern at a local level. In line with the ‘Enjoy and Achieve’ strand of Every Child Matters our project would seek to develop a universal offer of engagement with cultural services for this of group of vulnerable young people and their carers. We aimed to do so through encouraging participation by this group in our existing programme of cultural activity through an ongoing programme of one-to-one interactions between the young people and their key support workers, and through making extra efforts to accommodate interests that do not fall directly within the council’s provision. To enable us to monitor progress we gave each young person a Culture 4 Keeps card which provided them with free or heavily-subsidised access to cultural facilities and thus measured improvements in usage.



nalgao Magazine Spring 2007


Adam Coleman

Photo from the ‘Culture Vultures’ project

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to Arts Council England’s (ACE) funding will inevitably have a knock-on effect on Local Authority arts services. For Local Authorities have established many strong and productive partnerships with Arts Council regional offices. And ACE’s 1,100 Regularly Funded Organisations form a vital part of local cultural vitality and the night-time economies in towns and cities across England. The issues we are covering in this feature are complex and overlapping and vitally important to artists, arts managers and Local Authority Arts Officers. They involve the Arts Lottery, the Comprehensive Spending Review, Arts Council England’s budget and clients and its public value inquiry launched last year. In the following pages we seek to explain these issues and provide key background information to this fast developing set of events. Arts Council England’s public value inquiry adds a further dimension, which prompts the title of this feature. For while the issues are initially financial ones, behind them lie two big questions; is the funded arts sector delivering what the public actually wants – the ‘public value’ in our question? Or is public funding just sustaining a series of arts policies and arts companies which, however good, are bordering on a programme of ‘private passions’?

Paul Kelly Editor, Arts at the Heart

Wants In Autumn 2006, Arts Council England launched The Arts Debate - the first ever Public Value Inquiry The first part of the public debate – the call for responses and submissions - is now over. The more significant part, for artists, arts organisations and Local Authorities comes when Arts Council England assesses the responses, from both its formal research and the open debate it has encouraged, and uses this to inform future policy and funding, which we now report on. A key part of the Arts Debate has been a research exercise to find out what the public know about, value and want from the arts funding system. Last year, the company Creative Research was commissioned by Arts Council England to establish the views of the general public to publicly funded arts provision. Creative Research held twenty discussion groups in ten locations across England and 170 people talked at length and in detail about their attitudes to the arts and the impact of the arts on their lives. The sample was structured according to a number of variables; socio-economic grade, lifestage and level of engagement with the arts principally. The research examined a number of topics from ‘What is art? and What are the arts?’ to whether the arts should be made more accessible, what the benefits of the arts are, what role Arts Council England (ACE) should play and what their funding priorities should be. The research findings contain one or two surprises; some of the most popular and inclusive events that enable people to sample the arts, says the 138 page report, seem to be the outdoor festivals, carnival and street performance. The open nature of these events means that anyone can wander through, they

can move on if they are not enjoying something. The funding of individual artists “was not seen as being of great benefit to society” and the public funding of Public Art “was also an area that most chose not to support.” But the study clearly shows that the general public values public funding for the arts but wants the arts funding sector to support and deliver activities that have a direct impact on people’s lives, particularly at a community level. The respondents identified three components to what truly made something a work of art: • The original creative idea • The skill and effort that goes into executing that idea and transforming it into an end product, and • The achievement of a response from an audience.

Need reassurance They did not think that access to the arts was a significant problem except a lack of provision for certain age groups in certain locations and except among the young, there was not a great call for more opportunities to actively participate in the arts. There was broad agreement that the arts offer a range of benefits to individuals and society through the provision of entertainment and pleasure (universally appreciated), the enrichment of their lives, the opportunity to express oneself and communicate with others, a sense of identity for individuals and communities and the improvement of mental and physical health. Many had heard of the Arts Council

The general public values public funding for the arts but wants the arts funding sector to support and deliver activities that have a direct impact on people’s lives, particularly at a community level.


We are seeing the signs of a seismic shift in arts funding which could significantly reduce arts services and provision as we now know them. This shift could have an impact on both the amount of public funding for the arts and how that funding is directed with very significant outcomes. It has already been announced that £112.5 million is to be taken from Arts Lottery funding over the next five years to support the Olympics. As Lottery funding has supported the Grants for Arts programme and Awards for all this will affect many arts projects with a social and community dimension. If this news seems disappointing, a bad Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) outcome, could mean Arts Council England is left facing Lottery and Treasury reductions totaling as much as £468 million in real terms over the next five years. At the same time, Arts Council England is considering a new direction for publicly funded arts programmes, one that encourages the arts funding system to respond more closely to what the public says it wants. This could have impacts on how many publicly funded arts organisations there are and what their focus is. nalgao has been tracking and reporting losses to Local Authority arts services for some time. Regrettable though these are, the losses seem small compared to what Arts Council England may now be facing. Any cuts

The Arts Debate What the Public

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PublicValue or Private Passions?

The Sultan’s Elephant - picture courtesy of Arts Council England


e r u t u F e Th : s t r A e h t f o

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Changing Direction?

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The researchers also asked what would get people more engaged in the arts. They were told that people need to be reassured. If people were reassured that, whatever the art form, it is for ‘people like them’, they will feel consequently feel at ease and will enjoy it. An analogy could be drawn, say the researchers, with the way in which museums have developed over the last twenty-five years, moving from object based collections and exhibitions with minimal interpretation and delivered very serious and academic way to places in which the emphasis is on the communication of ideas and where multimedia, hands-on experiences happen. You can download the full Creative Research report or just the Executive Summary from

This has generated some lively and thoughtful responses on Arts Council England’s website – over 500 at the time of writing. Arts Council England has identified four strategic challenges (see panel) and sets these and a broader context out in a paper published last August, titled “Public engagement with the arts: Arts Council England’s strategic challenges”. Arts Council England self-analyses its current position as follows:

masses’.” Much of this work was “characterised by a paternalistic delivery of services by professionals who were judged to know best.” Far less attention has been given to public engagement. “Peter Hewitt’s Changing Places (2005) laid the foundations for a new direction for Arts Council England. It recognised that a vibrant arts ecology requires both elements of our Royal Charter to flourish together.” Consequently, there needs to be much more attention on what the public wants. “Greater public investment in the arts needs to be tied more closely to a stronger and more modern notion of public engagement. Arts Council England’s priorities have always been with supply rather than demand.” By giving consumers and citizens a voice in the debate, says ACE, “and by actively seeking to understand and respond to their preferences we can increase the value and legitimacy of our work. We can learn more about what excites and inspires people, and how we can create more relevant, appealing and well-marketed arts opportunities.”

A new direction

More challenging vision

The Royal Charter that established the Arts Council (of Great Britain) in 1946 reflects a dual responsibility – first, to enable and support quality, excellence and innovation in artistic practice and second, to encourage public engagement with and participation in the creative life of this country. In a postwar welfare climate its initial task was to “preserve and develop largely elite artforms in metropolitan centres and ‘public engagement’ was expressed as a desire to increase the accessibility of these artforms to the general public – to ‘educate the

The last decade, says ACE “has seen unprecedented levels of public investment in the arts but this has not been accompanied by any enhanced clarity or consensus around the purpose of public investment in the arts.” “A more challenging vision of what could and should be achieved through public investment in the arts would encourage the Arts Council and the individuals and organisations we fund to innovate in ways that move us closer towards that vision.” ACE says it recognises that it only

1. What do you value about the arts? 2. What principles should guide public funding of the arts today? 3. What are the responsibilities of a publicly funded arts organisation? 4. When should an artist receive public money? 5. Should members of the public be involved in arts funding decisions?

represents a part of the artistic community in England. “Our partners in the arts community, in central and local government and in other parts of the public realm”, they say, “are critical to the delivery of our mission. Our value framework must reflect their needs and priorities…. we must integrate measures of public value with measures of the value that we seek to create for artists and arts organisations and for our partners in central and local government and other public bodies.”

