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Working for local government arts and creative industries The nalgao Magazine Issue 19 Winter 2007

MySpace or My Studio? The Irresistible Rise of the Creative Industries

Inside: Margaret Hodge MP John Holden Conference Report Liverpool 2008 Project Case Studies

Contents Chair’s Introduction 1 A Tale of Two Cultures nalgao news 2 nalgao profile – Alan Davey 3 nalgao reports Local Authority Budget Settlement Assessment Report 2007/8 4 nalgao Updates The CSR settlement for Arts Council England Funding for ACE RFOs 5 The Arts Debate NCA - A Comprehensive Victory? 6 Liverpool 2008 Capital of Culture A Year of Living Dangerously 8 Rubber Soul – a personal reflection 9 World Turned Upside Down 11 nalgao Cover Feature – Creative Industries What’s Happening In the Creative Industries? 13 Paradigm Shift 14 Policy Issues 15 Policy Timeline 15 Creative Industries Facts and Figures 15 Creative Industries Concepts 17 nalgao 2007 Conference Report Think of the Potential… A view from the poet in residence 19 Margaret Hodge MP keynote Speech 21 John Holden keynote speech 23 Open Space Feedback 26 Views From The Floor 29 nalgao - Creative Industries Case Studies Mining Creativity in Wales 31 Canterbury gets creative 35 Leicester Leaps In 38 Brighton – Drying to be Different 39 Loca-Motion in Kirklees 41 Bridgend – New Skills on Stage 44 Dizzy Heights – Hothouse, London 45 nalgao Case Studies Lincoln at the Peak 47 Artists and Makers in Sussex 49 Filming in Clay 50 What The Dickens? – Halton Actors in Residence 51 Crossing Boundaries in Greater Manchester 53 nalgao Reports Winning in Wales 55 nalgao Training Needs Survey 56 PSA3 Update – Whose Agenda? 57 Regional Mentoring Programme report 59 ACE Does Open Space 60 Partners’ Reports Arts Organisations and Social Enterprises Bates Wells Braithwaite 61 nalgao Working parties and Trustees 62 The Last Word 62

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There is a real danger that just as one hand is able to announce stability for cultural bodies, the other hand, will be pulling it away

A Tale of Two Cultures “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” Charles Dickens’ opening words from “A Tale of Two Cities” have a peculiar resonance in today’s English cultural life. The good news, as you surely know, is £50 million extra for the arts over the next three years. It could have been so much worse. So, let us first breathe a collective sigh of relief, congratulate Arts Council England on a case well made and thank James Purnell and the DCMS for having faith and responding. But at the same time the government’s settlement to Local Authorities is described by the Chairman of the Local Government Association Sir Simon Milton, as “…the worst settlement for local government in a decade.” Councils, he continues, “…face tough choices. …The money allocated to local government is simply not enough for councils to provide everything ministers have promised and meet the extra cost of looking after an ageing population which will cost £9m every single day.” It is easy for people in high positions to think that somehow these two settlements are disconnected. But each year, Local Government puts as much into museums and the arts as Arts Council England does into the arts and they both jointly fund many arts organisations. So there is a real danger that just, as one hand is able to announce stability for cultural bodies, the other hand, under pressure of rising care costs and increasing social responsibilities, will be pulling it away. Part of the problem is that the necessarily fragmentary and politically diverse nature of democratic local government means making a single case for the arts from this sector, is difficult. Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture and Creative Industries said at September’s nalgao conference “that link between the experience of the arts and the strengthening of communities is one of the messages I want to develop in my period as your Minister.” That might be quite hard given the current Local Authority budget settlement. And, ACE’s overall approach to and dealings with Local Authorities across England, as nalgao’s members keep telling us, are inconsistent and sometimes incoherent. This issue of Arts at the Heart focuses on the creative industries, one of Britain’s great success stories. There is huge diversity in this sector which has been described in delightful terms as consisting of ‘whales and plankton’. Companies like Sony, Microsoft and News International - owners of MySpace - are the whales and independent software designers, fashion designers, painters and potters – occupiers of ‘my studios’ - are the plankton. It takes both to create a vibrant cultural ecology. It is an analogy that also stretches to the publicly funded creative sector. Big theatres, concert halls and galleries like Tate Modern rely on a continual stream of the curious, the adventurous and the creative. We know that nurturing and encouraging creative companies of all shapes and sizes is good for our communities, and that supporting the local also helps the regional and national cultural ecology. nalgao does not have the sort of behind-the-scenes political clout that Arts Council England has managed to engage in winning its extra £50 million. Local Authority cultural managers are often some way down their hierarchies, arts officers even more so. For every Newcastle or Liverpool, there are dozens of smaller local authorities for which cultural services are a marginal extra. So, if DCMS wants to ensure it gets a good return for its extra £50 million, and cultural opportunities for all, it needs to think, returning to my Dickensian start, about how to pursue a creative revolution without the threat of the guillotine. Lorna Brown Chair of nalgao

nalgao gets Charitable Status nalgao is now a fully fledged charity and this will help its effort to raise funds to extend the community-oriented services it offers. It application for charitable status has required it to change - and simplify - the wording of its objectives. The nalgao AGM was unanimous in support the change of wording and nalgao’s revised objective is as follows: “For the benefit of the public, in particular but not exclusively in areas of social and economic deprivation, by the advancement of the arts and culture and promotion of the arts amongst service providers, arts professionals and the public.”

nalgao Executive Officer nalgao has offered Sue Isherwood a contract to be its Executive Officer until the end of March 2008. This extends the work Sue has been undertaking as Strategic Lead. Sue’s focus has been revised to focus on fundraising to enable the organisation to fulfil its ambition of recruiting an Executive Officer on a three year contract to extend and develop the organisation’s services.

New Website on the Way Bridport based company Leaping Hare has been appointed to develop a new website for nalgao and Cultural Futures has been appointed to revise and devise the website content. Leaping Hare’s MD David Smith studied fine art and after a period in corporate sales became involved in website design for ‘blue chip’ companies before setting up on his own. He has designed a number of websites for artists. Cultural Futures is run by Paul Kelly, who may be familiar to nalgao members. The new website will be up and running in the New Year. nalgao has been able to develop a new site as part of an organisational development funding package from Arts Council England.

Editor: Paul Kelly Cultural Futures

Arts Council Beats The Odds A subtle and sustained campaign by Arts Council England has resulted in a far better than expected three year settlement for its and its clients. ACE will receive an extra £50 million between 2008-9 and 2010-11. It is understood ACE was asked to budget on standstill, and annual budget reductions of 5% and 7%. For more details, see nalgao Updates on page 5.

nalgao Conference Success A great venue, supportive hosts, a government Minister giving a keynote speech and more delegates than ever before; the 14th nalgao conference in Cambridge was the best yet – and that’s just the view of our delegates. If you weren’t there, a 12 page conference report starts on page 18. If you were there, the report will probably cover things you missed. Next year’s conference will be in the North West by the sea. More details in the next issue of Arts at the Heart.

nalgao news

The recent spending review outcome will give Local Authorities a 1% per annum real terms increase says the Local Government Association. “Even though this is a real terms increase in grant we estimate there will be a shortfall overall,” said Sir Simon Milton, Chairman of the Local Government Association. “A 1% real terms funding increase,” he continued, ”is not sufficient to provide current levels of social care to an additional 400,000 older people who will turn 65 over the CSR period.” Responding to the government’s offer of a £150m investment to support achieving a 3% efficiency target - which equates to £4.9bn savings for local government, Sir Simon said, “We know that the efficiency targets will be very hard to meet given the excellent performance of councils in the last few years in delivering efficiencies. The LGA has consistently challenged the savings target for local government, in particular questioning the feasibility of the large increase in the cashable element."


New Trustees and Officers for nalgao were voted in at the AGM. Lorna Brown has taken over as Chair of the organisation, Katherine West becomes Vice Chair, Jane Wilson becomes Treasurer and Mark Homer moves from Treasurer to become Secretary. Sue Isherwood and Paul Kelly have stood down as Chair and Secretary respectively. There are also a number of new Trustees who are also regional representatives. For full details see the list on the back cover.

Winter 2007

Worrying CLG Settlement

nalgao Magazine

New nalgao Trustees

Seminar on Mentoring The next nalgao national seminar, will be on CPD, Mentoring and Peer Support and will be taking place at the end of January 2008 at Manchester Town Hall. Further details will be circulated in the nalgao Ezine if they haven’t been already.

Tel: 01752 217281 Mobile: 07825 313838 Email:

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New nalgao Working Parties The annual nalgao Executive Awayday in Ludlow appointed Trustees to a series of existing and new working parties to ensure the organisation fulfils its business objectives. Full details are on page 62.

nalgao news

New CEO for ACE Arts Council England has appointed Alan Davey as its new Chief Executive to take over from Peter Hewitt who steps down in January after 10 years in post. Alan steps across from the DCMS where he is Director of Arts and Culture with responsibility for architecture and historic environment, the arts, the government’s art collection, museums and cultural property. He is also the DCMS’ voluntary sector champion. Sir Christopher Frayling, Chair of the Arts Council, said “We are delighted that Alan will be joining us in this very significant role. Building on the real success of Peter Hewitt’s ten years as Chief Executive, Alan will bring inspirational leadership, strategic vision and ambassadorial. This really is a milestone for Arts Council England.” Alan Davey said, “I couldn’t be more excited about my new role. The arts in England have never been healthier, more challenging, innovative or popular. I want the Arts Council to be at the forefront of building on that success - working with artists to reach even greater heights, leading the arts with passion and excellence, and forging new partnerships that secure the position of the arts in national life.”


nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

New Ministerial Faces

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There are new faces at both Culture and Communities Departments as a result of the July ministerial reshuffle following Gordon Brown’s accession to Prime Minister. At DCMS James Purnell has taken over from Tessa Jowell and Margaret Hodge arrives from the Department of Trade and Industry to become Minister of State with responsibility for the arts, tourism and creative industries in place of David Lammy. At the Department for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears becomes Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with a team that includes John Healey as Minister for Local Government and Yvette Cooper as Minister for Housing.

nalgao Profile Local Authorit So Who is Alan Davey?

Assessment Re Pete Bryan

Tipped by the Times Newspaper as one of the Civil Service’s high flyers, Alan Davey has considerable experience of working for government in some sensitive areas. Aged 47, he’s had a varied career spanning social, health and cultural issues. He was Secretary to the enquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland and later was Secretary to the Royal Commission on Long Term Care. He was also Head of the AIDS Treatment and Care Team at the Department of Health. He has been Private Secretary to Minister of State for Health and Principal Private Secretary to Secretary of State for National Heritage. He was a member of the National Heritage team that designed the National Lottery Bill and has been credited elsewhere with ‘creating the Lottery.’ He re-joined the Department, now the DCMS, in 2001 as Head of its Arts Division, becoming Director of Arts and Culture in 2003. And if you have an interest in mediaeval Scandinavian literature, ancient history or cultural theory, you can doubtless look forward to some stimulating conversations with Alan as he lists these recreations alongside the more proletarian music and football. He has three degrees in English and History. nalgao warmly wishes Alan Davey every success in his new post and wishes outgoing CEO Peter Hewitt good fortune in his future endeavours.

Introduction In March 2007, as councils were finalising their spending plans for 2007/8, nalgao undertook a third annual survey of its membership to assess the level of arts spending forecast for the coming year. The survey took place in association with Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales, with both organisations submitting additional questions to the questionnaire circulated in 2006. The project was managed by nalgao, with the survey taking the form of an emailed questionnaire, sent to all authorities in England and Wales, whether in membership of nalgao or not. 76 authorities responded, representing over 18.4% of all authorities in England and Wales, 4% up on last years response rate. Summary Findings The survey has demonstrated again the vulnerability of non-statutory services, and has shown that many local authority arts services are on a knife-edge between survival and closure. The survey has produced the following trends from responses received: • Two thirds of authorities have suffered a real term cut in arts provision for 2007/8.

“Many local authority arts se • Over three quarters of authorities have seen a similar decline in arts spend over the past two years. • Only 55% of respondents felt that their services were secure from further cuts. • Nearly one half of respondents were expecting further cuts in future years. • And nearly one fifth of respondents felt their service to be at risk of large-scale cuts or complete closure. • At least 4 authorities are cutting their arts services completely, adding to the 25 that have already completely cut their services in the last 4 years. This is a complete cut by 7.7% of all Local Authorities in England and Wales. • Local authorities’ council taxes have increased above inflation during this period

Conclusions This report represents a snapshot of the health of local authority arts services and offers an insight into trends that demonstrate a declining financial base for local arts delivery. We see a picture that suggests a continual erosion of funds in the majority of authorities and a growing disparity between the strong providers and the rest. There is also worrying lack of the presence of arts culture targets in LAAs and in arts services’ knowledge of LAAs, which makes future influencing in this important area less than effective. Historically the Arts Councils in England and Wales and local authorities have worked in partnership to support the professional arts infrastructure of this country, but the local authority investment has annually been

ervices are on a knife-edge between survival and closure.” Partnerships Whilst the arts are contributing to the crosscutting agenda, they are not being written into Local Area Agreements (LAAs). • Over one third of respondents said that the arts were not included in their LAA • Over one quarter were not sure whether it was or not.

higher than the Arts Council’s. These cuts, combined with the Arts Councils’ projected budget cuts in both English and Welsh lottery funds demonstrate a continued threat to arts provision across England and Wales. This comes at a time when community cohesion is possibly higher on the political agenda than ever before and the needs and opportunities for engagement at grass roots level have never been greater.

nalgao reports

Over 80% of external partnerships are contributing additional funding to the service. Nearly 50% of respondents had active partnerships with the voluntary sector.


The decline in arts spending has slowed down in comparison to last year, and, for a few authorities, recovery is now achieving previous funding levels. However the state of the industry is still vulnerable. Trends in this year’s survey for many authorities mirror last year’s study, demonstrating a steady decline in local authority arts services, which will have a major effect on arts delivery and development in England and Wales.

• Over 60% of arts services contribute to older person’s services • Over 60% of arts services contribute to economic regeneration • And 50% of arts services support safer cities initiatives.

Winter 2007

• There is a marked decrease in partnership funding for arts services and major projects, with a fall of 11% in internal partnership funding for arts services from non-arts divisions within authorities contributing to arts spend in comparison to 2005/6. This perhaps reflects the increasing pressure that authorities find themselves in by supporting non-statutory services. • The total funding for both external and internal partnerships fell in 2006/7 by a total of £6,054,151 (of all those authorities returning a questionnaire) in comparison to the previous year, putting more pressure on arts services. • Arts spend by local authorities accounts for over three times its initial investment for the arts in leverage funding from other sources, with for every £1 being spent on arts services, a return of £3.10 is received back.

nalgao Magazine

ty Budget Settlement eport 2007/8

This has potentially serious implications for future levels of funding. Nearly 60% of respondents had working partnerships with non-arts services within their authority and 97% had external partnerships. Within authorities:

Pete Bryan nalgao Administrator, July 2007

• 76% of arts services contribute to the development of young person’s services • 50% of arts services support education

The full version of this report is available from nalgao – and will be posted on nalgao’s new website in the New Year.

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nalgao updates ARTS AT THE HEART Winter 2007

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nalgao Updates In the last issue of Arts at the Heart, we focussed on the likely outcome and impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on the arts, the Arts Council’s public value review and their review of their regularly funded organisations (RFOs). We are pleased to find that our pessimistic analysis of the CSR for the Arts Council was wrong. All three of these issues have an outcome in terms of arts policy and direction and on organisations which Local Authorities co-fund. So, Arts at the Heart contacted Arts Council England for an update. Here’s what they had to say:

The CSR settlement for Arts Council England “We have campaigned long and hard for this settlement and in the context of a tough spending round it is good to know that the government has listened to the case we put for the arts. This increase will allow us to build on the current excellent health of the arts in England.” Sir Christopher Frayling, Chair of Arts Council England. The extra £50 million will result in the following annual allocations to ACE which will rise from: £413 million in 2006-7 to £429 million for 2008-09 £443.5 million for 2009-10 and £467 million for 2010-2011 James Purnell, Secretary of State for Culture said, “The spending review settlement is an excellent deal for arts, museums and galleries in this country …Our arts and culture matter. They are a key part of the life and identity of our country, and that’s why the Government has invested heavily in them since 1997. This country can hold its own on the international stage, producing brilliant, world-class and groundbreaking work. This year’s settlement will help ensure our arts sector - one of the nation’s greatest success stories - can go on to achieve even more.” Funding for ACE’s RFOs ACE wrote to all funded organisations in late October to set out the timetable for funding decisions. This timetable is also available on the ACE website. In mid-December ACE will write to all funded organisations to inform them of its intentions regarding their funding beyond March 2008. This is not the final decision, as it must be

confirmed by the relevant Regional Council. RFOs will be allowed a four-week response period during which they can state their case if they disagree with ACE’s recommendations. The Regional Arts Councils will then meet in meet in January to make the final decisions on all funding, taking into account both ACE recommendations and any responses from organisations. ACE will then write to all RFOs to inform them of the final funding decision in the first week of February. The Arts Debate The report of the overall findings of Arts Council England’s arts debate - its first-ever first public value inquiry – has just been published and is available on Arts Council England’s website. ACE says the arts debate has been an unprecedented and wide-reaching public inquiry and has explored how people in England value the arts today and their priorities for public funding. It has, they say, enabled the public and the arts community to start a new conversation about what the arts mean to us as individuals and as a society. One of the key outcomes of the debate so far is a new framework for understanding the public value of the arts: The arts are seen as part of our fundamental capacity for life - enabling us to interpret, adapt and understand the world around us, helping us to express ourselves, communicate with others and broaden our collective horizons The arts enrich our experience of life - they bring colour, passion, beauty and intensity to our lives. They are a source of pleasure, entertainment and relaxation and a means of escape from the day to day. The arts offer powerful applications in other contexts - contributing to health and well being,

nalgao Comment Whilst the £50 million, no strings, uplift to Arts Council England is very welcome, it is not possible to say at this stage whether this means ‘business as usual’ or whether the RFO review that ACE has been undertaking and the Arts Debate it has initiated will lead to changes in emphasis or policy. Local Government is still a significant contributor to regional and local arts development. There is room for more dialogue between ACE and Local Government on these issues.

our advocacy has done the trick is music to campaigning ears, but the overall response is, nevertheless, a sigh of relief rather than jubilation. Taken at face value, the settlement is good, and certainly a vast improvement on the cuts which the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) was asked to model only a few months ago. However, it does not restore the £112 million diverted from the Lottery to the Olympics, nor can it solve large-scale problems such as the lack of acquisitions budgets for museums. Purnell described a ‘step change’ away from the ‘prescriptive’ approach of former years to a few headline priorities to be agreed with funded bodies and greater freedom for the arts to take spending decisions. However, if the money is not there, it cannot be spent. Taking account of the Lottery and the Olympics it seems that, in spite of the settlement (and the £40 million Olympic Legacy Trust), the arts will have less money overall, and major new Olympic projects to deliver. We are heartily thankful to have escaped major surgery, but the DCMS’ new prescription is still no easy pill to swallow.


After well over a year of sustained advocacy for the arts, in the face of projected cuts of five and even seven percent, the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) welcomes the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 (CSR 2007) settlement for arts. In the tightest spending review in the past decade, the above inflation deal for Arts Council England and directly funded museums is good news. The NCA’s CSR 2007 campaign began in July 2005 and included meetings with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Culture Minister, and many members and stakeholders; a delegation to the Chancellor, a letter from the NCA’s National Chair’s Forum to the Prime Minister, and a joint letter from major arts bodies to the Chancellor; an NCA toolkit to help members to lobby their MPs, an opportunity for members to question the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport about arts funding, and communications to over 600 MPs across the UK, urging them to speak up for the arts. All this activity seems to have paid off: James Purnell told the press that the arts had presented a convincing case for sustained funding, citing the successes built on ten years of strong investment and, at a meeting with the NCA, he added that the Government had recognised the intrinsic value of the arts. That

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

Chloë Reddaway


to education and learning, a sense of belonging and community and so to social cohesion and a healthy economy. In addition, ACE says, the arts debate has revealed widespread support for an ambitious programme of public funding for the arts. People would like the Arts Council to support groundbreaking work that touches the lives of more people in exciting, surprising ways be bold, visionary, transparent, fair and deeply accountable continue to foster public debate about the role the arts play in our lives. ACE says it looks forward to responding to these challenges. Over the coming months it will be sharing and debating the findings widely and developing a detailed response, combining short term actions in its next corporate plan and a long-term policy response to be published in spring 2008.

A Comprehensive Victory?

Chloë Reddaway Campaigns Manager, National Campaign for the Arts

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nalgao Magazine



Liverpool 2008 Capital of Culture

Liverpool 2008 - A Year of Living Dangerously Paul Kelly

Two issues ago Arts at the Heart reported on the way that the arts were helping to change the face of Liverpool in the run up to 2008 when it shares the Capital of Culture mantle with Stavanger in Norway (see page 10). Since then there have been worries, rumours and the sort of knocking that some elements of the British press have become famous for. But now the Liverpool Culture Company has announced much of the programme and it seems a goodly mix of the adventurous, the imaginative and the populist. Could Liverpool have staged the largest culture-fest in its history without a homecoming from Ringo and Macca? Probably not. But dig beneath the obvious headlines and there is a wealth of exciting activities for all to enjoy. This Arts at the Heart feature gives a brief overview of some of the cultural highlights, takes a look at how the year is impacting on the style and nature of local government arts service delivery, includes a personal memoir of the city and answers the question how come Stavanger?

The year’s music programme opens with the Fresh Festival at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (3-6 January) featuring cutting edge jazz, world and contemporary music including tenor and soprano saxophonist without equal, Wayne Shorter, who performs in a special collaboration with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The programme continues with a joint performance of Britten’s War Requiem with Liverpool’s twin city of Cologne. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's year will feature a total of 30 new commissions, including major works by Sir John Tavener, Karl Jenkins, Michael Nyman and BBC Young

Musician and Composer of the Year 2007, Mark Simpson. And Paul McCartney plays the first and last ever global concert to be staged at Liverpool Football club home’s of Anfield in June, before they move to a new stadium. Liverpool 2008 is also launching a national new composer competition and sees a newly commissioned work by Steve Reich performed by Eighth Blackbird. Liverpool Music Week, in November 2008, will bring hundreds of bands and thousands of fans to Liverpool for more than two weeks of concerts.

