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ARTS AT THE HEART The Cultural Olympiad: Inspiring The Future Inside: What’s Cultural Entitlement? Creative Britain Interview with Bill Morris Making Participation Happen Project Case Studies

Working for local government arts and creative industries The nalgao Magazine Issue 21 Summer 2008

Chair’s Introduction Think Global, Act Local


nalgao News


nalgao Updates Finding Britain’s Talent Intimate Connections

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nalgao Features Cultural Entitlement: Rights of Passage An Uncertain Future? Cultural Entitlement in Scotland Our Cultural Duty: Cultural Entitlement in Wales

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Cover Feature: The Cultural Olympiad The Biggest Show In Town The Arts at the Heart Interview – Bill Morris East Meets West

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nalgao Case Studies Milton Keynes Gets Creative ‘Transitions’ – Food for Thought Tales from the River Bank Social Return on Investment A State of Flux Raising The Bar

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Partnership Reports Reach for the Heights Making Participation Happen AIR See Rescue

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Editor: Paul Kelly Cultural Futures Tel: (w) 01202 363013 (h) 01202 385585 Mobile: 07825 313838 Email: Published by nalgao Tel: & Fax: 01269 824728 Email: Editorial research time kindly provided by the Arts Institute at Bournemouth

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Think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint. And encourage all involved to strive for a personal best.


Act Global, Think Local It was Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic games who said, “The important thing is not to win, but to take part.” It’s one of those ironies that in saying this about an event largely dedicated to sport, he expressed a sentiment shared by thousands of arts practitioners, both amateur and professional. But of course, as London’s successful 2012 Olympic bid has emphasised, de Coubertin’s vision was about more than just sport. The arts and education were just as important to his Olympic conception. And the UK arts sector should be proud that it’s a British theatre director, Jude Kelly and her colleagues, who have managed to re-claim this vision and build it into the London 2012 bid and programme. I hope you’ve been warming up and training these past few months, because by the time you get this issue of Arts at the Heart, it will be time to head off down to the starting blocks for Olympic handover on 24th August and the opening British 2012 Cultural Olympiad event on the weekend of 26th-28th September. But if you haven’t thought about whether or how to take part in what must be the biggest and longest opportunity for cultural celebration this nation has seen in a long while, don’t panic! Our Olympiad feature will give you plenty of background information and as Bill Morris, Director of the Cultural Olympiad says in our interview with him, it’s not too late to start. Think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint, one that you can start and finish when it suits you. All you have to do is encourage all involved to strive for a personal best. These Olympic sentiments seem to chime extremely well with a number of parallel developments. There has been quite a lot of talk in recent years about cultural entitlement, but not a lot of depth in the discussion - at least not in arts circles. Our editor, Paul Kelly, has ferreted out some policy origins. Much about delivering cultural entitlement, he reports, concerns access and participation. Which is exactly what the recently published DCMS report ‘Our Creative Talent’ is all about and Reemer Bailey of VAN explains how it emerged. The launch of ‘Creative Britain New Talents for the New Economy’ gives us, at long last, a policy framework that joins education, culture and enterprise. Let’s hope it gets the shelf life it deserves. We report on the salient points in ‘Creative Britain’ and Simon Evans of Creative Clusters worries that it may be too little too late. Only time will tell. With the Beijing Olympics starting soon and the launch of our British Cultural Olympiad immediately afterwards, that old environmental slogal ‘Think global, act local’, seems incredibly pertinent. We are now part of a global cultural network. But so much of it springs from local creative planning, endeavour and participation. I hope you get a chance to recharge your batteries over what remains of the Summer and that I will see many of you at the annual nalgao conference in Blackpool this October, by which time we will be well and truly Olympiaded!

Lorna Brown Chair of nalgao

Mick Elliott, Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, joined the DCMS in June as its new Director of Culture Arts Council Wales has announced responsibility for advising on, and implementing, government policy that Nick Capaldi is to succeed for the arts, heritage, museums and galleries, cultural property, architecture, Royal Parks and the Government Art Collection. James Turner as its new Chief Elliott started his career in Education and research before Executive from September. Capaldi leaves Arts Council South becoming Assistant Director of Yorkshire Arts and then Chief Executive of West Midlands Arts. From 1996 to 2001 he was the West, where he has been Chief Chief Executive of the Heart of England Tourist Board before joining Executive for the last ten years. the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Nick Capaldi said, “I couldn't be He has also contributed to Liverpool’s successful bid to be more delighted to be joining the European Capital of Culture in 2008 and its subsequent planning Arts Council of Wales at this and delivery. exciting time. The Council has ambitious plans to champion the quality of creative activity in Mick Elliott will be a keynote speaker at the nalgao conference Wales, and to help bring the best of the arts within reach of as this October. many people as possible. It’s an ambition I wholeheartedly support, and I’m looking forward to working with ACW and its staff to achieve these goals.”

Boris Brings In Mirza Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has appointed Munira Mirza as his new Director of Policy, Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries. Mirza writes, lectures and broadcasts on issues related to cultural policy and has recently been on a placement at Tate, developing its training and volunteering strategy. One of 10 Mayoral appointments, Mirza will lead on the construction and implementation of policy for Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries on behalf of the Mayor and represent the Mayor in engaging with stakeholders to ensure his manifesto commitments are met. Commenting on the appointment Boris Johnson said, “Munira is a fantastic person to have on board and she brings a wealth of experience to the role. She has written extensively and with great insight on the arts for many years and will be a big asset to the team. London is currently the world leader in Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries and with Munira’s help I want to ensure that our city retains the top position for years to come.”

Peach Programme

The Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP) has announced the launch of its Meeting the Challenge: Development Programme (MtC) which seeks “to develop an ecology of leadership development that embodies the best practice for our sectors and strengthens organisations whilst creating new channels of learning for the sector as a whole.” Organisations will work in partnership to select from across the range of leadership development options and models on offer, to develop innovative leadership programmes that best suit their needs, for example: using placements, secondments, networks and exchanges, support through coaching and mentoring, as well as participation in formal and informal courses. This is just one of a number of CLP initiatives which include; Twenty one ‘Peach’ placements taking place across a diverse range of cultural organisations, six Powerbrokers International Placements at Harlem Stage & Jazz at Lincoln Centre, New York; The National Gallery and Library of Jamaica and Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Vision 2020 at the Royal Opera House which will reflect on the key outcomes from the first phase of the CLP. More details of Meeting the Challenge are available from CLP at: See also “Reach for the Heights” on page 28.

nalgao news

Cardiff nets Capaldi


Phil Boss Flies South

Spring 2008

A programme of quiet diplomacy has resulted in a much welcomed grant of £33,000 from Arts Council England to nalgao. The nalgao Trustees will be using the funding to strengthen nalgao’s advisory and development services and more details will be available in due course. Lorna Brown, Chair of nalgao said, “nalgao and the Arts Council are different sides of the same coin and good communication between us is vital for the overall health of the cultural ecology. I am delighted that our efforts to improve dialogue has resulted in this very helpful grant.”

nalgao Magazine

ACE Cash for nalgao

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nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

nalgao news

“Switched nalgao goes to Blackpool

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Scottish Culture Debacle

nalgao 2008 Annual Conference Venue: The Winter Gardens, Blackpool Dates: Wednesday 8th – Friday 10th October 2008

The future management of culture in Scotland seems uncertain after a Scottish National Party (SNP) bill to establish Creative Scotland was defeated at its first reading in mid-June. Creative Scotland was to be a new agency formed by merging the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) and Scottish Screen (SS). Members of all four political parties in the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) welcomed many of the principles behind Creative Scotland, but many were critical of a lack of clarity of Creative Scotland’s new role especially in relation to developing the creative industries, where a £50 million budget is managed by Scottish Enterprise. MSPs were also concerned by the suggestion of a £2m cut in the combined budget of SAC and SS just when they were to be taking on new responsibilities. The relationship of the new body to local authorities and Voluntary Arts Scotland was also felt to be unclear. The Creative Scotland bill followed a more extensive draft in 2006 and wide-ranging consultation with arts and creative industries bodies in Scotland. The SNP minority government formed after the May 2007 elections produced a new and greatly reduced Creative Scotland bill leading to an accusation by some MSPs that the legislative proposals have been pared back so much all that all ambitions has been removed and what remains is “simply a framework and good wishes”. For more background on this issue, see our Cultural Entitlement feature and read Jenny Flinn’s article on page 10.

This year, the nalgao Conference roadshow is rolling into Blackpool, where we will be taking over part of the Winter Gardens for our annual three day programme. nalgao’s conference has become a key date in the national arts calendar and is an important event for local authorities. It affords ideal opportunities to network, share good practice and skill-share with like-minded people, and if it is not yet in your annual training plan, please speak to your manager. Last year we attracted over 200 delegates to Cambridge from a wide spectrum of English and Welsh authorities and regional and national arts organisations. The conference for 2008 will be visiting Blackpool and will be our second major conference in the North West. Financially supported by Arts Council England, the event is a partnership between nalgao, Blackpool Borough Council and other local authorities in the region. With further sponsorship from Arts Professional and EUCLID we are confident that we will increase our delegate numbers yet again. This year the conference will focus on the contribution that the arts and creative industries make in building sustainable communities and supporting regeneration. The theme will allow us to explore issues concerning regeneration and sustainable communities, with many good practice case studies supporting the government’s placemaking agenda. We will also be considering support for creative businesses and the personal growth and training needs of all those working in and with the local government sector. A number of keynote presenters and breakout speakers will be joining us during the conference to explore issues affecting local and regional arts delivery and how we assess the impact that the

Website success! Since its launch in April, over 170 nalgao members have registered to access the member’s area of the new nalgao website. New material is being added on a weekly basis and all past copies of Arts at the Heart can be downloaded from the site. Christine Willison, Chair of nalgao’s Communications subcommittee said, “The new site is a huge improvement on what we had before and I’m delighted that so many members have registered to use it.”

arts make to local communities. We are delighted to confirm a strong line-up of keynote speakers in Blackpool, including:

Wayne Hemmingway MBE

Alan Davey

• Wayne Hemmingway MBE Co-Founder of Red or Dead and Hemingway Design, Chair of Building for Life & the South Coast Design Forum and Professor of Built Environment at Northumbria University: Wayne will be looking at regeneration and “place-making” and arguing that good design helps but a healthy dose of common sense is what is really needed.

• Alan Davey Chief Executive, Arts Council England

• Mick Elliot Director of Culture at the Department for Media, Culture and Sport. As always, we will be using the conference to allow delegates to share good practice and to explore issues and innovation. The Open Space Forum will provide a major opportunity for delegates to discuss their ideas and concerns, consider new ways forward and enlist the support

on!” Pete Bryan

• Regeneration in Blackpool Visiting The Peoples Playground, South Shore public arts project and the Great Promenade Show, and St Anne’s Public arts programme

• East Lancs Panopticons Landmark projects, with tours to 3 of the sites.

• Creative Industries Lancs Tour To include Preston: creative industries & the Watermark Centre, PAD (creative industries incubator space) & Sandbox (new media Centre)

• St Helens Big Art Project A tour of the site with presentations / tour by the Biennial Curator (Laurie Peake) and organise other interesting aspects to the trip, with entertainment/public art performance.

Live arts and social programme There will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy live and participatory arts, and artist residencies will be an integrated part of the programme, so please come prepared to participate as well as to listen! We have a social programme, including a Blackpool Celebrates event at the Tower Ballroom, as a celebration of youth arts and cultural diversity in Blackpool & the North West, and have even this year arranged a guided tour of the promenade using vintage trams to see the illuminations to their best effect. The conference will have all the usual features and more - stalls and displays, a social event with dance and performance and, of course, lots of opportunities for networking - always an important feature of any good conference.

Cost We know that budgets are tight, so additional good news is that once again, the conference fees will cost less than £300. Delegate fees have been frozen for the 3rd year in a row. All this for just £295 for the three days (nalgao special membership rate), with reduced rates for one or more days for people who cannot attend for the entire period. Blackpool promises to be one of the best nalgao conferences to date. The nalgao conference is one of the few events where you can meet over 200 local authority arts officers under one roof, and is a must for both experienced and newly appointed officers. We look forward to seeing you all at The Winter Gardens for a wonderful three days of discussion, networking and idea sharing.