ACE Strategic Challenges 1. To build understanding of what greater public engagement with the arts might look like in the 21st century, and how it can best be accomplished through the investment of public money. 2. To ensure that public investment in the arts is accompanied by a more appropriate notion of accountability, one that is meaningful to our own ambitions, to the individuals and organisations we fund and to the wider public. 3. To develop a ‘value framework’ – an analytical framework that sets out how the Arts Council will deliver value to our stakeholders by achieving our mission… a value framework that strengthens our capability to make expert and informed decisions about the best use of our resources. 4. To maximise the contribution that our share of public money makes to a vibrant, healthy, 21st century arts ecology.

nalgao Comment The publicly funded arts sector in England involves three essential but very different processes which touch on each other at various points. The first and most important process is the creation of the work itself. The second is getting that work in front of and engaging with an audience and the third is managing a funding mechanism that fuels the first two. We live in an era where far more attention seems given to how the funding is managed than how it helps bring artists and audiences together. Arts Council England’s strategy paper is thought provoking and rational but ultimately rather mechanistic in tone. What it seems to say is this: If we can just get the balance and funding criteria right and make the criteria suitably transparent, then we can create a formula (or value framework) that will satisfy government, stakeholders and the public. Such rationality is fine, but the creative processes that produce the essential raw materials – stimulating creative work – can be anything but rational and are seldom transparent. Developing a piece of creative work can be a messy, meandering and intuitive process. Are rational and transparent criteria going to assist good funding practice? Or is good arts funding practice about identifying new, emerging and exciting ideas, created by artists, and backing them? Do we need more criteria or as John Knell suggests in “The Art of Living” do we actually need more and better conversations? nalgao warmly welcomes Arts Council England’s public value inquiry. It has already thrown up some fascinating ideas and thoughtful responses. Ultimately though,The Arts Debate and the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review is about far

more than which arts organisations are graced with public funding. From a Local Government perspective, culture, in its widest sense, is one of the key ingredients that binds cities, towns and villages together. It has a spatial dimension – through buildings like theatres, halls and libraries - that are public realm anchors in a growing sea of modern commerce. And there is an activity dimension from grassroots community projects, local festivals and youth projects to the artistic projects that either sustains artistic traditions – or that deconstruct and extend them. This body of creative work has the power both to create lasting community bonds and local identity. It also helps fuel the nighttime economies that make our towns and cities exciting and liveable places. If considerable arts funding changes are inevitable, then they need to carefully balance the needs and abilities of artists with those of a local public realm whose profile, capacity and vibrancy are deeply affected by the arts infrastructure they have and the funding that this attracts both from Arts Councils and from Local Authorities.


Hands-on experience

Arts Council England’s Arts Debate identifies three key research questions (see panel) and asks the public the following five questions:

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

but had little idea of its role and some misunderstandings were evident. Once they knew what it did many responded positively and with interest. But some felt they should have seen more evidence of the Arts Council in their local areas. There was broad acceptance of the need for public funding of the arts. Most thought that funding should deliver benefits to society, and reach as wide and diverse an audience as possible. “It was not surprising therefore,” say the researchers, “that many of the projects that respondents would fund were based in communities.” The sorts of projects that respondents were reluctant to fund were: • High levels of funding for the large, national companies • Funding for individuals in realising their own (often commercial) ambitions and • Public art (which often happens to be conceptual)



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- ACE’sArts Debate & The Strategic Challenges

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SoWhat’sThe Comprehensive Spending Review? The Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) is the government-wide review-and-bid process for the next three-year public spending round. Government Departments review their programme and future plans and negotiate with the Treasury for the funding to deliver their programmes and the outputs and outcomes the Treasury wants in return. Where those Departments fund other agencies – ie Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) like Arts Council England – the government departments will engage in a similar exercise with their ‘sponsored bodies’.

So, How will the CSR Affect the DCMS and the Arts? Through its dialogue with the DCMS, nalgao has been aware of future trends in the CSR settlement for some months. Some government departments have settled for a 0% increase - a cut when inflation is taken into account. Others have offered budget savings of 5% a year. nalgao obviously doesn’t know the detailed nature of the DCMS negotiations and the announcement about its next three year budget has now been put back to the Autumn. But the need to find £6 billion extra for the Olympics – a DCMS project – is inevitably going to have an

The Arts have done well in the last 10 years. Arts Council England’s budget has risen by around 70% since 1997. Because of this many have now forgotten the recession of 1991 and gloom of the Major years that followed. We have come to expect rising public funding for the arts.?? Now all that may dramatically change. Projecting future funding is complicated as Arts Council England gets its money from two different sources – the Lottery and the Treasury – and uses these funding streams to support a number of specific programmes. ACE’s Lottery funding in 2006-07 was around £170 million. This figure can fluctuate annually due to the state of Lottery ticket sales. Arts Lottery money is used to support: • The Awards for All programme • The capital programme – the final aspects of this • Grants for national touring • Grants for the arts to organisations • The National Foundation for Youth Music

Conductor Sir Colin Davis, President of The London Symphony Orchestra - an Arts Council RFO

So,What Might the Impact of the CSR Be On Arts Council England’s Budget?

In 2005-06, ACE’s Treasury funding – currently £412 million a year - supported: • Regularly Funded Organisations • Grants for the Arts to Individuals – normally part of the Lottery stream • Some projects – through ‘Managed Funds’ • Creative Partnerships and • Staff and overhead costs (See table on page 15 for budget details of both Lottery and Treasury funding streams). Nearly 75% of ACE’s Treasury funding totaling around £300 million - goes to support its 1,100 Regularly Funded Organisations. ACE’s Treasury funding settlement will not be known until the Autumn. However nalgao understands that Arts Council England has been planning on three financial hypotheses: • A small budget increase – few believe this will be achieved • Standstill • A budget reduction of 5% a year over three years. ACE has traditionally given its regular clients inflationary increases, and if it continues to do so, to clients and its staff, this has to be added to costs and so makes any budget reductions greater. On this basis the true impact of the planning options on 2007-08 Treasury income of £412 million (in 2006-07) would over five years be: • Standstill (inflation at 3% a year): £66 million • 5% a year budget cut plus inflation: £355 million Add this to the Lottery funding loss of £113

What Might This Mean for Local Arts Services? Cuts in Lottery and Treasury funding are likely to have two impacts on artists and arts organisations providing local arts services. First, the already announced cuts to the arts Lottery funding will hit schemes like Awards for All, and Grants to the Arts to individuals and organisations. Much of this funding goes to small grass-roots and community projects. The cuts of £22.6 million a year could amount to around 190 fewer lottery funded projects per ACE region per year, based on the average award level in 2005-06, – over 8,500 fewer arts projects over five years. The 2006-07 Treasury funding to ACE is around £412 million. If Arts Council England is faced with a cash cut of 5% a year amounting, with inflation, to as much as £211 million over 3 years, then it seems inevitable that the largest budget area will bear the brunt of any such cuts. The largest portion of Treasury funding by far is the allocation for Regularly Funded Organisations (RFO) (see table on page 15). An analysis of ACE’s RFO budget shows that in 2005-06 Arts Council England paid RFO grants to 1,111 organisations. There is a very considerable range of awards within this overall budget. • The 5 highest funded RFO organisations The Royal Opera House, South Bank Board,

Royal National Theatre, English National Opera and The Royal Shakespeare Company took 30% of the RFO budget - £90.6 million. • The 10 highest funded RFO organisations took 40% of the RFO budget - £124 million. • The lowest funded 20% of RFO organisations (222 in number) took just 1.2% of the budget – £3.7 million The challenge for both Arts Council England and for Local Authorities, who are key funding partners in much of this and whose local vitality and economies benefit hugely from ACE support, is how to retain the strengths of the large body of Regularly Funded Organisations, whilst creating more engagement with people in a fast-changing society. There are already rumours and denials circulating about RFO cuts, with arts journalist Norman Lebrecht speculating that English National Opera will be sacrificed to fund the Olympics. Others have suggested that the smaller RFOs will lose their RFO status and


Talk to just about any arts manager and one thing will crop up in their thoughts at some point: “We don’t know where we will be after 2008”. Much hangs on the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). What will the settlement be to the DCMS, how much will they allocate to Arts Council England, what impact will that have and when will we know? These questions have significant implications for Local Authority Arts officers for several reasons. First, Local Authorities are often significant partners in Arts Council England’s 1,100 Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs). Secondly, reductions in arts funding often have a greater impact on smaller local projects which are at the core of Local Authority arts development work. And thirdly, decisions about arts funding also contribute to wider issues about the nature of the public realm and the balance between commerce and the community.

The past two public spending rounds have been expansionist in nature with the chief beneficiaries being the National Health Service and Education. But ripples of this expansionism have also touched the outer reaches of government spending like the arts, where an extra £100 million – small change to the NHS – can bring far reaching impacts. The CSR will be determined by a complex mix of financial factors including an assessment of the long-term trends and challenges that will shape the next decade such as demographic and technological change. It will also look at how much tax revenue will the Chancellor have to play with. Is the economy growing or contracting? What is happening with inflation, how much is the Chancellor willing to borrow to finance his plans (the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement) and other factors. Signals from Whitehall suggest that after six years of comparative growth, the next financial settlement will see a relative reduction in public sector expenditure. And that could have a significant impact on the arts.

impact on the final DCMS settlement and makes negotiating for sector-specific growth in other areas, like the arts, pretty near impossible. nalgao has been reporting reductions in Local Authority arts budgets and complete loss of some 25 Local Authority arts services, for some time. The scale of loss has so far been quite modest compared with the possible budget reductions ACE is facing. But the Comprehensive Spending Review will also affect the Department for Community and Local Government and people in senior echelons feel that a public spending squeeze will also hit local government finances and, if so, the impact is bound to be felt on non-statutory functions like the arts.