Free Events and Participation Much of the 2008 programme is made up of free events. Building on Liverpool’s reputation for excellence in the visual art world, the year will include a city-wide public art programme commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company in association with Liverpool Biennial. For more than 12 months, public art will animate parks, plazas, pavilions and transport. Impossible to miss, this will work in tandem with a programme of local and international street theatre. Artichoke, the company that brought ‘The Sultan’s Elephant’ to London, is planning a new

Sir Paul McCartney

Steve Reich

show, created specially for Liverpool 2008, called Will You Find It? which will take place across Liverpool between at the end of September. It will be a large scale, unforgettable piece of live theatre, played out against city landmarks. Underpinning the whole year will be a participative programme working at different levels across the city’s many communities. This will range from huge public participation events in the streets and in the parks, through to a ground-breaking programme of work (Creative Communities), which is changing the way the city works. Since 2003 it has engaged more than 1.3 million people across the region. In June up to 100 Superlambananas, specially designed by local artists, will animate the city for a free ten week public art event. Go Superlambananas! will involve businesses and communities from around the region.


Mark Simpson

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007


Sir John Taverner


Britain’s first Capital of Culture in eighteen years opens with a three day extravaganza on Friday 11 January. The event includes a free open air show on St George’s Plateau animating familiar landmarks and including the most remarkable aerial spectacle and theatrical effects the city has ever seen. The opening weekend includes a series of public events and concerts overseen by the dynamic duo of Nigel Jamieson whose credits include the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympics and the closing ceremony at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, and Jayne Casey, one of the driving forces behind Liverpool’s world famous Cream club. And it marks the official opening of the Liverpool Echo Arena with a star-studded concert featuring Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Echo and the Bunnymen, Ian Broudie, The Christians and many more.

Drama The drama programme opens with premieres of four new shows from emerging and established Liverpool companies: Big Wow, Ullaloom Theatre Company, Momentum, and Liverpool’s Rejects Revenge and continues >

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a journey through 40 years of Liverpool music. Whilst, ‘Art in the Age of Steam’ (April – August) will explore the fear and excitement of early train travel as it captures the artist’s response to the advent of the steam locomotion, featuring artists such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Edward Hopper. Also, after two years in the making, Ben Johnson's Liverpool Cityscape (May – November) is a painstakingly detailed look at Liverpool’s famous skyline from a vantage point high above the River Mersey. Media centre FACT is devoting its 2008 programme to one concept; Human Futures with internationally renowned artists – including Orlan, Al and Al, Zbigniew Oksiuta and Pipilotti Rist. FACT’s pioneering web-casting project tenantspin, supported by Arena Housing, will take a leading role adding their voice to the debate on art and life in Liverpool. Throughout the year, tenantspin’s development into north Liverpool continues will draw communities and artists together through creative technologies.


nalgao Magazine Winter 2007


St Georges’s Hall

Cities on the Edge

with new productions 3 Sisters on Hope Street, a vibrant new take on Chekhov’s classic and Eric’s The Musical which celebrates this musical hothouse of the late seventies and early eighties when The Clash, The Ramones and The Sex Pistols ignited a creative spark that fired a generation. And a ‘Liverpool Commissions’ strand for Merseyside-based companies, includes ‘An Audience with Shankly’ using extensive documentary footage to create mixed media theatre based on the life on the legendary Liverpool FC manager, and Chinese Dub, when local producer Zi Lan joins forces with Jah Wobble, Chinese musicians and the Pagoda’s Chinese Youth Orchestra. New commissions include Ghost Sonata an epic promenade by The People Show, with music by Mike Figgis and One Step Forward One Step Back, by Dreamthinkspeak, a site specific work created for Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral based on Dante’s Divine Comedy.


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Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI) will host the UK’s premiere showcase for diverse and new dance performance, British Dance Edition 2008, featuring major dance companies. LEAP 08, MDI’s annual contemporary dance festival will follow

with a UK premiere of a co-commissioned piece by Akram Khan with The National Ballet of China. The programme also includes Homotopia’s ‘Liverpool Is Burning’, a bold, sensational community and participatory site specific piece, that the boundaries of dance and live art fused with club culture.

The Visual Arts The visual arts programme is marked by the reopening of The Bluecoat, probably the UK’s oldest Arts Centre and a leading contemporary visual arts space, after a £12.5 million refurbishment. Its programme will include a piece of live art featuring 7 pairs of identical twins from Liverpool and its twin city Cologne. The overall 2008 visual arts programme features the UK's first major exhibition of work by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. An exhibition of international calibre, Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900 will present key paintings in spectacular settings at Tate Liverpool which celebrates its 20th anniversary in May. The National Museums of Liverpool presents two blockbuster exhibitions and an important new commission . From the Cavern to Creamfields, Billy Fury to the Zutons, The Beat Goes On (July 2008 – November 2009) provides

The main European project of Liverpool 2008 is Cities on the Edge, featuring five other cities with similar characteristics – Naples, Marseilles, Istanbul, Gdansk, Bremen. They are all ports, cities with great histories, cities which have battled with their capital cities over many centuries, cities famous for their creativity, humour, distinctiveness and love of football. They are also cities which are sometimes considered by their countrymen to be difficult and unruly. Throughout the year there will be a series of collaborations, exchanges, conferences, debates, performances and activities. Further details are about to be announced.

The Closing Portrait of a Nation is a campaign being run in 2007 and 2008 by the Liverpool Culture Company, 17 member cities of the Urban Cultural Network and the Heritage Lottery Fund. It sees young people using a diverse range of mediums to explore their heritage and local identity and define how the past is central to a vibrant present and optimistic future. A series of events in the 17 cities will showcase the young peoples' arts and heritage projects, revealing what is special to them about where they come from, their local cultures, communities and identities. Their work will culminate in a spectacular festival at the end of 2008 to close Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations. Each city will be adopted by a Liverpool neighbourhood, as communities celebrate their own cultural identity alongside that of their hosts.

Full details of the 2008 Capital of culture programme from:

Liverpool and Stavanger? Until 2008, winners of the Capital of Culture accolade had the benefit of sole title. But in 2002, the Council of the European Union, which manages the award, decided to add a city in a non-EU European country and make the Capital of Culture a joint award. So, all future European Capitals of Culture will be two city awards. Thus 2008 sees Stavanger, a 117,000 population city on the Norwegian coast, also designated European Capital of Culture. nalgao believes that Liverpool were unaware of this when they won the UK nomination. “The panel,” reports the official Norway in the UK website, “were impressed with the daring programme that Stavanger proposed… (and) the jury commented that the artistic quality of Stavanger 2008's programme was excellent, including a remarkable contemporary programme of challenging nature.” We are unaware of any joint Liverpool-Stavanger initiatives and if further research turns up anything of relevance to nalgao members we will report it in the next issue. More details of Stavanger’s programme can be found at:

Rubber Soul Liverpool - a personal reflection

Bluecoat Arts Centre his Orchestra whip up the same sort of storm there. I saw Cathy Tyson and Michael ‘Sinbad’ Starke (from Brookside) in a brilliant Hamlet at the Everyman Theatre and later saw the La’s play sublimely sweaty melodic rock in that venue’s basement bar. And I stood in a temporary auditorium at an un-reconstructed King’s Dock when Paul McCartney played his first concert in the city since the 1960s. When he launched into ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ I felt a

surge of electricity run through the hairs on my neck. Straightaway it was 1964 all over again. I was in Liverpool when the Hillsborough disaster happened. Everyone knew someone who was there – and most knew someone who had died in the cattlemarket crush. For weeks, an extraordinary collective grief engulfed the city. And I remember the incredible stillness and emptiness in the city centre, on a normally bustling Saturday, when the memorial service took place at the Anglican Cathedral. More recently, I attended a nalgao AGM at Liverpool’s Bluecoat, a venue I once ran. Nothing in the Bluecoat hall or its annexe bar seemed to have changed in 15 years. My past crawled out of the walls at me. It was like meeting one’s own ghost. Liverpool will do Capital of Culture proud, because Liverpool is proud. It is untouchable. It tells it like it is. It is wracked with tragedy yet has an optimism and a spirit that keeps bouncing back and fighting for more. It is edge city in geography and in spirit. And whatever the physical changes since I left, I have absolutely no doubt that the richly-mad character that runs through it, is still flowing. Liverpool is the most extraordinary place I have ever lived in. They have a fantastic programme for 2008. But the real programme is Liverpool itself.

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

which culminated with queen of Liverpool’s counter-culture, Jayne Casey throwing raw sausages at the audience from the Hall’s organ loft. I heard Imrat Khan and his sons play ecstatic raga variation after variation in an overfilled and blisteringly hot Bluecoat concert hall and later saw the 80 year old Sun Ra and


If you’ve never been to Liverpool, go there. There is no city like it on earth. I lived there twenty years ago, only for three years, but I have more memories from those crammed 36 months than just about any time in my career. I arrived just after Derek Hatton and his merry Militants had been disbarred from office and I left in 1990 for genteel Manchester, just as Liverpool’s recovery seemed to be starting. When I arrived in the city, the Albert Dock renovation had just been completed. Tate Liverpool opened there not long after with brilliant exhibitions of Rothkos and fabulously eccentric contemporary British sculpture meanly crammed into too-tight spaces. I attended dinners and receptions in Liverpool’s fabulous Town Hall and sat in the richly formal Council House listening to Labour Leader Harry Rimmer advise his members not to grant a crucial £50,000 to keep the Bluecoat Arts Centre open. Fortunately, they overruled him. I saw Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble at Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral, sat behind the French Horn section listening to Mahler’s Ninth (the best place to hear Mahler) in the gorgeously cosy Philharmonic Hall and stood on the Kop at Anfield the night that Liverpool lost the League title to Arsenal – a central point in Nick Hornby’s reality-novel, ‘Fever Pitch’. I saw Russian avant-jazz pianist Sergey Kuryokhin perform in the grossly ornate St George’s Hall with a huge community cast. It was a born-again 60s multimedia happening,


Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly was Director of Liverpool’s Bluecoat Arts Centre between 1987 and 1989.

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Arts at the Heart asked Phil Taylor, Arts Development Manager for Liverpool City Council whether and how Liverpool’s Capital of Culture programme was changing the way the Local Authority delivered its arts services and also what impact the year was having in the often invisible domain of community provision. Here’s what he says.

A World Turned

features nalgao Magazine Winter 2007 ARTS AT THE HEART

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Upside Down

Phil Taylor

Having won the nomination for Capital of Culture 2008, Liverpool City Council had a radical rethink on the delivery and management of its arts development, tourism and events services. The Council made major changes to the way cultural services had traditionally been delivered and set-up a new agency to deliver the city’s cultural agenda – the Liverpool Culture Company. In particular, the city was determined to make culture central to its whole regeneration process and to harness the inherent creativity of its people to produce future success. This is demonstrated by the fact culture is seen as an accelerator for delivery of the Local Area Agreement. A new organisational structure was put in place bringing the former Cultural Services and bid team together. The Liverpool Culture Company has now assumed responsibility for the creative and cultural agenda of the city, integrating the normal functions of arts, events and tourism services with forwardlooking, inclusive and dynamic programmes across other city departments. Other service areas falling within the definition of culture have recently been brought together to create the Culture Media and Sport directorate. As a result Liverpool has broken the mould of traditional arts service delivery, with hugely beneficial results.

“There has been participation on an unprecedented scale”

Creative Communities - The Largest Community Arts Programme in Europe We want 2008 to be relevant for all. It was always recognised that for 2008 to have a real value and legacy, its spirit would need to be strongly felt at grass roots level, in and amongst all the communities of Liverpool. Involvement is central to neighbourhood renewal. As regeneration goes on around them people can feel left behind. The absence of participation can lead to isolation and suspicion of any opportunities. Creative Communities is a fundamental part of the solution to this, delivering across key policy areas. Project participants are enthusiastic about the programme because it gives them a voice and brings people together. At the heart of the Creative communities programme are residents and communities. They are supported rather than dictated or ‘done’ to by practitioners and cultural organisations. Thus the programme enables communities and schools to take the driving seat in developing art work that is relevant and lifeenhancing. A significant development that has had an impact on engagement is the level of partnership working that has developed, between the City Council, communities, cultural and strategic partners. There has been participation on an unprecedented scale – this is the largest community arts programme in Europe.

Key partnerships with English Heritage, Arts Council Northwest, Sports England, Environment Agency, National Health Service and Arts and Business have enabled the Culture Company to establish a Creative Communities team. All members of the new team are developing a programme of activity that impacts on the creative regeneration of the city. They are also working closely with cultural partners and developing key strategies to support their growth to 2008. Culture and Civic Renewal are cross cutting themes underpinning the acceleration of delivery of Liverpool’s Local Area Agreement. Colleagues in the different city council portfolios are experiencing first-hand the endless potential for arts and culture to support the successful achievement of targets and priorities for housing, health, environmental improvement, and educational achievement and a better appreciation and respect for our diverse heritage. The areas of the programme outlined on page 12 demonstrate how we are working in partnership to support delivery of corporate priorities. In conclusion, Liverpool has substantially changed the way things are being done and aims to put culture and creativity at the centre of the nation’s thinking.

Phil Taylor Arts Development Manager, Liverpool City Council

Culture 2008 Engaging the Community There have been several initiatives that have contributed to the development of a creative health network bringing together creative partners and the health and social care sector to combine their different experiences and skills to enhance people’s well-being. These have included a series of creative health workshops, the development of Midsummer Dreams and the Art of Living events, targeting the community, health and social care workers and people who use health services. The workshops raised awareness of how creativity can enhance health settings, recovery and well-being. Partners include: • The Ambulance Service • The Primary Care Trust • The Libraries Service • St Nicholas Church • Neutral Spoon • Alternative therapy practitioners

Four Corners of the City Four Corners is a reminiscence arts project reaching out to Liverpool’s neighbourhood areas. The initiative’s ‘dream catcher’ theme allowed the memories of ordinary people to be ‘caught’ and shared through various media – creative writing, visual arts, photography, music and audio. All the areas involved were experiencing major changes through regeneration works. Many residents found living through these upheavals stressful and unsettling, and part of Four Corners’ remit was to engage with people and to help them make sense of the change, in both its negative and positive aspects. The project also targeted neighbourhoods that had not been previously involved in Liverpool Culture Company activities; areas that may well have felt unconnected to Capital of Culture programming. Partners in the programme are: • Neighbourhood Management Services • The Regeneration portfolio • Bluecoat Arts Centre • International Centre for Digital Content (ICDC) • Arts in Regeneration • Encounters, Sheffield • Everyman Playhouse • Community associations and groups in the five areas


Wide ranging partnership working with: • Merseyside Police • The Fire and Rescue Service • Connexions • Children’s Services • LA Productions • Ariel Trust • Healthy Schools • The Primary Care Trust • Citysafe

Creative Health workshops; Midsummer Dreams

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

It’s Not OK! is Liverpool Culture Company’s violence prevention education programme. It’s Not OK! works with young people using creativity as a vehicle to tackle issues. At the heart of creative activity is film and radio drama production and the resulting high-quality, hard hitting products are rolled out to a local, regional and national audience. Crucially, the young people involved are those closest to the issues covered including young offenders, those on the fringes of the law or those identified as being at risk of offending; helping many individuals to change their behaviour and to understand the choices that are open to them.


It’s Not OK!

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cover feature ARTS AT THE HEART Winter 2007

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MySpace or My Studio? The Irresistible Rise of the Creative Industries What’s Happening in the Creative Industries? The creative industries are one of Britain’s post-war success stories both economically and socially. They account for 7.3 per cent of the economy, comparable in size to the financial services industry. They employ 1 million people themselves, 1 while another 800,000 work in creative occupations. Whilst the policy focus and development is relatively recent, especially at government level, the creative industries have existed ever since someone commissioned and paid an artist or craftsperson to create a piece of work. The UK concept of a group of creative practices existing as ‘the creative industries’ or ‘the cultural industries’ as they are sometimes called, emerged in the early 1980s when Ken Livingston was looking for a new cultural policy for the Greater 2 London Council. This led to the use of cultural policy as political strategy encompassing the cultural enfranchisement of disadvantaged ‘communities of interest’. Under the guidance of Professor Nicholas Garnham the GLC’s Industry and Employment Committee defined the cultural industries as: “Those social practices which have as their primary purpose the transmission of meaning”. The creative industries (CI) entered political orthodoxy in the mid-1990s. As academic Andrew Ross memorably explains it, “with Britain's economy no longer fueled by the extractive resources (like mining and steel production), the country's managers were on the lookout for service industries that would “add value” in a distinctive way. In the bowels of Whitehall, an ambitious civil servant came up with an interesting statistic: If you lumped all the economic activities of arts and culture professionals and created a sector known as the “creative industries”, you would have, on paper at least, a revenue powerhouse that generated 3 £60 billion.” Today, the numbers just keep getting bigger. But there has also been a significant and welcome effort by a wide range of government and academic institutions to understand how the creative industries really work, what their needs and social impact are and where barriers to growth lie.

The explosive growth of the CI sector has been possible particularly through four things: creative education, technological development – particularly in reproductive technology and digitisation - globalisation and an increase in consumer markets and consumer choice. Yet not all creative industries rely on the above and some remain small cottage industries producing work that is individual, distinctive and unique. Whilst there have been increasing amounts of research, much focusing on economic value of the sector, the policy outcomes are not yet defined. Despite project-based Regional Development Agency support there is no overall national policy for CI development. It is still not apparent where, if anywhere, government will provide support, and of what sort or what the role of the local is in this set of global industries. This article outlines some recent policy developments, particularly focussing on The Work Foundation’s report “Staying Ahead”, which we think marks a turning point in some of the policy thinking. We also give you some facts and figures and highlight some key issues which we hope are helpful. Further on we present a number of snapshot case studies which show where local authorities and other agencies are getting involved. These case studies show a diversity of approaches. Some CI initiatives are addressing training, some local regeneration, some physical development to provide workspaces. All are helping to re-define our perceptions of culture and creativity.

Paul Kelly Editor, Arts at the Heart 1 Staying Ahead: The economic performance of the creative industries, The Work Foundation, 2007 2 Adorno, Horkheimer and the Frankfurt school of philosophers invented the term ‘the Culture Industries’ in the 1930s to critique American film and radio which they felt threatened the traditional European high art practices. 3 Number Racket, Artforum International Magazine, 2001

“Staying Ahead” examines four areas: • Economic performance • The knowledge economy • Defining the creative industries and • Drivers of the creative industries As Work Foundation Director, Will Hutton explains, “One important objective was to attempt to see what binds the creative industries together… What are their distinct characteristics and challenges?” The report acknowledges the changing significantly environment we operate in saying, “Knowledge and creativity have always played a

from tile manufacture to the design and production of the Apple iPod to Television design and manufacture.

Making work at Flameworks Creative Arts Facility, Plymouth Finally, and significantly, “Staying Ahead” recognises that a successful creative and cultural industries sector, is the result of a particular social climate and has a relationship with a wider cultural ecology. The report’s definition of ‘expressive value’ includes symbolic, social and spiritual value. “There is,” they say, “compelling evidence that the presence of a large, diverse pool of artistic talent in a region can create a ‘lead market’ for artistic and creative products… Creative businesses and a well-developed cultural sector may make regions more attractive for firms outside the creative sectors to do business… The more creative and vigorous the core of our national creativity,” they argue, “the more creative and vigorous are likely to be the creative industries and the wider economy and society.” And, the report concludes, “Societies that are tolerant, self-confident, diverse and articulate are the hand-maidens of such creativity. Thus are the creative economy and creative society indissolubly linked.” >

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key role in the economy. The concept of the knowledge economy goes further. It captures a paradigm shift in which a critical mass of economic activity falls into the category of knowledge production.” And it points out that culture and creativity are at the core of knowledge production. But, “Staying Ahead”, clearly the result of extensive research and debate, then does something that no similar reports have successfully achieved. It separates the various creative industries into functional types and shows the relationships between these – see diagram on following page. At the core of these functional types are ‘core creative fields’. These include, software programmers, painters, scriptwriters, musicians and others. These are the people who originate material which involve expressive value and which can be protected in copyright. Outside of these originators lies a significant industry, which “Staying Ahead” calls the ‘cultural industries’. These focus primarily or solely on the commercialisation of pure expressive value. They are largely engaged in developing and reproducing expressive work. These activities include broadcasting, music recording, publishing and production, film, TV and video games production. They also include, as the report implicitly acknowledges, publicly funded institutions such as the BBC, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Theatre and, by logical extension, all subsidised professional and voluntary sector bodies that produce and promote expressive work. As they report, “Subsidised theatre also plays an important part in succoring the creative industries. In the United States over the past 20 years, 44 per cent of new plays to appear on commercial/forprofit Broadway can trace their roots to the nonprofit sector. The figures are similar for the UK.” A further tier, which “Staying Ahead” calls the ‘creative industries’ which it describes as ‘first cousins’ to the cultural industries. These industries turn expressive work into functional products. They include architecture, design, fashion and advertising. This work is also vital to the success of the cultural industries. Finally there is an outer tier of manufacturing and service sectors which is not necessarily or directly creative, but which is crucial to the mass delivery of creative goods. This might be anything

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

“Staying Ahead – the economic performance of the UK’s creative industries” by The Work Foundation, does a good deal more than it says on ‘the tin’. The Work Foundation report not only gives a valuable and very readable assessment of the UK’s creative industries (CI) and the issues they face. It sets these in a wider context that, for the first time, explains the relationships between this sector, the subsidised arts and the role of both of them in the wider social and cultural milieu. In an era of increasing specialism this ability to approach the specific from a broader contextual perspective makes it one of the most significant and valuable cultural policy reports of recent times. It is good that this fact has been recognised by politicians, for as Tessa Jowell, the commissioning Minister, says in her introduction, “The Work Foundation (report) puts at the heart of the UK economy scriptwriters, computer programmers, designers and musicians. It brings into focus institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Library, the BBC and the National Theatre. In doing so it recognises not just their cultural influence but also their critical economic value.” And Jowell goes on to recognise the pubicprivate interface at work here saying, “The Work Foundation analysis firmly endorses the value of public investment, but widens the scope to embrace the vital role of education, skills, diversity, networks, cultural investment and public institutions, access to finance, business skills, the intellectual property framework, access to market, regulation, competition and crucially the collection of evidence and data.”