For further information, please contact: Pete Bryan, nalgao Conference Manager and National Administrator nalgao, Oakvilla, Off Amman Rd, Lower Brynamman, Ammanford, Wales SA18 1SN. Tel/Fax: 01269 824728, email: web:

nalgao news

Visiting the Winter Gardens, Tower, Ballroom, Grundy Arts Centre and Teenage library space

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

• Blackpool Walking Tour


of others, in small groups that they will create and manage themselves. You set your own agendas and facilitate your own discussion groups using the highly versatile spaces afforded by The Winter Gardens. Breakout sessions will present case studies drawn from the region and nationwide, demonstrating good practice across the range of local government activity as suggested by the building blocks of Local Area Agreements. Various breakouts have been confirmed, including sessions on: Blackpool cultural regeneration; Mick Elliot Arts and Housing; Liverpool 2008; European Issues; Getting Arts into LAAs; A Survival Guide for new arts officers; Cultural entitlement; The Cultural Olympiad; Arts & Health; Rural & Urban Arts Partnerships in Cumbria; Irwell Sculpture Trail; West Sussex Big Draw project; Moving Away, Coming Together disability arts programme; Cheshire’s Year of Gardens 08; Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Arts Partnership and 'Breaking down barriers’. Breakout speakers so far confirmed include: Geoffrey Brown (Director of EUCLID), Helen Miah (Head of Culture at Swindon BC) & Cllr Rod Bluh (Leader Swindon Borough Council & Chair of the Swindon Strategic Partnership), Andrea Bushell (Salford CC) & Helen Owen (Gloucestershire CC), Shirley Lundstram & Diana Hamilton (Salford CC), Claire Tymon (Elevate), Zoe Prosser (Enfield Arts & Events), Helen Battersby (Cheshire CC) and Kat Fishwick (Warks CC). Study tours are now a firmly established part of the conference and delegates will have a choice of visiting a range of arts and cultural sites over the period. Study tours confirmed include:

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nalgao updates ARTS AT THE HEART Summer 2008

nalgao Magazine

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Finding Britain’s Talent “Creative Britain” – an appraisal Paul Kelly In Arts at the Heart 19 – “MySpace or My Studio?”, we gave extensive coverage to issues surrounding the creative industries and particularly the Work Foundation’s report “Staying Ahead – the economic performance of the creative industries”. At that point we were expecting a Government Green Paper outlining a legislative framework that would turn solid research into actions. The Green Paper became a strategy paper - “Creative Britain - New Talents for the New Economy” and was published just as our last issue was going to press. This section outlines the key points in Creative Britain. Following which Simon Evans, Managing Director of Creative Clusters appraises it in a global context. The recent publication of Creative Britain (CB) is a major step forward. It is probably the single most significant English cultural policy document since Jennie Lee’s A Policy for the Arts: The First Steps of 1965. Endorsed by the Prime Minister and no less than six government ministers, Creative Britain is undoubtedly a heavyweight document that places creative enterprise at the heart of government policy. “The challenge of government,” says the report, “is to put the creative economy at the centre of its economic framework, including measures to support and develop small businesses, recognising both the importance of allowing the creative industries to continue to lead and develop policy thinking and the way this best translates into creative action.” More importantly it joins up a number of different cultural policy domains and through this delivers a much needed policy coherence. Creative Britain is, in all but name, a cultural strategy for England, but one rooted not in the culture of aesthetics but in economics and enterprise. The chapter headings alone clearly spell out the strategic message: • Giving all children a creative education • Turning talent into jobs • Supporting research and innovation

• Helping creative businesses grow and access finance • Fostering and protecting intellectual property • Supporting creative clusters • Promoting Britain as the world’s creative hub • Keeping the strategy up to date These well-chosen headlines are all clearly applicable to both the traditional subsidised sectors and the newer entrepreneurial private sector side of the creative industries. And for the first time, there is a clear join with arts education policy, one that values arts education and places it at the start and the heart of the cultural value chain. So top marks for coherence. Creative Britain has 26 commitments which are listed in the member section of nalgao’s website and these outline the ways that the DCMS’s various sponsored bodies and other NonDepartmental Public Bodies will play in delivering the strategy. The commitments include: • Establishing the ‘Find Your Talent’ programme for children and young people • Creating 5,000 annual creative industries apprenticeships by 2013 • Piloting regional creative economy strategic frameworks in the North West and South West and • Encouraging the protection of live music venues

Paul Kelly Editor, Arts at the Heart email: The “Creative Britain” report can be downloaded from CEPFeb2008.pdf

The ‘Menu for Local Infrastructure’ Through the local government Association, and with the Regional Development Agencies, we will develop a ‘menu for local infrastructure’ We will put together a menu of options to help local authorities who wish to improve their creative infrastructure. The menu will be delivered in April 2008 through the local government Association, with the support of RDAs, DCMS and other government departments. It will offer advice on: • Setting a helpful planning framework • Providing access to flexible office and business space where there is market need, suitable for the needs of small and medium sized businesses and consistent with the business support portfolio announced in the 2007 pre-budget report • Offering access to rehearsal and studio space and associated facilities • Protecting existing performance and exhibition venues, and providing new ones • The protection of existing markets and related means of enabling small creative product businesses gain access to markets, and the provision of new marketing opportunities

Creative Britain is a landmark piece of cultural policy and is significant for three reasons; first it finally replaces an old school of cultural policy thinking rooted in a nineteenth century classical-romantic aesthetic. It is not the death of what we used to call ‘high culture’, it just sets it within a wider, pluralist, modern context. Creative Britain is, if you like, a cultural policy for the Baby Boomer generation and beyond – which many of us belong to. Because of this, Creative Britain is not only able to set out a clear and relevant vision with 26 crisp objectives. It also brings much needed coherence to a sprawling sector with diverse functions and interests. At long last the relationships between education and industry and between cutting-edge arts and the masscommodity creative industries and their respective roles in the overall creative ecology have been succinctly and successfully defined. As a result, key cultural agencies can focus on tasks rather than continually trying to re-define their territories. Thirdly, whilst Jennie Lee’s 1965 policy arose from class difference, Creative Britain has managed to sidestep such divisive historic issues. In reality culture was one of the few exit routes for the aspirational working class who in the 1960s and 70s populated rock music, fashion, photography, film and sport. Times have changed. Class divisions still exist but seem less acute today. Creative Britain is a meritocratic policy that reflects and serves a much more homogenous and inclusive society. If you haven’t read Creative Britain you need to; it is a definitional document. Paul Kelly

• Developing links between universities and business


• Encouraging and promoting festivals and events which enable commercial as well as cultural development • Encouraging local networks and networking where they are seen as helpful by local creative businesses • Providing and encouraging projects which enable creative talent to develop in social and community programmes with the chance to move on to commercial success where possible. Young people in Wigan

nalgao updates

Policy Analysis: An Inclusive Landmark

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

There is little specific in Creative Britain about the role of local government, although there is much that local authorities could do to assist and partner developments both in education and economic development. The one specific local government-related commitment is to establish a ‘menu for local infrastructure’ (see separate box for full details). CB also encourages local authorities across the country ‘to consider live music in their strategies’. Creative Britain also identifies a clear role for Arts Council England. Public funding for the arts, says CB, “is a powerful stimulus for the creative industries: for example, in developing skills, providing networking spaces, and underwriting risk which the financial market would not accept.” Arts Council England, it says, will “help deliver the objectives of the Creative Economy Programme with support targeted at projects that combine artistic excellence with commercial potential.” Working with Regional Development Agencies, says CB, “Arts Council England will provide venture capital to small creative enterprises….[and] will also expand the management courses in its Cultural Leadership Programme to help small businesses develop business and training plans.” It has taken ten years to get from Chris Smith’s espousal of Creative Industries to “Creative Britain”. But something quite significant has been achieved without any need for primary legislation, thus avoiding recent Scottish difficulties. As EM Forster said, “Two cheers for democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism. Two cheers are quite enough: there is no occasion to give three”.

Performance in Broxtowe

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Intimate Connections Simon Evans, Director of Creative Clusters comments on the recent UN and UK reports on the Creative Economy. The publication of Creative Britain coincides with several other major policy initiatives to promote the creative economy. In May, the United Nations (UN) published the “Creative Economy Report 2008”. Other initiatives are underway in countries as diverse as Brazil, China, Korea, Sweden, Jamaica and Italy.


nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

nalgao updates

What is the Creative Economy?

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Unsurprisingly, all these reports define the ‘creative economy’ differently. The UK includes all of software production. The Nordic countries include tourism. The UN includes ‘creative hardware’ such as televisions and cameras, which leads it to conclude that China is the world’s largest exporter of creative products. But whatever the terminology, the core idea is the same: driving these businesses is the creation of meaning and emotion and beauty through a traditional arts activity: singing, dancing, making pictures, telling stories. Add technology and management, and you get film, broadcasting, the music industry, graphic design, computer games, designer fashion and so on. The UN report itself, and Creative Britain’s background research, published separately on the DCMS website, is full of useful data and insights. They agree that this economy of meanings is big global business. The UN report finds that in the five years to 2005, creative goods and services made up 3.4% of world trade, and was growing steadily at 8.7%.

develop their own creative industries – as Korean film-makers, and Canadian publishers, both forced by the USA to end state intervention in these industries, have recently found. It is not just that the USA that is the world’s biggest creative exporter. Since 1996, copyrightbased goods have been the USA’s largest export sector, more than automotive, agriculture, aerospace and defence put together. US negotiators at the WTO would prefer to see an end to all forms of public support for audio-visual services (so, no BBC, no European film industry, no state broadcasters). And perhaps they may soon have some unlikely allies in this. As the concept of the ‘creative economy’ gains ground, how long is it before countries in Eastern Europe, no longer able to subsidise their musicians to the extent that we do, complain to the WTO that Arts Council support for British orchestras is unfair competition? Or, that African countries begin to argue that European Union subsidies for visual artists are as damaging to their economies as EU subsidies for agriculture?

Cultural Value and Economic Value

The underlying issue is that the creative economy creates and trades in two kinds of value, cultural and economic, that policy-makers usually treat in isolation from one another. But in the creative economy, they are intimately connected. Britain’s success in the creative economy lies in our ability to produce goods and services that have Policy both cultural and commercial value. British success So far so good. What policy is then proposed? stories include Harry Potter, The Spice Girls, How will the UN help developing countries harness Norman Foster, Stella McCartney, Penguin Books, the creative industries? How will Creative Britain the Royal Shakespeare Company, Saatchi and make the UK the ‘world’s creative hub’? Saatchi, the Arctic Monkeys, Grand Theft Auto, The problem for the United Nations James Bond, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’, Tate Development Programme and the United Nations Modern, Reuters, Lara Croft, Damien Hirst, Harold Conference on Trade and Development, the two Pinter to name but a few from a huge list. There is UN development agencies that led on the Creative no meaningful way of dividing these into Economy report, is that any serious attempt to ‘commercial’ and ‘cultural’ activities. help developing countries ‘leapfrog into new high Art is no longer outside the economy. The growth creative sectors’ will run up against the creation of meaning, feeling and beauty through widely differing agendas of another UN agency, the music, acting, story-telling and design today World Trade Organisation (WTO). accounts for 6% of the UK economy and 3.4% The key issue is that mechanically-reproducible of global trade, and these proportions are growing. creative goods and services such as films, CDs and At national and international level, neither our books come under the scope of the WTO’s freepolices for trade nor our policies for culture trade treaties, meaning that there is no hope that recognise this growing overlap – and yet this small nations can overcome the first-mover convergence is the biggest single factor affecting advantage enjoyed by American producers to both.

Nowhere is this clearer than in Creative Britain’s treatment of the BBC, which with its 23,000 employees, its £4bn turnover and its global brand recognition is the UK’s biggest creative industry success. The BBC employs more people than the entire biotech sector, generates £111m of commercial profit and spends £1bn in other UK creative businesses. Yet it hardly warrants a mention. A proper vision for ‘Creative Britain’ would recognise that the BBC is the paradigm case of UK creative success, a model for the creation of the two kinds of value – cultural and commercial – that creative businesses make and trade. An industrial policy for the UK’s creative economy should provide the resources and environment that meaning-making enterprises need to make both cultural and commercial value.

Big Thinking Needed The overarching message of both reports is that it is human creativity and talent that drives the creative economy, rather than trade in raw materials, or the manufacture of hardware. And this leads directly to the policy-makers’ conundrum: for the creative economy to flourish, culture and business, until now regarded as unrelated areas of activity, must work together, with neither one in the ascendant. It is ironic that, ten years after the first DCMS Mapping Document, the creative economy agenda is being taken up across the world. In the UK, however, it is beginning to feel tired, and now needs some big new thinking to reinvigorate it. We will be addressing these, and other questions, at the Creative Clusters Conference in Glasgow – which includes the UK launch of the UN Creative Economy report.