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

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Paul Kelly

• And other programmes like Spaces for Sport and the Arts, stabilization and the Urban Cultural Programme This stream relies on Lottery ticket sales which are generally assumed to be slowing down. Arts Council England has £200 million ongoing capital commitments and its Lottery allocation (£210 million in 2005-06 and £170 million in 2006-07) has just been cut by £113 million over the next five years – around £22.6 million a year or 13.3% per annum.

million and one gets an overall projected budget reduction of up to £468 million over five years if Treasury funding reductions continue into the post-2011 funding cycle. In addition, some Arts Council sources have suggested that if the impact of the Treasury budget allocation leads to withdrawing funding from RFOs, they will wish to give those organisations a year’s notice. That could have the, as yet uncalculated, impact of squeezing three years of budget savings into two years, resulting in even greater financial pressures. There may of course be accounting adjustments and possible savings already made which may reduce the impact we fear. But even allowing for such adjustments, these are big numbers, alongside which the very regrettable loss of Local Authority arts funding looks quite modest.


The Comprehensive Spending Review and the Arts – A Bluffer’s Guide

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How Arts Council England Spends Its Funding In 2005-06, Arts Council England’s funding was as follows: Arts Lottery £210,933,723 33.4% Treasury £408,678,000 64.6% Misc Inc £12,537,000 2.0% £632,148,723 100.0% It spent its Treasury funding as follows: ACE Treasury Funding Expenditure 2005-06 Staffing and Overheads £56,227,278 13.8% Regularly Funded Organisations £300,805,673 73.6% Grants for the Arts to Individuals £8,865,173 2.2% Managed Funds - Projects & Strategic Initiatives £22,803,234 5.6% Creative Partnerships £12,373,250 3.0% Capital £5,000,000 1.2% Other £2,553,392 0.6% £408,628,000 100.0% And its Lottery funding was allocated thus: ACE Arts Lottery Expenditure 2005-06 Awards for All £4,702,474 2.2% Capital £116,406,929 55.2% Grants for national touring £16,708,381 7.9% Grants for the arts organisations £57,662,675 27.3% National Foundation for Youth Music £10,000,000 4.7% RALP 2 £15,000 0.0% Spaces for Sport and the Arts £152,369 0.1% Stabilisation £3,835,895 1.8% Urban Cultural Programme £1,450,000 0.7% £210,933,723 100.0% How Arts Council England’s Budget Could Reduce By £468 million over 5 Years In Real Terms There are several ways of calculating cuts to budgets. ACE’s Lottery funding has already been reduced by £112.5 million. ACE’s Treasury budget is £412 million in 2007-08. If it remains at standstill, its total Treasury budget over five years would be £2.06 billion.

By calculating these figures in a different way, it is possible to reach an even higher potential loss figure over 5 years of over £580 million.

Clusters of Opinion It would be easy to think that Arts Council’s England’s Arts Debate was the only arts policy debate in town. In fact it has joined a number of other discussions and critiques, some longstanding and some quite recent. Arts at the Heart Editor, Paul Kelly gives a personal overview of some of the other arts policy debates around. The groupings below are neither movements nor associations but are what he thinks are some of the identifiable clusters of thoughts and views on the state of the arts in England, and their management, today.

The Missionites – Just make the funding system work Mission Models Money (MMM) was founded in 2003 by Clare Cooper formerly of Arts & Business and Roanne Dods of the Jerwood Foundation. It is a powerful gathering of arts venue managers, and consultants, largely metropolitan, who have been undertaking a three-year research programme to address the challenges faced by arts and cultural organisations in developing mission-led financially sustainable businesses. Much of their work seems to focus on why the arts funding system isn’t working and what would make it better. It has published some thought-provoking papers on its website, the latest including John Knell’s “The Art of Living”. Knell’s belief is that if the various arts funders and those they funded just worked more closely together and talked more rather than undertaking the stately procedural dance they have been doing for the past decade or two, it would create a more stable and rewarding relationship that would deliver more results. Other MMM commissions ask how the arts sector can better engage with the social environment and build engagement and participation in the arts. Whether MMM it is grassroots enough to address these questions remains to be seen. More information at

The Selwood-ites – Unreliable evidence

The instrumental power of the arts has come under the harsh spotlight of scrutiny from Professor Sara Selwood, Paola Merli, Eleanor Belafiore and Munira Mirza amongst others. Big claims are made for the value and ability of Public Art, arts in hospitals and in communities to change people’s lives. But is there evidence to support this? And if there is data, does it actually show cause and effect or do we distort the data to support our beliefs? This grouping’s fiercely forensic approach says firmly what they are against. What vision they stand for is a little less clear. Read “Culture Vultures” Ed Munira Mirza downloadable from or “The Benefits of Public Art in Britain” by Sarah Selwood

background as an expert on Ruskin and his indispensable book on post-war British culture, ‘Culture and Consensus’ is perhaps unsurprising. Holden and Hewison designed the Clore leadership programme and thus have written intelligently on the matter. They have since addressed the thorny topic of cultural value and Holden has also usefully seized on the much-neglected topic of Local Government support for the arts. Whilst they are in danger of picking away at the edges of cultural policy, rather than address its core, their writing combines erudition, sense and style. Read “Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy” by John Holden – downloadable at or “Culture and Consensus” by Robert Hewison

The Tusa-ites – Back to civilisation The Comedia-ites -Put culture at If there is a ‘great man’ school of arts policy, The heart of regeneration then this is it, both in terms of vision and membership. This vastly intelligent, relentlessly articulate and experienced cohort includes amongst its ranks Sir John Tusa, Norman Lebrecht, Brian Sewell, Norman Rosenthal, Professor John Carey and relative youngster David Lee. The arts matter, says Tusa because they embrace civilisation. This cohort abhors the increasing instrumentalism of arts policy and seems to yearn for a prior golden age of great performers and high culture. The combination of their sheer brainpower and utter conviction can be both intimidating and slightly terrifying. Read: “Engaged with the Arts: Writings from the Frontline” by John Tusa, “What Good are The Arts” by John Carey or “Maestros, Masterpieces and Madness” by Norman Lebrecht.

The Holdenites – Leadership and values The irrepressible roadshow of John Holden and Robert Hewison has emerged fast on the rails from the cradle of the Government’s favourite independent think-tank, Demos. Whereas much of Demos’ output is at the leading edge of the policy zeitgeist, seemingly living on thin air, the two ‘H’s’ seem refreshingly solid and almost patrician, which given Hewison’s

This is the school of cultural planners spiritually headed by Charles Landry founder of Comedia. It includes the Comedia cohort of Franco Bianchini, Phil Wood, Jude Bloomfield, Lia Ghilardi and Ken Worpole. Part rooted in academia, part in community and part at the more visionary end of cultural consulting, this cohort sees culture as central to the historic creation of cities and their modern day regeneration and is one of the few to fully consider and understand the vital role of communities and diversity in cultural regeneration. Their thinking may have had some influence in helping recreate Glasgow, Newcastle and Liverpool as modern cultural destinations. But they have yet to really have influence at the top echelons of British planning and development where money is king and property deals get done. And they have also to persuade the cult of star architects like Richard Rogers, Norman Foster and Will Allsop into a more culturally balanced spatial planning climate. Read “The Art of City Making” by Charles Landry or “Cultural Diversity in Britain: A Toolkit for Cross-cultural Co-operation” by Phil Wood, Charles Landry and Jude Bloomfield.


The challenge for both Arts Council England and for Local Authorities, who are key funding partners in much of this and whose local vitality and economies benefit hugely from ACE support, is how to retain the strengths of the large body of Regularly Funded Organisations, whilst creating more engagement with people in a fast-changing society. But is this discussion about cuts needed at all? The problem is as much one of dialogue and money and the absence of a clear national strategy for the arts means the sector is at risk of governance by inference. Potential ACE budget losses of up to £468 million sound very large and alarming. But in government terms this amount is actually less than 0.1% of total annual government expenditure. “There is a view currently circulating in Whitehall and Westminster,” Peter Hewitt Chief Execuitive of ACE, has recently written, “that the arts sector can absorb the impact of the Olympics raid on lottery funding without visible impact. This is not true.” Neither can the arts sector absorb a substantial reduction in Treasury funding without visible impact on the vitality of our towns and cities. This should be of great concern to Local Authorities. With the potential and combined impact of

However if its Treasury budget is cut by 5% a year its total Treasury budget would be £1.77 billion – a loss, before inflation, of £289 million. If inflation runs at 3% a year over the next five years then the inflation loss on the reducing ACE budget would be £46 million. However an annual inflationary increase of 3% on its £412 million baseline funding would take its grant to £478 million – a difference and thus a real loss of a further £66 million. So on this basis a consistent 5% cut in ACE’s Treasury funding, plus the impact of inflation plus, announced Lottery losses, adds up as follows: Possible Treasury cuts: £289m Loss for Inflation: £ 66m Lottery Cuts £113m Total possible real losses to arts funding£468m

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Constructive dialogue or crisis management?