Paradigm Shift

Paul Kelly investigates The Work Foundation’s “Staying Ahead” Report

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Creative Industries: The timeline in the middle of this page outlines some of the key developments in Creative Industries R&D since 1997. Much of the initial policy focus has been economic and sectoral in nature; it has sought to quantify the size of the sector and to identify particular issues facing each of the ‘DCMS 13’ sectors. – see section on defining the creative industries. More recent policy papers have produced a more sophisticated analysis of the CI sector, defining it by the nature of the processes the various segments undertake and starting to acknowledge that CI impacts have as much to do with social objectives and impacts and such soft outcomes as ‘well-being’ as with hard economic outputs. The Creative Economy Programme examined seven different aspects of the creative industries - infrastructure, competition and intellectual property, 1998 and 2001

2002 – 2005

November 2005

Summer 2006

DCMS Creative Industries Mapping Documents

Working groups

Creative Economy Programme launched with seven working groups on: • Education and skills, infrastructure • Competition and Intellectual Property • Access to finance and business support • Diversity • Technology and • Evidence and analysis

Draft Creative Economy Programme (CEP) Reports

Creative Industries: Facts and Figures In Britain, the Creative Industries:

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• Account for 7.3 per cent of the UK economy • Are comparable in size to the financial services industry.


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Creative Industries Policy Timeline

• Help employ or support another 800,000 in creative occupations.

• Employ 1 million people themselves

• Outperform the creative industries in every other European state • Is largest creative sector in the EU, and relative to GDP probably the largest in the world.

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access to finance and business support, education and skills, diversity, technology and evidence and analysis. It produced 32 detailed recommendations – too much to detail here. But the Creative Economy Executive Summary can be found at From our research, several things remain clear; the key driver for policy makers is still economic growth. As a result they are more focussed on the bigger players than small individual practitioners, be they a website designer or a visual artist. Secondly, many research institutions have subtly different definitions of the sector. The DCMS (from its website), the Frontier Economics report, “Creative Industries Performance” and the Work Foundation report “Staying Ahead” all adopt slightly different definitions. Is music a performing art or part of the digital media sector? We have seen reports that place it differently.

• Include five million active musicians, one quarter of a million who play in bands. • Includes over 4,500 live gigs every evening.

Intellectual Property Policy Forum

• Support employment in other sectors. For example 100% of art and antiques professionals work in the art and antiques sector but only 40% of advertising professionals do.

• Performing arts • Publishing • Software • Television and radio

• Promote tourism. The UK Film Council estimates that UK films promote tourism to an estimated value of £800 million per year.

The Frontier Economics Definition

Defining the Creative Industries The “DCMS 13” Creative Industries • Advertising • Architecture • Art and antiques markets • Computer and video games • Crafts • Design • Designer fashion • Film and video • Music

“Layer One” Origination – eg composing music, writing for publishing or programming a computer game Layer Two Activities that support layer one – eg casting for the performing arts industry Layer Three Manufacture of hardware which directly supports the creative process Eg manufacture of TV cameras Layer Four Manufacture and wholesale of raw materials and manufacture of hardware used in the consumption of CI products – eg arcade machines for the computer games industry

Policy Developments and Issues But we have no sense of whether and how these are working together as a sector. From a policy perspective it all seems quite piecemeal. Finally, we live in a society where if you can’t measure something it has little or no value and in the CI sector, for all manner of technical reasons measurement remains a difficult problem. If you get picked up in national statistics – for example through VAT rating – you will be counted. But if you are a small business below the VAT threshold, you will probably not be counted. And there is a danger that not being counted and valued economically, means that the ‘below the line’ sector are not going to get valued in policy terms either. The DCMS’s creative industries team is currently developing a consultative Green Paper on the creative industries which is expected to be published late this year or early in 2008.

November 2006

2006 & 2007

2007 Jan – April

2007 – June

2007 – September

Final CEP reports

A series of sector studies commissioned including one from Jan 2007 by The Work Foundation to undertake an analysis of the nature of the creative industries – their size, the factors that have shaped their comparative success in recent years, and the challenges which they face in the years ahead in anticipation of a Green Paper.

Eleven industry summits – organised by the DCMS and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The report “Staying ahead: the economic performance of the UK’s creative industries” published by The Work Foundation. 1

“Creative Industry performance - A statistical analysis for the DCMS” by Frontier Economics Ltd. 2

Layer Five Consumer retail of creative industries products – eg Music CDs and DVDs or computer games consoles.

The Work Foundation Definition


Available from: Available from:


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Thirdly, there are a large number of agencies with an interest or a direct role in creative industries delivery including: • The DCMS • The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (formerly the DTi) • The Regional Development Agencies • The Regional Cultural Consortia • The Creative Industries Development Agencies – there are at least 15 of these • Universities and Colleges • Local Government • Other independent agencies • And obviously, the private sector and private sector investors

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

- See Diagram

Drivers of success in the creative economy

Source – “Staying Ahead” – The Work Foundation


1. Demand 2. Greater diversity 3. A level playing field 4. Education and skills – ensuring balance and the appropriate supply 5. Networks – harnessing capacity 6. Public sector – fit-for-purpose public architecture, grants and institutions 7. Intellectual property – a clearly defined and enforced regime 8. Building greater business capacity

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Creative Industries Concepts Patents and Copyright


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Whales and Plankton1

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Plankton is the name given to all the little plants and animals which live in water and just float along with the current. Some of them can swim but they can't swim strongly enough to swim against the flow of water. Most plankton are tiny, tiny little organisms which we can only see by using a magnifying glass or microscope. 2 The larger animals are then eaten by even larger animals – like whales. Without the plankton there wouldn't be much life in the sea at all! Even some of the enormous whales eat plankton and others eat the fish which live on plankton. The creative industries ecology is one of whales and plankton - a handful of high-profile global players, stars and multinational companies like Disney, Sony, the BBC, Universal, Microsoft and News International, who are dependent upon vast shoals of project-based microenterprises. From the surface, only the bigger players are visible, but these big fish are highly dependent on the small fry further along the supply chain. Governments may not be able to do much to influence or change the whales in the creative industries sector (much as they might like to think they can). But they can certainly do a lot to create an environment in which CI plankton can survive and thrive.

Patents A patent is a limited monopoly granted to an individual for a period of 20 years in return for the public disclosure of technical information of an invention. Critically, patents protect ‘useful ideas’. To qualify, an idea must be novel, involve an inventive step, must be capable of industrial application and not be ‘excluded’. Aesthetic creations – including music, art, dance and literature – are specifically excluded. Copyright Copyright protects original expression. The property protected by copyright is special in that it comes into effect automatically and is generally for the benefit of the author, a key concept that has shaped the development of copyright doctrine. The term of protection for literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works is life plus 70 years due to historical reasons, although there are many exemptions, such as so-called entrepreneurial works. Source – “Staying Ahead” – The Work Foundation Clustering Clustering involves grouping a number of small creative businesses under the same roof in a ‘creative industries centre’ or in managed workspace. There are several advantages including: • The ability to offer specialist services to several companies at the same time – for example, business advice, marketing or financial services • Higher profile and identity and a sense of critical mass • Greater opportunity for support between • Greater inter-company trading opportunities • Greater security for fledgling start-ups

Creativity and Innovation Creativity is about the origination of new ideas. either new ways of looking at existing problems, or of seeing new opportunities, Innovation is about the successful exploitation of new ideas. It is the process that carries them through to new products and services or even new ways of doing business. Source – “Staying Ahead” – The Work Foundation

A number of cities have created dedicated workspace opportunities including The Workstation in Sheffield, Dean Clough in Halifax, The Leicester Creative Business Depot, Paintworks in Bristol and others – some outlined in case studies in this issue of Arts at the Heart.

involves a transaction between the two. Some businesses sell direct to market. Some sell through intermediaries. In some cases there are several stages in the production chain, before a product can be sold. Each of these stages has the potential to add value and involves other business to business transactions. To take three examples; a potter makes pots and sells them direct to the public. That is the extent of the value chain. A painter makes work and places it with a gallery who sell the work. That adds a stage to the value chain and both the painter and the gallery benefit from sales. A film producer buys an idea from a writer, assembles the finance, fires a director and technical team, employs script re-writers and all the technical paraphernalia required to shoot the film and sells the film to a distributor – and other stages and processes we have omitted! That is a complex chain that potentially adds value at each stage. Developing the creative industries can be enhanced by increasing sales. But they can also be developed if one understands the value chain of the specific CI sector (and they differs from sector to sector) and find ways of removing barriers or enhancing opportunities within the value or supply chain.

Measuring the Creative Industries The SIC Code Problem The size and importance of the creative industries is reliant on capturing data on employment and financial turnover of the sector and its various component parts. SIC is the ‘Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities‘ which is the official way of describing and measuring industrial activities, size and overall, the economy. The SIC codes give creative industries researchers several problems in data collection and analysis. First some newer occupations are not recognised in the codes. Secondly, the codes have several levels. You can get some data from 4 level SIC codes, but these tend to only pick up the data from larger VAT registered companies. 5 level data drills down deeper but not all occupations are coded at the 5 level depth. Hence there is an inherent unreliability in SIC code data. For more information on SIC codes – see: ts.asp


The Value or Supply Chain Every business has a producer and consumer and

Thanks to Lucy Wurstlin formerly Creative Industries Officer with Culture South West and now Director of Melt and Development Manager of The Culture Company for this very helpful concept. 2 Thanks to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust for this description.

nalgao Conference Report Cambridge, September 2007

Winter 2007

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The 14th nalgao annual conference, took place in September in Cambridge the first time in the Eastern region. And for the first time we secured a Ministerial speaker. The programme attracted a wide cross section of delegates and speakers from local authorities and arts organisations across the UK for three days of presentations, interaction and networking. We also had stimulating keynote speeches from Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture and Creative Industries, John Holden, Head of Culture at Demos and Lia Ghilardi of Noema Research and Planning. The conference included, as ever, some artists in residence, this year writer John Row and photographer Bob Clayden whose photos adorn this section and include shots of the two young Cambridge bands, Hot Bang and Bryony Lemon and Friends, who entertained delegates. We start this 13 page report on the conference with John Row’s unforgettable reflections followed by edited speeches from Margaret Hodge and John Holden and then feedback from the first day’s Open Space Forum which allows delegates to forward their own topics for discussion.

nalgao 2007 conference report

Growing Arts & Communities

Supported by

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Think of the potential… It’s not going to get any easier…


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John Row, Conference writer in residence

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Stepping down from the platform, Stepping up to the plate, Expressing thanks, Electing to ride the AGM fast train With no other business But to make it to the conference before the points are thrown And the whole agenda becomes derailed. HAVE YOU READ THE MINUTES It took to get here, Squeezing two years into one. Despite our current precarious position And serial over optimism in the arts We make it to the short break in record time. We may be brassed off but we ain’t misbehavin’ And this is a lovely day for a daydream And growing And growing arts And growing communities And growing ourselves. “It’s not just about jobs and housing With forty thousand employment driven new homes Coming to the area And the competing pressures Of roads and education. It’s about building Dynamic Vibrant Diverse communities, Taking on the challenge of the carbon footprint And supporting arts and entertainment across the city When nine out of ten people use our venues. And minister, I don’t want to abuse my position here And complain about the financial effect of the Olympics But all this is EXPENSIVE.” “We know the arts is important, Over seventy percent of adults participate in arts activities And for if I really want to unwind after a hard day I sit at the piano and play Chopin’s Nocturne And we know those engaged in arts activities Are more able to relate to their neighbours We need to articulate, Make sure we are measured, Get the arts into the new round of local area agreements Make the case that arts are fundamental to big agendas And shout that cultural services are one of the most used in the public sector. With my red box that allows me to use a lot more of those tickets I get sent

“Minister, Is arts provision going to become A statutory duty of local government?” “No, We’ve just got to get smarter And win the argument for culture. It’s such a good argument And if we work together we can win it And local government doesn’t need one more thing where we in central government tell them what they have to do.” And bridges need to be built to the wealthy. The question is “How do we get back to those halcyon days of Victorian philanthropy and would we want to?” But giving the chairman of the bank the chance To fly in Peter Pan’s harness across the stage Of a Scottish Theatre did clinch the deal. WE ARE ABOUT THE UNIQUE EXPERIENCE And making a difference. WE BELIEVE ARTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE, WE WANT ARTISTS TO MOVE FORWARD So we need to become horrible people who read the obituaries And know where the money is. It’s in participatory arts So we need to connect strategically With the big boys. We need to get into the men’s toilets. It’s a while since a health minister noted by using just half a percent of the health budget on the arts The nation’s health would be significantly improved

Concluding with a sense Of nourishment, From being together In the extraordinary Peculiar world we live in When the other world of local government is a bloody mystery With their budgetary cuts being bigger than ever. But we will shout with joy and inspiration And celebrate together Battles won Next year in Liverpool.

John Row Writer in Residence at nalgao conference 2007 The unabridged version of this poem is available (or will be by publication date) at:

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“Networking with other women and leadership.”

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“Minister, what are your top tips for young, disenfranchised females in the corridors of power?”

And the cultural sector adds thirteen billion pounds a year To our trade balance. We need to educate our children for this new creative economy. While creating shared ground for proud parents At presentations For winning designs at Borders Small grants in kind making things possible As we stimulate thinking about cultural heritage With Bangra and Molly dancers And create a seaside at Sawston Because some poet worked with the community And they produced a poem entitled Sawston-on-Sea And one of the residents thought it was a nice idea So the swimming pool became salt for a Sunday And everyone came for free And while no arts project can cure all society’s ills It can be the glue that brings and holds people together.


And with the cultural Olympiad, Big screens, Smoke and mirrors In the centre of every city, A nationwide cultural festival, An international Shakespeare festival, And eight regional creative programs, THINK OF THE POTENTIAL And it’s not going to get any easier.”

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Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture and Creative Industries Keynote speech, nalgao conference, Cambridge, September 2007 1


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participate in arts activities. And we know above and beyond the importance the arts have for individuals. They bring communities together in ways that few other sorts of public engagement achieve. So, I’m pleased that you are one of my first audiences as Arts Minister and I’m glad it’s a local government audience because in my time in local government - and I was in local government for twenty years - it was completely obvious and clear to me how important arts and

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I’m really pleased to be here today and I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have this job. I think my title of Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism is about the best job in government. I think from our shared point of view the fact that I’m the first Minister to have responsibility for both Culture and Creative Industries can do nothing but help. Because building the links between the arts, and culture and the economic impact it can have on communities is one of the key messages I want to give you as you try and defend and promote arts and culture within your local authorities in what I know are tight fiscal times. I’ve always been passionate about the arts. I think I am now in my 10th year as a government minister and one of the enormous frustrations of the job has been for the last 10 years I can’t remember the number of arts tickets I have had to give up at the last minute because of red boxes. Now, it’s become my red box which it is a real joy. I think the joy I get from the arts is what makes them so important. That emotion that I get matches what I think what millions and millions of people feel, the emotion, the curiosity, the joy and the beauty that is fundamental to the nature and the quality of our lives. We know that the arts are important. We know from the Taking Part surveys that we do each year that over 70% of adults attend or

about identity, whether it’s national identity or local identity, when we are talking about what are the levers that we can employ and pull that will bring communities together and strengthen communities, that appear to be so fractured for a series of very complex reasons, I think that the role that arts and culture have to play in that are really crucial. Now I could talk about lots of things but I have decided to focus on three. The first is how we try and ensure that arts feature in the bigger picture of local government, particularly at a time of great change with the local government white paper. The second is what more we can do to open access - there’s a lot that has been achieved in the last ten years, but what more can we do? And thirdly how can we all benefit from the 2012 Olympics, because I see it not as a negative but as a positive.

“Cultural services are some of the most used services in the public sector. Probably second only to the bin collection.”

culture are to communities and how it allows them to experience those very unique times and moments in their lives. Whether it’s a local cultural festival, whether it’s a community arts project, whether it’s voluntary groups doing anything from drama to singing to dance, all those are the life blood of the community. So what you are thinking about in your conference over the next three days, growing arts in communities, I think is particularly important. And I think that link between the experience of the arts and the strengthening of communities is one of the messages I want to develop in my period as your Minister. At a time when people are thinking and talking

“The link between the experience of the arts and the strengthening of communities is one of the messages I want to develop in my period as your Minister.”

Let’s take the first one, and I know it’s a tough challenge for you all. I’m not coming here with easy messages about loads and loads of money. We’ve actually had a period of pretty substantial growth, but we are now entering a fiscally tight period. So we do all have to get much smarter in how we use our money. One of the things I want to see in the arts world is try and see how we can get to see philanthropy playing a much stronger role in our local areas and how we can bring together in partnership people like the regional development agencies to see that investment in culture and the arts will lead to a strong sense of place where people will want to live and work and which can also lead to the growth of the creative industries sector which is one of the great growth areas in our economy. So, how can I help you profile the arts in your community? I can articulate the arguments you can do that too. We can try and ensure we get the arts properly reflected in the performance measurements we have of local

better idea of what prompts people to take part, what the barriers to people taking part are and what the impact is of that voluntary arts effort on the local communities. I know that nalgao is on the project steering group and I hope all of you here will be able to contribute. We are working hard with colleagues in the new department for children, families and schools to see whether we can extend building on the very successful sports offer that we’ve got, with a cultural offer for children in schools.

there’s still going to be £500 million of new money right through to 2012 coming from the Arts Council. And what we need to focus on is using the concept of the cultural Olympiad, which is a four year celebration of arts and culture leading up to and including 2012, to build that alongside everything we’re doing in relation to the games. And what is the purpose of that cultural Olympiad? The purpose is to have projects which should be drawn from the grassroots from your local authority areas - grass roots community projects which engage local

“None of this will happen without you guys. So local authority arts officers are absolutely central to our success.” So I have talked about ensuring that the arts are at the heart of policies and at the heart of the agenda at local and national level, recognised for their own worth and their intrinsic value as well as for their institutional and instrumental values. I have talked about the continuing work we must do to extend participation in arts whether it is enjoyment of events or whether it is participating in making the arts. And I hope I have started to excite you, those of you that are cynical, about 2012, and how we’ve just got to grasp that as a catalyst to ensure we capture the cultural Olympiad with much greater activities both in our community and in our nation. Now none of this will happen without you guys. So local authority arts officers are absolutely central to our success. I know you share my passion for the arts. What we need to do is by working together in partnership is to translate that passion into action which will bring a lasting contribution to our communities. Thank you.

2007 conference report

Finally, let me say a little bit about the Olympics. I direct the cultural Olympiad stream of work that comes under the Olympics. The Olympics is a fantastic opportunity which fits into participation. The concept of the Olympics raises aspirations and gets young people engaged in things they have never done before because they think they just might be able to participate in the event [The Olympics]. And maybe they can in four or five years time in some way or another, as a volunteer or a spectator if not as a participant. So what we need to make sure is that we can make the most of the opportunities that the 2012 Olympics give us. Do remember

communities and which lead to an increase in participation and which leave us with a lasting cultural legacy. Now the cultural Olympiad so far has got a legacy trust of £40 million most of which will go to the arts and cultural organisations. Some has gone to sport, but well over two thirds will come to culture and the arts. But we are hoping to use that to kick start sponsorship and we are already having people who want to be linked to the whole 2012 idea coming forward with particular projects under that cultural olympiad banner and who wish to participate in it.

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

“The purpose is to have projects which leave us with a lasting cultural legacy.”


authorities. So that’s the first thing I can do, make sure you are measured because that’s will give you a way of ensuring you get a proper voice in local authorities. The other challenge is to get the arts into the new round of local area agreements. And I am going to take Suffolk as an example here. Who would have thought that getting young people involved in rock bands would go some way to meeting a local area agreement - Suffolk did. The Amplifier project that was run in Suffolk, with their workshops, their gigs and their summer schools is seen by all as a successful venture. The whole programme there is a really good example of connecting the cultural programme with local area agreements. Culture has been placed by Suffolk at the centre when they are shaping their local priorities. And that’s what you need to endeavour to do within your local authorities. I think together making the case that the arts are fundamental to the big local authority agendas, fundamental to education, to community cohesion to regeneration and to building a strong sense of community identity is the first step. And just keep remembering this: cultural services are some of the most used services in the public sector. Probably second only to the bin collection. And that needs to be aligned to the centre of policy decisions and developments. The second thing is how can we get more people involved in arts activity? Well, we are already doing well. There’s been a real shift of resources and you see the impact of that on arts activities right across the sector. And often it’s not the formal organisations that make the greatest contribution in local areas. It’s often the informal; people who take part in a huge range of arts and crafts activities, anything from a book club to an amateur orchestra to a theatre group, from lace making to bell ringing and ballroom dancing. The potential is absolutely enormous. And that’s why we’ve started this work from the DCMS working in partnership with the Arts Council and we are undertaking this research project which will look at the voluntary arts sector to try and actually map it and give us that national picture of the sector so we have a much


This is a slightly edited version of Margaret Hodge’s speech. The full version can be heard as a podcast at and will be posted on the new nalgao website in the New Year.

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Growing Arts And Communities John Holden, Head of Culture for Demos Keynote speech, nalgao conference, Cambridge, September 2007 1 Good morning everyone, and thank you for inviting me to come and speak on the subject of “the case for arts and communities�. I would like to start with a few facts and figures:


And here is a graph from the sustainable development commission that shows the point at which rising wealth ceased to make people any happier.

of the population attended or took part in some type of cultural or sporting event in the UK last year.

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67% 61% 36% 95% 55%

went to or participated in an arts event.

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Life Satisfaction


of the population voted in the local elections in 2006.

80% 60% 40%

of the public are satisfied with their museums and galleries.

20% 0%











are satisfied with their Local Authorities.