Simon Evans Director, Creative Clusters The Creative Clusters Conference takes place in Glasgow 17 – 20 November 2008. To take part visit References: Creative Britain (and background research) 3572.aspx UN Creative Economy 2008 report:

Rights of passage A guide to cultural entitlement

Rt Hon Jack McConnell MSP

• • • •

The nature of the cultural offer The body or bodies responsible for ensuring delivery The intended beneficiaries and The mechanism for delivery

The research also identified five ways that a cultural entitlement model could be delivered ranging from a universal entitlement to initiatives designed to boost ‘take-up’ in targeted groups. In 2004 UNESCO held an International Congress on Cultural Rights and Human Development which resulted in “Agenda 21” >


The Scottish Museums Council (SMC) then commissioned research in 2003-4 to examine how cultural entitlement might be adopted in practice. And indeed, in England, the idea of cultural entitlement has been led by the Museum services rather than the arts. The SMC’s research took as its starting point the premise that “each person in Scotland has cultural rights – rights of cultural access to cultural activity…” and to work towards, “more equitable cultural provision for people…regardless of where they live, how old they are, or how much money they have.” Where and how cultural services are delivered, they said, should be defined by “the needs of our citizens.” And they also agreed to acknowledge and celebrate the rights of artists and the creative community. There is, concluded the SMC, “no existing ‘crisp’ definition of cultural rights and entitlements at national and international level, and as a result no common understanding of what rights and entitlements might in practice entail.” The SMC’s research identified a distinction between rights and entitlements, in essence definining a ‘right’ as a statutory duty to provider a service – eg a universal library service and an entitlement as the ‘cultural benefit’ or detail of the service to be provided. To develop a system of cultural rights, said the SMC, a government needs to identify:

nalgao Magazine

Cultural Entitlement is the latest part of a wider debate about the rights and responsibilities of individuals that stretches back to seventeenth century philosophers, if not further. Entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits because of rights, or by agreement through law. It was re-inforced with the publication of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). The first cultural policy document to raise the issue of cultural entitlement was probably the Australian Keating Government’s ‘Creative Nation’ (1994). In 1995, the UK’s Royal Society of Arts published Rick Rogers’ “Guaranteeing an Entitlement to the Arts in Schools” and the term entitlement crops up a lot in “All Our Futures”, published in 1999 by the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education. But there is a difference between a rallying cry for cultural entitlement and developing a systematic approach of delivering it. Much pioneering work has been undertaken by the Scottish Museums Council. In 2000 they produced ‘Museums and Social Justice’ which argued that “Museums merit public funding on the basis that the opportunity to be inspired by great artistic or scientific achievements or to explore the evidence of a community’s or humanity’s past is not an optional, but an essential element in our society. It is the right of all citizens…” The principles that that involvement and engagement in our cultural heritage can change the lives of individuals and society for the better was picked up by the then First Minister of Scotland, Jack McConnell who, in a St Andrew’s Day Speech in 2003 recognised human imagination and creativity as “the most potent force for individual change and social vision”. Drawing an analogy to the radical delivery of universal health care and education in the last century, McConnell argued for the “development of our creative drive, our imagination [as the] next major enterprise for our society.” He asserted that “arts for all can be a reality, a democratic right, and an achievement of the early 21st century.”

Scottish Parliament

It’s a phrase that’s been on a lot of lips in the past year or two. English, Welsh and Scottish governments are currently variously engaged in considering cultural entitlement through programmes like ‘Find your talent’ to researching all-embracing legislation. But what does ‘cultural entitlement’ actually mean? How might it be implemented and what difference might it make to cultural planning and service delivery?

nalgao features

Paul Kelly

08 09

- ‘a guiding document for our public cultural policies and as a contribution to the cultural development of humanity.’ Its recommendations included fulfilling, before 2006, a proposal for a system of cultural indicators including methods to facilitate monitoring and comparability. It also recommended establishing instruments for public intervention in the cultural field, bearing in mind the increase in citizen’s cultural needs, current deficiencies of cultural programmes and resources and the importance of devolving budgetary allocations. Moreover, argued Agenda 21, it is necessary to work to allocate 1% of a nation’s national budget to culture. So, on this basis, cultural entitlement equals ‘percent for art’. As we will see from Jenny Flinn’s article, the initial enthusiasm of politicians, is proving hard to turn into overarching policy - at least in Scotland. In Wales they have a more recent political commitment and are now examining how to


nalgao Magazine Summer 2008


Rights or Wrongs?

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The concept of cultural rights brings pleasurable and creative activities directly within the realm of political philosophy. In political and social terms the debate about rights has led to broad political and philosophical groupings labeled libertarians and communitarians whose different views underlie the on-going left-right political debate. Libertarianism, also called “classical liberalism” or just “liberalism”, emphasizes ‘negative’ rights, i.e. the right not to have certain things done to you (be killed, robbed, etc.). The role of government is to protect us from outside invaders and domestic criminals who would otherwise violate our rights, but otherwise to leave us alone. Communitarianism, in contrast, emphasises the interest of communities and societies over those of the individuals. Communitarians value tradition, ethnic, regional or national identity and the common culture that comes from religion or shared moral values. They emphasise the importance of belonging to a certain community and sharing in its traditions, values and culture. They are willing to allow state intervention and support to protect these values. Communitarian philosophy includes such concepts as ‘social capital’, ‘positive rights’ and positive discrimination. This is in contrast to the libertarian creed of individualism and the protection of private interests. At the heart of this debate is a sharply differing conception of individual rights. Two books published in the1970s, ‘A Theory of Justice’ by John Rawls and Robert Nozick’s riposte ‘Anarchy, State and Utopia’ re-ignited the discussion. Rawls attempted to reconcile liberty and equality in a principled way, offering an account of “justice as fairness” and that

implement it and the article from Lyn Summers at the Welsh Government Assembly is ripe with intention. Meanwhile Whitehall, pragmatic as ever, has side-stepped the language, and introduced a targeted measure, ‘Find your talent’ which may yet emerge as an aspiration rather than a universal right. The fact that cultural entitlement is being discussed is a major step forward, especially for the non-statutory aspects of culture. Whether it leads to increased public expenditure on culture, and a healthier climate for culture remains to be seen.

Paul Kelly Editor, Arts at the Heart The Scottish Museum Council’s 22 page report “Cultural Rights and Entitlements in the Scottish Museum Context” is available at: al_Rights_and_Entitlements.pdf

inequalities in distribution must benefit the least well off. Nozick challenged this and argued in favor of a minimal state, “limited to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so on.” Nozick's ‘Entitlement Theory’, saw humans as ends in themselves and justified redistribution of goods only on condition of consent. The concept of cultural entitlement - the right to culture - is so new as to lack a proper epistemology. In many ways when we talk about cultural entitlement, what we really mean is a state guaranteed form of audience development. Through this people will be guaranteed access to culture in the belief that this forms and protects part of their environment – their culture in its broadest terms – and that access to and participation in culture will make them better citizens. There is nothing new in this. It is what stimulated our Victorian Methodist forefathers to undertake slum clearance and in their place build fine cities with parks, monuments, museums and libraries. And it is what led Matthew Arnold to write ‘Culture and Anarchy’ in 1865, which remains the guiding philosophy for British cultural support almost to this day. But the key questions, which English and Welsh civil servants and politicians are engaging with, and which those in Scotland are getting nervous about are; who will deliver cultural entitlement, how much should they be responsible for delivering and who will pick up the bill? However noble the communitarian cause, laissez faire libertarian individualism, if unconscionably unequal, seems somewhat easier to manage. Paul Kelly

Cultural participation is a concept which has risen rapidly on the global political agenda in recent years. This rise has been driven by an increased emphasis upon the use of culture as an instrumental tool in the attainment of non-cultural goals and objectives1. Indeed, participation and engagement in cultural activities has been found to result in: “the gaining of new skills; improved informal and formal learning; increased self confidence, self esteem and feelings of self worth; the improvement or creation of social networks; an enhanced quality of life; the promotion of social cohesion, personal and community empowerment; and the improvement of personal and local image, identity and well being” 2 The notion of cultural entitlement appears to be driving some current political thinking regarding the arts in the UK (and elsewhere). Yet it is a concept which is much debated and contested. While it is set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 27) that, “everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy arts and to share in scientific advancements and its benefits”, there is no definitive interpretation of what this actually means or how it should be delivered. While each of the UK’s devolved administrations appear to agree on the policy of widening access to culture their chosen approaches to delivering upon this commitment are markedly different. Since the introduction of devolution in Scotland, the positive contribution that the arts and culture can make to a variety of social policy outcomes has been acknowledged by political parties from across the Scottish Parliament. The previous Labour/Liberal Democrat administration sought to place culture at the heart of governance in Scotland with the publication of a National Cultural Strategy, record investments in culture and the formation of a Cultural Commission to produce a blueprint for how the arts should be developed in a devolved Scotland. The findings of this report were warmly received across the cultural sector with key recommendations including: • A £100 million budget for the arts • Cultural rights to ensure access to the arts for everyone • Culture vouchers for school children and • A Culture Bill to enshrine these recommendations in law.

An uncertain future? - Cultural Entitlement in Scotland Jenny Flinn

Unwillingness to commit Despite the general welcoming of the concept of cultural entitlement amongst the local authority sector and delivery of a Cultural Pathfinder Project designed to further explore approaches to entitlement setting in a variety of contexts, the recent changes in the Holyrood administration have caused considerable debate over the future of the Bill. The current Culture Minister, Linda Fabiani, has described it as legislation for legislation’s sake. It appears that the Scottish National Party (SNP) is backing away from the commitment to the arts offered by the previous administration, with the cost of delivering the commitments in the Draft Bill no doubt contributing

“I could not for the life of me see how this [cultural entitlement] could energise because everybody’s going to be running around saying, let’s do something to make sure that everybody’s had their cultural entitlement.” 4 It therefore appears that the SNP are backing away from the idea that government, whether at a local or national level, should have a statutory obligation to provide culture for all. This is not to say that they

disagree with the notion of culture for all but suggests that they do not wish to prescribe or legislate for the delivery of specific entitlements. It would appear that, on the one hand, culture’s position has risen on the political agenda in recent years with the role of culture in the sustainable development of people and communities being recognised at a local, national and international level by government and inter-governmental agencies. In the Scottish context an increasing investment in culture has been witnessed along with the embedding of culture into many facets of government via the processes of Community Planning and Cultural Planning. However, while huge progress has no doubt been made in raising the profile of culture on the political agenda its position remains tenuous as it continues to be seen as “the Cinderella of local services, often perceived as an optional extra.”5 The demise of cultural entitlements in Scotland can be seen to reflect this position, along with an ongoing unwillingness to commit to a sustained investment in culture at the local level. However, as the new SNP administration enters its second year, the cultural community will be waiting expectantly for clearer signs that culture will remain high on the political agenda, especially as the nation celebrates its cultural heritage with the 2009 Homecoming celebrations.6

Jenny Flinn Lecturer in Events Management Glasgow Caledonian University


Gray, C. (2007) Commodification and Instrumentality in Cultural Policy. International Journal of Cultural Policy, Vol. 13 (2), pp. 203-215. 2 Ruiz, J. (2004) A Literature Review of Evidence Base for Culture, the Arts and Sport Policy. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. Available online at Publications/2004/08/19784/41533 3 Scottish Executive (2006) Scotland’s Culture: Scottish Executive Response on the Cultural Review. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. Available online athttp:// 4 McCracken, E. (2007) Art Minister Blames ‘Cautious’ Predecessors for Lack of Creativity. The Sunday Herald, 3rd February 2008. Available online at .arts_minister_blames_cautious_predecessors_for_lack_of_cr eativity.php 5 Rowe, M. (2004) Cultural connections. London: Improvement and Development Agency. 6 The 2009 Homecoming celebrations is a year long festival aimed at celebrating Robert Burn’s 250th anniversary and encouraging the many expatriate Scots to revive their connections with their historic homeland.


to this move. Moreover, it is unclear as to whether the SNP fully acknowledge or support the social benefits offered by cultural participation at the community level. The SNP approach to the development of cultural opportunities has a distinct emphasis on supporting talent and enhancing the economic benefits which can be gained from culture. For example, the Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund will provide £6 million of funding over three years to promote Scottish based work from the Edinburgh Festivals. While this is a positive move for the Scottish arts community such an approach is clearly focused on the development of economic rather than social benefits, putting into doubt culture’s place on the political agenda within Scotland. It appears that the SNP are keen to promote culture within and outside of Scotland, but one year into power they have yet to state their long term position with regards to culture at the local level and as such the future of local cultural provision remains uncertain. The future of the Draft Bill is also unclear; it is currently being utilised to enact legislation to allow for the establishment of Creative Scotland, the new strategic body tasked with leading the development of the arts, creative and screen industries across Scotland. The establishment of Creative Scotland has been warmly received throughout Scotland’s cultural community due to the fact that Ministers will retain little control over its direction. While this is no doubt a move forward for culture it could also be seen to reflect the SNP’s unwillingness to commit to a stance on cultural provision, instead devolving decision making, responsibility and accountability to an outside body. What is Linda Fabiani MSP certain is that cultural entitlement will have no place in any future cultural policy or Culture Bill with Linda Fabiani taking particular exception to the term.