Lottery and Treasury cuts on the arts, there was never a better nor a more important time for Arts Council England and English Local Authorities to work hand in hand and enter into a new dialogue between themselves, and the artists and arts organisations they support. The Arts Debate is a useful start. We now need to campaign to ensure that the Comprehensive Spending Review does not turn the possibility of constructive dialogue into crisis management.


have to seek annual project funding. But with one of the prime sources of project funding arts lottery funding - being greatly reduced, that does not sound at all secure. To some, the opportunity to re-focus RFO funding, or some of it, towards more community oriented opportunities and engagement, would doubtless be very welcome. What the politicians are increasingly asking for, through various inspection regimes, is evidence-based examples of the power of the arts to engage and change and through that create a better society. The Arts Debate findings shows that this is also what the public wants - a funded sector that prioritises community-based projects that will deliver benefits for individuals and wider society and which reaches as wide and diverse an audience as possible. But there is a delicate balance here. If some, especially the larger RFOs, are less experienced or capable at community delivery, many are at the heart of sustaining the cultural identity and vitality of towns and cities. And they also play an important role in local urban nighttime economies. If ACE is forced to cut or radically change how their Regularly Funded Organisations operate, it could have a dramatic effect on both carefully nurtured artistic capacity and local economies.

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The funding for the project was secured from ACE as part of the Arts Generate Programme in Southend, with funding also from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the European Social Fund, two private foundations and Southend Borough Council. Funding conditions brought hard targets. These obliged the project to reach large groups of young people which was

Rosemary Pennington Cultural Development Officer Southend Borough Council Tel: 01702 215624 Email: t=3165

case studies

Wrapped in a duvet

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Artists and project co-ordinators were contracted on a freelance basis to lead individual projects. The project’s management group, which consisted of officers from Southend Borough Council, Arts Council England East and Momentum Arts met regularly throughout the project, and were able to challenge structures and practices, troubleshoot, make decisions and authorise project adjustments as required. Many local community groups ended up getting involved in the project, which comprised of over 40 individual projects and a total of 1,228 participants. Much of the artistic content of the project

a constant challenge. Some projects worked with small groups needing lots of support over a longer period of time, whilst others were shorter and reached larger groups with minimum support. An external evaluator was engaged to provide an independent and robust evaluation of the project. As always with a project as this, participants were monitored and evaluated throughout. Many of the young people had extremely challenging backgrounds and situations, and the greatest of sensitivity was shown by artists and care workers when seeking their views on the projects. Of the 1,228 young people who took part, 645 attended more than five sessions in any one area. Over 60% of participants responded positively against a range of indicators, including the development of further life skills and enthusiasm for new projects. One said, “It was a great session. It kept me out of trouble and kept me calm and I am now getting fun as well. Love to do it again!”. One worker said, “I know that at least one person we have worked with will now make different choices and not re-offend. I’m proud of being part of this from the start”. One young person began Being Here when she was homeless. Cajoled to take part, she attended her first workshop wrapped in her duvet. This person is now living independently and has a job. The programme was key to leading her to a more positive life situation. These are just a few examples of how Being Here has made a difference to young people. Being Here finished in April 2006 and the project’s evaluation is almost complete. Overall there is a strong pride and belief in its success from young participants to Council staff, care workers, project co-ordinators and artists. The project was held up as an example of good practice by DCMS, and the case study has been published on the IDeA website. The final overview evaluation report will be published shortly.

was young people led. Community workers and artists met with groups of young people early on in the project to gauge their views and to discuss what the young people would like to see come out of the programme. As a result a diverse range of projects was produced, which ranged from creating a newspaper in a day with young people in the High Street, public installations to drama and film pieces addressing issues of homelessness, bullying, drug and alcohol misuse, recordings, DVDs, DJ-ing, photography, filming, music and choreography were all part of the wider programme of events. A series of events took place throughout the four year programme, which included informal “sharings”, exhibitions, performances and attendance at training conferences. The range of organisations involved in the project included Theatre Resource, a countywide arts organisation working in the areas of disability arts, The Youth Offending Team, Pupil Referral Units, family centres, community partnerships, young carers groups, youth and connexions and also schools and colleges were firmly engaged with the project. Events were free of charge to all young people to attend, and in many cases young people moved from project to project in order to extend their skills and experiences, whilst developing their own self confidence and employment opportunities. Some young people involved in the project also received leadership training which will enable them to set up similar projects themselves in the future. The artists contracted to work on the programme also received a programme of training and strong support throughout the project, not only in delivering their arts activities and community engagement, but also in the areas of monitoring and evaluation, disability and race equality, child protection and business skills.


case studies ARTS AT THE HEART

Rosemary Pennington

Creating a newspaper in a day Spring 2007

nalgao Magazine

Being Here

A youth-focussed arts project that took one young homeless woman off the streets and into employment has been hailed a success by the DCMS. Rosemary Pennington explains why ‘Being Here’ has worked so well. The ‘here’ in Being Here is Southend on Sea and we are trying to prove that the arts really can change the lives of many young people at risk of exclusion. Being Here is an example of how cultural activity can be used for regeneration and social inclusion. The project, which was a four year programme of arts and cultural activities in Southend on Sea, was managed by Momentum Arts on behalf of the Borough Council and Arts Council England East. It was a multi-agency partnership project providing participatory arts activities for young people aged 11 – 25 who faced social exclusion. Southend on Sea Borough Council recognised that it was necessary to engage socially excluded young people more effectively. Being Here set out to reach looked-after young people, those at risk of offending, young parents and carers and other excluded young people. The project was commissioned to address drugs and alcohol misuse, teenage pregnancy and hate crimes, plus other community needs. The strategy was to develop good relationships, confidence and self-esteem and life skills. Opportunities for training and professional development were also extended to local artists, community workers and project co-ordinators who were contracted to work on the project.

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Breakin’ Convention in Bucks

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Each group (of between 6 and 23 young people) has three sessions with Banxy and Joey D, working on technique and a performance piece, and structured according to their ability and interests. The mentees work with and rehearse the groups on their own for the final performance on Sunday May 20th at the Wycombe Swan Town Hall. But May 20th is much more than a dance performance. It is the local launch pad for the touring show of ‘Breakin’ Convention’ – the UK’s most innovative hip hop dance festival launched at Sadler’s Wells on 5 to 7 May and

"Isocahedron" by Taslim Martin pictured with Cllr Bob Bryant

Urban Beatz is a partnership project involving three district councils, a venue, a school and a community safety charity. Working across district councils can be challenging, with each district requiring different outcomes. But Urban Beatz has become a uniting project bringing the district councils and other parties into a closer working relationship with the desire to continue to seek common activities and common outcomes for dance and for other art forms. The Partners are:

SharedVision: Lessons in public art Andy O’Hanlon

• Aylesbury Vale District Council • Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School • South Bucks District Council • Thames Valley Partnership • Wycombe District Council • Wycombe Swan Theatre

The construction of new development in and around Cambridge is prompting the commissioning of more public art. The latest example is the mile long art work on the new sustrans cycle route from Shelford to Addenbrookes Hospital, which spells out the BRCA2 genome in vivid colours. What constitutes good public art? Where does it come from and how does it happen? Public art refers to any contribution made by an artist or artists in a publicly accessible location. As such it can encompass the fine and applied arts, soft and hard landscape design, specially crafted street furniture, ceramics, prints, lighting, celebrations, performance, mixed media and artist in residence schemes. The claimed benefits of public art are diverse and include enhancing the quality of the environment, the saleability of the development, improved orientation and interpretation for the locality. Public Art can also enhance local distinctiveness. The commissioning of public art works within the Cambridge sub-region is set to continue. The recent Cambridgeshire Horizons arts and cultural strategy placed public art within the context of the national, regional and

local planning control processes, as well as the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan and a Treasury-driven evidence-based approach to policy.