The sources of these figures are the Office of National Statistics, the Electoral Commission and the National Consumer Council - not the Arts Council or Sport England, so in other words they come from a neutral source. Now for a couple of graphs. This one shows the average household spend on culture and leisure in Europe, and as you can see, the UK comes out top, with almost 8 euros per household per week: 10

8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0


ex ic Ire o la nd Lu Ko xe rea m bo u Hu rg ng a Po ry rt ug al Ita l Po y la nd B Sl ov elg ak iu Re m N pub et he lic r Sw lan itz ds er la n Gr d ee De ce nm ar k Fr an Ge ce rm an Fin y la n Sw d ed e Ca n na da Sp ai Cz No n ec r h R way ep ub lic Un Ja ite pa dS n ta te Ic s el an Au d st Au ria N str e a Un w Z lia ite eal d K an in d gd om



160% 140%

of people voted in the last general election.


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It appears that more and more people are getting increasingly interested in culture and the arts ...(and) fewer people are satisfied that politicians are giving them what they want...

Finally, according to your own latest survey 75% of Local Authorities have cut their spending on the arts and culture in the last three years. When you put all these figures together they seem to me to highlight something very odd. Because it appears that more and more people, from all parts of society are getting increasingly interested in culture and the arts. It also seems to be the case that fewer people are satisfied that politicians are giving them what they want, and they are failing to vote as a result. And yet strangely, instead of realising the importance of the arts and culture in people’s lives and investing in it, politics is travelling in the opposite direction. If you need proof of that, just look at the Audit Commission's last comprehensive performance assessment report. Where they say that, while councils across the country continued to improve their overall performance in 2006, with 79% of councils achieving 3 or 4 star performance, which is a 9% improvement from 2005, performance in delivering cultural services declined by 18%. When it comes to culture only 56% of councils are performing in the top two categories in 2006, compared to 68% in 2005. And that state of affairs is self-defeating, because the arts, and other forms of culture are central to the achievement


The first is their intrinsic value, which is the set of values that relate to the subjective experience of culture. It is this set of values that people are referring to when they say things like “music moves me”, or “I am proud of our Town Hall” or “writing poems helps me understand who I am”. In other words intrinsic value applies at a personal level. In some ways the term "intrinsic" is unhelpful because nothing has value in itself, the value is only there in the encounter between an individual and the cultural experience or artefact. In other words, intrinsic value embodies the idea of mutuality that I was talking about in relation to community.

“Diverting 0.5% of the UK healthcare budget to the arts would improve the health of people in Britain.” The second type of value that we can find in culture is instrumental value, where culture helps achieve some other aim - such as economic regeneration or improved exam results, or better patient recovery times. These are the knock-on effects of culture, looking to achieve things that could be achieved in other ways as well. Instrumental values also express the ways in

“Culture is the major place where citizens interact voluntarily with the public realm.” Things like opening hours, meeting and greeting, providing opportunities to grow and learn are not simply about customer care as they would be in the commercial world. No, they are much more important than that, they can act to strengthen our sense of a collective society and our attachment to our locality. After all, culture is the major place where citizens interact voluntarily with the public realm: you have to send your children to school, you have to go to the doctor if you’re ill, but you go to a gallery or a theatre because you want to. Institutional value seems to me to be very important when thinking about the arts and community building, because it stresses the public nature of the arts and the sense of being involved in a mutual enterprise. So we have these three values – intrinsic, instrumental and institutional, and as we all know, when it comes to the arts , the political imperative over the last thirty years has been to show the value of the arts in instrumental terms. Under Thatcher it was all about arts and the economy, under Blair, a whole raft of social issues was added. There has been a recent shift in the rhetoric, with a welcome, speech from the new secretary of state James Purnell that has suggested a desire to move away from targets and towards a greater recognition of the intrinsic value of the arts, but this has not yet fed through to the working regimes of Local Authorities. In fact, I think there are perfectly understandable reasons why politics struggles with the arts and culture. As the American writer Philip Roth says, “Politics is the great generaliser and literature the great particulariser, and not only are they in an inverse relationship to each other they are in an antagonistic relationship. How can you be an artist and renounce the nuance? How can you be a politician and allow the nuance?” >

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haven't said anything yet about this third type of value that I think can be perceived in culture, and that is what I call institutional value. This is closely related to the idea of public value, and it is all about the way that cultural organisations act. They are part of the public realm and how they do things creates value as much as what they do. In their interactions with the public, cultural organisations are in a position to increase - or indeed decrease - such things as our trust in each other, our idea of whether we live in a fair and equitable society, mutual conviviality and a whole host of other public goods. So the way in which our institutions go about their business is important.

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007


which the arts affect people and communities. And although there are many methodological difficulties in pinning down the exact connections, and proving cause and effect, between cultural activity and these economic and social goods, there is an increasing and increasingly persuasive body of evidence showing how the arts benefit communities across many areas of life. Last year at Demos we produced a synthesis of a huge number of individual project evaluations and reports from the museums and libraries sector, 2 called Knowledge and Inspiration. At the level of general correlation for example, who can doubt that the North East region’s investment in iconic buildings and public art, like Sage and Angel of the North, has given the people there a renewed sense of identity and pride. Again, it is incontrovertible that cultural facilities such as Snape Maltings bring in tourists who spend money. Nationally, we get 37 million tourists a year, who spend £14.7 billion. Over 70% say they come here because of our heritage sites, museums and the arts. And the arts don’t just have economic impact, they reach other parts as well. This is what Dr Richard Smith, the editor of the British Medical Journal, said about the arts and health: “My contention is that diverting 0.5% of the healthcare budget to the arts would improve the health of people in Britain.” 0.5% of the UK's healthcare budget, by the way, would be £525 million pounds, which is about 17% more than the entire expenditure of Local Authorities on the arts, heritage and musuems. In education too, the benefits of the arts are clear. Last year Ofsted produced a detailed study of the creative partnerships scheme, where schools work in close collaboration with artists over long periods. They concluded that as a result, “Schools offered evidence of improvement in achievement in areas such as literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT).” I don’t agree with everything that Tony Blair said and did during his decade in office - far from it - but I think he was absolutely right when he said this earlier this year: “A country like Britain today survives and prospers by the talent and ability of its people. Human capital is key. The more it is developed, the better we are. Modern goods and services require high value added input. Some of it comes from technology or financial capital - both instantly transferable. Much of it comes from people - their ability to innovate, to think anew, to be creative. Such people are broad-minded: they thrive on curiosity about the next idea; they welcome the challenge of an open world. Such breadth of mind is enormously enhanced by interaction with art and culture.” But let's get back to our triangle, because I


of many Local Authority goals, not least the nurturing of community life. I want to return later to inherent paradox in that last sentence, because I think we need to look closely at the tension between the idea of a Local Authority as a delivery agent, and the idea of community, which is something that we build together, as a mutual enterprise. But before that, let me try to articulate the ways in which we can express the value of the arts to local communities, because that will help us to understand this rather odd dynamic that exists, where the arts so often fail to be a central concern and a high priority for local government. I am briefly going to reiterate something that may be familiar to some of you, and that is the idea of cultural value. I think we can express the value of the arts in three ways.

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Lenin put it another way when he said that he hated listening to Beethoven because it made him want to caress people's heads when he should be banging them together. The point here is that culture is essentially about individual responses, while politics is about mass social outcomes. And so there is a philosophical conundrum at the heart of the relationship. Although culture is fundamental to most of things that local politics is trying to achieve, it doesn't feature centrally in the rhetoric or thinking of Local Authorities. The recent Local Government White Paper, “Strong and Prosperous Communities”, all but ignores culture, while the regulatory regime for Local Authorities expresses its priorities only in terms of what culture can do for "other agendas”.


nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

2007 conference report

“The words ‘leisure’ and ‘recreation’ seriously misrepresent the importance of the arts.”

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In other words, the discourse talks entirely in terms of instrumental values. There is nothing there about cultural goals, or culture as a good in its own right. There is nothing that acknowledges the real importance of culture in people’s lives. Words like fun, pleasure, shock, relaxation, stimulation, beauty, emotion are missing. The second effect of the philosophical problem has been a drift into managerialism, and the adoption of language that actually divides local politics from local communities. When we talk about the delivery of services and about provision, that implies not a communal relationship but a divided relationship, where one party, that presumably knows best, does something to, or on behalf of, the other. If we want a local politics of community and if we want the arts as a community activity and an expression of community then we should ditch the idea that we are delivering services and instead think more about the arts as the embodiment of collective will and expression, about the arts as a place where culture and community are mutually created not merely provided. The third way that you can perceive the philosophical problem between the arts and politics is in the way that "culture" gets shifted around in some councils, from leisure to education to tourism to economic development. It's always a sign of confusion and marginaliation when people can't decide what to call something. But I think that the words "leisure" and “recreation” seriously misrepresent the importance of the arts and culture in contemporary society. They suggest that culture is a nice-to-have addon, that it's something we do, and something we can afford, when all the serious business of work is done. It's obvious from all this that the arts don’t

feature as something that should be council priorities in their own right, but neither are they treated everywhere as central to the pursuit of those "other agendas" that we hear so much about. In many places culture is not embedded in Local Area Agreements, and it does not feature to any great degree in the comprehensive performance assessment regime either (councils can neglect culture and still do well). Because culture isn't valued in its own right, councils don't have to fund it. Except for providing public libraries and looking after listed buildings, councils have no statutory duty to give their citizens the makings of a cultural life, even though, as we have seen, 94 per cent of their citizens get involved in culture in some way. That leads to problem number three: the services that councils are obliged to spend money on are expanding, and sometimes overspending; council tax is capped; so areas of discretionary spending, like culture, get squeezed. This squeeze has been tightened by the Gershon Review, that requires councils to achieve overall savings yearon-year. To achieve an average of saving, cuts are likely to fall most acutely on those areas, like the arts, where money does not have to be spent.

“Culture is central to most of the things that local politics wants to achieve.”

theatre and the visual arts. There have been striking cultural success stories from the Sage Gateshead to Gosport Discovery Centre. One other piece of good news is that I believe there is better co-ordination now at a local level between cultural agencies and Local Authorities. My point here is absolutely not to say that everything is terrible; but I do say that because of the way that culture is treated – legislatively, financially and philosophically – my fear is that nalgao is right to be worried and that more authorities are going to put the squeeze on the arts and culture. And that is a tragic error, because culture is central to most of the things that local politics wants to achieve. If elected members want to build legitimacy, engage local people, and make their towns and villages distinctive and enjoyable places to live and work, they need to start by building the focal points of community life - which means the arts, museums and heritage as much as anything else. Local Authorities neglect culture at their peril because cutting culture will undermine many of the things that they are trying to do. Take away the local arts centre and what does that do for young people's well-being, exercise regime, selfreliance, self-help and the rest? How do you build a sense of community if the community has nowhere to come together, to express its wishes and to enjoy itself? The decisions that Local Authorities make determine, in large part, the look and feel of our cities, towns and villages. Similarly, the range of possibilities for what citizens can do, what they can learn, and how they can grow is powerfully influenced by the infrastructure and activities that Local Authorities choose to invest in. Local authorities need to treat the arts, heritage and, culture more generally as a central concern because they are now of crucial importance to many of the issues facing society. Whether we express this in terms of personal intrinsic value, or in the language of outcomes and instrumental values, or in the public language of institutional value, the importance of the arts in not just building communities, but allowing communities to build themselves, is clear. And of course , the other reason for acknowledging the arts as important is because they are treated as such by a substantial majority of voters.

Sage, Gateshead – a striking cultural success story On the other hand there are plenty of Local Authorities doing very positive things, including new investment in infrastructure and refurbishments, and education initiatives in music,

John Holden Head of Culture, Demos 020 7367 6324 1

This is an edited version of John’s speech. The full version will be on nalgao’s website in the New Year. Knowledge and Inspiration’ can be downloaded free from


Open Space Feedback

Surviving the Threat of closure: • The case must be made at a corporate and political level, so lobby at different levels and use high profile partners and community leaders to argue your case for you, and make sure that they are well briefed • In the current financial climate, the Business Case must come to the front • Become a multidisciplinary chameleon • Be clear about how well the facts about the arts are travelling up the management chain • Gets arts into your Local Area Agreements • Increase awareness of what cultural produce is on offer and how can this be raised and better promoted

Arts Officer Standards 1. What makes a good Arts Officer? • Do we need a National Standard? • If so, what would it look like? • Is this a quality standard for the service/ the local authority or the person/people offering it? The group discussed the key attributes of what

constitutes a good arts officer: • There was some disagreement as to whether these can be measured and whether a “standard for arts officer” was appropriate or possible. • There was however agreement that nalgao should take on the task of exploring the possibility of developing a competence model for arts officers, as the most appropriate organisation representing the people who do it. • Nalgao can only do this if it consults closely with its membership on a continuing basis. 2. Attributes of a Local authority Arts Officer • Ability to work in partnership • Advocacy • Excellent Admin skills • Imagination • Facilitation skills • Creativity and an interest in the arts • Celebrating success • Diverse experiences • Being influential • Being able to think and act strategically • Good at relationship building • Having good business advice • Sustainability & succession planning beyond the individual • Political astuteness and acumen • Good communication skills and articulate • Flexible abilities: able to think big and small • Good management skills • Knowing and accepting the challenge • Passion • Flair >

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

• A benchmark of good consultation practice would be useful • Methodologies are important, especially new ones: “conversations” and “photos”, etc, in engaging the hard to reach • We need definitions: • Define “culture” for consultees (does this include libraries, parks & open spaces, etc) • Define different methods in different contexts • Define the terms of reference of the consultation: the scope and scale • Manage expectations: of both consultation and of outcomes and resources • Abolish poor consultations and establish good practice


Consultation and the Arts

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The Open Space sessions have become a distinguishing and vibrant feature of recent nalgao conferences. They are a way of the delegates of both defining the agenda and sharing information and experiences. Any delegate can propose a topic, which they then lead, and which hopefully attract both the curious and the determined to speak, listen and share. This section outlines the bullet point findings from a selection of the Open Space sessions at nalgao’s September conference. We hope you find them intelligible and useful.

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3. More complex attributes: • You can tell the story about how people engage • Acting as bridge-builders • Motivated to make a difference • Tenacity • Critical confidence and strong analytical skills • Able to make the complicated simple


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2007 conference report


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• It is not just about money • Patronage is not new • How do we reach/find wealthy people and how do you tick their boxes? Could be through social interaction such as Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, Masonic Lodges etc • We need the financial equivalent of speed dating for the arts to put projects and prospective patrons together • There are big endowment funds, but how do we influence this? Legacies can be a potential source of major funding • There are issues of better tax relief on individual giving • We may need to know board make-up and who board members know • What is the role of LA arts officers in this? Could be enabling, information & advice and a lobby for better tax relief • We may need a broker or partnership • Lottery as philanthropy? But not fulfilling original intentions • In Spain, banks have to give a proportion of profits to culture • The arts can provide speakers to Rotary clubs, Masonic meetings, Lions events etc and this may lead to contacts • Philanthropy and sponsorship are different • People like giving, but the arts sector can be bad at asking • Wealthy people want unique experiences. The arts can be good at providing these.

Helping Voluntary Arts groups develop 1. Do Voluntary Arts Groups need growth and development? • Yes, but It depends on whose agenda you are applying • There is a danger of putting too much emphasis on voluntary arts groups in the delivery of the full participatory arts experience • The majority want to carry on doing what they do, and not feeding other agendas • The majority of arts groups don’t want a relationship with the council • We may be missing a trick that voluntary arts groups are good at getting people to participate • Voluntary arts groups are very strong economically, and contribute a large economic input to the arts sector • We don’t always know they exist • Sometimes they are fine and should be left to develop on their own • Can we make volunteers more “professional” without scaring them away? • Better to train the CVS to support voluntary arts groups that to try to do it all within local authorities. 2. What areas do voluntary arts groups need help with? • There are gaps in where available help get to • Marketing: using new technologies • Risk Assessment and H&S: skills and time • Event Management and licensing compliance: crowd safely, traffic control, etc • Chairing a meeting, organisational management and capacity development • Settling realistic goals and monitoring/evaluation • Membership recruitment • Fundraising • Child protection 3. What can local authorities do to help? • Implement a small pot of community arts grants • Working with CVS network to inform them about umbrella arts groups • Joint initiatives with Arts Council: for specialist

• • • • • • •

arts support for voluntary groups and artform development Introduce Valuing Volunteers Awards Ask voluntary arts groups how we can help them Information, including information about the statutory sector and how it works Advocating what VAN does and use the VAN website Documenting and celebrating successes from training Get groups you have worked with to talk to others Networking opportunities in exhibition, fundraising and capacity development

Arts development by Stealth (sneaky ways to get things done!) 1. Play the System • Policy • Arts @ the Strategic Centre • Networks • Understand the ethos and culture of your authority • Find out who is influential and where the power lies • Find out what language to talk (especially on planning and regeneration issues) and talk it • Find others who share your values and passions and use them • Prove that what you say is true - do it! • Go and do it first - get a track record, use facts and figures • Ask for it, don’t wait to be told, but watch your back! • Have professional confidence and belief in yourself Note: read: • Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon McKenzie

• Breaking the Code (about Westminster and politics) by Gyles Brandreth 2. Buck the system • Don’t be too defensive – ask why not, not why! • Take your leader on study tours and use case studies from other areas that have worked (don’t re-invent the wheel) 3. Talk it up • Be confident and talk with authority - you are the expert and they won’t often challenge you. • Knowledge • Call it an Arts Service - call it an arts base (even if there is only one of you)

What Culture means to LAs: • Community strategies • Seeing arts as the voluntary sector • What could ACE do?

How to get invited to meetings? • We are fundamentally engaged in the bigger picture Strategic Partnerships: LSPs and LAAs • We need to question where arts sits in the local and regional framework • 50% of ADOs were not involved in LAAs (nalgao LA Spending Survey 2007). Information has to come top-down, and those at the bottom might not know how or even know to look at this • We need to apply a strategic approach to sit at the table: If you want to be involved, go and talk to others, get them to agree that you should be at the table • Should ACE & DCMS facilitate the cultural

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• We need to grow with partners and partnerships

The mind set: • What approach can we take to develop partnerships • We need to be at the table when the money is there • Arts people have credibility • Integral to forums

agenda? Think sideways! Support the creation of cultural partnerships where they do not exist. • Work with RDAs (and broker with organisations who understand RDAs and areas to advocate). RDAs have money!

• nalgao is in a good position to encourage officers to join in. • 97% of nalgao members are involved in strategic planning Do we follow money? • Part of our core business is to access money and us it to deliver the arts agenda • Seeing other services deliver this in a nonparticipatory way is gutting! • In the future, should LAs engage with the voluntary sector to deliver on LAAs? • Look at Missions, Models, Money (Google it) • We work to ever-changing agendas, and forward planning is difficult. There may be clashes of timescales in relation to agendas and funding. >

analgao Magazine Winter 2007

Participation to Partnerships: what chance a productive future?

• What makes partnerships work?


4. Using arts policy as a defence? • Arts at the strategic centre is a good tool, and it will enable you to talk to members • Allow other people to take the credit for your ideas (and especially politicians!) • Give the quote/photo opportunity to your cabinet member, chief executive or line manager but make sure your line manager knows who really did it! • Use key messages and get independent outsiders to say the same messages • Create your own safe testing ideas group • Establish networks and forums • Sometimes do not ask permission (be economical with the truth!) - be aware that your line manager may not be able to say yes • Be clever and strategic with support for others • Never get angry – Mr Angry does not get invited back for tea!

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Conference Feedback 86% 1 of delegates thought the venue was good or excellent – thanks and well done the Cambridge Corn Exchange! 82% of delegates thought the keynote conference speakers were good or excellent. 81% of delegates thought the breakout sessions were good or excellent. 70% of delegates thought the study tours were good or excellent. 80% of delegates thought the catering was good or excellent. 88% of delegates thought the conference was good value for money. 84% of delegates thought it met some of their training needs and 96% said it met some their CPD needs. The conference attracted 186 delegates an increase of 7 on the 2006 conference.

Not there? Hear…


nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

2007 conference report

Podcasts of some of the conference keynote speeches can be found on Arts Professional’s website -

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Conference Thanks: nalgao wishes to thank Arts Council England for Grants for the Arts support for the conference. Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire DC and East Cambs DC (through ADeC) were attentive and supportive hosts, our grateful thanks to them. EUCLID and Arts Professional sponsored this year’s conference. Many thanks to them for their support.


Who expressed an opinion.