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

Announced in ‘Scotland’s Culture’ 3 (January 2006) by former Culture Minister, Patricia Ferguson, the Draft Bill was developed as part of a new cultural policy package for Scotland. The purpose of this Bill was to establish a legislative framework for the development of cultural services, with a particular emphasis on widening access to cultural opportunities. However, whilst the findings of the Cultural Commission had promised a bright new Patricia Ferguson MSP dawn for the arts in Scotland the Draft Bill was widely heralded as a missed opportunity and accused of being a watereddown version of the Cultural Commission’s recommendations. Although the Bill failed to deliver the radical shake up of cultural policy that it had promised it did progress the idea of cultural entitlement, placing a statutory obligation on local authorities to provide citizens with access to cultural opportunities within their own community. In order to ensure the successful delivery of local cultural entitlements it was indicated that their discussion, establishment and delivery would be driven by local authorities but embedded within Community and Cultural Planning frameworks, thus involving a range of partners from local community groups to health care providers. This approach was warmly received by the cultural community, which recognised that the proposed legislation would increase the profile of localised approaches to the delivery of culture and its ability to meet a wide range of key social objectives. Moreover, this approach would illustrate a uniquely Scottish approach to embedding culture in the policy process.


Driven by local authorities

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Lyn Summers

Our Cultural Duty

features nalgao Magazine Summer 2008 ARTS AT THE HEART

Wales celebrates its Grand Slam success


Here in Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government recognises the importance of culture in all parts of life and is committed to ensuring its place at the heart of Welsh public life. Culture is not a luxury it is the texture of our daily lives. Who can fail to be aware in 2008 alone of the Welsh rugby Grand Slam success, Gavin and Stacey, and Duffy. Welsh culture has and continues to play a fundamental role in the creation of our national identity. It provides us with our unique selling points - it is one of our most important tools in attracting those who want to work, learn, visit and invest in Wales. But it is equally important to those already living in Wales: the Welsh arts and creative industries play an important part in the Welsh economy and contribute to the prosperity of Wales; cultural tourism, the built heritage and major cultural events generate income for Wales; culture is an important element of community regeneration; cultural activities are widely recognised as an essential element for developing and sustaining community cohesion; sport and recreational activities - apart from being a part of many people daily lives - are an essential element of the Assembly Government’s health and well-being agenda. Culture supports the Welsh Language and its continued growth. Culture is an essential part of the education and development of children, young people and lifelong learning and makes an important contribution to adult skills development. And cultural activities bring pleasure and well being into our lives. Clearly this list is not exhaustive nor is it intended to be so, it just aims to highlight the diversity and relevance of culture to everyone.

authorities in the development and delivery of arts and cultural services and activities across Wales. To deliver this, ‘One Wales’ contains a commitment to placing a statutory obligation on local authorities to promote culture and encourage partnership to deliver high quality cultural experiences for their communities. Implementation of the ‘One Wales’ commitment will require new legislation. But the decision for new legislation is not regulation for its own sake – it is a resolution by the Welsh Assembly Government to ensuring that all the people of Wales have access to high quality cultural provision. Work on scoping the nature of the new statutory duty has been underway since last September, with Welsh Assembly Government officials identifying and engaging in early discussions with a wide range of key stakeholders, which included nalgao, specifically to help inform and shape the policy and legislation proposals. This informal stakeholder engagement will be followed by full formal consultation on policy and legislation proposals with the aim of obtaining full stakeholder engagement including service provision users and potential users, particularly those in underrepresented groups. The timing of the formal consultation is currently not yet finalised because of the requirement for the consultation to be scheduled into the wider framework of the Welsh Assembly Government legislation making process. The first step in the legislative process is for the Assembly to seek legislative competence to provide Welsh Ministers with the power to implement the ‘One Wales’ commitment. This will be followed by the development of an Assembly Measure (the detail of the new statutory duty) which will have Statutory obligation the effect of placing local authority cultural services And at the heart of this is increased access and on a statutory basis with the aim of achieving real participation. This is central to the Welsh Assembly improvements in provision across Wales. Government’s cultural policies, particularly for those It is intended that the new statutory duty will groups of people who for whatever reason are come into effect during 2010-11. currently under-engaged in cultural activities. We The Welsh Assembly Government looks forward also understand this to be a key concern for local to continuing to work with nalgao and other key authority arts services. stakeholders on the implementation of this We recognise the key role that Welsh local important ‘One Wales’ commitment. authorities play in the provision of cultural services Lyn Summers and activities to their local communities. It was in this context that ‘One Wales’ – the Welsh Assembly Welsh Assembly Government Government’s programme of government published Culture, Welsh Language and Sport Division A version of this in Welsh will be posted on the in June 2007 – identified as a key area was nalgao website. strengthening and supporting the role of local

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The moment the Olympic flag is passed from the Mayor of Beijing to the Mayor of London at the conclusion of the Beijing Games on 24th August 2008, writes Lorna Fulton, North East Creative programmer for the UK Cultural Olympiad, London becomes the Olympic city and the eyes of the world will turn on the UK. Staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games is one of the largest logistical projects in the world. Over 200 countries participate in the Games and it attracts an estimated television audience of four billion people worldwide. Hosting the Olympics offers the whole of the UK the opportunity of a lifetime, to promote and celebrate the richness and diversity of our culture. The Cultural Olympiad is an unprecedented opportunity to

challenge what we do and how we do it; to develop new audiences and ways of working and to create new and innovative partnerships and programmes: to think differently about the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Film, food and fashion, music, theatre, art, dance and more - the Cultural Olympiad offers the opportunity for the widest range of cultural activities. London 2012 is inviting arts organisations and local authorities to devise new projects over the next four years that increase access and participation and demonstrate innovation. Whilst there are virtually no constraints on the imagination, there is a structure and procedure the ideas need to work to which is outlined overleaf. >


In this special feature Arts at the Heart outlines some of the key things you need to know about the Cultural Olympiad and how to get involved. We speak to Bill Morris, the man masterminding the UK Cultural Olympiad, who outlines the thinking behind it. And we report how one Local Authority is responding to the opportunity. We will be carrying further case studies in future issues.

Summer 2008

It’s the cultural equivalent of digging the Channel Tunnel; we’re only going to get to do it once, millions will enjoy its existence, the eyes of the world will be on us and we can’t afford to get it wrong. The Cultural Olympiad becomes a UK responsibility on August 25th and is properly launched in late September. Britain then has four years to show the world its kaleidoscopic talent and ambition.

nalgao Magazine

The UK Cultural Olympiad September 2008 – September 2012

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The Biggest Show in Town!

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The Olympics and the Cultural Date: 24 August 2008

17 September 2008

26-28 September 2008

Sep 2008 - Sep 2012

Event: Closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games and handover to London 2012

Closing ceremony of the Beijing Paralympic Games and handover to London 2012

Launch weekend for the UK Cultural Olympiad

The four year UK Cultural Olympiad

When the fun begins… The timeline on this page maps the key dates in the Cultural Olympiad calendar. Projects that start on or after August 25th and are completed and meet the core values of the Cultural Olympiad, will have the opportunity to be part of the four-year programme.

The structure of the Cultural Olympiad The Cultural Olympiad divides into three sections: Mandatory Ceremonies Delivered by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), these will be extraordinary live spectacles watched on television by one in three people around the world.

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Major and bid projects A number of major cultural projects featured in the London 2012 bid. The world-class cultural

events form the initial backbone of the Cultural Olympiad and The UK cultural programme Spreading the benefits as far as possible across the UK over the four years from summer 2008 – this section is expected to include hundreds of local and regional events as part of a UK-wide celebration. How to participate To be included in official programme, you need to apply to LOCOG and if successful you will be allowed to badge your event. The London 2012 Inspire mark will form a key part of the Games lasting legacy and will be awarded to innovative, non-commercial projects and events inspired by the Games across sport, culture, education, environment and volunteering. To apply, your proposed project or event has to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for selection:


nalgao Magazine Spring 2008

• Only organisations can apply (i.e. not individuals). • The scheme is predominantly for projects which have entirely non-commercial funding. • Your project or event must start after 25 August 2008 and before 9 September 2012. • Your project must be primarily cultural. • Your project must meet all three core values of the Cultural Olympiad. (see separate box) • Your project must address at least three of the seven themes of the Cultural Olympiad. (see separate box) • Your project must be inspired by London 2012 and not an existing piece of work – it needs to be different from what you normally do, taking bold, new steps forward.

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The world in their hands

Musician, Notting Hill Carnival

Street Theatre in Plymouth

Major projects The major projects will include the following themes: Film and Video Nation Short, independent, dance, new technology… the London 2012 Film and Video Nation project will encourage filmmakers across every genre to get involved. Through the project London 2012 will also use existing cinemas and festivals to develop an International Film Festival. Stories of the World ‘Stories of the World’ will re-interpret UK museum and gallery collections through the involvement of international curators and local communities, in the years leading up to 2012. Working with young people around the UK, the programme will revisit and re-interpret UK museum and gallery collections from a diversity of international and community perspectives. Artists Taking the Lead 12 artists' commissions will be created in 12 contrasting locations across the UK. A network of artists and arts organisations will help plan the events, bringing the creative energy of young people and local communities on board. Each commission will respond to our local and national cultural life, forming the largest celebration of UK creativity in iconic and unexpected places. 2012 Sounds The 2012 Sounds project will bring together music and music makers from around the world.

Olympiad The Key Milestones 27 July 2012

12 August 2012

29 August 2012

9 September 2012

Opening of the London 2012 Games

Closing ceremony of the London 2012 Games

Opening of the London 2012 Paralympic Games

Closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the end of the UK Cultural Olympiad

Extraordinary Ability (disability arts, culture and sport) The Cultural Olympiad will include an ambitious UK-wide programme of activities celebrating the best of disability arts and sports. It will provide ways in which all young people and communities can engage with and participate in activities. Young Futures London 2012 wants to provide young people with the opportunity to show their energy, spirit and creativity and will be working directly with the Legacy Trust to develop a festival that provides young people from across the UK and around the world with the chance to show what they are interested in and care about. Young people will be involved in deciding what is included within the Festival - whether it be fashion, music, dance, extreme sports, online gaming or other activities. In addition there will be national projects including the World Cultural Festival, Access All Areas, Shakespeare Now and Live Sites (big screens in public places). Advice On all of these matters and on the application process is available from a network of Creative Programmers, one in every region. Details of the cultural programmers are on the nalgao website

Now there’s a challenge! Lorna Fulton North East Creative Programmer email:

• Celebrate London and the whole of the UK welcoming the world - our unique internationalism, cultural diversity, sharing and understanding • Inspire and involve young people and • Generate a positive legacy - for example through cultural and sports participation, audience development, cultural skills, capacity building, urban regeneration, tourism and social cohesion and international links. The seven Cultural Olympiad themes • Bring together culture and sport • Encourage audiences to take part • Animate and humanise public spaces – through street theatre, public art, circus skills, live big screen sites • Use culture and sport to raise issues of environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing • Honour and share the values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games • Ignite cutting edge collaborations and innovation between communities and cultural sectors and • Enhance the learning, skills and personal development of young people by linking with our education programmes.

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Established musicians, young people and local communities will work together to create fresh pieces of music. They will be performed at concerts and events in the lead up to and during the 2012 Games.

The three core values The Cultural Olympiad is for everyone. It will:


Carnival parade, Nottinghamshire

The challenge we face is to create a four year cultural programme which is a legitimate public project and so embraces all ages, races, religions, cultures, communities and locations. It must go beyond what people see on the television for four weeks. Everybody in the UK needs to have the opportunity to see or be part of the Cultural Olympiad, so that they can experience and be part of the magic of the Olympic Games. I want to see the North East Region continue to take up this challenge and to grasp this opportunity. We need as many people as possible to engage in the Cultural Olympiad because through it, there is a capacity to add value to cultural, learning and outreach programmes across the whole of the cultural sector - and this must be culture in its broadest sense. Creative industries, gaming, social network sites and blogging have all done their part to change the landscape and expectations of people’s cultural experience. Culture has become more open and participative and so less predictable. By doing this and creating new partnerships and ways of delivery across the whole of the UK, we can work towards a lasting legacy for and beyond the cultural sector.

The Cultural Olympiad’s Values and Theme Areas

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

The Regional Challenge

Luminocity, Greater Manchester


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Everyone’s Games The AAH Interview: Bill Morris Paul Kelly spoke to Bill Morris, Director of Culture, Ceremonies and Education for London 2012


nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

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You’ve project managed some major events in your time. Where does the Cultural Olympiad rank in terms of the big events you’ve done? Oh it’s unique, unique in all sorts of ways in that the whole principle of the cultural Olympiad is that it’s not about any single event. There is a sense in which we are all jointly building the script for this one from scratch and that’s a fantastic opportunity. The International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee give lots and lots of guidance on every aspect of how the games should be run. But on the cultural programme, theirs is a very broad indication. So it’s a great opportunity for all of us.