Village markers It can be argued that this inclusion of public art in spatial planning policy marks a shift in appreciation; that there is now a greater understanding of the value and impact of arts intervention in the built and social environment. Councils without a public art officer will generally rely on an arts development officer, if they have one, to translate public art - in all its diversity - into a development control mechanism. The first art works in the villages of South Cambridgeshire including the Comberton memorial (2002) by Mel Fraser and the Harlton village sign (2002) by William Garfitt and Cambridge Carving Workshop - were match-funded by the district council against funds raised by the parish council. In new building developments, public art is often reliant on developers’ contributions. For the new village of Cambourne the agreement between the Council and the developers was signed before the formation of an arts service (in 1994) and consequently the

evidence of arts facilities or public art is thin on the ground. Notable exceptions are the Morrison’s commission Flight (2003) by Richard Thornton and Antonia Hockton, the Icosahedron (2004), made for the Business Park by Taslim Martin and the village markers by Martin Heron (2005).

Embed an artist Both the success of the village projects and the lack of a vigorous approach at Cambourne led to council approval of a public art policy (with a percent for art mechanism of 1-5%) in February 2004. In contrast to Cambourne, the development of public art at Arbury Park - a 900 home development to the north of Cambridge in the parish of Impington - is being achieved through close partnership between the Council and Gallagher Estates. Together, they sought ways to embed an artist in the design group and to influence the master planning process, integrating arts features into the whole scheme. In spite of best intentions it was not possible to appoint an artist from the earliest design phase and it was only due to the intervention of Ben Koralek of shape Cambridge - and a successful CABE Project award - that the artist

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We have now run three training sessions for the mentees, covering not only dance styles but also tips and techniques to use with recalcitrant youngsters! The last of these sessions was held in conjunction with Swindon Dance and

Hip Hop at Sadler’sWells

coming to the Wycombe Swan Theatre on May 22nd and 23rd. We have organised street art sessions with two of the groups who will work alongside professional artist Sarah Worthington to make the backdrops for the performance and banners which can be displayed in the foyer of the Wycombe Swan. Plus we will have performances from local music provider Sound Studio and their ‘Raise your Game’ project. A fully blown youth culture event! Judy Munday Project Co-ordinator 01844 202001

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

A more challenging piece

included some of their local dance practitioners – a productive way to share thoughts and experiences. The idea behind the mentee system is to provide a wider pool of skilled street and hip hop dance leaders for youth club and community work – this has long been lacking in the Buckinghamshire region. The mentees play a key role in the work with the groups of young people. We have nine groups across Buckinghamshire – five from youth clubs, one from a special boys school, one from the Arts Learning Support Unit of a mainstream school and one from the Youth Offending Team. All of these participants have little or no experience of dance. We have also included one experienced dance group who will produce a more challenging piece and who we hope will be an inspiration to the young people in the other groups. The groups were put forward by the Local Authority Arts Officers.


Urban Beatz is about dance…hip hop dance with expert professionals Banxy and Joey D. And it is also about training and reaching out – training a pool of mentees and reaching out to young people who would not normally get the chance to try dance. Our project started last autumn – firstly we had to find a name for our project and students from the partner school, Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, held a competition to come up with both a name for the project and a logo. We had a tremendous response and awarded several young people prizes for their designs. We finally settled on Urban Beatz and our logo as seen above. The next step was to seek out suitable dancers or youth workers to become our mentees. We eventually selected six, who are working alongside the professional dancers and gaining experience and confidence to lead street dance workshops. We are pleased that we have a mix of dancers who would like to learn leadership skills and youth workers who would like to brush up on dance skills. All admitted to needing expert advice on hip hop and street dance, and we all admitted to some confusion as to exactly what style this really was!

Photos: Joey D Banxy, Gwen Whitaker and mentees


nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

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Judy Munday

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New Face In Town How cultural regeneration can transform small centres


nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

Suzanne Dimmock

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The contribution of the arts to the regeneration of cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle is plainly evident. Public art and architecture can enhance the environment and encourage interest in and ownership of the shared public realm. New arts facilities and venues provide new opportunities for performers and audiences. Participatory arts activity such as carnivals can help connect people to the places in which they live, promoting civic pride, social cohesion and a positive self-image for the community, and even nurturing the development of fledgling creative industries. But, according to Charles Landry and François

Matarasso in their 1996 book The Art of Regeneration, capital projects ‘are inappropriate for, and beyond the reach of, most smaller towns’ And capital projects are what unlock most of the funding (see Capital of Culture for Liverpool; 2012 Olympics for London.) In a recent Guardian article, Tristram Hunt claimed that “cities need the kind of cultural infrastructure that appeals not just to residents and tourists, but investors. Art and design communities time and again provide the seedlings for civic regeneration.” Of course, this is equally true of towns, only on a smaller scale, with a smaller artistic community, fewer visitors and less influence over investors.

Clone towns Town centre managers (if towns are lucky enough to have one) are beset by a whole raft of problems. How can they compete with the next town for shoppers, how can they manage crime and disorder, and how can they stand out from all of the other similar sized towns, different to the so-called ‘clone towns’ with their identikit high streets? Perhaps the biggest challenge is how to key into available funding. In the North West possible solutions are the development of a Market Town Initiative such as Cockermouth, for example, or becoming a Business Improvement District like Keswick. Workington is an example of a town that has

Winter Lightworks Festival NWDA funding was used to complete several major artists’ commissions including Lookout a new town clock by Andy Plant with sound by Matt Wand, and Coastline, a new town square by Simon Hitchens. NWDA funding also enabled the upgrade of many of the materials used in the town centre reconstruction. Arts Council England awarded an additional £30,000 to support a temporary programme of projects and activities designed to engage the

The Hub, the most dramatic project in the scheme, will be completed later this year and installed where the new shopping malls intersect. It will be the first outdoor performance space in the country with 3D sound and incorporates a canopy suspended from the surrounding buildings. Following a public consultation, a design was selected to provide shelter as well as a new public performance and meeting space. An ambient ‘soundscape’ is being created for The Hub by Illustrious Company - Martyn Ware of Human League and Heaven 17, and Vince Clarke of Depeche Mode and Erasure. Locally, images of Workington’s artworks are frequently used by the media to represent the new ‘face’ of the town. In an article

Suzanne Dimmock, Projects Assistant (Arts), Allerdale Borough Council Telephone: 01900 702614 Email: For more information about any of the projects please visit or email Suzanne as above.

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Human League

accompanied by an image of the new clock, the News & Star boasts that ‘property prices are booming in Workington thanks to centre redevelopment’. Realestate TV comments ‘the new town centre has prompted a whirl of building activity in the area... The old town centre is starting to look more like a quaint and chic harbour town than a run-down steel town and the property market is showing positive signs.’ The public art projects in Workington demonstrate that it is possible to deliver an inventive and ambitious scheme of public artworks on the scale of a town centre, and that funding for cultural regeneration is achievable at a local level. The redevelopment of Workington shows how the implementation of good design can benefit local people and give them a town centre of which they can be proud. What has been essential to the success of the Workington project is a refusal to compromise on an ambitious project, a commitment to quality, a recognition of the strategic importance of the arts from the early planning stages, and the integration of arts provision into regeneration budgets, ensuring that arts funding is ring fenced.

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

local community, including a Winter Lightworks Festival displaying light-based artworks in shop windows. Public art and public realm consultants Working pArts were commissioned to develop and implement these programmes. As well as the major projects, artists and designers delivered many of the smaller schemes ranging from gates, seating and decorative grilles on the new car park, to the design of the public toilets and glass canopies that reach around the circumference of the new development. The commissioning of original artwork has been integrated into the overall development scheme, enabling the use of better materials and ensuring design quality.


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Photographer Richard Heeps has been appointed to record the process and a community artist will be contracted to work closely with the new Arbury Park community development worker and new residents on a range of public art projects including a ‘seasons’ trail that relates to the orchards and fruit making industry that thrived on the site until the 1970s. Mackinnon-Day and other artists will produce works for the central square, the hotel, the school and the guided bus stops. Whilst the delivery of this work is directed by a top-down planning process the desire is to see artists and the new community working together to enhance, enjoy and celebrate their environment. The most urgent issue for local planning authorities in the field of public art is the adhoc approach, different across all Cambridgeshire’s local authorities as well as across the regional offices of Arts Council England. Standards of good practice and government-supported recommendations would help us to promote an improved public understanding of artistic practice and the desire to reshape traditional notions of identity,

thought long and hard about all of these challenges, and concluded that culture and the arts are a part of the solution. Workington is a coastal town in West Cumbria, around 30 miles south of Carlisle and half an hour’s drive west of the Lake District. The town has a population of 30,000 and a proud industrial heritage firmly rooted in the production and processing of coal and steel but like many similar areas had become a postindustrial town in economic decline. Allerdale Borough Council has led the regeneration process, with Workington Regeneration playing a key role in the practical implementation. £2.74m was secured from the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to enhance aspects of the public realm of Workington town centre, which was also being rebuilt. NWDA recognises that ‘public art can contribute to the achievement of the Regional Economic Strategy objectives’ including the encouragement of ‘further investment, tourism and employment’.