Views From The Floor

Key actions: 1. Strategic focus on cultural partnerships 2. We need to be more strategic 3. Build sustainable partnerships and recognition through promotion and advocacy to get a place at the table 4. Build on the “Arts Performance Checklist” 5. Connect strategically with key players (in the cultural sector and wider) and use them to advocate for you 6. You can be the one to develop cultural forums, don’t wait for someone else to do it 7. Make your outcomes work 8. Be better informed on strategic planning and LAAs/LSP’s. 9. Build sustainable relationships 10. Align with the voluntary sector 11. Seize the day! This is the time of opportunity

Gail Brown

boldness in accepting change within her architecture, artistic landscape and communities. If this was a taste of what nalgao the community, can and does offer the arts sector, then I was hooked. If nalgao had been a pudding I would have invariably gone back for seconds and indeed I will as I look forward to attending the 2008 Conference wherever that may be… Gail M Brown Dance Development Officer Surrey Arts Dance And SE Region nalgao Rep ( job-share)

Tracey Shaw I’ve become a bit of a conference cynic over the years - too many gigs spent feeling disgruntled that the content and learning weren’t nearly enough to justify precious time away from the office. But the relevance of nalgao 2007’s focus to my own work – managing arts and regeneration projects in a range of challenging

policy and strategy into local planning processes. Green Heart Partnership’s work in Hertfordshire on the development of public spaces provided new ideas aplenty, in the arguments for early involvement of artists within inter-disciplinary approaches to “placeshaping” and in the examples of artist-led community consultation using GHP’s ‘Perception AREA’ model. The trip into rural South Cambs took in two brand new housing developments at Arbury Park and Cambourne, offering inspirational examples of artists’ contributions to the nurturing of newly formed communities to take back to our own housing market renewal programme in Dewsbury. Quite unexpectedly I found a fourth ‘i’ too – sufficient invigoration to feel that I really needed to do something with all these juicy ideas, examples, contacts and reference points back home in Kirklees. With something akin to missionary zeal, I returned with notions of getting some balls rolling, by writing a couple of papers and instigating some dialogues with

On leaving I felt overwhelmed, almost tearful for the experience to be ending. I had connected with a new city; a collective of people working in the arts across the UK who understood the challenges I felt and embraced the cartoon like light bulb above my head, which flickered consistently throughout the conference. I left with more friends than when I arrived and had made unexpected alliances within a SE Group that will always be known as “Adam and the 5 Eves”. Cambridge was kind to me and showed me her history, courage and

community contexts – plus the need for refreshment in the face of so many LAAs, LDFs, NRFs, HMRs and LEGIs, were just enough to hook me in. Off I went in search of three i’s information and ideas, and with a modicum of hope that I might even find some inspiration. nalgao, not only did you not disappoint, you exceeded expectations. I found my three i’s in liberal helpings throughout, but especially in two workshops and a bus ride. Ixia’s workshop gave invaluable technical information on integrating public art

colleagues in Planning, Housing and Regeneration which could maybe begin to have some influence (ok, the ‘i’ theme’s getting tedious now!). Notions of the kind that easily get lost sight of in the back-to-work hurly burly. But six weeks on the papers are written, the dialogues are starting… nalgao 2007 it was all down to you. Customer delight indeed! Tracy Shaw Project Director, Loca Kirklees Culture & Leisure Services


nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

My arrival at this conference filled me with both a sense of excitement and nervousness. I was keen to engage with as much as I could in terms of doing my own organisation Surrey Arts proud and that of being part of nalgao. The keynote speakers were inspirational and human, real people with a compelling understanding of the challenges we face working with arts at a government level, fiscal budgets, achievement pressures from on high and conflicting agendas. Break out sessions revealed greater areas of similar challenges across the UK and suddenly I felt less alone as an arts provider… there was a sense of support. Margaret Hodge spoke of “putting passion into action that will result in a lasting legacy within communities”. I believe that this is what the nalgao conference began to achieve. As I entered each break out session, the knowledge I was gaining gave me courage to comment, to enter into debate and to draw clarity from the many colleagues whom surrounded me.

2007 conference report

Two randomly chosen newcomers to nalgao conferences give their views on what it was like for them…

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creative industries case studies ARTS AT THE HEART Winter 2007

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Mining Creativity The Art of Regeneration in the Welsh Valleys Polly Hamilton

In the Valleys of South Wales, since the mines closed down over 15 years ago, we have become very good at telling everyone how bad things are. Statistics trip off the tongue - over 20% of the working age population hold no formal qualifications; almost 30% of the working age population are economically inactive (40% in some wards); 25% of the population have a limiting long-term illness and one in three children live in poverty. 80% of former miners in South Wales still haven’t found work. But the mining industry had an important by-product, which has proved to be relatively sustainable – a resource which has not yet run out‌

Culture – a Bi-Product of the Mining Industry

• Limited resource to invest in research and development, policy and planning. Currently our arts budgets are tied up in funding activity, and not industry. We need to find ways to transfer resources to developing the means of production, not simply product.

Tom Jones, International Superstar!

Local authorities in the South Wales Valleys have had a programme of Arts Development since the early 1990s, following a successful initiative by the then Welsh Office. Valleys Live refurbished cultural venues and recruited arts and marketing professionals to run a yearround programme of events. This created a new infrastructure of directly-managed arts services in the Valleys, from Neath Port Talbot in the west, to Torfaen in the east, covering a population of almost 1 million, over a third of the population of Wales.

• Lack of shared language. All professions come with their own jargon, and terminology differs between the arts, education and economic development sectors. An example would be the description of, in our terms, a youth arts project. To the education sector this would be “entry-level engagement”, our economic partners would describe it as “talent development”. However described, the language is pretty impenetrable to the very people supposed to benefit from the work. • National strategic priorities do not always match local needs: Creative Business Wales, the ‘hub’ for the creative industries based within the Welsh Assembly Government has prioritised high-end venture capital, Intellectual Property and large-scale investment in film, media and music – sectors based primarily within the metropolitan coastal belt. This means little or no support for the micro-businesses operating in Valleys communities.

Rhondda Cynon Taf – A Case Study Here in Rhondda Cynon Taf, like other arts services, we have been managing a gradual process of change from a leisure-based provision to a greater focus on wider crosscutting issues, from community safety, to lifelong learning and health and well-being. Having been relatively successful at improving the quality and accessibility of our arts provision, and creating as stable a financial base as is possible within today’s climate, we have turned our attention to boosting our >

• Low levels of specialist expertise within our own department, Education Services and Business Support departments, or independent mainstream business advisory services, leading to ineffective advice, inappropriate signposting and unresponsiveness.

• Image and place marketing – the consistent profiling of the Valleys as the depressed former Coalfields both locally and outside the area simply reinforces the worst aspects of life in the Valleys – it’s an untrue picture. The reality is that the Valleys are a great place to live. Fight Night, Muni Arts Centre

creative industries case studies

Kelly Jones, Stereophonics

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

The Role of Local Authority Arts Services

Challenges to developing the Creative Industries in the Valleys


Culture, particularly in the form of choirs, brass bands, amateur musicals and Eisteddfoddau, was an essential part of community life. Miners Institutes, theatres and cinemas can be found all across the Valleys, built by the mine-owners and supported by workers through their infamous ‘penny in the pound’ weekly contribution, an early form of ‘percent for art’. This impressive heritage has instilled a tremendous passion for music and the performing arts, and the history of social justice in the area has resulted in considerable expertise in socially-engaged contemporary arts practice, not to mention really great events in theatres right on your doorstep. There are some notable artists associated with the area – in commercial music, Tom Jones, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Lost Prophets, Funeral for a Friend. Jazz musician Paula Gardiner, playwrights Laurence Allan, Frank Vickery, Patrick Jones, writers Rachel Trezize, Harri Webb. In visual arts, Ernest Zobole, Robert Thomas, the Model House and more recently, Platform Arts. Spectacle Theatre and Gwent Theatre - delivering quality theatre in education, youth theatre and community theatre, The Pop Factory, Rhondda Cynon Taff Community Arts, Valleys Kids, Dance Blast, Zoom Cymru and others are forging international reputations for their work.

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support for the creative industries. The Valleys qualify for EU Convergence funding, the successor to Objective One. This time, we want to make sure that people working in the creative industries sector benefit in such a way as to make their businesses genuinely sustainable when Convergence funding ends in 6 years time. We also want to give young people a reason to stay here. Like others, we have encountered a number of challenges, beyond those of our geographical location and demographics, which impact on the development of any industry. So, to get over these challenges, we’ve been working on a number of projects, which bring together partners from local government, education, the independent cultural sector and the private sector. These include:-

Magic Voices Welsh National Opera – WNO MAX and local school children


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( has been running for 7 years. It’s supported by Cymorth funding from the Welsh Assembly Government (for young people at risk of disaffection) and helps create pathways into the music industry for young people in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The programme is run by Tanya Walker, herself a well-known singer-songwriter on the Welsh music circuit and a PRS Foundation award-winner. As well as enabling people to compose and play their own original music, and supporting and showcasing local bands, the project supports young entrepreneurs through seminars, mentoring and advice sessions. In 2006, Sonig won The Pop Factory award for Community Music.


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creative industries case studies

Sonig Youth Music Industry

Black Umfolosi with Treorchy Male Choir

( is new social enterprise and film/media development initiative that targets young people. The project is helping to build confidence, media literacy and the kind of skills and experience that young people will need to help them access the film, media and broadcasting industries. The focal point of its annual programme is Wales’ only annual international festival of young people’s film – screenings of the best work for and by young people, whether the latest Pixar or a short film made by young people in Poland. The project was instigated by ourselves and the University of Glamorgan, set up with the support of funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and the Arts Council of Wales, inspired by the announcement of a major new film studios, Dragon, to be built in the south of the county. By the time the studios are ready to open in a few years time, it is hoped that Zoom will have given young people in the Valleys some hope of getting work in an industry where jobs would otherwise go to skilled people from outside the area.

We set up the

Valleys Creative Industries Forum

Supporting the creative industries requires different competencies and contacts. As arts officers, we have already begun to consider how we need to develop our skills and knowledge to better support the sector in our area. As a starting point, we are…

• Re-thinking our role. Be clear that with creative businesses our role is to support, signpost and facilitate. We are not a gate-keeper but an opener of doors! Sometimes we just need to get out of the way!

• Educating ourselves – there are now loads of websites and publications out there with the facts you need to demonstrate to colleagues in Economic Development and Education that a strategic, joined up approach is required. Find out what’s happening at a regional level too, through the Regional Development Agency or Regional Cultural Consortium.

• Asking people – what do local artists, arts organisations and creative businesses need from us? Let’s not assume we know, ask them! We are talking to related support agencies to find out what we can do to encourage creative people to use their services.

Park and Dare Theatre, Treorchy

Silesian Dance Theatre, Poland

• Building our networks

Our urban areas and cities have long-since seen the benefits of investment in the creative economy. In the dead traditional industries of South Wales Valleys, it was physical strength that mattered. It remains to be seen if we can help our workforce make the transition from ‘brawn’ to ‘brain’: but surely the best atalyst is our magnificent, intriguing, shared culture.

Finding out who is offering the best business advisory support in our area. If there isn’t a specialist service for the creative industries, then those offering support to the social enterprise sector are often a good starting point. Or, are there some good, mature a rts and creative organisations in the area who could offer mentoring to new start-ups and young entrepreneurs? Local further and higher education institutions are often good sources of support. And let’s not forget our regional nalgao grouping. nalgao Cymru members have proved to be a great source of support here in the Valleys – we really couldn’t do this work without them! The creative industries are seen as an important part of the new service-based and knowledge-based economies in the UK.

Polly Hamilton 2006/07 Clore Fellow (supported by the Arts Council of Wales) Head of Cultural Services,. Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council Kelly Jones photo: Tom Sheehan Silesian Dance Theatre photo: Tomasz Zakrzewski

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Aspiring photo-journalist with The Lost Prophets, The Full Ponty 07


• Better make the case for the creative and cultural sector • Make the sector more accessible, particularly to a more diverse range of people • Create more, better quality, jobs in the sector • Grow creative businesses, enabling them to achieve their creative, business and social objectives. • Promote the Valleys as a great place to do business, because of its creative communities, beautiful landscape and distinctive culture.

creative industries case studies

to bring together local, sub-regional, and national partners with an interest in supporting the development of the sector. This creates critical mass, pools knowledge and helps spread time, energy and funding further. Through this forum, we are organising consultation and networking events for creative people and businesses in the Valleys, monitoring the development of Convergence and seeking a long term research partner to provide us with the information we need to establish a baseline and monitor improvement. We’re working in the long term to:

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Canterbury Gets Mitch Robertson

In 2004 Canterbury City Council’s Economic Development and Regeneration team commissioned consultants Yellow Book to carry out a concept study for a proposed creative and cultural quarter in Canterbury. Two of the key findings were:


nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

creative industries case studies

• The creative and cultural industries have a key role to play in modernising the city economy • Creative industries are under-represented

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It was something we all already knew but was highly useful in supporting the work we wanted to develop. We knew that we needed to try and establish some creative spaces as a priority so undertook a period of desk-based research and site visits to various studio spaces in the region to study other models and see what did and didn’t work in the real world. The team also initiated the search for prospective buildings. Several council-owned properties were viewed but the majority of the buildings required major capital investment up to £40,000 in some cases, which we simply could not afford. Our spaces needed to work on paying for themselves and as a pilot project we needed hard evidence before we could secure further council investment. To make this work we needed to find a relatively low cost building, in a central location, partners to work with us and most importantly find good tenants to occupy the space. Easy!! After lots of searching, a small office block in the heart of the city centre was secured as the most suitable. The building was capable of providing 8 spaces. The overall leasable space of the building is 70.78 metres. The building provides 8 small studios (2 of which are lockable), toilets, cloakroom, shared kitchen, storage area and small covered outside area. There was no major structural work needed to the building. Dividing screens were made in order to demarcate the studio spaces, electrical sockets were fitted into each individual space and a fire door was fitted. A change of use for the building was not required. The team took on the building in its entirety. We became responsible for the day to day running of the building from maintenance

of boilers and implementation of a fire plan. Red Dog Creative Studios were born.

We almost became a nuisance! We needed both internal and external partners to make the project achievable. Our internal partners included. Estates, Legal, Building Services and Economic Development and Regeneration. We had to convince the majority of them that this was a worthwhile partnership and highlighting the importance of creative industries and there value to the district. (No mean feat!) The demand from other departments for vacant council owned buildings is high. We particularly had to position ourselves high on estate’s priority list. This was achieved by

constant emails and visits from ourselves until we almost became a “nuisance”! This tactic worked as the building we had chosen was sought after by at least 3 other departments within the council. We also spent a considerable amount of time with the legal department discussing the best type of lease to use. We wanted to provide creatives with any easy in/out lease of 1 month. In order to achieve this we offered licence agreements, which after a year would have to be changed for leases. This type of agreement means that common areas such as toilets, kitchen and passageway are the responsibility of the landlord i.e. us. This meant the hiring of a part time cleaner (a cost we had not accounted for). As well as the main license agreement we have a separate contract, which stipulates basic house rules and the ethos of the studios. This second agreement is sent out with the main licence agreement.

“Red Dog Studios is providing a valuable support for the creative industries in that they network, share resources and support each other as they progress their businesses” Dorothy Thom – Gateway Enterprise East Kent Director

Creative Mitch Robertson, Arts Development Officer, Culture & Communications, Canterbury City Council Tel: 01227 862405 Email:

The Context: Canterbury is a thriving city of 135,000 people situated in East Kent, approximately 50 miles from London and Brighton and is home to three major universities, University of Kent at Canterbury (UKC), University College for the Creative Arts (UCCA) and Canterbury Christchurch University (CCU). All have a reputation for creative courses, many in the visual arts and currently there are approximately 30,000 students, who live and work in the district, many of whom leave the area on graduating due to the limited opportunities available for them to develop their practice, moving to creative hubs in London and Brighton. Aware of these issues, in 2003 Canterbury City Council adopted the Cultural and Creative Industries Policy, which highlighted the drain of talent away from the area and looked at ways we could begin to support and nurture our young creatives. Our key ways of moving forward were to:

creative industries case studies

energized. The Red Dog creatives meet once a week to discuss opportunities and management issues. They have sought advice from other agencies to create opportunities and develop their practice. Currently they are seeking advice in order to form into a more legal organisation. They have had two joint exhibitions and are currently participating in the Open Studios East Kent. I know that the provision of this facility has made a difference.

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

support the start up units for creatives throughout the district. Currently, approximately five hours a week of officer time is spent running the Red Dog studios alone. This involves day-to-day health and safety inspections, marketing, business support and signposting for the workspaces from the main council offices. Regular email and personal contact ensures all the creatives are made aware of any local and national opportunities (bursaries, exhibiting opportunities and professional development).


The Economic Development and Regeneration team had already realised the importance of the creative industries and were keen to work with us to set up workspaces. The team signposted us to other partners, in particular Business Link and Gateway Enterprise, who became involved in providing one to one business support for the fledging companies by offering practical advice, identifying clusters and networking opportunities in the area and acting as a signpost to other relevant partners. Tenants are typically in the very early stages of their careers, some of them having just left university. Every effort is being made to encourage and support them in developing their businesses. The Arts team also spent considerable time working in conjunction with the Health and Safety officer to put into place a fire plan. Our external partners included the three Universities in our catchment area It was hoped that they would take on workspace for their graduates within the building on a permanent basis but this did not happen. However the links made were very positive as it led to wider marketing opportunities. The East Kent Gateway Enterprise Manager has been a vital part of the studios success. She provides one to one business support and acts as a signpost to many other useful agencies. She has included the creatives in many networking opportunities and has acted as an advocate for the studios at business meetings throughout the area. This may lead to future sponsorship opportunities. The council has provided funding for capital costs of £10,000 over 2 years to develop and

Conclusions: There are now eight creatives working industriously within the heart of Canterbury in an ideal location with excellent business advice at hand. They are excited, organized and

• Develop spaces for artists • Develop an intern programme • Introduce interest free loans >

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The Red Dog Ethos: As a team we talked long and hard about what we wanted to achieve, it had to be more that just a straight ‘let’ if we wanted to grow a creative community our main principles are:


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creative industries case studies

• Be committed to the development of Red Dog Creative Studios and to create an environment for exchange, discourse and professional development • Take part in: Technology Enterprise Kent (TEK) Look Before You Leap programme. (The programme uses the modern facilitation process to help would-be entrepreneurs find out about starting a business. With the help of three user-friendly booklets, the process moves through from personal issues to the rules of business and business planning) • Actively encourage further funding opportunities that will benefit you or other members of Red Dog Creative Studios

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The selection criteria are wide. We want to support recent graduates that live and or work within the district. We are looking for tenants that are interested in their own professional development and passionate to take their businesses further and be prepared to work together to forward the aims of Red Dog. Currently there are visual artists, ceramicists and sculptors occupying spaces.

What would we do differently next time? The studios are a success in that we have full occupancy and a waiting list but there are things we would do differently next time. They are: Do not become “landlords” for the building Taking over the management of the building in its entirety, changing light bulbs and dealing with vagrants for example, is time consuming and not an effective use of time. Wherever possible simply act as a link between the artist and the owner. Currently we are opening three new studio spaces working in partnership with Economic Development and Estates. We will not collect revenue from this initiative but we will be achieving our main priority of creating new workspaces and retaining creatives within the district. Work more closely with stakeholders/partners Red Dog was seen as a pilot project. More time must be spent in future projects developing relationships with possible partners

and stakeholders in outside agencies. Time must be spent securing commitment from other council departments and outside bodies. Maintenance Frequent officer time is spent maintaining the building on a day-to-day basis. Next time we will encourage one of the creatives to take on more of a care-taking role within the studios in exchange for a reduction in rent.

What the artists say… “I love the community of Red Dog - art can be quite an isolated practice, so to have seven other people around you creating is fantastic…

making friends and inspiring each other.” Emma Blackwood - painter “Red Dog provides greatly needed workspace for artists in the Canterbury area. It creates an on-going, active dialogue for the individuals involved and connects them to outside agencies that can help develop their practice.” Kate Mathews - sculptor “Red Dog is a place where I feel at home. The presence of other artists gives me great encouragement to continue my art. I enjoy our informal talks and small discussions. I also appreciate the help from the art officers who try their best to make the place friendly and artistically alive.” Lucy Pawlikowski – painter

Leicester Leaps In Clare Hudson

Creative Leicestershire began as the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Arts Partnership project in 2005. Many of you will remember that, as subscriptions to the Arts Council by local authorities came to an end, all parties were keen to keep that local authority subscription money ring-fenced for arts activity. Hence the partnerships between Arts Council and the local authorities to start new, jointlyfunded, activity. This partnership decided that the focus in the Leicestershire sub-region was to be on developing the creative economy. We had a number of large capital projects beginning in Leicester (Creative Business Depot, Performing Arts Centre, Digital Media Centre); developing capital projects in Leicestershire (in Hinckley and Loughborough); two Universities with strong creative courses (De Montfort and Loughborough) and a strong design sector. So, with two years worth of funding already secured, we set about writing a Business Plan for the programme. What seemed clear was that we couldn’t do everything for everybody in the creative sector. We wanted an arts focus, but also recognised the strength of the design sector in the sub-region. So we decided to focus on the needs of small arts, media and design businesses – mainly freelancers and those employing up to

• Evidence from our first independent evaluation said that we were doing a good job and needed to develop the programme further along the same lines • All local authority partners agreed that they were getting good value for money from the programme and were keen to support it further • Arts Council England were supportive of the programme, even if partnership agreement funding was no longer forthcoming. Our external evaluation had looked at many aspects of the programme including our hosting arrangements with Leicestershire County Council and our client focus on small arts, media and design businesses. It came to the conclusion ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. As a result, we drafted a Forward Plan 200811 for the programme. This Forward Plan is being based on a partnership agreement

If you’d like to know more about the programme see or contact Clare Hudson on

Things we are proud of include: • Building up a brand which artists and freelance commercial creatives know and trust • Reaching people who other agencies have little contact with • Looking more holistically at what the sector needs including advocacy, support for workspace/premises development and showcasing projects

Concentric neckpiece, Alex Williamson

Things which need more work include: • Working with Business Link and their providers to tailor their work to creatives rather than trying to provide a complete alternative • Trying to get more co-ordination and contact with relevant College and University curriculum leaders • Getting a more representative and diverse client base >

creative industries case studies

Three Graces by Laurielorry Theatre Company (Creative Leicestershire bursary winners 2006)

We allocated staff resources as follows: there are 1.5 employed staff - Clare Hudson (Creative Industries Manager) & Emily Horwood (who works part of her time on Creative Leicestershire and part-time on arts development for the County Council). We also employ a freelance business adviser (part-time), a freelance project manager for one of our showcasing projects and buy in trainers and presenters for all our seminars. When local authority/Arts Council partnerships came to an end in our region we had a number of things in place to help support the continuation of the Creative Leicestershire programme:

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

between the 10 local authorities involved. Arts Council England has awarded us significant Grants for the Arts project funding for the next three years and therefore come on board as a funder rather than a direct partner. We are also awaiting the outcome of a bid to the Regional Development Agency for other parts of the project. Reporting performance indicators to some 14 funders in total will be a challenge.


three people. These seemed to be the creatives who were more isolated and less likely to get support from Business Link, enterprise agencies, Arts & Business, Arts Council etc.

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Drying to be

Creative Leicestershire – What We Do: 1) Communicating with businesses: initially it was important to create a separate brand for the programme. Then came the website (hosted by Leicestershire County Council); database, print and PR. As well as web-based resources we send out an ebulletin every month to over 1200 creatives plus students, local authority officers, business support agencies. Although timeconsuming to compile it’s about the most useful and cost-effective thing we do.

The Bristol Estate Studios Dany Louise

3) Training: we focus on creative-specific seminars where people can update skills and information. Examples of previous seminars include music distribution seminar (issues of downloading etc), publishing for visual artists. 4) Networking events: some of these are general and some specific (eg Performing Arts Network). Although Leicester is a geographic centre for the sub-region, it’s really important for us to have events in the market towns.