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So In many senses a lot of what is being currently worked up has not been done before… There of course have been cultural programmes linked to the games previously. But, in the bid, Jude Kelly and all the partners including key local authority partners really enthused London’s bid with the sense that it was the right time and the right UK focus opportunity to put culture and education back at the heart of the games. Our modern interpretation is the simple message of everyone’s games. We’re of course now talking about much wider audiences than sports fans. We’re talking about a far wider audience than simply those in London. It relates of course to the United Kingdom in the way that you can turn a school hall or a community centre into an Olympic venue as part of the culture and education programmes. It also opens up the opportunity to cross the whole of the four years rather than just those wonderful summer weeks of 2012.

rest of the UK deserves to benefit alongside the host city. But by their nature the culture and education programme and some of the other things we are doing are far more ‘transferable’. They don’t depend on specific venues. They depend, in truth, on where they feel the inspiration and excitement is. I know some organisations and local authorities have done quite a lot already. But if you haven’t started planning, is it too late to start? No, absolutely not! And that’s one of the reasons we’re starting the whole programme this Autumn because it gives us four years. As you say there are many local authorities who are determined to exploit this for every bit of worth they can and therefore are planning across the four years. But others are thinking about major pieces of work or festivals that can come to fruition in 2010, 2011 or of course 2012 itself. I don’t have any unrealistic expectations that every single day of those four years people will think only of the Cultural Olympiad. However it would be just as irrational; if we were to save everything up throughout the country for the last three months before the games. The risk is that if we simply focus everything on the final three months before the games it would get lost anyway. So a balance between those projects that start earlier – and in some cases have a long build up period and do development work and then come to fruition in a number of forms – or indeed have their early flowering even this Autumn or in 2009.

Have you and your colleagues had discussions about what you are hoping to see over the next four years or are you leaving that to individuals, organisations, artists and local You’ve said a couple of times that London won authorities? the Olympics, so isn’t that where all the Oh, there have been lots and lots of attention is going to be? discussions, indeed I spent the first six months in Unlike many other Olympic cities and nations, 2006 and 2007 doing consultation meetings the UK is frankly far too small for this just to be a throughout the UK. What emerged from that host city debate. This has to be the nation were three simple straightforward core values – involved with London and getting the benefits out celebrating London and the whole of the UK and of London. The capital needs the rest of the UK to welcoming the world, inspiring and involving be supportive, engaged, involved and actually the young people and delivering a legacy plus seven

theme areas (see box on previous page). So, to the extent that we were determined that the programme should have a very clear DNA – that it shouldn’t try and be absolutely everything to anyone. But if that means telling a local authority to mount an art exhibition or to mount a music festival, no of course not. What we want to see is promoters talking the inspiration of those three core values, of the games and of those seven theme areas and seeing where that takes them. Arts people are sometimes a bit uncomfortable about the winner takes all ethos of sport. What are the ways we can translate the Olympic ideals into cultural activities? The notion of personal best I think fits absolutely perfectly and I have no problems with terms such as ‘excellence’, ‘personal best’, ‘striving beyond your natural limits’ that applies just as much to the marathon runner or the archer as it does to the painter, the dancer and the musician. And that sense of striving to go into new territory and searching out where you could possibly get to, I think that’s absolutely universal and ties the two disciplines together entirely. My perspective is all about personal best and a kind of relativism which means that if we are encouraging the great institutions of the UK, the biggest towns and cities to achieve on a scale they never have. We can also relate that to a group of young people in a youth club in an area that’s never had much in the way of cultural investment. But they feel inspired by the games and want to achieve. Perhaps it’s the first time they’ve ever mounted a music festival on their own or they’ve sought to express themselves through language or poetry or through art. That sense of going beyond your natural limits applies across all of that territory.

local authorities, who are obviously playing a role in all of this, are sometimes seen as the dead hand of bureaucracy. What sort of role can they play to encourage this? Well I think in terms of the funding and support of the UK arts sector, I think l they are

So what should local authorities and cultural organisations be doing now?

This is an edited version of a longer interview. The full interview can be found in the Member’s area of nalgao’s website

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

What about the Paralympics? Do you see a separate cultural programme for the paralympics or do you see an integrated programme? As far as we are concerned the culture programme for 2012 is absolutely an integrated celebration of Olympic values and paralympic values. There isn’t a separate cultural Paralympiad. But the Paralympics offer us one or two really powerful opportunities to celebrate disability arts. So, there’s one of what we call the major national projects, which is a particular celebration of disability arts called ‘Extraordinary Ability’ – and it provides the perfect bridge between paralympism and disability arts. But I absolutely don’t want that presented as a separate cultural programme.

As you probably know, we’ve marked out the last weekend in September as the moment when the cultural programme starts. This is only the start of the journey; we don’t want this to be a big firework moment and then nothing happens for two or three years. So the principle of that particular weekend is that we are inviting cultural and creative players and indeed sporting organisations, if they are so inspired, to open their doors; to open up either metaphorically or physically. For many it will simply be opening themselves up to new forms of cultural participation - try something you’ve never done before. Other places are talking about opening their buildings and lighting them in a different way. So there’s a whole variety of ways organisations are going to open themselves that particular weekend. And I think it’s a really powerful message that, only ten days or so after the end of the Paralympic Games in China this August, the UK cultural sector will be saying, ‘We’re on board, we’re part of this, and the cultural sector has a vital role to play.’


How do you think the Olympics and the cultural Olympiad can make what’s a pretty vibrant British culture even better? I suppose what we are all looking for is that the legacy of the games will be felt in a number of ways culturally. There are four simple headings that I tend to think of. The first, perhaps obviously is that we would like to see far more people enjoying and engaging in cultural activities, particularly young people. Secondly one looks at the range of economic benefits be that urban regeneration, small businesses, employment, tourism. Next, you might look, I suppose, at a sense of community cohesion and the way in which one particular community is perceived and feels about itself. And then the

next, that relates to that, I suppose, is the benefit of how that community is perceived by its neighbours, how one city is seen by the next how one region is viewed by the next and ultimately how the UK as a whole is viewed by the rest of the world.

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Bill Morris

too often the Cinderella, the ignored powerhouse there. And I think the other thing that a really good Local Authority has the opportunity to do is to be really close to the needs of its community. local authorities are particularly able to bring together art, entertainment, urban regeneration, sport, health, all of those different agendas it strikes me that local authorities have a real opportunity that probably very few other organisations in this whole project have.

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East Meets West: An Essex Twilight Spectacle


nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

From Summer 2008 to Spring 2009, Essex will celebrate a unique 20 year partnership with Jiangsu province in China with an ambitious cultural festival that will see hundreds of events taking place all over Essex. The Jiangsu Festival is the biggest international arts festival that Essex has ever seen and is a great opportunity for all types of people to enjoy and explore Chinese culture, with performances from The Little Red Flowers dance group from China, the Yangzhou Puppet Company and an exhibition of terracotta figures over 2000 years old just a small sample of what Essex will enjoy. To launch this exciting festival, and to celebrate the handover of the Cultural Olympiad from Beijing to London, arts organisation Walk the Plank has been commissioned by Essex County Council to deliver a one-day theatrical spectacle that will enthral a 3000 strong audience on September 20th in Weald Country Park, Brentwood.

Moon picnic 18 19

Fire drawing designed by the young people from the Foyer

Lanterns made in schools to celebrate Chinese New Year

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Lucy Gill

East Meets West: A Twilight Spectacle is inspired by the Chinese mid Autumn Moon Festival, will begin with a Moon Picnic, where families can bring a picnic, enjoy food served on site, try

various Chinese sporting activities, explore work by local artists, and take pleasure in watching performances from local arts and Chinese dance groups. As the sun sets, the audience will be treated to the beautiful haunting Moon Parade. Comprising of hundreds of lanterns made by local schools, the parade will take the audience on a promenade journey through the park to witness the traditional Chinese story of Chang E and her voyage to the moon, retold with dramatic pyrotechnic effects and original music. Prior to the final event on September 20th, an enviable educational programme will be carried out with children and young people from local schools and community groups, who will explore various art techniques through exciting workshops in costume design, carnival dance, lantern-making and site décor, as well as exploring the enterprise and process by which such a project can be successfully delivered and evaluated. This engaging project meets many local priorities for children and young people, and highly contributes to achieving outcomes that meet the government’s Every Child Matters Agenda, and as such, is the result of a strong partnership with, and funding from, Brentwood Borough Council, Chelmsford Borough Council,

Creative Partnerships Thames Gateway, the Jack Petchey Foundation, BT, Arts Council England, the Foundation for Sports and Arts, Brentwood Arts Council, The Printing Place, The Brentwood Gazette and BBC Essex, all of whom have recognised the importance of the impact this event will make on local participants and audiences. The project is, perhaps, the most exciting community arts event the County has seen for many years. Not only will local audiences be encouraged to access and participate in a new and thrilling inclusive arts project, they will have the opportunity to explore and appreciate a ‘different’ culture and its traditions, whilst being treated to an amazing visual display that should leave a lasting legacy in the hearts and minds of the people of Essex.

Lucy Gill Culture, Community and Youth Development Officer Tel: 01277 312645 Email: Please note, this event is currently under application to carry the Cultural Olympiad ‘Inspire Mark’.

The songs created were the result of

Lucy Bedford Arts Development Officer Milton Keynes Borough Council Tel: 01908 253379 email:

The Arts Strategy was considered by Cabinet on the 15th July and its adoption will see a flurry of new arts projects and programmes. The Arts Units focus in 2008/09 will be on

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Not licensed for artists


arts and education, researching the feasibility of establishing a substantial endowment for the ongoing support of the arts and animating Central Milton Keynes. The City Centre currently is not licensed for artists to perform and exhibit in and the first project to be delivered from the strategy was, in partnership with the Big Moo Fringe Festival of the Arts, to 'Animate' the City Centre with poets, street artists, musicians, painters and sculptors during July 2008. The Arts Unit will also be working on developing Performance Indicators and increasing engagement to meet their targets for the National Indicator - Engagement in the Arts (NI11), which is part of Milton Keynes Local Area Agreement. The full strategy and action plan is available from arts.

nalgao Magazine

Large teacup costumes

workshops involving creative writing, photography, visiting local theatres to attend live performances, and looking at what art people like to see in Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes Council also commissioned Festive Road, a festival and carnival organisation. They visited different locations in Milton Keynes to entice people to interact with their elaborate sofa, and actors in large teacup costumes. Participants were invited to write expressions of arts experiences; draw and colour on the sofa or; pose on the sofa for a photograph with a tea cup costume. This has been a really useful process for us, as it’s always difficult to find ways to engage people who are going about their day-to-day business, especially when you’re using the word ‘strategy’. The results from the Creative Consultation were vital to making this strategy a relevant document for the whole of Milton Keynes.

Posing on the sofa and participating in Festive Road’s research

After a six year gap, Milton Keynes Council has appointed an Arts Development Officer, and embarked on developing a new Arts Strategy. Milton Keynes Arts Unit has been working with partners across the Borough to identify projects and long-term focus for the strategy and wanted to be sure that members of the public, from all backgrounds, were able to contribute to the strategy. So, as part of the formal 12-week consultation Milton Keynes Arts Unit commissioned two arts organisations to undertake Creative Consultation with members of the public. Inter-Action MK and artist/song writer Tom Billington worked with home-schooled families, young people, older people and people living in areas of deprivation to create songs about art. “It was exciting seeing people from all backgrounds coming together to celebrate arts in Milton Keynes” said Sharon Paulger, director of Inter-Action MK “they enjoyed discussing what was important to them and what other art they’d like to see in the future”.

Lucy Bedford

Summer 2008

Milton Keynes Gets Creative

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’ s n o i t i s n a ‘Tr ought h T r o f d – Foo

eynolds Debra Coates R


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ve so many idea de and now I ha

Transitions is a year long professional development programme, facilitated by Epping Forest Arts for a core group of 6 teachers, 6 teaching assistants and 6 artists, which forms the third and final part of Border Dialogues, a 3 year project funded by Arts Council England. The overarching theme or 'common thread' has been the notion of 'place' in its broadest sense. In this context we sought to discover what makes the Epping Forest District unique and distinctive by exploring its history, landscape and communities and to celebrate this diversity. As the pressures of the national curriculum have grown the problems of pursuing creative work outside of curriculum assigned times has increased. Epping Forest Arts saw the benefits that Transitions would enable the participants to participatory arts and creativity can bring to evolve, to change and to develop through a series practitioners, students and the community or participatory workshops in which they could through the varied workshops and strategic work share ideas, reflect and engage in the creative they have delivered. process. Animarts It was crucial therefore that participants were: Our Transitions project was inspired in large part by the LIFT festival’s ‘Being a Creative Teacher’ • Committed to creative learning approaches. course which was delivered as part of the LIFT • Able to attend all sessions and visits. Teacher/Artist forum, ‘The Art of the Animateur’. • Open minded with a willingness to ‘play’ and explore. This was an action research programme undertaken by teachers and artists through Work on selecting artists and schools started in Animarts, and TAP (Teacher Artist Partnership) in London. In Epping, we worked with Sofie Layton to Autumn 2007. develop a CPD project for teaching staff based on Participants the principles of play, exploration, The schools which are now involved include 3 experimentation, and shared process. Participants primary, 2 secondary and 1 special needs school were to consist of one teacher and one teaching (see box), and the staff include an arts coassistant from six schools within the district, and ordinator, an art technician, a secondary science six professional artists.