Photos clockwide from left - The New Clock, The Hub and Coastline – new town square – photos by Roger Lee and Charlie Hedley

Orchards and fruit making

public space and community. Help is at hand in the form of ixia, a national think tank for public art. Its aim is to provide an independent and objective view of the factors that affect the quality of artists’ work in the public realm by undertaking research and enabling debate. English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency, is working with ixia on developing new guidelines for improved public art practice. With any luck, it will be in time for the development of Northstowe - a planned new town six miles north of Cambridge where the lead developer is - English Partnerships. Watch this space. Andy O’Hanlon Arts Officer South Cambridgeshire District Council This articles first appeared in the Cambridge Architecture Gazette Spring 2007 Email:

The 1 mile long "Braca 2 Genome" cycle path by Katy Hallett

Patricia Mackinnon Day was appointed a few months before the signing of the section 106 agreement. This collaboration - supported by the visual art agency Commissions East - led to the artist’s Shared Vision scheme.

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Stockbridge Primary School Pam Simpson

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Our animation project developed from an initial involvement with the Leading Sustained Development programme and work relating to Religious Education which the school

AustrianYodelling Song Staff met to discuss possible themes for the two workshops the children would undertake; one collage or ‘Monty Python’ style and one animation or ‘Wallace and Gromit’ style. The Greeks seemed to be a good possibility for the collage workshop, and the madcap Austrian

Yodelling Song was chosen for the animation session. The children were introduced to both techniques by Iona of Animation Station and I think I can say unequivocally that the collage workshop was the most fun, developing the children’s co-operative skills and helping them look at ‘the whole picture’. Plasticine models allowed the children to visualize their outcomes, to co-operate in the construction of the models and to acknowledge the contribution of others in their group. There was a great deal of collaboration between the children and the work is still talked about. A CD Rom was produced for each child; a memory of the fun they had and something to keep. On reflection, we didn’t plan the work as well as we might have done although there has been some development in writing; for example the children have since made story sacks and we’re always looking at ways to improve our teaching and the children’s learning.

Modelling and Collage We all had fantastic fun and the children learnt a great deal, but we haven’t yet been able to measure the work’s true value; the outcome in

Grange Junior School

Parents were astonished

Leiza Street Staff and children at Grange Junior School were really excited to be part of the Creative Hampshire Partnerships project. Steve Rowley, head of the project, put us in touch with ‘Animation Station’ and we worked together to plan a sequence of days where the children would become animators and create their very own movies. At the time the children were working on a medieval topic and so we decided to base the animations around this theme. The children began by reading and investigating medieval stories which they then used to create a storyboard of their own medieval story. The work tied in further with the Literacy objectives to be covered as the children did character studies and then actually made their own characters in collage and plasticine. They also wrote descriptive settings before making them to use as a backdrop for their

The other half of the year group worked to produce animations using plasticine. These were filmed in front of the camera with part of the group manipulating the characters movements and another member of the group working to record the frames on the laptop. With both ways of working the children needed to consider lighting and be careful to avoid casting shadows while figures and settings were still being adjusted, otherwise hands would appear in the finished film. The children also composed their own medieval music and developed voiceovers to accompany their films. The children developed many skills during the project including working as a team and the project helped to raise children’s achievement in many areas of the curriculum. The children were so proud of their work that we organised a premiere show after school so that children could invite their families to celebrate what they had achieved. The evening was a huge success and parents were astonished to see the outstanding films that their children had produced. We are now embarking on a follow up

The Creative Hampshire Partnerships initiative was launched in 2004 for an initial three-year period ending in summer 2007, under the guidance of a steering group comprising representatives from Hampshire County Council’s Children's Services, Recreation and Heritage and Headteachers. The project is funded by the County Arts Service and Arts Council South East, along with contributions from the participating schools. A successful ‘Grants for the arts’ application to Arts Council South East has just been confirmed and this will extend the initiative for a further three years till 2010. So far over 3,000 young people in secondary schools, 5,500 in primary, 400 teachers and 75 Creative Practitioners have benefited from this project. Jayne Stillman County Inspector/Adviser for Art Tel: 023 8081 6133 email: Steve Rowley, Creative Projects Director, County Arts Service, email:

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undertook during 2005. A desire to improve boys’ writing at Year 6 meant we were looking for more creative ways of stimulating their learning and, after meeting with Steve Rowley from Creative Hampshire, it was decided to use some form of animation to do just that. Discussions between Headteachers from the Test Valley Cluster meant that six schools became involved in the project. After viewing examples of Animation Station’s work the decision was made to work not just with the boys, but with the girls as well, and to concentrate on Y5 creative thinking so leading to a higher standard of writing at Y6. Past SAT results at Key Stage 2 showed that boys have found writing more difficult than girls – a national trend I know, but it was something we’d already started to address by increasing the boys’ fiction in the school library, and so this seemed to be the next logical step.

project with Animation Station so that the children, now in year 6 can develop their skills further. Animation Station are also going to deliver a training day for all staff at Grange Junior School to enable us to provide these exciting opportunities for all of our children! Leiza Street Art manager and Art Advanced Skills Teacher for Hampshire.

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

Two Hampshire schools, Grange Junior School and Stockbridge Primary School have seized the opportunity to be creative by working together with Creative Hampshire Partnerships and Animation Station, Banbury. Creative Hampshire Partnerships aims to give school children and young people the opportunity to develop creativity in learning across the school curriculum and participate in cultural activities, through the setting up of creative projects around the county. All their work is aimed at developing long term, sustainable partnerships between schools and cultural and creative organisations, along with artists and arts practitioners.

animations. Once all this preparation work was complete the children were ready to animate, armed with characters, settings and a story! Half of the year group produced an animation using collage. They worked in groups alongside the animator using specialist equipment. Collage animations were filmed from above with part of the group moving the collaged figures slightly on the settings while another group member worked on a laptop to record frames.



nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

case studies

GettingAnimated in Hampshire Schools

terms of children’s writing can’t be easily measured as we have no norm to compare it with. But now we’re considering buying our own animation software so that we can have a go ourselves and plot outcomes over time. I’d definitely recommend using modelling and collage to encourage creativity in writing; it opens up a whole new aspect when writing and enthuses even the most reluctant writer. Pam Simpson, Headteacher, Stockbridge Primary School.

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Focusing on under represented groups

‘Not for the likes of you’

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In terms of participation in arts activities (this could mean playing a musical instrument, attending a painting class or creating digital art work, for example) the

gap is slightly smaller. 24% of all adults participate in two or more activities, while only 21% of people from BME groups, 19% of people with a limiting disability, and 15% of people in the C2DE bracket do the same. We need to do more to try and improve this current situation. Large amounts of public money are invested in the arts each year (the two biggest funders being Arts Council England and Local Government, to the tune of about £412m and £260m per year respectively) and it is right that all sections of the public should be able to access the benefits of this spending. As local government arts officers, you won’t need telling about the benefits of participating in or attending arts events – we know that engagement with the arts and culture can improve people’s quality of life because most of us have seen it first hand. If, then, there are groups in society who are under-represented in the arts, and may feel that there are certain barriers preventing them from engaging fully, then something needs to be done about it. So how do we find out what action is needed, and how do we decide where we should focus our efforts to drive up engagement amongst the priority groups? Well, fortunately there are several useful pieces of research we can draw on for starters. ‘Not for the Likes of You’ is a study that Arts Council England commissioned as part of their New Audiences initiative. The researchers set out to dig down and find out what makes people from some groups feel like some arts venues are ‘not for the likes of them’ and look at some different ways in which organisations have turned this around. All aspects of the way an arts

venue is organised is explored in the report, and good practice (as well as not-so-good practice) is highlighted. For example, they look at the way a venue presents its café/restaurant facilities. Simple things like changing menu items such as “Goujons of Plaice and French Fries” to “Homemade Fish Fingers and Chips” can go a long way to making a venue more accessible to people.