The Bristol Estate in Brighton is one of these. Tucked away on a hill behind the Royal Sussex County Hospital, and only three minutes from fashionable Kemp Town, it is home to 700 people in 368 ‘units’. The units themselves are arranged in low and high rise blocks, built at a time when utilitarianism and grey uniformity were thought to equal good design. They have gorgeous sea views and there are a great many worse looking estates in Britain, but all the same, the buildings were fifty years old this July and it shows. (The outside walls are begging to be painted in a range of strong vibrant colours that will resonate against the sky – sponsorship anyone?)

5) Development Bursary scheme: providing £2,000 bursaries for 15 businesses per year to carry out an agreed development plan to develop the sustainability of their business. The scheme is competitive and open to anyone with up to 3 employees. 6) Showcasing: we support projects ranging from Open Studios to a download album of urban music. Our main projects currently in development are Artslink (for participatory artists) and Made In Leicestershire (to help sell visual art & crafts direct to the public). 7) Workspace development. We commissioned research on workspace needs and support a number of feasibility studies into development of new creative workspace. 8) Advocacy and profile: Everything from talking to local Councillors, keeping engaged with our DMP (tourism agency) to trying to attract key conferences to the area.

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Brighton & Hove may be the creative hub of the south coast, and generally known as a prosperous dynamic and delightful place to live, but it also has pockets of serious deprivation. On the one hand, it acts as a powerful magnet for creatives and exiles from London; and on the other are a few forgotten estates that have generally missed out on Lottery, SRB and New Deal money.

9) Higher & Further Education links: Including support for creative careers fairs at the Universities and advisory work with Colleges.

Royal Pavilion, Brighton – a symbol of prosperity


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creative industries case studies

2) One to one advice: quite costly, but certainly worthwhile. We currently employ a specialist freelancer to deliver the majority of this work. The specialist knowledge of the sector as well as sound understanding of business practices is vital.

Bristol Estate has a large proportion of two vulnerable groups: the elderly and single parent families. Rates of unemployment are high and there is a high proportion of permanently sick or disabled residents. Four years ago it became designated a Neighbourhood Renewal area and since then, the Bristol Estate Community Association has been developed enabling a range of projects to take place. Of course several projects have been arts focussed and these have proved very popular amongst residents. During this period, there was discussion in the Community Association about some disused ‘drying areas’ at the bottom of the blocks becoming a focus


Excited discussions Enter the Council’s Arts and Creative Industries Unit, who have long been aware of the growing shortage of affordable artists’ studio space in the city. And so the idea was born: Why not convert the disused spaces into studios, provide a selfsustaining cultural input into the estate and ease the studio shortage in the city at the same time? We consulted estate residents and the result was a resounding ‘yes please!’ with 74% in support of the project (and a further 14% who would support it if their concerns around security and car-parking were addressed). We then commissioned a feasibility study, which demonstrated that several of the ‘drying areas’ were suitable for conversion into pairs of studio spaces of about twenty square metres, each pair being self-contained and having its own loo and kitchenette. They would be bright and airy, with a glass shopfront (and roller shutter for security). One would be twice the size and designed specifically for wheelchair access. These would be basic but purpose built art making spaces; in visual arts terms, highly desirable indeed. But just to check, we asked for expressions of interest from artists and

indications are that these spaces will be over-subscribed. Excited discussions ensued between the Arts Unit and the Community Association, and the scope of the project has been further defined: The spaces will be prioritised for artists resident on the Estate or living close-by. A condition of tenancy will be that artists commit to providing a range of participatory opportunities for residents throughout the year. Rents will be kept low and affordable, but pitched to provide enough income to do two things: ensure maintenance costs can be met into the future, and provide a surplus to pay for a part-time arts and community engagement worker who will manage the studios and be a bridge between the artist-tenants and the Community Association and residents.

A period of creative chaos Suddenly the opportunities seemed exciting and endless: it will be possible to bring the Estate into the Artist Open Houses event that happens every year during the Brighton International Festival and so reduce its isolation from the rest of the city. They could apply for more money to run specific projects and events targeted at different age groups and needs. Residents would have a choice of workshops, classes, opportunities and collaborations that would take place on their doorstep. There could even be a

Phase 2 with more drying areas converted, a community IT room and/or laundry perhaps; maybe this model could be rolled out on other estates? But first the practical details had to be sorted. Most significantly, the cash applied for and secured, largely thanks to SEEDA, our Regional Development Agency who have supplied the majority of funding, and thanks too to the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and the Brighton & Hove Arts Commission. (The Arts Council has not offered any financial support for this project at all). Secondly, planning permission applied for and gained to make the conversions. And third, permission to go ahead via the elected members and our committee system of governance. All far more easily written about than achieved, however achieved it has been and we are now, finally, entering the construction phase. There will be a period of creative chaos and some disruption on the estate for a few months. But by the end of March 2008, residents will have these brand new spaces and a different sort of input into life on the estate. We very much hope they will experience this as a positive and life-enhancing development for years to come.

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

for anti-social behaviour as was beginning to happen on a neighbouring estate. What could be done about this? What more positive use could these spaces be put to?

Artist’s impression of the proposed development


The current units

creative industries case studies

Project, Brighton

Dany Louise Creative Industries Manager Brighton & Hove City Council

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creative industries case studies

Both photos by Robert Leach

This page: Big Winch Fairy - detail from Airship sculpture by Samantha Bryan at Batley Health Centre Right: Airship from below - large-scale sculpture by Samantha Bryan at Batley Health Centre

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Centred around the towns of Batley and Dewsbury, North Kirklees is an area characterised by industrial decline. Following the demise of its heavy woollen textile manufacturing base, it has been the recipient of substantial regeneration programmes since the early 1990s, and is now home to Loca, a specialist arts and regeneration agency which operates as a direct provision of the Council. The birth of Loca and the beginnings of coherent support for the creative industries in North Kirklees can be traced back to at least 1989 when the membership organisation Cultural Industries in Kirklees (CIK) was commissioned by the Council to analyse the range and quality of services provided by the voluntary and not for profit arts sector. That analysis and advocacy enabled the case to be made for Batley City Challenge to invest in a significant Cultural Programme (£450,000 over

four years 1994-98) managed by Kirklees Cultural Services, as it was then. The success of Batley Cultural Fund within the wider City Challenge regeneration context - captured by Comedia in their research on the social impact of arts programmes, Use or Ornament? (1997) - led directly to the establishment of Loca as a new development agency in 1998. A small team of five then and now, Loca was set up with a specific arts and regeneration remit which aimed to build on

the Batley successes and capitalise on the new opportunity offered by the first ERDF Objective 2 programme in North Kirklees. Loca was and still is located within the Council’s Culture & Leisure service, albeit operating slightly at arm’s length with a base in a refurbished mill between Batley and Dewsbury and a focus largely (although no longer exclusively) in the north of the district. One of the main opportunities afforded by ERDF in 1998 was the chance to initiate two inter-related programmes of Business Start-up and Business Development support, targeting ‘SMEs’, ‘micro-businesses’ and newly emerging sole traders operating in the local creative sector. With little in North Kirklees in the way of creative industries – digital, media and music-based enterprises being thin on the ground – Loca’s challenge was to translate the demands and expectations of ERDF into business startup/support interventions that would have meaning for individual artists and creative practitioners operating in the visual arts, designer-maker and crafts sectors. Key in all this was the concept of Loca’s role being to translate the language and expectations of “business support” into something that was appropriate, targeted, understandable and palatable for selfemployed artists; and thence to create pathways from Loca’s brand of user-friendly, sector-specialist support towards the more traditional offers of business support that were available via Business Link and others. The delivery experience and administrative rigour gained from 4-5 years of managing European funding, and the confidence which came with hitting all the attendant output

creative industries case studies

Jon Rust describes how a creative industries agency is supporting new creative businesses in Yorkshire.

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

Jon Rust



targets (business start-ups assisted, growth supported, jobs safeguarded, new jobs created, VAT registrations secured, productivity increased…) stood Loca in good stead. Now ERDF-free and with the only significant funding for business support being in the form of one dedicated salaried post paid for by Culture & Leisure Services, Loca continues to deliver an annual programme which is regularly accessed by 25-30 individual clients at any time, and which receives consistently positive feedback for being personable, relevant and accessible whilst delivering real business growth results. Now run by Creative Enterprises Projects Manager Robin Widdowson, who came to Loca in 2001 with a 10-year track record as a sculptor and business owner-manager in his own right, the programme operates on very slim resources. A large proportion of Robin’s time is spent delivering tailored, one-to-one advice sessions focused on action planning, financial management, product and market development, time management, costing and pricing, and general problem-solving. His role also involves brokering links with and making referrals to other business support agencies, funders and training providers that can offer specialist support; forging connections between clients and encouraging collaborative ventures such as group exhibitions; and searching out opportunities and contacts which allow clients to show, promote and find customers and outlets for their work. A 12-month rotating programme of exhibitions in a café-bar in 2005-6 which is now being sustained without Loca’s involvement, and first-time involvement by a cohort of North Kirklees artists in the well-established Huddersfield Open Studios Trail this autumn, are recent examples of the added value this brokering and connectionmaking role brings. Since the ties with ERDF funding were loosened Loca has maintained the monitoring and measuring disciplines which enable it to demonstrate quantifiable business growth outcomes from the programme – increased productivity, financial turnover, new sales and customers, job sustainability and so on. But it is arguably the small and individual successes, the personal triumphs and transformations, the leaps in confidence and self-belief that are most worth reporting - impacts that would not be on the monitoring radar of mainstream business support but which are hugely significant in terms of local enterprise growth and the nurturing of a thriving, confident, local creative sector. The ongoing relationship between Loca and CIDA, involving cross-referrals and signposting of opportunities provides broad support. For example, Andrew Warburton set up ‘Area Rugs >

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creative industries case studies nalgao Magazine Winter 2007 ARTS AT THE HEART

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& Carpets’ in 2002 after many years as a designer in the carpet design industry. During his first crucial 5 years in business Andrew has enthusiastically taken up all the support on offer, including regular attendance at Loca workshops and also a number of management training sessions organised by CIDA. Andrew is also a regular delegate at both Loca and CIDA’s networking events. Specific help with business planning and financial management has led to an increase in production and sales, orders from international corporate clients, a move to larger premises and – recently - the company’s first two employees. Loca’s early work in providing creative business support was set within a wider context and given a strategic boost when Creative Transactions – the Kirklees Creative Economy Development Strategy – was approved by the Council’s Cabinet in 2003. The Strategy’s geographical approach is to facilitate and enable appropriate business support initiatives in Huddersfield (particularly through The Media Centre and CIDA); in North Kirklees through Loca; and in the rural South and Valleys through a possible creative business centre as part of the Market Town Renaissance programme. Contacts: Robin Widdowson - Jon Rust, Creative Industries Development Officer -

The Context Kirklees in West Yorkshire has a long and honourable tradition of creative industries development, much of it focused in Huddersfield as the urban centre of the district. There, the last decade has seen the advent of the Creative Town Initiative, the subsequent emergence of CIDA as a dedicated creative industries development agency and the flourishing of Media Centre, housing 72 digital, media and design businesses and now with a stateof-the-art new building recently opened by HM the Queen. A further 47 businesses access remote front desk services.

Loca-l Success Stories 1) After accessing support from Loca, recent graduate Helaina Sharpley has secured a number of commissions for her wire sculpture work, delivered creative projects within schools settings and gained a place at the British Craft Trade Fair, Harrogate, where she won two awards - the “Wow Factor” award and a “Commendation of Excellence”. Designer-maker Helaina was also able to make valuable contacts with galleries and retailers across the UK at Harrogate, and got a further showcasing opportunity with an invitation to exhibit at the prestigious Affordable Art Fair in London.

The Annual Loca Programme This has developed over the years but with some consistent, tried and tested ingredients: • “Starting out” seminars and workshops delivered by experienced creative sector specialists, designed to inspire, inform and motivate people who have recently started in self-employment/business, or who are just considering turning their creative skill into a business opportunity; • Business Skills workshops relevant to practitioners who are already trading with the aim of making a living from their creative practice and want to strengthen their professional skills – on topics relating to business and financial management, marketing and selling, self-promotion and selfpresentation, e-commerce and IT as a business tool; • Go-and-See research trips – visits organised in small groups to top industry trade fairs around the country, to make contacts, see how others are doing it, pick up ideas, inspiration and tips; Quarterly “Creative Connections” networking events. Opportunities for creative practitioners and entrepreneurs to meet like-minded people make useful business contacts, receive information about work/promotional/funding opportunities and gain exposure for themselves and their work. A recent “Creative Connections”, organised with Business Link, attracted 90 people.

2) As a newly emerging visual arts practitioner, Shameela Hussain has been concentrating on developing her organisational and creative delivery skills. Work with Loca has involved action planning and visioning, portfolio development and pricing her work. This has enabled her to gain valuable experience delivering arts, crafts and dance workshops in community and educational settings around Kirklees. Shameela was recently invited to exhibit her artwork as part of this year’s high-profile Yorkshire Bollywood Awards. 3) With an already thriving business, Brains Fairies, sculptor and maker Samantha Bryan won a British Craft Trade Fair award for Excellence in 2006. This year she has been selected to show her unique work at the internationally renowned ‘Origin’ exhibition in London and 'Air' in Hamburg. Loca has helped Sam with general business planning, time management and finance issues, successful grant applications, and the project management of her first public art commission – a large-scale sculpture for the atrium of a new health centre in Batley.

Top left & Bottom left: Children at Hyrstmount Junior School, Batley design garments and stage decoration

New Skills On Stage Bridgend’s creative industries training scheme

Kate Jackson training on sound

The Creative Industries Training Scheme has been initiated by Bridgend County Borough Council’s Arts and Culture Service with partnership funding from Arts Council of Wales. The aim of the programme is to provide a comprehensive choice of training specifically targeting the home grown talents of those people wishing to pursue careers in the theatre and/or for members of the community with an interest in extending their knowledge and skills in the Arts. Opportunities in the performing arts in Bridgend are well established and careers and aspirations have flourished either through further training or through employment as performing artists. The scheme therefore is seen as a natural and sustainable progression and aims to extend artistic creativity throughout the County

management, sound and lighting, writing, film and video and project management. As a kick-start to a possible career in the creative industries, trainees are given opportunities which are overseen by professional tutors to work on productions, with professional companies and practioners.

Borough. It is available to all age groups with opportunities for members from the many well established voluntary organisations to join the programme. Also whilst many people leave the area, a large proportion choose to remain, this being especially prevalent in the more deprived areas with the consequence of many talents remaining untapped. The programme covers a variety of technical skills which include directing, producing, choreography, set and costume design, stage

Fiddler was premiered at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and was part of the 2006 Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre. The show then toured to three of Bridgend’s venues thus giving the trainees an in-depth understanding of the challenges of touring. Trainees have also throughout this first stage been able to access opportunities via other service outputs such as events and one-off shows. Those who have demonstrated a high degree of competence have secured

employment. Two such examples being, one in technical management, and the other in costume design, and shortly to leave for Ireland to work on their first feature film! Now in the second year, and with over 100 people registered, trainees are preparing for the final project which has been specially tailored so as to utilise the different disciplines which have been explored over the past eighteen months. Trainee writers are working with playwright Gary Owen, (winner of the Arts Council England 2003 Meyer-Whitworth Award for new writing for the theatre) to create the script based on Mari Lwyd, from the Welsh Mabinogion. During this final stage a leading trainee will be chosen from each discipline with the responsibility for leading in their own production/performance area. In addition to showcasing the trainees’ skills and development, the project will provide opportunities for community involvement using the talents of local artists. The production will be premiered at the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl as a large scale multi media performance and complemented by the talents of the Arts & Culture Service’s Youth Theatre, Youth Dance and Youth Orchestra This project will also celebrate Bridgend’s rich cultural heritage and the service’s mission in aiming “to increase the number and range of people experiencing the arts through access and participation and to further opportunities across a wide range of art forms which will enrich, educate and provide enjoyment.”

First feature film!

Far Left: Fiddler on the Roof preparation Left: Costume workshops

Initially all those registering on the scheme were given an overview of the programme and then to work on a specific production/performance area of their choice. Bridgend Youth Theatre’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof was used as the main study for year one of the scheme and focused on the specific skills needed to oversee a production.

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Trainees at The Sherman Theatre


CITS Lighting Workshop, Porthcawl Grand Pavilion

creative industries case studies

Guy O’Donnell

Guy O’Donnell Arts Project Officer Bridgend County Borough Council Tel 01656 642727 e-mail

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Dizzy Heights Jane Bell


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creative industries case studies

Hothouse is the new creative hub on London Fields, Hackney developed by Free Form Arts Trust.

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Research and consultation through the Artists Needs Audit of 1997 and a local needs audit in 1999 highlighted the potential to develop a ‘creative cluster’ to create opportunities for artists and a focal point for whole communities to play a meaningful role in arts, regeneration and economic developments. Having secured a plot of land in East London, Barbara Wheeler-Early, a Founding Director of Free Form, set in motion the task of transforming the contaminated brownfield site. Free Form, a leading public and community arts charity, has developed the project. Designed by Ash Sakula architects, the new building plus adjacent railway arches offer versatile work-space available on medium-term lets plus a range of hot desk spaces for small individual creative practices. The buildings’ green credentials are enhanced by majestic views across London Fields to the heated openair Lido from all floors, including the exciting decked roof terrace which incorporates two individual studios and gallery suite covered with a solar photo-voltaic roof.

Hidden Art Fair The new floors more than double the original Hothouse: First Floor Interior Design Studio

workspace and provide for the growing demand in the area for quality, green workspace within an enclosed courtyard. Free Form will bring to Hothouse a wide range of creative opportunities including international exchange projects and work which addresses community and environmental needs from a creative perspective, using these to engage local young people. Eluna is a creative LLP based at Hothouse – their ethos is to bring beautiful, sustainable and saleable 100% recycled glass products to the building industry market. The ambition is to produce recycled glass products to meet fit-for-purpose standards comparable for traditional products used in building, be they stone, ceramic, concrete or synthetic materials. Hothouse Open hosts the 2007 Hidden Art Fair, London Fields on the last weekend of November and first weekend of December where craftspeople will both sell and exhibit their work and there will be the stimulating ‘Sunday Roast’ debates about Crafts for Architecture and The Business of Craft. Hothouse has received partnership funding through London Development Agency, English Partnerships, Heart of Hackney SRB, ERDF, the London Borough of Hackney, Free Form Arts Trust, and the European Environmental Loan Fund. Built in two phases, the development is now complete.

Jane Bell Free Form Arts Trust Tel: 020 7241 7479 Email:

About Free Form Arts Trust We offer design & technical services, youth and community arts activities, neighbourhood regeneration and public art consultation to local authorities nationally and work with them to deliver on a range of creative regeneration projects engaging communities through the arts. Through partnerships with the Housing Corporation and registered social landlords e.g. Guinness Trust and East Thames Housing, Free Form is delivering creative approaches to community safety on estates. Free Form’s youth work includes RAP Youth Arts (a current finalist in Young People Now! Magazine Awards 2007) and Hackney Youth Print Project with Hackney Youth Offending Team; Slough Young People’s Centre for Slough Borough Council (a finalist in the Big Lottery Awards ‘Best Arts Project’ 2007). Our Public Art Development includes the strategies for Bullring, Birmingham; Oracle, Reading; Spitalfields, London. For more information visit:

Hothouse: View from London Fields

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Hothouse: Photovoltaics over the roof studios

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case studies

Lincoln At The Peak Sara Bullimore

Culture is a resource; it makes money and can contribute significantly to the economy and balance of trade in the city and beyond. Culture adds value; competitiveness, in many sectors, depends less on productivity saving or efficiency gains and more on adding value to what we do. Culture can add or create value through styling, marketing and branding our distinctiveness – promoting the things that set us apart from other cities. Culture creates employment; it supports the widest range of employment, from individual artists, designers and makers, freelance or self employed, through to the various organisations and businesses, which add creative, innovative value to our city.

“Culture is far more than entertainment or place” Debates discussed ways as to how barriers were broken down for the definition of culture, and that it is about ensuring community consultation, and empowerment, gauging their views and involving them in the marketing process – from word of mouth to initiating ambassador schemes. What was evident, from both the research and conference debate, is that culture is far more than entertainment or place. Culture is a means by which we represent ourselves, understand our experiences and communicate our aspirations; and see all these things in the context of our local community and larger society, in the city and across our county. The meaning of culture is fluid, it means different things to different people but encompasses the majority of things that

Culture grows people; culture is all about people, individual and collective, and learning how to understand and appreciate all our cultures encourage creativity, and fosters confidence and expression. Culture communicates; our heritage, history and background are important aspects of who we are, but growing people in neighbourhoods and communities depends increasingly on communicating these differences and commonalities as an education tool. Culture, through creativity and expression, and through reminiscence and celebration, help us to communicate who we are and share our background. Culture strengthens communities; as we share differences and commonalities, culture helps us to grow from recognition to common identity to shared values. It is the ties of shared values that bind people with

For more information contact: Sara Bullimore, Arts and Cultural Sector Officer, Lincoln City Council Tel: 01522 873844 Email:

collective obligations and individual responsibilities. Culture and human society; culture can be a source of rich sustainable development, or a brake on change, an obstacle to development and a source of division; it is crucial then that cultural strategy and planning takes account of people’s beliefs and cultural practices, because the success of our planning and deliverability of strategy will be dependent on upholding collective obligations and recognising individual responsibility. Culture and development objectives; if culture can make or break strategy and planning – both in itself and as an enabler of other actions and plans – then it is arguable we must put culture at the strategic centre of our concept for change or context for development from the beginning.

case studies

The Lincoln Cultural Summit Conclusions

space, structure and function when placed together.