“I never go outsi

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one place, m o r f n io t a r e ge, change, alt a s s a p a – n io Transit o another. state, period t

teacher, an artistic director, teaching assistants and a deputy head. The call for artists was placed in various national and regional mailing lists. The importance of having a range of disciplines was felt to be key to the project, as well as demonstrable experience in exciting and challenging arts education projects. The Transitions artists are Helini Achilleos storyteller, Sofie Layton - 3D artist, Mark Storor multi-disciplinary, Stella Eldon - visual artist and Elaine Tribley - visual artist

Programme Delivery Throughout the year Transitions has delivered a series of Inset sessions that have explored different themes from visual arts to dance. The first one-day R&D Inset enabled the artists to explore their own creative processes focussing upon ‘food for thought’. Artists delivered a snapshot of their working practice by each


Each artist has now been partnered with a school for their 6-day residency period. This part of the programme will involve the planning and delivery of a specific project, which the teachers will develop in partnership with the artists, the pupils and wider school community where appropriate. It is an extremely exciting time with most residencies starting in June. Although the emphasis for these projects is to explore the process rather than working towards an end project each school will have an informal sharing at the end of each residency period. Each school will collect documentation and this will be used alongside participant journals, ‘fly on the wall’ video documentary, interviews and evaluation forms to assess the impact of the Transitions programme.

Through this programme Epping Forest Arts aim to provide a legacy of good arts education practice within the district, ensuring the arts are embedded within educational culture. We will have strengthened our links with participating partner schools and artists as well as providing a springboard for the development of a creative network within the District and a strong foundation on which to build future educational projects.

Debra Coates Reynolds Assistant Arts Officer and Transitions Facilitator Epping Forest Arts 01992 564553.

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arp edges”

Transitions Project Methodology The Aims of the CPD Project The CPD project sought to enable teaching staff to: • Work with a professional artist and mentor. • Explore their own and others creativity and creative practice. • Reflect, share and evaluate creative approaches to learning. • Feel empowered to use and develop their creative skills. • Develop creative confidence within an educational setting. • Be supported as creative individuals.

!” and raring to go “Being inspired

The Project involved: • 1 full day R&D Inset for artists and facilitation team. • 2 one-day practical Insets, lead by artists, exploring a variety of arts practice including performance art, visual arts, site specific installation and puppetry. • 1 twilight Inset meeting exploring space and place as a movement stimulus. • 1 twilight Inset meeting exploring ‘How to find your perfect match’. • 1 twilight meeting to plan projects with partners. • 6 day school based residencies. • A 1 day evaluation and celebration event.

The schools involved in ‘Transitions’ are: • • • • • •

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

e sh “Letting go of th

So where are we now?


delivering a 20-minute participatory workshop. This included “sweet biographies”, “how not to make bread - a live art performance”, and animated puppets using kitchen utensils. The ‘food for thought’ workshops informed the following two full day sessions and each artist led a similar workshop for the entire group. The addition of large-scale biographies and wrapping the landscape enriched the creative exploration and playfulness that was emerging through all the workshop sessions. Further workshops used dance and movement. The sessions culminated in a speed dating event in which the teachers were invited to ‘Find Your Perfect Match’. Each artist had 10 minutes to talk about what the schools wanted and what the artists could offer. This was intended as a way of indicating who would work well together, and to encourage quick bursts of creative thinking.

Chipping Ongar Primary Leverton Junior Ivy Chimneys King Harold Secondary Debden Park High and Wells Park School

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Tales From The River Bank


nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

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Richard Ings reports on the LifeCrafts Conference held earlier this year by the Thames Valley Partnership.

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It is so beautifully designed out of wood and glass that the River and Rowing Museum in Henley on Thames looks as if it could float, should the spring floods prove exceptionally vigorous this year. Devoted to the culture of boats and messing about in them, this unpatronisingly interactive museum is also ‘home of the Wind in the Willows’, the children’s classic by Kenneth Grahame, and has a delightful exhibition bringing this book to life which conference delegates dipped into during a busy and very creative day in March, organised by the Thames Valley Partnership. The day was called, aptly enough, LifeCrafts. Sue Raikes, outgoing chair of Thames Valley Partnership, retold the apocryphal tale of friends on a riverbank seeing people flailing in the water and rescuing them as they rushed past until at last someone thought to ask why they were falling into the river in the first place. Heading upstream is what characterises the Thames Valley Partnership’s mission and the work that most of the conference delegates are engaged in – probation officers, early intervention workers, teaching staff from Pupil Referral Units (PRU), staff from Youth Offending Teams and youth workers – all of them trying to catch vulnerable young people before they tip over and drown. It was a day of metaphors, most of them watery. The creative programmes and projects that were discussed and celebrated here were indeed life crafts – vessels providing both recovery and skills and resources for life. New ideas for documenting and evaluating this arts-based work were launched, with a fair wind behind them. People who had not met before buckled down together for workshops in photography, writing and textiles under the captaincy of professional artists, becoming in the process members of a crew. One reason for holding such a conference is that it provides a place where people from different professions can do something that, on their own, they just wouldn’t or couldn’t do. And that makes them stronger too, ‘joined up’ in a way that is often talked about but rarely achieved - river-worthy, having been perhaps like Mole - a bit nervous of dipping a toe in.

Bunsen Burners Bravery was a theme introduced early on by Jan Paine, now Head of Young People & Access to Education at Oxfordshire County Council, but who spoke mainly from her experience as head of a PRU in Slough. The ‘fear factor’ surrounding such institutions and the young people they house is a bit like that felt by Mole when he asks his new friend Ratty what ‘lies over there’, pointing to ‘woodland that darkly framed the water-meadows’. It is, of course, the Wild Wood, where not everyone is as nice as the river-bankers - particularly the ‘others’: the weasels, stoats and foxes. ‘They are all right in a way’, concedes the Rat but ‘they break out sometimes… and, then - well, you can’t really trust them, and that’s the fact’. If class politics has become a bit less crude since the period in which Kenneth Grahame was writing, there is an abiding and widespread suspicion and fear surrounding those people - especially young people - who have drifted out of the mainstream and who challenge authority, sometimes violently. The only way to keep them in check, it seems, is to have Badger at the heart of the Wild Wood, whose name is used to strike fear into naughty children. In fact, although they can be unpredictable and intimidating, walking the cocky walk and talking the talk to the teacher’s face, such young people

Prove It! In arguing the case for arts-based methodologies with funders and policy-makers at higher levels, the Thames Valley Partnership provides an unusually persuasive model: while most organisations making such interventions have come out of the arts sector, and might be perceived by more sceptical outsiders as having a vested interest in developing new ‘markets’ for their services, Thames Valley Partnership was established in 1993 as a way of combining the resources of organisations from the statutory, voluntary and private sectors to find long-term, sustainable solutions to problems of crime and social exclusion and it is only over the last six years or so that it has made a decisive shift and put ‘arts at the heart’ of its approach to community safety. That means it discovered for itself the power of the arts as a practical solution to a practical crisis. Still, however, comes the cry from those sceptics: Prove it! There is no shortage of storytelling and narrative available in the archives – and Thames Valley Partnership has launched a new website, created in partnership with the Creative Junction (the new face of Creative Partnerships locally). Called A Different View, this is a toolkit resource that will enable even those at junior levels of project management to capture the salient experiences, challenges and achievements of those

Richard Ings For further information contact: Judy Munday Thames Valley Partnership

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trying new things, being optimistic, wanting to finding things out; accepting failure as a possibility but not fearing failure - and, above all, never giving up. And perhaps remembering that Badger would not have countenanced being used as a threat, as he was in fact ‘rather fond of children’.

taking part. Its framework of questions, with space for inserting young people’s comments and so on, will be hugely helpful in documenting attitudinal change: demonstrating how such projects change hearts and minds - how they offer the public as well as teaching and care staff a different view of young people, and give young people a different view of themselves and their potential. For those less convinced by such testimony, for those who number-crunch and who question the arts sector’s rhetoric of transformation, Thames Valley Partnership is now trialling an intriguing new databased approach - SROI - to demonstrate the value of its work (see separate article on page 24). But for this conference, the most persuasive argument for the arts is made by Everything Stopped, a twenty-minute film distilled from a dance project in a PRU in Barnet, a London suburb. Conceived and funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and presented to the conference by arts consultant Nick Randell, it presents an authentic glimpse into the nature of such interventions, not shirking the difficulties but charting the astonishing way in which participants learn and grow through the process. Although the tide seems to have shifted over the last few years in favour of this area of practice, with serious funding flowing into the national Creative Partnerships network to develop it, older organisations like Thames Valley Partnership that have grown organically out of local communities and their needs still seem to be struggling for sustained support. Even taking a wider view, tides are also notorious for going in and out, and - given the distinct tang of change in the political weather at the moment - it seems wise to keep working hard to stay afloat. In this respect, the LifeCrafts conference provided vital ballast.

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

Hands On Workshops at LifeCrafts

Showing off the workshop results


stupid woman’ (a parting shot from a teacher’s resignation letter) by challenging all of this and all the assumptions lying behind it. Pupils went on trips, worked in groups rather than one-to-one with a teacher and got into creative activities with almost anyone who wasn’t a teacher - from chefs to painters, film-makers to athletes. They opened an art gallery in the school where not one piece was damaged or defaced. They stopped smoking. They celebrated Christmas - ‘it depresses them’ had been the common wisdom – and lo! parents turned up to support their children. All the result of bravery –

The River and Rowing Museum, Henley

are at bottom, Jan reminds us, deeply vulnerable individuals. Ironically, the very opportunities they need to rescue themselves from sinking lower in esteem and ability - the trips out, creative activities, lessons that involve exciting experiments with Bunsen burners or craft knives – are denied them. For these ‘corridor children’, school becomes even duller and less enjoyable, with fewer and fewer chances to socialise and participate until at last they dismiss their lives with a defensive shrug of the shoulders and ‘…whatever’. Jan earned her reputation as a ‘dangerous and

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nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

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– Measurement For The Future?

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Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a relatively new, but extremely robust, method of measuring an organisation’s added value. By calculating the social, environmental and economic benefits of your enterprise, you can attribute a financial value to it. For example, if a visit to the GP costs a local health board £100 and, after taking part in your project for 12 months, a participant has visited their doctor less frequently due to increased wellbeing, you can calculate how much money your project has saved the NHS. The Vodafone UK Foundation, which has put a lot of money into social change, is funding a pilot here in the UK and Thames Valley Partnership was invited to be part of this work by Vodafone. Thames Valley Partnership was one of about 6 or 8 organisations who took part in the trial and is small in comparison with the other participants which included the National Childrens Home. Thames Valley Partnership was one of only two organisations to complete the pilot – the others found it just too involved. Thames Valley Partnership chose its project carefully to ensure it could extract the information it needed from its partners. A full report on the process is being finalised by Thames Valley Partnership and will be ready soon. Thames Valley Partnership say they are not sure yet where the future for this work lies. They have been linking in with the Corporate Citizenship organisation on this and they plan to put a toolkit on their website in due course. Thames Valley Partnership say that SROI is based on a lot of assumptions which you have to buy

into. Also, the people who invest in the process do not usually reap the financial rewards at the end of the day. This is fine by most people but may be a sticking point for some.

Case Studies: • Tania Wickham, has been working for Thames Valley Partnership on the trial. In the case of the Urban Beatz project at Beaconsfield School (featured in Arts at the Heart, Spring 2007), for example, even a conservative estimate shows that for every pound put into the project, nearly £3 of social costs has been saved. The calculation is based on setting the cost of the intervention against the monetary impact of doing nothing – if, as in this case, one can demonstrate that there has been a substantial improvement in pupil attendance and effort, this can be set against the costs to the education system of exclusion and truancy, the costs of unemployment between 16 and 18 and so on; although Tania did not include them in this study, crime and healthcare costs could also be factored in. • Impact Arts has recently carried out a SROI with amazing results. For every £1 invested in their Fab Pad project in North Ayrshire, a social return of £8.38 was realised.