When to clap People who don’t currently attend arts events may have reservations as they do not know what to expect or what will be expected of them. The Borderline Theatre group devised a scheme called "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About TheatreGoing But Were Afraid to Ask" which was designed to reduce the 'fear factor'. It involved inviting people who felt theatre was ‘not for them’ to come to a theatre and be taken through the whole process from creating the show to buying a ticket, ordering interval drinks and when to clap. These are just two examples from many contained in the report, which is well worth a read. Other research is ongoing, and we are continually finding out more about the barriers people perceive, and what drives demand among different groups. Another valuable source of information is the Taking Part survey. It is an unprecedented survey commissioned by the DCMS and Arts Council England (and other NDPBs) and was launched in July 2005. It is an ongoing national survey conducted by interview using a sample size of 29,000 people. We now have access to a wealth of information about how people choose to spend their time on the leisure

activities and facilities available to them. This data is being used to help with our understanding of people's leisure choices and the reasons behind their participation or non-participation in our sectors. The Taking Part survey will be used to measure progress against the arts PSA3 target, DCMS’s key target for the arts. Public Service Agreements (PSAs) were introduced in 1998, and they set out each Government Department’s key performance objectives. The current PSA3 target for the arts is “to increase attendance at arts events by 3% and participation in the arts by 2% among the priority groups by 2008”. This is a very challenging target, and one should not be misled by the small percentages. For example, achieving a 2% increase in the number of people from the C2DE group attending arts events would mean an extra 315,000 people by 2008. And to achieve a 3% increase in participants with a limiting disability, an extra 171,000 people.

Drive up engagement That is our PSA3 target. How do we plan on delivering it? Arts Council England is our main delivery partner, and they have developed a delivery plan which is fundamental to their ambition ‘to put the arts at the heart of national life and people at the heart of the arts’. They believe that arts organisations (including themselves) need to look at their own profiles to see if they reflect the diverse audiences they are trying to attract. They have produced a Race Equality Scheme and more recently a Disability Equality Scheme and their Regularly Funded Organisations are going through the same process. They also have several schemes to support diverse artists and a broader range of cultural relevance, such as the Black Regional Initiative in Theatre and the decibel programme. And they will continue with research, advocacy

and marketing to try do drive up engagement where they can. Some of you will have heard Phil Cave (Director, Participation Strategy, ACE) speak at the recent NALGAO event in Bristol about the participation agenda and their commitment to Taking Part and the PSA3 agenda. ACE is currently considering what more they can do to make their relationships with their RFOs more effective and to strengthen their links with local authorities and voluntary and community arts organisations. We would be very glad to hear any ideas you might have about attracting new audiences, or perhaps you might know a local arts organisation that has been successful with similar initiatives that you think we should hear about. Contact details can be found at the end of this article so please get in touch. We know that for years local government arts officers have been working hard to reach out to these groups. Clearly local authorities have a role to play in this agenda, and can make a huge impact. Eastbourne Borough Council is a great example of what can be achieved. In April 2006 it was awarded Beacon status under the Government’s Beacon Authority Scheme, recognising its excellent provision of arts for hard to reach groups. The success of their work has led to culture being at the heart of the Local Strategic Partnership. Another example is the set of Cultural Pathfinder projects involving 12 Authorities from across the country which were set up to show how culture can be used to help achieve both local and central government aims. These are drawing to a close now and the evaluations of should provide evidence for the impact of cultural activity in meeting community priorities.

Roles as‘place-shapers’ The participation agenda will continue to be important within the new Local Area Agreement

framework. The Local Government White Paper focuses on how Local Authorities will have stronger and reinforced roles as community leaders and “place-shapers”. They will be better placed to respond to the needs of the communities they serve. Local Area Agreements will be used to assess how successful an authority is at this. As arts officers, you are already aware of the considerable benefits arts and cultural projects bring to those who take part, and the community as a whole. The new Local Area Agreements are your opportunity to demonstrate how the work you are doing directly impacts upon the wider aims of your Authority, for example, working towards safer and stronger communities. Success in permanently reducing the underrepresentation of some groups relies on the important work being done across the sector by local authorities, by ACE, by voluntary and community arts groups, and many other people around the country. If arts officers continue building on previous successes by forming new partnerships and looking for new ideas, then together we can maximise the impact and start seeing change happen quickly. Our challenge is to get the figures moving in the right direction, away from the current situation of underrepresentation in the arts among the priority groups. PSA3 is the key target through which the progress we make together will be measured. Andrew Lewis Policy Advisor, Arts Division Department for Culture, Media and Sport Telephone: 020 7211 6543 email: Website: More details from Theatres and concert venues may be forced to

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

Most of us would agree that everyone should have the opportunity to access the arts. However, it remains the case that people from certain groups are far more likely to attend arts events than others. This is an issue that has become increasingly important to the arts sector and policy makers – the fact that while some groups regularly benefit from attending and participating in arts activities, other groups in our society are under-represented and are missing out. The arts PSA3 target which DCMS has been set measures how effective we are at doing something about this. Let us look at some of the evidence about which groups are least represented in the arts. We know that around 34% of all adults in England attend two or more different arts events in a year. For example, they may have attended a local theatre production and a photography exhibition. If we break the adult population down into groups, then we start to see who is currently under-represented and less likely to engage with the arts. 24% of people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups (BME) attend two or more different arts events in a year. The figure for people with a limiting disability is 24% also, and for people in the lower socio-economic groups (C2DE) the figure is 17%. The last statistic is even more telling when you consider that for the higher socio-economic groups (ABC1) the figure is as high as 45%.

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Andrew Lewis, DCMS


partnership reports ARTS AT THE HEART Spring 2007

nalgao Magazine

PSA3 target for the arts:

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Victoria Allen

Now in its fourth year, Get Creative is a unique partnership project between five of Leeds’ major arts organisations - West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Ballet Theatre, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Yorkshire Dance, Opera Northand Leeds City Council. Get Creative 07 will offer young people aged 10-11, 12-13 and 14-16 the opportunity to take part in a programme of workshops fusing theatre, visual arts, dance, poetry and music. We target young people who lack opportunity, are at risk of exclusion or who live in areas where there is little arts-based provision. These young people face primarily behavioural, social or financial barriers to inclusion and would therefore normally be excluded from out-ofschool activity of this type. All participants are referred to the project through specific agencies including PAYP (those at risk of offending), children’s homes, foster carers, youth health groups and through groups

working with refugees. The referrals will be combined with direct interventions and information sessions in schools and community settings to recruit the target demographic.

‘This really is for young people like me’ The young people are given a very high level of support - alongside the artists there are three experienced youth support workers in each session - in order to fully participate. The project will give them the opportunity to be creative without being destructive, will give them a certain amount of responsibility and the chance to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures. The workshops are free, high quality and innovative, with the key outcomes of increasing transferable skills including team-building skills, confidence, articulacy and concentration.

Get Creative also offers a volunteering programme for young people to work alongside the artists to get hands on experience of how art projects are run. The project also provides training and CPD for artists, support workers and partners including child protection, behaviour management and artistic collaboration. The project is funded through in-kind and cash support from the partner organisations, PAYP, ACE, and a variety of trust and foundations. “This sort of thing makes you feel really special,” said one 15 years old participant. “It makes you think ‘well, I can do this, and that this really is for people like me’, it’s special. It’s not just them and us any longer.”

Victoria Allen Senior Arts Development Officer Leeds City Council Tel: 0113 3950678

schedules to avoid the costs, or if their UK receiving venues simply changed their programming for the same reason. It will be hard to justify spending double the money to get the same result.

Past times - mourned nostalgically Overseas artists contribute greatly to the UK arts sector, enriching its diversity, inspiring UK artists and expanding the artistic experience and cultural knowledge of UK audiences. They are part of a sector characterised by mobility, whose diversity is necessary to its development and serves to prevent stagnation and complacency. The thriving arts scene of which Mr Blair is so proud makes the UK a world class destination, famous for its artistic talent, events and venues, enlivened by towns and cities whose cultural life and creative industries attract tourists, investors, business people and students (with their attendant spending powers). The international nature of our arts is an important ingredient in the artistic, social and economic products from which we benefit and which featured so prominently in Mr Blair’s speech and in recent debates about cultural diplomacy in the Commons and the Lords. The economic and social effects of the arts in the UK give the Government a vested interest in the sector and the role of visiting artists in this has been clearly voiced. For more than a year since the NCA prompted the Home Office to set up an Arts and Entertainment Task Force on immigration, the sector has been presenting the arguments for making entry to the UK by artists as easy as possible, both financially and administratively. The Government has been told why this is important and acknowledges receipt of the information. The recent Home

Office analysis of its consultation on charging for visas demonstrated the input of the arts and entertainment sector (despite overlooking one large chunk of the evidence submitted), but the fees went up all the same. The NCA is collecting evidence of the likely effects of this to inform its ongoing campaign work on immigration policy and practice. The inference that we can draw is that the arts are not, as Mr Blair declared them, part of the ‘core script’. They remain peripheral. Although tourists and students are protected from crippling increases in visa fees, visiting artists are not; although the arts were a key part of winning the Olympic bid, their funding is diverted. The Prime Minister’s speech neglected the two things which really matter for the arts where Government is concerned, policy commitments and the Treasury cheque book. He closed his speech saying that the arts must and will be cherished, but chose not to state how his Government would ensure this. When Mr Blair spoke of a golden age, the arts sector hoped, briefly, that he understood the value of the arts and was dignifying them accordingly, but the irony swiftly dawned. Golden ages usually fall in the retrospective category: they are past times to be mourned nostalgically. If Mr Blair says that the arts are in a golden age now, then it seems horribly likely that they are about to fulfil that role by slipping into the realm of memory. Chloë Reddaway Campaigns Manager National Campaign for the Arts If you will be affected by these changes, or would like more information, please contact the NCA by emailing or calling 020 7287 3777.