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The Cultural Summit held in Lincoln, in March 2007, brought together key speakers, workers and cultural policy makers to discuss the issues of the day, including the emerging Cultural Olympiad, Cultural quarters and what keynote speaker Dr Franco Bianchini described as the new developing ‘Jigsaw city’. The conference was organised by the City of Lincoln Council in partnership with Bishop Grosseteste University College and the Arts Council of England and aimed to examine the changing 21st century cultural landscape, in which Lincoln was launching their new Cultural Sector Partnership structure. The day comprised of a mixture of key speakers, breakout sessions and artist in residencies. Dr Franco Bianchini, as the keynote speaker, introduced the conference to an emergent idea of the ‘Jigsaw City’, a metaphor that captures the complexity and interconnections of a modern city, with a myriad of social, cultural, economic and environmental pieces, which form a distinct

reflects lifestyles or leisure time. It is important to understand the breadth of culture’s influence and the nature and importance of cultural sustainability, the conference offered conclusions as further food for thought – see box for details. For the eighty or more delegates who attended the cultural summit, the conference provided a valuable opportunity to better understand that culture can be a mechanism for, or an obstacle to, human development, and it is intrinsic to sustainable development and growth within our rural communities, urban areas and city centres. Therefore the Cultural Summit to Lincoln was a means of setting a benchmark for our cultural aspirations as organisations, communities, businesses and individuals. Our first test in the City will be through our response to the Cultural Olympiad and to embed culture in our portfolio for growth and change.


“My head is buzzing from the extraordinary juxtaposition of ideas and themes, the experience has inspired me. If we want our cities to be creative then we need creative people to help guide the process.”

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nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

case studies

No Subsidy? No surrender!

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Now here’s a thought – do we need arts development officers? In West Sussex, the Revolutionary Arts Group organises an annual arts festival across two areas, Horsham District and Worthing Borough. And while Horsham has a whole pack of excellent Arts Development Officers, Worthing has none. At the heart of the annual Artists and Makers Festival is a trail of open houses and studios. With around 30 venues and nearly 200 artists, makers and designers involved, it's a big event, attracting around 5,000 visits in sixteen hours of opening. Sales total between £50,000 and £70,000 – over £3,000 per hour. As well as the open houses and studios, the festival includes open-air Shakespeare on the South Downs, a textile trail woven into the fabric of shops in Worthing town centre, small-scale theatre in unlikely venues and exhibitions by local clubs, studio groups and arts societies. And the Festival has brought guests like artist Bill Drummond, comedian Dave Gorman, writer and broadcaster Andrew Collins, and an evening of The Big Chill Festival to the area. In short, the Festival does everything we expect an arts festival to do. The event started under Worthing Borough Council's umbrella, as the Worthing Arts Festival. After running for four years, at a reported cost of £8,000 a year and the time of various officers, the council pulled the plug to save costs. The Revolutionary Arts Group, a local business who had seen strong partnerships grow in the last three years of the Festival, decided to carry on, re-branding the Festival and building on already strong links with venues at the South of Horsham District, which borders with Worthing.

Respected, trusted and appreciated Since then, the Artists and Makers Festival has spread across Horsham District. And from my position in Horsham I have been pleased to involve artists across the district, and have given the Revolutionary Arts Group administrative and moral support when needed Local businesses have added their support, recognising the economic benefits of an event which is getting national media coverage, and brings day visitors into the area from the cities of

Luna Russell

London, Brighton, Chichester and counties across the south-east. But fundamentally, the Artists and Makers Festival pays its own way, with anyone taking part buying into the guide; there's no great difference in what happens in Worthing Borough and Horsham District. The cost to Horsham District Council is minimal, and Worthing Borough Council has contributed nothing since 2003. In fact, the Festival runs commercially across a geographic area about ten times the size, but on half the budget that Worthing Borough Council previously spent. The Revolutionary Arts Group also runs the Artists and Makers website, visited by an average 1,800 users every day. Any club or group, studio or gallery, or individual artist can add an event to the what's on guide; individuals can write reviews; anyone can add comments to the stories on the site. Again, there's a degree of flexibility and adaptability which a council-run service couldn't deliver. And the website acts as an arts development tool, building audiences, and acting as a network amongst professionals and practitioners. But even with these examples, dedicated officers working in local authorities have delivered a range of benefits for the arts. We now see the arts embedded in local policy, with projects cutting across services and delivering benefits, from community development to economic impact, which are monitored and measured. In the best local authorities, arts officers are respected, trusted and appreciated by fellow officers, council members, arts professionals and practitioners, and ultimately the community they serve. But is a local authority officer always the best solution? Different authorities work in different ways, and maybe in some places more can be achieved outside of the tight structure of a local council. So it's unsurprising that, in an age of costcutting, a growing number of local authorities are looking at different models and finding good examples where external partners have delivered the benefits of the arts, like the Artists and Makers Festival.

Luna Russell Arts Development Officer, Horsham District Council 01403 215253

railway engineer, who decided to develop coal mining in the area. With the demise of the coal mining industry and the closure of the Clay Cross Company, Clay Cross is changing to meet the demands of the modern world. The workshop used the skills of animator and film maker Oscar Stringer, founder and Director of Wiltshire-based South Street Studios. On the day, 17 young people turned up to do the workshop. Andrew Fox, the group leader, supported the workshop and gave the young people encouragement throughout the day assisted by Youth Opportunities Unlimited staff. First, Oscar informed the participants about what they would be doing and talked them through some essential information. He then gave them an hour to each make a model that could be animated. When all the models were made the young people then got into five

Filming in Clay

Meeting Government Targets by providing arts activities groups and began working on a story. They were asked to make a story by writing action bullet points. This was a great team activity and all the young people worked really hard on putting their stories together. After the stories had been produced, Oscar demonstrated how to produce animated films with their characters. Each group was given equipment including a camera and a laptop to produce their stories. They then had to work together in a team to produce the film. The young people learnt how to use the film equipment and how to use the software on the computer. Each film was between 20 seconds to one minute long. At the end of the session Oscar put the films together and put a soundtrack >

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The NE Derbyshire arts service is seen as a key means of helping to deliver this strategy by providing positive activities for young people, helping them to become active citizens by taking part in community activities. This can also be a distraction away from crime and anti-social behaviour another Government agenda for local authorities to meet. Francesca Redmore the youth worker, recruited a group of young people to give them a chance to do something in their spare time that was a positive activity, film animation in this case. The theme of the project was crime and anti-social behaviour and its effect on the local community. The Clay Cross film animation project was funded by the Derbyshire Crimebeat fund. Young people had to make the application themselves with help from youth worker Francesca Redmore and Arts Development officer Kay Ogilvie and the theme of the project was crime and anti-social behaviour.


Like many places, there is a perceived problem with crime and anti-social behaviour in North East Derbyshire, even though this is not reflected in the actual crime figures. The area lies on the edge of the Peak District National Park and the Local Authority serves 100,000 people. The Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) for this area has produced a Community Strategy. The strategy recognises that some groups experience discrimination and disadvantage which can result in social and economic exclusion. Socially excluded and alienated people may not be able to actively participate in our society. NE Derbyshire and Chesterfield are committed to taking positive action to counteract the effects of discrimination and disadvantage. The community strategy aims to support all people to be able to be active citizens. As a result the Arts service has been asked to deliver an arts programme that addresses youth crime. Therefore, recruiting socially excluded people as the Film Animation project did via the youth worker, to participate in a positive activity, film in this case, aims to have the positive outcomes as outlined in the project and help these citizens become more active and less excluded.

case studies

Kay Ogilvie

Wallace and Gromit Clay Cross is a town of just under 9,000 people. It grew from a small farming community into a dynamic industrial town, dominated by the Clay Cross Company founded by George Stephenson, the famous

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over the top. Whilst he was putting the films together the young people watched Wallace and Gromit on a projector screen. After learning the techniques of animation they were all in awe of the skill that went into putting Wallace and Gromit together. They were then able to watch the films that they had just produced on the large screen and they got to take a copy of everyone’s films home with them. The workshop was a great success, the young people engaged with Oscar and everyone got really involved in the day. The young people also achieved a lot. Each young person had contributed and each one could be proud of the film that they had produced. The day went smoothly and all the young people enjoyed themselves. Many showed an interest in

continuing to make animation films and Oscar was able to give them information as to how they could continue to make animation.

Specific Achievements Of The Workshop

Kay Ogilvie, Arts Development Officer, NE Derbyshire District Council 01246 217510

• 17 young people developed skills in film making

Francesca Redmore - Project Co-Ordinator: The YOU Project (Youth Opportunities Unlimited) 07870 392355 01246 859654 Oscar Stringer South Street Productions

• One of the young people attending had an ASBO and his attendance not only meant that he was engaged in an activity but as the theme was around anti-social behaviour he was thinking about the damaging effects that it has on society. • Several of the young people had behavioural difficulties and the workshop promoted teamwork, patience and active participation. • One of the young people had been taken out of school due to extreme bullying and the workshop helped him to gain confidence in a safe, welcoming environment.

case studies

Claire Bigley


What the Dickens?

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• Several young people expressed a desire to develop their film skills to a greater level and the workshop was seen as a steppingstone to a bigger film project.

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Halton Actors in residence The Brindley, a state of the art centre for theatre, cinema and visual arts in Runcorn, a town within Halton Borough Council in North West England, is now the home base of a twohanded professional women’s theatre company known as HAIR. In 2006 two of the drama facilitators who worked within the Centre and were also professional actors decided to collaborate in forming a company based in The Brindley Studio theatre where both women had previously performed with the shows; “What the Dickens” and “Margaret Rutherford Re-called”. As Halton’s Drama and Literature Officer, I was pleased to support the pair in gaining Arts

Council funding for a first big project in the following Spring. However in the meantime, Louise Nulty and Jacqueline Pilton were commissioned by The Brindley to present some site-specific drama as part of “Talkwrite”, The Brindley’s literary festival week in May 2006. Both Louise and Jacqueline, who have between them over 40 years experience of treading the boards, have also run other theatre companies and were used to producing, directing, writing and adapting as well as acting.

Cross-gender acting So, with commission contract in hand they scripted some extracts from well-known novels

to be performed around The Brindley entitled “Novel Lives”. In the cafe; Graham Greene’s “Brighton Rock” came alive to the festival goers who were taking lunch. By the box-office Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were in close discussion. (Oh, yes, these actresses are exceedingly versatile and cross gender acting holds no fears!) In the Art Gallery “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit “was a dark and energetic performance; then for children of all ages Roald Dahl’s “The Witches” was played out at the top of the stairs and finally an abstract piece of performance art relating to Angela Carter’s short stories was presented by using the space around the glass walls of the cafe area and the

Washing her blood-stained hands Following this success HAIR was asked to perform the piece at The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, for the Women’s International festival there, in May this year. Louise and Jacky were delighted to accept the invitation as both had played the Brewery in other productions in previous times and loved the idea of promoting the work of The Brindley Arts Centre in another

Shakespeare were writing today no doubt he would be commissioned by BBC or ITV or an Independent television company. The play reveals what happens when Shakespeare (Louise Nulty) goes to meet the commissioning editor of Swan Television - Liz Tudor (Jacqueline Pilton). He is asked to show the film of his pilot episode of his newly crafted soap opera aptly named “Shakespeare Street”. The film was the central element of the show and had been shot in the area local to the Brindley, with regular theatre and workshop goers from Halton Borough performing as extras. Scenes were filmed in modern dress and on location in Runcorn and Widnes and were taken from “Romeo and Juliet”, “Midsummer Nights Dream”, ”The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “Macbeth” and each represented a slice of a story as in a television ‘soap’. On 14th and 15th May 2007 the audience at the Brindley

“Shakespeare Street” was so successful that Louise and Jacky are now planning a more ambitious take on the same theme in the near future. The two female actors are gearing up to another full scale production and are hoping to present “Comedy of Errors” in the same film/ live format with Louise and Jacqueline playing 18 parts between them! Mark Chatterton is on board as director again and all are happy to be supported by The Brindley once more, in this new venture, which they also hope to tour. So look out in April 2008 both at The Brindley, Runcorn and other venues for a comedy tourde-force the like of which has seldom been seen before.

case studies

Studio Theatre watched amazed and intrigued as each of the four story lines unfolded back and forth as in “Coronation Street” or “Eastenders”; only this time the places on the screen were very familiar. So too were the actors; as Louise and Jacqueline played all the characters. Laughter at the antics of Runcornian ‘rough mechanicals’ (“Midsummer Night’s Dream”) was subdued only by the sight of Lady Macbeth washing her blood-stained hands in the bar of “The Ring O’ Bells” pub in Widnes.

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

venue. Again “4.48 Psychosis” was greeted with much appreciation and many accolades and HAIR hope to return to Kendal in the future with another co- production. Immediately after the tour to Kendal, HAIR were at work again with another Talkwrite Literary Festival commission. This time the two actors were to present a play containing a filmed soap opera, scripted and produced by themselves and with the aid of Mr William Shakespeare! The idea of the play, is that if


balcony beyond. Linking these performances together the two snobbish characters of June and Jane the ex-National Theatre dressers guided the audience around and about to the places where ‘Novel Lives’ could be seen. Of course Louise and Jacqueline played all the various parts and with consummate skill! Later that year the work of applying for Arts Council funding and finding a play and a director was the main focus for Jacqueline and Louise who were now considering their main debut performance. By this time the pair were working under the title; “Halton Actors in Residence” (HAIR). Eventually, a challenging work by Sarah Kane, entitled “4.48 Psychosis” was found and HAIR seized upon this piece of ‘in yer face theatre’ written in 1999 shortly before the suicide of its author. The play looks at the subject of suicidal depression from a perspective of within the troubled consciousness of a woman suffering from this complaint. The play is unusual in that it is written like a poem with no specially designated characters and can be presented in a variety of ways with one, two or more actors. For a theatre piece dealing with such delicate matters in a complex and unusual way the right director had to be found. Eventually HAIR and The Brindley signed up Mark Chatterton director at the Everyman, Liverpool, Oldham Coliseum and other theatres. The Brindley management, and I agreed to support HAIR in a number of ways; giving rehearsal and performance space, support with marketing and technical support. An application to the Arts Council came from HAIR in conjunction with The Brindley and early in 2007 funding was agreed. Mark Chatterton helped the two female actors to bring to fruition a delicately crafted, emotionally moving and thought provoking production which played to full houses on March 30th and 31st 2007.

Claire Bigley Drama and Literature Officer Halton Borough Council

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Crossing Boundaries An evaluation of the Greater Manchester Strategic Arts Fund In 2004, the Greater Manchester Strategic Arts Fund was established. The product of a Partnership Agreement between the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) and Arts Council England, North West (ACENW), the fund aims to realise growth, broaden access to, and raise the quality of the arts experience across the ten Greater Manchester local authorities. The fund operates on a two year funding cycle. It is managed by the Greater Manchester Culture Lead Officers’ Group with support from the Greater Manchester Arts Officers’ Network. Both groups comprise officers from each of the ten local authorities and representatives from AGMA and ACENW. The first funding round for 2004-2006 involved an allocation of £334,000 to eight different cross-authority projects: each meeting a number of key criteria, and each falling under one of the four broad themes of Arts and Health; Youth Arts; Research, Support and Training; and, Countywide Celebration. All eight projects involved at least two local authorities in their implementation, with several involving three or more.

Evaluating The Fund In June 2006, Arts About Manchester was appointed to evaluate the fund, to document its achievements and to provide recommendations for its development. Having developed a number of evaluation criteria, and assessed the projects against these, we found that in outputs alone, the funded projects employed more that ten staff, over 50 volunteers, 200 artists and community workers. Over 60 different events were delivered, involving 2,500 participants and achieving a combined audience of over 100,000.

Garden of Delights

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The most notable outcomes were the positive impacts on local communities, involving a broad range of people from different backgrounds and abilities, developing their skills and showcasing their talents at community, countywide, regional

given to the network of arts officers involved, with all ten local authorities being well represented throughout. The fund has directly benefited those involved, through information and knowledge sharing, peer support and/or formal training. It has provided an opportunity for many of the Arts Officers involved to think more strategically, and it has bolstered relationships between ACENW and the local authorities. Finally, through our evaluation, we found demonstrable evidence that by working together in this way, the partners have not only achieved success in meeting the specific funding aims, but, together, the Arts Officers’ Network, AGMA and ACENW have achieved a funding process that is transparent and equitable and which benefits the broad range of stakeholders involved. and national events. We also found demonstrable evidence that, together, the projects had increased the production and distribution of the arts within Greater Manchester. This is perhaps best represented in the Garden of Delights project, which showcased the achievements of the Carnival Exchange project as well as providing a platform to present a broad range of new and different works to an estimated audience of 50,000 people. Through the projects, the fund had achieved a number of broader aims. In particular, improved joint working across authorities and between the sector and other sectors; and increased third partly investment, with over £465,000 of third party contributions having been achieved.

Other impacts An unexpected, but very valuable outcome from the fund has been the purpose and focus it has

Helen Corkery Strategic Research & Marketing Manager, Arts About Manchester, Tel: 0161 234 2960 email: The full evaluation report will be published on nalgao’s new website in due course.

Eco Garden


nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

case studies

Helen Corkery

Crossing Boundaries and Carnival Theme: Research, Support and Training Greater Manchester Creative Industries (CIDS) project, to build a professional network of creative industry expertise and knowledge base, led by Bolton local authority and delivered by the Creative Industries Development Service. Continuing Professional Development Arts Training (CPD) programme, to develop training products and programmes that develop skills and capability, offering CPD for both gallery

‘New friendships have really flourished under the banner of diverse youth arts... this is just the beginning of new collaborative partnerships.’ Participant in Crossing Boundaries Project ‘ felt lovely to walk around, experiencing more and varied arts, music and culture than I have ever been exposed to.’ Member of the public, Garden of Delights Project ‘It was great to share information and skills across the boroughs.’ Participant, Luminocity Project ‘... before, we were all more or less isolated... I don’t see the fund as a burden, but a fantastic opportunity to work with other boroughs. There are advantages on very many different levels.’ District Arts Officer

case studies

Theme: Countywide Celebration Garden of Delights: A district wide celebration and collaboration project led by a CrossAuthority Steering Group and delivered by Manchester International Arts. The countywide project provided a showcase for local arts provision and succeeded in attracting significant additional investment, local and national media coverage and, audiences of up to 50,000 people.

‘After the carnival, the groups performed in their own communities and in other parades in their own boroughs.’ Project Manager, Carnival Exchange Project

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

Theme: Youth Arts Greater Manchester Youth Games’ Arts Festival and Carnival Exchange led by Bolton local authority working with Oldham and a freelance Project Manager. Crossing Boundaries: a youth theatre project on diversity and difference, led by Oldham local authority and project managed by the Oldham Theatre Workshop. Luminocity, involving the creation of largescale themed lanterns led and delivered by Oldham local authority. All three of these projects achieved success in bringing together a range of young people (of varying age and from different backgrounds and abilities) to develop their skills and showcase these at a number of events across the county and beyond.

Some Project Feedback


Theme: Arts and Health Greater Manchester Arts and Health project to develop a Greater Manchester Strategy for arts and health, led by Wigan local authority and an appointed Project Coordinator. This project, whilst still underway, has succeeded in developing joint working arrangements across several districts; in identifying best practice; and, in disseminating this through a number of cross sector seminars.

staff and artists. The project was led by Bolton and delivered by Arts + Media Training Ltd. Arts Impact Study, to evaluate the performance of the countywide element of the fund and develop an advocacy instrument to further promote the fund and its achievements: led by Manchester local authority and delivered by Arts About Manchester. The CIDS and CPD projects have both succeeded in developing the capability of the sector, the CIDS project, in terms of establishing both human and systems based knowledge networks and, the CPD project, in developing the skills of arts professionals from across the county.


The Projects

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Winning In Wales

Winter 2007

nalgao Magazine



Carys Wynne

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The arts in Wales are at an exciting turning point in their history. In May 2007 the Welsh Assembly Government elections took place, resulting in no overall majority. Labour needed to look for an ally in order to form a coalition government or opt for forming an administration without a majority. After weeks of discussion and negotiation, a coalition government was formed between Labour and Plaid Cymru, and a new cabinet structure was put in place. In the following weeks, a document was published by the new government, One Wales, which outlined the government’s plans for Wales during the period of its administration. Although only a seemingly small section was given over to arts and culture within the document, what is set out within it are some ambitious plans for the development of the arts in Wales. Of course, many arts officers in Wales are keen to see investment in the arts and progress throughout Wales, but as nalgao members, we are advocating on behalf of local government to input into the process and are looking closely at those things that affect arts services in Local Authorities in all areas of Wales. Following talks with key partners in Wales, we are in the process of developing a response document to these proposals, which outlines our priorities for change, and, bearing in mind that the Local Authority expenditure in Wales is equal to the investment made by the Arts Council of Wales, we feel that we have a strong case to make. The most interesting proposal, and the one which has sparked the most

debate is the one which states:

The other two statements that we are driving forward are the implementation of the recommendations of the Stephens Review, into future funding of the arts in Wales, and enshrining the concept of artistic freedom in Welsh law. These are seen to be the most relevant and strategic to Local Authority delivery of arts services, bearing in mind that a major component of this is the development of Regional Strategic Partnerships. This could see Local Authorities in Wales with more power and accountability to deliver key government objectives, and develop joint strategies that recognise the potential of the arts to deliver local social, economic and environmental outcomes. Of course, this is not to be seen in isolation and we are firmly advocating on behalf of Local Authorities to be consulted on future

“We will place a statutory obligation on local authorities to promote culture and encourage partnership to deliver high-quality cultural experiences for their communities.” Making the arts statutory and investigating a cultural entitlement policy has within it the scope for making a radical difference – potentially both good and bad. We are lobbying to ensure that this is a change for the better, encouraging investigation into the minimum requirement set and working with our Scottish colleagues to learn lessons from what they have undertaken to try and make this as attractive a proposition as possible. We want this notion to encourage best practice, to raise the profile and standard of the delivery of the arts in Wales, and to act as an advocate for utilising and accessing the arts on all levels, allowing for formal endorsement of standards at all levels within Local Authorities with designated officers in place to oversee the strategic planning, management and delivery of the arts and arts development. Within this there is a recognition that there needs to be an increase in levels of training and continuous professional development opportunities to nurture the cultural leaders of tomorrow and encourage the potential that is within all of us to raise standards and ambitions.

developments, highlighting the important roles that officers at all levels could play in this progress. Enshrined in our thinking is that of ensuring that nalgao is involved in discussions on the implementation of the Stephens Review and One Wales. We are, as ever, fighting for the recognition of the arts as an effective means of delivering other agenda and the advocacy needed at national level to allow others to realise their potential and utilise the arts in health settings, non-formal educational settings, play settings, care settings etc. We believe that if this principle is applied, then the next natural step is to work with the arts services of Local Authorities at all levels and at all times to

Carys Wynne, Arts Development Manager, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Tel: 01495 322510 email: The One Wales response is still in draft format, if you wish to discuss its content or be a part of shaping its future then please get in touch with your local nalgao representative.