Sources: Thames Valley Partnership, Voluntary Arts Network from VAN Briefing 117 uploaded/map6853.pdf

Davina McCall Joy Aldred As the government’s plan for school children to receive five hours of culture a week steps up a gear, an arts project - delivered by an existing council youth arts team - is already providing 11 hours a week! Flux, a £1.3 million government Invest to Save pilot project, is being delivered by Artsmad, part of Swindon Borough Council, and is working in partnership with other local cultural organisations. It has been running for over a year in Swindon’s massive northern development of 10,000 new homes. Its remit? To see if providing positive arts activities for young people will - long term discourage disaffection and anti social behaviour. Working with all schools in the area, Flux is especially focussing on the brand new secondary Isambard Community School, offering a vast array or curricular and extra curricular activities for students who have moved into the area, such as: • • • • •

A rock school A cartoon club Digital media modules Film making and Dance and drama workshops.

Pack away and dance Headteacher Rachael Mattey is enthusiastic about the arts pilot project impacting her school. “What does the Flux project bring to Isambard that is so special? Quite simply, a range of opportunities to work creatively, with professional artists, in an inspiring way. “Real artists don’t paint for an hour, then pack away and dance for an hour, then pack away and sing for an hour. Neither do our students. They immerse themselves in the art form for at least a day at a time - giving them the opportunity to live the true creative experience.

The FluxMobile As well as working on site with students Flux uses the massive FluxMobile, a huge state-of-the-art mobile digital studio which travels from place to place offering students the opportunity of working on digital animation, web design, film, music and digital photography projects using the latest software. Pupils are using professional resources which they could go on to use within employment in the digital arts sector, rather than education-based software favoured by some schools. Shahina Johnson, of Create Studios, who is working with Flux on digital media, said, “The Fluxmobile has proved to be an excellent flexible workspace, allowing detached youth work to take place in a huge residential area with only one youth centre. It has also proved a useful overflow classroom space when delivering in schools, and its bold design and 33 foot size has made it a striking part of Flux.” The Flux project has one more year to run.

Joy Aldred Flux Communications Officer Tel: 07824 550351 email: For more about Flux please see

The FluxMobile and team

Brad and Josh


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Since the arrival of Year 7s in September, 140 students have registered for the Arts Award, 31 students have achieved their bronze arts award and all staff are trained as Arts Award Advisors.

In another local government arts project Isambard students made a film about their transition from primary to secondary school - called the Child and Me - and were awarded the First Light film award for best documentary. They attended an Oscars-style ceremony in London, hosted by Davina McCall. Along with talent shows, and other opportunities to showcase their work, one of the bands formed from the Flux Rock School module “Any Day Now” - performed at the Swindon Bowl, one of the town’s main outdoor event arenas. They are delighted with the opportunities. Eleven-yearold Callum Smith, who wants to be a professional drummer, explained, “Flux has provided good quality drum kits, and support from professional artists. I’m very happy to have this opportunity.” Another student, Jack Perkins, said, “Flux, through the arts award, helps people to achieve their goal of being such things as film directors, journalists, actors and lots more. The arts award is a great activity to do at home.”

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A State of Flux

“Does it work? You bet it does! These young people are willing to try anything! Our talent show competition had 26 quality entries from 60 students performing solo or in groups - that’s over 35% of our entire school. The enrichment programme enables students to continue with activities ‘tasted’ in school eg cartoon club, rock school, young documenters, contemporary dance – and that’s just this term! “Our challenge as a school is to sustain the very best of the Flux programme beyond the life of the project. Our ambition is to become a specialist Arts College, with an emphasis on performing and media arts.”

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Salford sets new standards for joint public art ventures with upcoming Gateway Centres. Since January 2007, Salford City Council’s Arts Development Service has been commissioned to manage a public art programme for three new health and social care buildings in Salford. These facilities are one of six national pilots for the Local Initiative Finance Trust (LIFT) to transform the quality of Healthcare and Primary Care Trust services that Salford residents receive, at locations based throughout the city. Known as Gateway Centres, the buildings will serve as local hubs for community health services. Salford is one of the first in the country to combine several services, including the public library and information service as well as Salford Direct call centre functions all under one roof. The Walkden Centre is due to open in summer 2008, while the Pendleton and Eccles Centres are set to open late 2008 and early 2009.

their unique input into the town, whilst drawing upon the past and looking towards the future of Walkden. The two intertwining strands also represent the two uses of the building; health and social, providing a metaphor for the joining of services. A scrolling LED text system has been incorporated within the steel structure of the double helix. Through creative writing workshops led by artist Terry Caffrey, lines from poems written by local people will spiral around the sculpture in a continuous flow of red lights as blood flows around the body. Rob Vale and Stella Corrall worked collaboratively for both the Eccles and Pendleton Gateway Centres. In Eccles, the decorative stained glass, organic scroll and leaf features within the much loved public library

Bar the Raising


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Andrea Bushell and Avi Parness As a Private Finance Initiative, the Salford LIFT Partnership Board includes Salford City Council (SCC), Salford Primary Care Trust (PCT) and the developer, LIFT MaST Company. On the completion of the building designs, the LIFT Partnership Board approached the Arts Development Service to devise a programme of artworks for the building. A £5,000 Arts Council England Grant for the Arts award enabled a feasibility study to scope out the options for artworks within the three developments. Conducted by Tim Ward from Circling the Square, this study identified several locations for art on the interior and exterior of each building. Other considerations included potential ideas for artwork and budget estimations. These artworks would not only aim to enhance the visual appearance of the Gateway Centres, but also create a sense of local identity, ownership and uniqueness within the individual communities.

provided the main source of inspiration. The artists also wanted to reflect the evolution of the town from a small village to an industrial landscape. They created a network of over fifty pods reaching out from a central point in the main atrium. Each of these sculpted pods will encase a 7” LCD screen, showing stylised moving imagery of natural forms.

Genetic code of the community

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In Walkden, artist Stephen Charnock has designed an innovative piece of art, developed around the spiral of a DNA double helix, the genetic code of the community. This symbolises the people and

Eccles: fifty LCD screens encased in plastic pods

Andrea Bushell Principal Officer Arts Development Service Salford City Council Tel: 0161 778 0835 Email: Web:

Colourful plastic ribbons at the Pendleton centre

The words of local people will flow around the DNA artwork for Walkden

Young people design their own artworks out of plastic

Key Points for Public Arts Partnership Projects 1 Advocate for the involvement of artists at the first stages of project development. This will offer far more opportunities to build something creative in to the fabric of the building. 2 Support partners from outside of the arts sector on how to assess artistic quality and good practice in community engagement. 3 Be clear about lines of communication and request that all partners are represented on the steering group. Let everyone know how much time is expected of them for meetings at the beginning.

4 Clarify early on what contractors can offer in terms of design consultation and installation of the artwork. 5 Think about how local people will be engaged right through the project, from initial consultation, sharing designs and the launch of the art work. 6 Consider bringing in artists with skills in participatory arts projects to work alongside artists working in the public realm to maximize on both aspects of the commission. 7 Develop a marketing and publicity plan and link in to any wider publicity around the scheme.

On the basis of this study, Salford City Council and Salford Primary Care Trust each committed 50% of the required budget and management fee and commissioned the Arts Development Service to manage the project. A Service Level Agreement was arranged between the LIFT Partnership Board and the Arts Development Service. This gave clarity to respective roles and was particularly useful as a point of reference during negotiations and personnel changes. A steering group was formed including representatives from PCT and SCC, LIFT MaST Co (also representing their building contractor Laing O’Rourke) and the PCT Design Champion. Its main purpose was to review, feedback and approve the work of the commissioned artists, share information and agree forthcoming plans. The next phase was transforming the feasibility study into practical projects and artist’s briefs with timescales that fitted around the building schedule. It was agreed that one artwork would be commissioned to be located in the atrium of each building. The artist briefs were advertised at no cost through free regional and national arts networks. The brief was kept open and artists were not requested to submit design proposals for the artworks at this stage. Rather, the selection criteria focused on demonstrating their strong track record of working in the public realm and with communities, as well as extensive experience of developing and installing public artwork. All partners were represented on the interview panel and artists Stephen Charnock, Stella Corrall and Rob Vale were selected. A community engagement phase was incorporated to inform design ideas. This approach was vital in developing an artwork which was meaningful to local people and promoted local ownership of the centres. The artists consulted over three hundred people in shopping centres, health centres, community centres, schools, colleges, and youth clubs. Using film, animation, sculpture and creative writing activities they creatively engaged people to explore their ideas for the designs. During the design phase, the artists liaised with architects, developers and contractors to ensure their designs met with disability access requirements, load bearing capacities of floors, walls and ceilings and that their schedules for fabricating and installing artworks were in line with construction timetables. They then presented interim reports to the steering group, including outline design proposals, installation instructions and maintenance plans for the allocated sites.

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The Structural Process

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

The theme of changing landscapes over time and space was continued by Rob Vale and Stella Corrall in their piece for the Pendleton Gateway Centre, where Paediatric Services will be based, to stimulate a younger generation’s sense of discovery. The artwork entails three ‘ribbons’, illuminated by various light sources in different sections, travelling through the building and representing a constant state of flux and continual change. Here co-ordination with architects not only focused on lighting schemes and space management, but also on weight limits and structural support for the artwork. The constraints of the building schedule meant a long gap between the community engagement workshops and the forthcoming opening of the centres. In order to maintain the connections made with participants and promote the project to the wider general public, a three month

exhibition showcasing the process, designs and models of each artwork was curated at Salford Museum and Art Gallery. This aspect garnered the attention of the press, who ran positive articles focused on local talent and community involvement in the creation of public arts. Managing a public art programme for three new health and social care buildings requires an approach that is valued equally by partners and communities. As the opening of the first Gateway Centre approaches, it is useful to reflect upon lessons learned and consider positive actions for future work.


Small village to industrial landscape

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The National Culture Forum Leading Learning Programme 2008/09 Sue Isherwood

Summer 2008

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Reach for the Heights

Manchester Town Hall – built when culture was at the core

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We all know that local government spends more on culture than the DCMS does. We also know that within individual local authorities, cultural services officers don’t always achieve the profile and influence that we would wish - after all each individual local authority only spends around 2% of its budget on average on culture with the arts proportion of the spend being even smaller. The sector has long bemoaned its lack of statutory status and often feels it is playing off the back foot. Where are the people who can champion culture and its role in delivering quality of life for communities? Where are the strategically placed people who can argue cogently at the right tables for the crucial role arts and culture has in delivering across all the priorities of Sustainable Community Strategies and Local Area Agreements? At a recent Cultural Leadership seminar, Jane Glaister, Head of Culture for Bradford, gave a more positive picture of where local authorities have been and where they could be. Our nineteenth century city fathers did see culture for their communities as central. It was they who laid out our landscaped public parks, commissioned architects to create magnificent town halls and supported the building of public baths, galleries and theatres. After a period of command and control from the centre we are now entering a time for more power to return to local determination. This is a major opportunity for cultural officers, but do we have the confidence and positioning to take up the challenge? Enter the National Culture Forum’s (NCF) Leading Learning Programme. The Cultural Leadership Programme has acknowledged the scenario outlined above and is generously supporting a major development programme, aimed specifically at senior cultural services officers in local government. We expect to run three nine to ten month programmes over the next three years, the first of which is heavily subsidised. Twenty five to thirty people each year, drawn from all over the UK, will have the crucial opportunity to take time to reflect on their own leadership skills and practice and to be supported in strengthening and developing them further.

360 Degree Assessment The programme can take advantage of a study of other cultural management courses and adapt their approaches to those working in local government context. An understanding of what it means to work within an overtly political context and within the culture of a large generalised public sector organisation will be central. Currently the programme is designed to have five major elements which support the participants in a

variety of ways. Firstly each participant will be asked to undertake a 360 degree assessment of his or her leadership strengths and potential. They will receive support to interpret the findings and to develop a personal development plan from these. The first programme will run from October 2008 to July 2009 and will commence in earnest with a three day residential at a Midlands venue. This will be a mixture of some guest speakers and more small group work, concentrating on personal leadership development issues explored through case studies and other exercises. Later in the programme there will be two further 24 hour residentials to build and reflect on learning, one late February or early March and one late June or early July.

Peer Learning Each participant will have a personal mentor, chosen from a bank of senior managers with extensive local government experience – we hope to include directors and chief executives from across the country and currently SOLACE and IDeA are helping to locate these. Relationships will be brokered and help will be given to ensure the strongest fit with individual needs. We are asking mentors to be prepared to give one day a month to their mentees. Peer learning is also an important part of the mix, so we are also planning for every participant to join one of four facilitated action learning sets which will meet bi- monthly over the period of the programme. These may be based on geography, but could also be based on particular shared interests and challenges. Finally, the programme will be supported by an interactive website which will contain all the residential course materials, secure spaces for mentor/mentee discussions, user forums and work shadowing/exchange opportunities. This programme is aimed at people who are interested in making a real difference in the life of communities and in their own capacity to lead and deliver. From these we want to see arise some of the next generation of local authority directors and chief executives. If we can do that then we can start to change the culture of local government. With our political leaders we can rediscover and build further on the vision and ambition of those early philanthropic pioneers.