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

Leeds Gets Creative

abandon foreign visits due to changes in visa fees, reports the National Campaign for the Arts. Last month, Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke about ‘a golden age’ for the arts. Yet, shortly afterwards, the Secretary of State for Culture and the Minister for Immigration made announcements, the implications of which directly contradict the spirit of the Prime Minister’s speech. The rising costs of the Olympics and the impact on the Lottery have, rightly, received a great deal of media attention. But another, equally disturbing example of Government failure to practice what it preaches, was the announcement by Liam Byrne, Minister for Immigration, that fees for work permits and work permit visas would be increasing, with effect from April 2007, from £153 to £190 and £85 to £200 respectively. Apply those figures to a large company and the result could easily be a cancelled tour. Apply them consistently for the next few years, and the result could be a very insular arts scene in the UK. For a venue such as the Barbican or Sadler’s Wells, receiving many artists from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), the arithmetic is worrying. A venue receiving an average of ten companies (say, 200 people) per year, from outside the EEA, would apply for a work permit for most companies, and each individual non EEA artist also needs a visa. The cost of ten work permits has just risen from £1,530 to £1,900 and the cost of the visas from £17,000 to £40,000, a total increase of £23,370. Someone has to pay the cost of the artists’ visas, whether it is the venue, the production company or the artists themselves. Given that many companies tour the world in order to make a production financially viable, it would not be surprising if they cut the UK from their

partnership news

Chloë Reddaway, NCA



nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

partnership news

All photos by Brian Slater

The Rate of Exchange

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There are over 500 theatre venues in the UK and this is small in comparison to the growing number of performing arts touring companies. Finding a performance space can be extremely difficult for some touring companies. It is essential that the small scale and medium scale theatre companies take the time to invest in a long lasting mutually profitable touring and venue relationship - ‘marriage material’.


nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

partnership news

The Get In And The Get Out

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Both touring companies and venues really need to explore effective ways of working together. This may mean both parties go that extra mile and perhaps even exceed the terms and conditions of their original contract.Your contract is like a pre-nuptial. We assume both parties have a vested interest and want this relationship to work. The reality is that when we invest more we benefit from a greater return. Hopefully, I can outline some practical marketing and promotional tips that will lead to an increase in the box office – where everyone is a winner.

UnderstandingYour Target Audience A good box office system contains a lot of information about a theatre venue’s audience, such as: • How they booked their tickets? • How many tickets they booked? • What performances they’ve watched? • How often do they attend? • How far do they have to travel? Although touring companies, generally, do not have access to this information they can be very specific in the kind of information they send to their target audience. Did you know that 80% of a box office income comes from 20% of the audience? (I’m Not sure if this is entirely true of the theatre sector, but it happens to be a commonly used marketing principal known as the 80:20 Pareto Rule). Let’s assume the 80:20 rule is true and every theatre venue has the ability to identify their loyal attendees.

The Loyalty Ladder Here are the people that a touring company needs to communicate with: *****Advocates – they provide free advertising for your productions. ****Clients – the venue and its employees ***Customers – the audience who often attend the theatre **Prospects – the potential audience, frequent attendees *Suspects – rarely or never attend The further down the loyalty ladder the less intense your communication should be. For example there is no point sending a formal letter to a ‘suspect’ inviting them to attend your press night. This is because you’re better off investing your resources in targeting your customers, clients and advocates, these groups will most likely respond positively to a special offer or an invitation letter. The higher up the ladder the more resources you invest (five star treatment for your advocates).

ReachingYour Target Audience In every working relationship communication is the key. Touring companies will reap the benefits if they look at the venue as an important part of their target audience. We have passed the stage of sending the visuals, the copy, the flyers, the press pack and everything else… It’s a bit like sending your ‘lover’ a bunch of flowers and not calling them for weeks on end. No actor wants to perform to an empty room. So what should a touring company do? Broad-scale Media Local radio interviews and newspaper listings are examples of free publicity for a touring company, but they are not targeted media. It may reach the prospects and suspects, but you will need to work harder to grab the attention and stimulate the desire of the advocates. Selective Media Posters, window bills, leaflets, front of house displays will reach those who visit theatre venues regularly. The internet will only reach those who use the web and visit your website.You should ask the venue if they can provide a hyperlink from their site to yours. The link provides easy access to

those who are interested and want to know more. Ensure all your material carries the relevant website address. Selective media may grab the attention of regulars; however, this action alone may not necessarily result in a ticket sale. Unconverted Enquires Most performances rely very heavily on the support of the box office. Word of mouth recommendations from the box office can facilitate a cross-sale and is invaluable. However, the box office may need a subtle reminder that your show is coming soon. Have you ever thought about sending the box office a box of chocolates, gift vouchers or personal gifts? We are in this for the long-haul and you need the support of the front of house. Former Audience Who are they? Where are they? How do we reach them? A touring company may need to go the extra mile and think about new ways of targeting these groups. They may not be the loyal audiences or the ‘advocates’, but let’s assume they have seen your posters, the flyers, they have even heard the radio interview and to top it off they have just received an exclusive invite to your press night. How could they resist? Find out whether the venue will distribute your specially drafted invites and letters to former audiences. Make them feel like their getting something extra in addition to the show. Present Audience The venue, its employees, the board members, member groups, the ushers, the front of house, and the ambassadors – represent every touring company that performs in their space. Word of mouth is your greatest marketing asset and the venue, in its entirety, could be your biggest promoter, provided you both make the effort. Touring companies and theatre venues should maintain communication, share ideas and work together. Even if it is a one night stand – let’s make it a memorable one – for all the right reasons. For information on ITC courses for touring companies and theatre venues please contact Kemi Bamidele Professional Development Coordinator Tel:020 7089 6830 Email:

Making The Leap From Labour of Love to Earning a Living by Lisa Gardiner Voluntary Arts England ISBN 1-899687-46-7 How are artists created? Are they naturally born that way? Do they emerge through some furtive process at school or university? Should they start young? Or could some worldly experience and an unremitting life in other jobs add something to the chrysalis? Making The Leap is an inspiring book of stories about people who weren’t born artists, or if they had arts in their soul, were not in a position through background or context to immediately become artists. But in all the case studies there came a time when the day job was just not enough. They just had to take the risk, leave and let the creative juices flow. So, psychiatric social worker Janet Dowling left to become a full-time storyteller. Civil engineer Samantha Burnish quit to become a textile artist. And graphic designer and art teacher Karen Tweed returned to a childhood love and became a full time folk musician. Four of the case studies are about people who moved from other professions and became arts managers. Some of those featured made the leap relatively early. For others like drum circle facilitator Steve Hill, and poet John Lindlay, they started new careers at the time when other people are starting to think about retiring. All the 13 case studies have useful advice to give and inspiring stories to tell and Making The Leap has an invaluable ‘Hard Facts’ section packed with useful business advice and contacts and a very valuable

table of earnings that injects much needed realism into the romance. For anyone who has toyed with the idea of setting up a business based on artistic practice, Making the Leap is just the sort of book that will help turn a dream into reality. Paul Kelly Secretary, nalgao. “Making the Leap” is available as a free download from uploaded/map3937.pdf


Kemi Bamidele, ITC

nalgao Magazine Spring 2007

‘Marriage material’BuiltTo Last

Sawn-Off Tales by David Gaffney Salt Publishing @ £9.99 ISBN 1-844712-82-6 David Gaffney is the national representative for Arts Council England on the nalgao Trustees Committee, and members may be interested to know that his first book of prose has been published. David’s compact, often surreal tales and flights of fancy, filled with poignancy and wit. Each story goes off like a firecracker in the mind, leaving you with a new urban myth – comic, absurd and often disturbingly true. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting, and had a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. It was a little like plugging into the synapses that control brainwaves during dreamtime, and just as surreal. The stories are short and snappy, and totally addictive. I cannot wait for David’s second book, to be published in the autumn. Pete Bryan nalgao administrator

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The Future of the Arts: PublicValue or Private Passions? If you would like information about nalgao please contact: Pete Bryan, nalgao Admin...


The Future of the Arts: PublicValue or Private Passions? If you would like information about nalgao please contact: Pete Bryan, nalgao Admin...