Sue Isherwood Director NCF Leading Learning Programme Tel: 01749 871110 Mobile: 07919 540803 email:

We had been attending the PSA3 advisory board at the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) for around 18 months and although we found it interesting and forged some strong new alliances, we also became somewhat frustrated and jaded, seeing little action emerging from the meetings. The discussions, although interesting, just didn’t seem to justify the 600 mile, 6 hour round trip to London and back from Newcastle. But what we had not immediately appreciated was that we were being listened to at the PSA 3 meetings. Our message was a simple one - in order to make participation happen it needed to

partnership reports

take a joined up approach and work alongside the 900 Arts Council Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs). PSA3 needed the amateur arts/crafts movement and the local authorities to ensure local delivery and specifically in the light of the newly emerging National Indicator number 11 (see definitions box overleaf). Of course in order to engage with the amateur arts movement, DCMS would need to understand what the barriers to participation are and to explore what kinds of support might be needed at a local level to ensure participation could happen. They would need to know how large, complicated and/or complex that task might be as well a providing a solid insight into what sort of groups exist. Thus the research “Our Creative Talent the voluntary and amateur arts in England” was commissioned by DCMS and was conducted by the research specialists TBR. It was a long awaited and very welcome step forward and was doubly strengthened when Arts Council England contributed additional resources for a second strand of the research that looked at the arts and crafts in adult and community learning - another specific ingredient in people’s participation experiences and something we had been working on for about a year prior to the report.

A 360 degree national overview of the sector was coming into sharp focus and offered some excellent first explorations of how groups in the sector work, what their ‘make-up’ is and what income they generate. This was only a survey of formally constituted groups and did not include, as I describe them, ‘free-flowing’ coalitions or time-limited voluntary arts groups. We were pleased to see that findings corroborated the evidence we had managed to compile at a regional level over the years (see separate box overleaf for research findings). At Voluntary Arts England we needed to approach this report from the angle of what it could be used for and uppermost in our minds was the need for an advocacy tool for the movement to influence future support - as from 1945 onwards support for the amateur arts >

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

Validate the sector


We were being listened to…

Reemer J Bailey

Making Participation Happen

We’re back in 2004. It is thirteen years after the formation of the Voluntary Arts Network (VAN) with funding from the Carnegie UK Trust. VAN has finally gained RFO status from Arts Council of England. But despite this growth there is still no clear national picture of the size and make up of the ‘far from homogenous’ amateur arts sector which VAN represents. Future gazing exercises in the early 2000s were showing us a horizon with the word ‘voluntary’ at the centre of government agendas. Regionalisation and the desire for more active citizenship, ‘volunteering for all’ and the inauguration of the volunteering commission seemed to be indicating that this kind of activity would be set to be around for some time and would at last be recognised in some quarters. The “Find Your Talent” programme (aspiring to 5 hours cultural access a week) would be brought in to ensure creativity would be encouraged amongst our young people and above all else we could see the explicit use of the magic word… participation, not audiences… participation - the actual ‘doing’ - driving much political activity. In the light of the more person-centered language coming from Government, we at VAN became increasingly heartened in the knowledge that ‘participation’, (as defined by those voluntary/ amateur arts organisations, umbrella bodies and local authorities who took part in the lengthy consultation process back in 1988 – 1991), was finally stepping out of the darkened wings to feature ‘centre stage’.

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had dwindled to a position where today it receives less than 2% of mainstream arts funding.1 We needed the report to be ‘on message’ and specifically validate the sector whilst making the urgent case for: • Supporting voluntary/ amateur arts groups themselves (which is perhaps more about recognition and status and less about cash) • Support for the amateur/ voluntary arts infrastructure (including VAN itself which has a national staff of just two people); • Recognition for the voluntary/ amateur arts as a sustainable and ‘value for money’ area for investment in the arts continuum; • Recognition for the amateur/ voluntary arts as making a strong ‘arts for arts sake argument’. (The word amateur comes from the French ‘for the love of’ and people participate because of their ‘love’ of the art form of craft).


nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

partnership reports

Wealth of work

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‘Our Creative Talent’ presents a subtle argument and symbolically meets these messages showing the lack of consistent support and recognition across the board through diagrammatic and statistical information. At the same it gives clear indications where specific actions need to focus their attention (see Headline Findings box). Once again the reportreinforced the reason for the PSA3 target and that some kind of commitment from the cultural sector as a whole to address these inequalities. Specific discussion is omitted about existing levels of support coming from funders and decision makers (DMCS/ACE/local authorities), but having the report commissioned in the first place reinforces our belief that steps are being taken to look at this. In parts ‘Our Creative Talent’ highlights specific issues exclusive to the amateur/voluntary arts juxtaposed to issues faced by wider arts or voluntary organisations. These issues are corroborated with a wealth of work already undertaken through the work of organisations such as Action with Communities in Rural England, Volunteering England, CDX (Community Development) and others which look at the legislative impact on voluntary and community action eg The Licensing Act, child protection etc. So the argument could have had more weight

Definitions PSA3 PSA3 is the Public Service Agreement target number three set by HM Treasury as a target for the DCMS which sought an increase in participation in the arts of 2% by 2008 by disabled, BME and C2, D and E socio-economic groups.

added to it perhaps by referring to some of these, though their omission did not weaken the case.

Meetings with Ministers The report offers a good example of what the amateur arts bring to the arts, to civil society, to the economy and to the individual. Perhaps some further work might look at comparators to and distinctions between the voluntary arts and the paid arts sector to help make cross-governmental arguments for what the cultural sector offers in all its diverse glory. It may also be useful in the future to cross reference with some sociological studies on the make up of groups to help those who work directly with groups and to expand upon the sections on attraction and retention of group members and communities of interest. Suffice it to say, we are in no doubt that ‘Our Creative Talent’ is in itself a statement of recognition for the amateur arts constituency. As is the case with all reports, further discussions about the ‘how’ will need to take to place to ensure that the ‘and so’ reaction is moved on and the evidence becomes the impetus for action. We have had meetings with Ministers and other colleagues in Government and the Arts Council to understand more clearly where the amateur/voluntary arts sit within their perception of the cultural landscape. On the whole we feel the amateur/ voluntary arts constituency has much to feel optimistic about but this is tempered with our knowledge that the architecture of participation has only just entered the blueprint phase. We now need to work on strengthening our ability work together at a local level with authorities and groups and hopefully this report will be a first step to help that dialogue take place.

Reemer J Bailey England Coordinator VAN Tel: 0191 230 4464 Email: 1

“Strengthening Foundations” 1994 Peter Stark

Copies of “Our creative talent – the voluntary and amateur arts in England” are available from: VoluntaryArtsreport.pdf

“Our Creative Talent” The Headline Findings:

• There are approximately 49,140 voluntary and amateur arts groups and 36,800 nonaccredited arts courses across England. • A total of 9.4 million participate in voluntary and amateur arts groups; 5.9 million people as members and 3.5 million as extras or helpers. • 1.9 million adults have enrolled on an arts course in the last 3 years. • 3.5 million women and 2.4 million men are engaged in voluntary and amateur arts. • 1.8 million people aged between 45 and 64 take part in voluntary and amateur arts groups. • 98% of participants in voluntary arts groups are of white ethnicity, compared to 85% of people enrolling on art courses. • 154,000 members of voluntary and amateur arts groups consider themselves to have a disability. • 2.4 million voluntary and amateur arts group members are employed (inc. self-employed). • Adults aged 16-24 demonstrated higher rates of participation than all other age groups. • Females had proportionately significantly higher rates of participation than males. • Adults with a limiting disability/illness had significantly lower rates of participation than both those with a non-limiting and no disability/illness. • Adults from white ethnic backgrounds demonstrated higher rates of participation than any other ethnic background. Source: “Our Creative Talent - the voluntary arts in England” - TBR / DCMS 2008

National Indicator 11: Engagement in the Arts The percentage of the adult population in a local area that have engaged in the arts at least three times in the past 12 months. Source: National Indicators for local authorities and Local Authority Partnerships:Handbook of Definitions nment/pdf/735115.pdf Bishop Auckland Amateur Operatics Art in the Dome Lower Gallery, Derby

AIR See Rescue

David Gleeson

Take, for example, two projects by artist Sally Sheinman. Last year her interactive work ‘Artnaos’ was installed at hospitals in London and Birmingham, with a showing at The Collection in Lincoln during September and November. Consisting of a brightly-painted cubicle, people were invited to sit inside, thus having moments of quiet reflection in the middle of busy hospital lobbies. Health and safety issues in such a context turned the project into a logistical nightmare for the artist, who was required to take out her own insurance for the sum of £250.00. Earlier this year, she was commissioned by the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne to site a similar

Iranian-born artist Mitra Memarzia, who is based in Birmingham, recently started work on a project with the working title ‘Heard and Not Seen’. This project aims to explore “the changing landscape of identity and Islam in Britain” through an interactive touring exhibition which will provoke discussion and debate, creating a dialogue around Islam. Stakeholders include Birmingham City Council, as well as their Central Library and the Arts Team at Birmingham Museum, with money also coming from a central Government source. Given such a diverse base, the logistics of deciding responsibility for insurance might amount to a procedural headache itself, but the fact that Memarzia is a member of AIR instantly removes that extra layer of bureaucracy. A general lack of awareness within the insurance world about visual arts practice has contributed to the difficulties hitherto faced by artists in finding anyone prepared to insure them. And the tightness

David Gleeson AIR For further details of this insurance scheme visit

About AIR AIR – Artists’ Interaction and Representation is a membership scheme for practising visual and applied artists that provides them with professional benefits and opportunities to represent their aspirations and concerns to others. AIR provides a range of channels of communication and dialogue amongst artists and seeks to ensure that artists’ views and concerns are heard within all areas of cultural decision-making.

Our “Week in the life…” feature will return next issue.

partnership reports

Huge practical help

of project budgets offered by publicly-funded organisations makes it even more difficult for artists to source effective public liability insurance. Therefore the introduction of such a beneficial insurance appears all the more remarkable. For artists, an annual subscription to AIR means every aspect of their working practice is covered, from the making, teaching, installation, exhibition and public display of visual art and craft to interactive arts, live art and physical performances. This can also be a huge practical help to local government arts officers in that, rather than arranging public liability cover for any commissioned artists, the artist can simply buy annual AIR membership. This is probably much cheaper (annual subscription rates start at £28.00), but will also quite likely offer greater cover than anything available from another broker.

nalgao Magazine Summer 2008

Large green booth

project in a shopping centre. The result was ArtDNA, a large green booth that again invited members of the public to enter and interact, this time sharing details of their family histories. This time, as a member of AIR, she automatically gained the Public Liability Insurance on its introduction last November, thus saving time and effort shopping around for a customised - and far more expensive project insurance for ArtDNA. Sanna Moore, Exhibitions Curator at the Towner and commissioner of the project, had initial reservations about it as it was to be sited outside the gallery in a busy public thoroughfare. But, in her own words: “It was a relief to know that Sally, through AIR, had her own public liability insurance”. Of course, along with this reassurance was the realisation that there would be no time wasted sourcing the required insurance from elsewhere.


In the Spring issue of ‘Arts at the Heart’, Paul Kelly listed fourteen points to think about when commissioning public art. Although Health & Safety was way down the list at number thirteen, its impact on the commissioning process cannot be understated for artists. If an artist is commissioned to deliver a workshop in a public library, they are expected to have the same kind of insurance as a building contractor, despite the vastly different nature of the work and risks involved, and this has long been a source of difficulty for them. Until now, that is. AIR (Artists’ Interaction and Representation), a membership subscription scheme for artists, introduced a special Public Liability Insurance at no extra cost for its members last November. Covering all aspects of artists’ practice, this is all the more remarkable as it is devised by artists for artists and covers all members for up to £5 million. Initial benefits mean less time and energy spent by both artists and local authority arts officers researching and funding the insurance necessary to undertake projects. In the long term, this might even revolutionise the commissioning and production of public art.

Sally Sheinman’s Artnaos and ArtDNA

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nalgao 2008 Annual Conference Venue: The Winter Gardens, Blackpool Dates: Wednesday 8th - Friday 10th October 2008

To book a place ring Pete Bryan on 01269 824728 or email

The next issue of Arts at the Heart will be out in late November and will feature the nalgao conference report.

Copy deadline for the next issue is Friday 31 October. If you would like to write an article for the next issue Please talk to our Editor Paul Kelly - Tel: 01202 385585 or email: If you would like information about nalgao Please contact: Pete Bryan, nalgao Administrator 01269 824728 email:

Arts at the Heart - Summer 2008  

Nalgao Magazine

Arts at the Heart - Summer 2008  

Nalgao Magazine