In June and July 2007 nalgao conducted a survey of its membership considering Arts Officer’s training needs. The survey was conducted by the Training Working Party on behalf of nalgao’s national Trustees, through a questionnaire emailed out to all members. The survey was also promoted using the nalgao ezine. The aim of the survey was to consider training opportunities for arts officers in local authorities to further develop skills in specific areas of work, and to test the need for a Continuing Professional Development programme (CPD) that may consider mentoring and skill-sharing/peer training amongst the membership.

Sample Size At the time of survey, nalgao’s membership was 405. Fifty members returned completed questionnaires, representing a sample size of 12.35%.

This demonstrates the wealth of experience of arts officers employed by local authorities, with an average of just over 11 years in arts development per person. The survey also covered training budgets and training issues, the development of Arts strategies, service developments and mentoring. Nearly two thirds of respondents said their authority had an arts strategy and over 80% had a cultural policy or strategy. However these percentages have declined slightly since 2004, possibly owing to the lack of pressure or incentive by the DCMS and Arts Council England to create these, and over 20% of these reported that their present strategy was out of date. >

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

The first set of questions requested information on years of experience in delivering arts services. Responses demonstrated that: • The average duration in their present employment was 3.7 years (down from 4.9 years in the previous 2004 survey). • Officers responding had an average of 5.5 years experience in all present and previous local authorities (up from 5.32 years in the 2004 study). • The range of experience in all local authorities was between 2 months and 20 years, whilst the longest duration in employment in their present post was 14 years, showing a considerable variation in the officers responding. • Officers also demonstrated a considerable knowledge of arts, with an average of 5.9 years experience of arts development outside of local authorities (down from 6.74 years in 2004). Again, the range of experience was between 1 year and 25 years.


Length of Officer Experience



Pete Bryan

can realise these ambitions in the coming months and years. Now is the chance to make a real difference in how the arts in Wales are perceived and delivered, and to set the vision for the future.

nalgao Arts Officer Skills Audit and Training Needs Survey 2007

investigate the potential work to be done; developing relationships with those who have an understanding of their communities and the impact the arts can make in the life of Wales as a vibrant and creative community. Of course, as always, none of this can be done without adequate levels of funding in place to support it. Funding needs to be sought that is sustainable from outside the current resources available, and it would be naïve to believe that this change can happen overnight. If we are to have the capacity to transform the future of the arts in Wales then we need to capitalise on these developments now and be at the forefront of discussions as they take place. nalgao Cymru is driving forward this approach to the Welsh Assembly Government and are hoping to meet with the Minister for Heritage to look at how we

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nalgao Arts Officer Skills Audit and Training Needs Survey 2007 86% of respondents said they would like to take part in regional Action Learning Sets (AL) and over half said they were prepared to train as a facilitator to help develop AL sets in their own areas or nationally. The survey asked what people felt their core competencies were and the responses showed that the three highest competencies, amongst art officers, out of 18 categories are: • Arts Development • Arts Management • Arts Policy/Strategy Development The three lowest scoring competencies were: • Personnel & people management • Negotiating Skills • Training needs assessment

• Self-Management • Project Management • Report writing1 A large majority of respondents were in favour of a CPD strategy that included skill sharing and peer learning from within the nalgao membership. • 52% stated that they were interested in becoming a mentor, and • 72% stated that they were interested in becoming a mentee. • 74% were interested in taking part in a regional mentoring programme • 34% were interested in taking part in a national mentoring programme.

National Seminar Programme People felt they needed most support in developing competencies in: • Advocacy/Making the case for arts • Monitoring & Evaluation • Financial regulations for Local Authorities They needed least support in:

nalgao is committed to offering at least two national seminars a year on key issues affecting local authority arts services. Respondents were requested to rank prospective national seminar topics in order of preference. The five most popular topics (out of 17) for seminars were: • Reaching out to low participation groups

• Evaluation & monitoring arts projects and programmes • Developing arts & cultural strategies • How arts can influence departmental objectives and senior officers • LAAs & local strategic partnerships Most people wanted full-day seminars held during the week, which involved group working or one-to-one working. Only half the respondents were concerned about accreditation. Work shadowing was also favoured as an informal training and skill-sharing mechanism. The nalgao Training Working Party will be considering the outcomes of the study when developing further training and CPD programmes for its members. A copy of the full report is available from nalgao – and will be posted on the new nalgao website in the New Year.

Pete Bryan, nalgao Administrator 1

Again, out of 18 competencies


nalgao Magazine Winter 2007


PSA3 Update:

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The Participation Manifesto –

Whose Agenda? Sue Isherwood

Everyone knows that our current government is concerned about the democratic deficit and wants to encourage us all to feel we have both rights in and responsibilities to the society we inhabit. The call to be proactive extends to the field of culture as much as to the more frequently referenced third or voluntary sector. The story for arts engagement with this current version of the access debate starts with the Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets that were set for all government departments by the

Treasury in the last three year spending settlement. A Specific target (PSA3) for the DCMS was to increase participation in the all the cultural areas within its remit by socially disadvantaged groups. In particular for the arts the target was to increase audiences for events by 3% and active participation by 2%. Socially disadvantaged groups were further defined as black and ethnic minority communities, disabled people and social classes C2, D and E. The DCMS had two big problems for delivery

here. Firstly, how do you prove your percentage increases without clear agreed baseline figures? Secondly, even if the vast majority of your arts spending is passed on to the Arts Council, how realistic is it to assume that this body alone will be able to effect the changes sought? About two years ago the DCMS began to tackle these problems. It persuaded its main Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs), e.g. ACE, Sport England, the Museums and Libraries Association and English Heritage, to all contribute

Launch in Autumn 2008

Moments of Frustration So back in January 2006 a group of people, including representatives of the DCMS, ACE, Voluntary Arts Network (VAN), National Disability Arts Forum (NDAF), Visual Arts and Galleries Association (VAGA) and nalgao, met for the first time as equals round the table. As well as receiving progress reports on ACE work and the Taking Part statistics, we also needed to know how each of our organisations understood the target and our potential contributions to it. At subsequent meetings the different segments of the target group were examined and each organisation presented its own role, reach and ambition. As we progressed it became clearer to all concerned that the workers and organisations represented by such bodies as nalgao, VAN and NDAF had a far wider reach into communities than ACE could ever have. ACE too needed to develop a delivery plan which moved beyond a predominant reliance on the work of its regularly funded organisations (RFOs) towards better partnerships with those around the table and one that made its commitment to access more obvious to the public. During this process there were also moments of frustration when it seemed to some of us that we were endlessly explaining and listening, but not getting anywhere near action on the target. By the summer of 2007 although the personnel from ACE and the DCMS had seen considerable changes, the other representatives had formed a stable group who now knew a considerable amount about one another. We decided that we should move on from being sounding boards for government and NDPB policy and should stake a

We chose to think of a manifesto, because we wanted to have a clear statement of beliefs that people could sign up to, to acknowledge the political context we were operating within and to use a concept that the DCMS were familiar with through their involvement with both the music and dance manifestos. The idea is simple. We want to create a public declaration of policies, principles and intentions which will explain why participating in the arts is beneficial to society as a whole, to local communities and to individuals. It will draw attention to the barriers that exist to active participation for many people and suggest ways in which organisations of every kind from amateur dramatic societies to large local authorities, from community media workshops to national galleries could all sign up to, to deliver particular actions which would offer more opportunities to participate. And all will pledge to demonstrate and celebrate the difference they make. We wish to see more investment in an infrastructure that fully supports quality participation, a coalition of delivery agencies and the dissemination of a wide range of successful delivery mechanisms.

Go for It So far this is an outline set of ideas coming from a particular grouping. We drafted a Vision, Values and Principles document, a timeline for getting to a manifesto launch date and an implementation budget. We have also consulted on the feasibility of the idea with the DCMS, but also with interest groups at the nalgao conference, through the NDAF’s forum and at the ACE Public Value Open Space event. Inevitably these sessions have raised issues of definition – what counts as art, what is the definition of participation, what sort of group could sign up, what do we really know about what people

it will need to align with the body of 200 headline local PIs which will include one on cultural participation. For all the active ‘doing’ organisations out there it will need to make sense in terms of their own visions to sign up. And if we are to make a difference we need to be able to demonstrate it, so the base-line data that the Taking Part survey has amassed is only a beginning. There needs to be much more local data on participation, particularly by ‘disadvantaged’ groups collected consistently by local authorities and arts organisations of all sorts. nalgao members have been working on extending access to the arts for years and can point to plenty of excellent projects and partner organisations. Now is the time to let me and your Executive Committee know what you think of the Manifesto concept, what resources you think are needed to get it off the ground, what would get your authority to sign up, and what you could pledge to undertake. nalgao looks forward to hearing from you.


want? However, the main message was ‘go for it’. We now need to take the work to the next stage, casting the net wider to achieve a knowledgeable and influential steering group, setting up a wider national consultation and getting buy-in from more national associations. The intention is to launch the manifesto in autumn 2008, so there’s plenty of work to be done. It will need to have synergies with the new ACE participation delivery plan which includes a public campaign to alert people to the existing opportunities to participate. For local authorities

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

clear claim to a piece of the action. We wanted to do more than talk and so the idea of the Participation Manifesto was born. We meant this to be a contribution to increasing participation from outside the circles of government, from national organisations who all believe that the opportunity actively to engage with cultural production is a fundamental human right. At this point the National Campaign for the Arts joined the original group and attended the final meeting of the PSA3 Advisory Group.

Far left & left: Up for Arts, a national campaign to increase participation amongst priority groups. Photos courtesy of VAN.

“We wish to see more investment in an infrastructure that fully supports quality participation, a coalition of agencies and the dissemination of a wide range of successful delivery mechanisms.”


to the Taking Part survey which has used regular quarterly sampling to establish baseline data for participation by the target groups. The first full year’s figures were available from December 2006. These and subsequent quarterly data can be checked on the ACE and DCMS websites. Then it invited a group of national organisations involved in arts delivery to join an advisory group, initially to oversee the ACE delivery plan for PSA3.

Sue Isherwood Executive officer, nalgao Tel 01749 871110

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nalgao North West Regio Mentoring Programme


nalgao Magazine Winter 2007


Mike Faulkner

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In January 2006 nalgao invited tenders for the job of managing a pilot mentoring programme for local authorities in the North West of England. G & M Associates Ltd in association with Business in the Arts: North West, were awarded the tender in February 2006. Thirty individuals were interviewed, recruited and inducted for the mentoring pilot which ran from April 2006 to June 2007. The pilot has recently come to an end and has been internally audited and externally evaluated. nalgao decided to pilot mentoring as a direct result of a survey of its members’ needs in 2005/06. There are of course a number of ‘non-training’ personal development models available, such as coaching, shadowing, secondment and advice giving. On the surface they appear to share some common elements but in practice and application they are very different. Using a mentor is about developing thinking, building confidence in an individual’s approach to issues, developing self-awareness and stretching the mentee’s ability to tackle problems, in order to develop their breadth. It’s important to establish more specifically what we mean by mentoring. A helpful definition of mentoring is: “An individual using their experience, skills and knowledge to help another person to develop their full potential” We designed a mentoring process that would help arts officers achieve specific individual, personal & performance objectives. The following core values are central to the mentoring relationships we established: • A one-to-one focus • Non-judgemental • Client (mentee) focussed • Open, honest and sharing • Challenging • About mutual learning and growth

In order to take part participants went through a carefully devised process to assess their readiness and motivation. It included the completion of a detailed self assessment form, followed up by a telephone interview to explore key issues in more detail. The results were fed into a matrix that separated and prioritised core needs (in the case of a mentee) and core competencies (in the case of mentors). The programme managers then met to draft a list of potential matches of mentors to mentees. This required detailed discussion and a detailed knowledge of the abilities of the mentors in particular. The individuals were then called and the pairing was discussed without prejudice. Only at this stage, if both parties were able to sign up to a partnership, did we draft a contract and action plan for the pairing. All of our 15 original proposed matches for this pilot were agreed, and all 15 pairs produced effective mutual benefits. All 15 were still in place at the end of the programme. In addition, 9 of the pairings are continuing to meet after the pilot had finished.

From the evaluation reports we have been able to highlight key indicators of achievement such as: • Increased confidence in personal decision making • Increased confidence in task management • Reduced dependence on advice and assurance from Line Managers • Increased ability to plan and present a case at work • Increased ability to take responsibility at work and to offer guidance to others • Reduced sense of isolation Monitoring of the pilot was carried out by a steering group, which received monthly reports. Project management was overseen by Katherine West, Arts Development Officer at Vale Royal Borough Council and supported by the nalgao administrator. At the end of the pilot Karen Smith carried out external evaluation and the results were overwhelmingly positive. nalgao is currently studying the results and considering how to facilitate a further

Characteristics of a good mentor A good mentor ….

BUT a good mentor ….

• Listens • Supports the client’s striving towards development goals • Challenges the client to develop selfawareness • Helps the client to develop powers of problem solving • Encourages self-confidence • Provides positive and negative feedback • Encourages focused reflection • Remains totally confidential

• Does not give instructions (clients are encouraged to reach their own conclusions) • NEVER says “If I were you I would...” • Does not take over a situation • Is not over-critical


ACE Does Open Space

What the mentees had to say about the programme Perhaps the final word on the value of the pilot should go to the recipients. Here are a few quotes from mentees about their experiences: I don’t get as mad about things anymore. I accept that it is life. I am doing less but trying to ensure that what I am doing is completed with efficiency. I am much more focused about what I want to do and what I need to do to achieve this, leading in part to a recent change of post. Having a mentor has given me the confidence to assume I have the right to valid opinions and ideas rather than needing to wait for validation from a colleague. It has increased my feeling of being able to pursue projects on my own, with confidence. The fact that mentors are independent means that support and encouragement is unconditional. It has also helped me to realise that I have outgrown the job by talking through what is happening at work. There is a marked difference towards the work that I do. I am more positive in what is happening. My line manager would say the same.

If you would like to know more about the mentoring pilot programme please contact Mike Faulkner from G & M Associates Ltd mobile 07709 229 284 e-mail:

vocal and spent quite a lot of our time explaining how and why local authorities supported the arts. Nevertheless, reading through the session summaries later, I’ve been struck by how often the local authority role was referenced, not only in the sessions where this was the explicit topic. I found clear support for strong ACE/local authority partnerships in several places and calls for local authorities to be creative in how they offer support. For instance, local authorities as owners of buildings and open spaces were asked to be flexible about availability of redundant sites, temporary planning consents and rates relief. But why don’t you dip into the deep well of voices yourself`? You can read all the session summaries, produced on the day by the self-selected group leaders, on the ACE website. There has been some minimal editing when comments were considered too scurrilous or personal, but some strong flavours and really thoughtful contributions are there. The key question that ACE asked at the beginning was ‘If you were the Arts Council, what would you do?’ Of course they got no clear answer, but more than enough contributions to give them both heartburn and hope.

Sue Isherwood Executive officer, nalgao Tel 01749 871110 The ACE Open Space discussions were part of the Arts Debate and the full 94 pages of notes from the various discussion groups can be found at: pen_space_event_report_1.php

nalgao Magazine Winter 2007

Over the weekend of 29-30 September, getting on for 200 people gathered in North London to assist Arts Council England in setting its priorities for the next few years. We used an Open Space process, which should be familiar to anyone who has attended a nalgao conference in the last four years. This, I‘d wager, was a scary experience for Arts Council officers. Two whole days with no pre-set agenda and a load of committed arts workers with many axes to grind. It was no surprise, therefore, to find sessions led by ACE staff with such titles as “How can we trust each other more/How can I convince you that I’m on your side?” There were 83 sessions in all and some of the other titles demonstrate what ACE might be nervous of – for example ‘Should ACE exist? Should RFOs be scrapped? And ‘F*** this – angry and passionate artists and managers’. All credit then to ACE for making the space and to Peter Hewitt for staying the full course. There were many ways to experience the event, but my own impressions included an awareness of the predominance of performing arts workers – no surprise really as that’s where the bulk of ACE funding is directed. I was also aware of the strength of feeling among some sections that artists are separate beings from the rest of society and have a right to support, while elsewhere the ideals of the community arts movement of the 1970s was more than alive and kicking. Creative Industries were hardly mentioned, but the necessity of thinking about arts as business was strongly evident in such sessions as ‘How can we create mixed and new economies?’ and ‘Arts and venture capital.’ There were only a few local authority arts officers present, but those with a local authority background who were there were


development of the mentoring scheme. An announcement is expected sometime in early 2008.


Sue Isherwood

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partnership reports ARTS AT THE HEART Winter 2007

nalgao Magazine

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Legal structures and mindsets Arts Organisations and Social Enterprises Sean Egan, Bates Wells and Braithwaite

As the interest in and discussion surrounding the term “Social Enterprise” sweeps the land, many arts organisations are wondering how the term relates to them given that most, if not all, arts organisations fall within the usual definition of ‘businesses that trade with a social purpose’. I advise arts organisations of all sizes and shapes and across all art forms and feel it would be helpful to arts organisations, in a number of different ways, to consider themselves as social enterprises. The most frequent ‘Social Enterprise’ enquiry my colleagues and I receive is whether an organisation should consider running part or all of its operation through a Community Interest Company (CIC).

To CIC or not to CIC There is still the assumption that arts organisations should be run through charitable companies limited by guarantee, but increasingly this is an assumption that should be questioned. It is not just that the anticipated bottom-line benefits of being a charity may not always cover the additional set up and administration costs but it is also that the decisions of a board of trustees who are volunteers may be unduly cautious. As a trustee myself, I do not want to be personally liable should the charity go under. But an inherent element of arts organisations is an ability to take calculated financial risk to enable artistic risk. Some arts organisations may be refreshed by having artistic and executive directors and a board of paid directors. This is currently available through companies limited by guarantee, including CICs (see box). CICs allow organisations to operate on a not-for-profit or a for-profit basis. But whichever their motive, the organisation’s assets are held for the community interest. This may be a particular attraction for Local Authorities when considering hiving off arts

facilities whether as Community Asset Transfers or otherwise. Whilst I do appreciate the importance of bottom-line calculations, I feel it is also important that organisations ensure that their legal structure best enables the objectives of the organisation to be achieved. In many instances being a charity will be the right structure. But there are instances, particularly for arts organisations that do not own property, when there is no real advantage and such a structure can hold back the organisation.

Social Enterprise Funding Arts organisations undertake innovative and highly cost effective work in communities throughout the UK and I feel that to some extent, this work may be limited by arts organisations’ own perception of their place in the not-for-profit sector. Though the sense of difference is important, I feel that it may hamper organisations forming partnerships with other third sector organisations and local funds to deliver arts work, whether as part of regeneration, education or other programmes.

Summary The situations where CICs may be particularly useful for arts organisations are: • Stand-alone arts organisations formed for a special purpose but whose aim is profit generating and where directors are to be paid. • Trading opportunities where funding is to come from social investors. For instance, investors in a theatrical venue as a profit generating enterprise where the asset is to be retained for the benefit of the local community. • An alternative to independent trusts where a Local Authority no longer wishes to own or control arts assets.

CICs: The key facts • Cannot be charities • Can either be companies limited by guarantee or by shares • The first CIC was registered in 2005 and now 1295 have been registered • Applications for registration are handled by the CIC Regulator who regulates all CICs • CICs must satisfy the community interest test and assets are subject to an asset lock which ensures that the assets and profits are used for the benefit of the community • CIC directors can be paid • There are no tax advantages of being a CIC • CICs can have equity investors and offer dividends subject to set limits therefore enabling commercial investors to invest in CICs • CICs can be lottery funded and government funding can be obtained currently on a case-by-case basis

For further reference I would suggest looking at these websites where there is a great deal of useful information: • The CIC Regulator • Social Enterprise Coalition • Mission, Models and Money – looking at many of the issues facing arts organisations

Sean Egan is head of Theatre and Arts at Bates, Wells and Braithwaite solicitors Email: website:

Contact details

Helen Miah (Swindon BC)

T: 01793 465353 e: a

nalgao Conference Committee

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nalgao CPD & Training WP


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Working Party

Winter 2007

The current nalgao Working Parties and their leads are:

The Last Word Was it really Arts Council lobbying that got them the extra £50 million? Martin Kettle, writing in November’s Prospect magazine, has a different, and altogether more human theory. It seems that a four year old by the name of John Brown is showing considerable musical promise and has been attending music classes at the Wigmore Hall. And if a child takes an interest in something, quite often, so do the parents, who in this case just happen to be Gordon and Sarah…Brown that is. As Kettle says, young John Brown may have turned his father into an arts supporter and thus be the most influential child musician in London since the visit of the young Mozart.

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nalgaoTrustees Membership 2007/08 Name

Officer position




Lorna Brown Katherine West

Chair of nalgao

West Sussex CC

01243 756770

Vice Chair & NW Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Vale Royal Borough Council 01606 867522

Jane Wilson

Treasurer: nalgao

Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire (ADEC)

Mark Homer

Secretary: nalgao

Lincolnshire County Council 01522 553300

Janet Mein

Counties Representative

Hampshire County Council

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Catherine Davis

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Hertfordshire County Council

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Jayne Knight

Eastern Regional Rep (job-share)

Suffolk County Council

01728 724793

Andrew Kitchen

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Waveney District Council

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Sharon Scaniglia

EM Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Nottingham City Council

0115 9158604


Sara Bullimore

EM Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Lincoln City Council

01522 873844

Catherine Miller-Bassi

London Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

0208 270 4816

Leah Whittington

London Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

London Borough of Lambeth 0207 926 0763

Andrea Bushell

North West Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Salford City Council

0161 778 0843

Zoe Channing

North East Regional Representative: nalgao (job-share)

Sunderland City Council

0191 5148459

Neil Hillier

North East Regional Representative: nalgao (job-share)

Durham County Council

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Michael Johnson

Southern Region Representative (job-share)

Test Valley Borough Council 01264 368844

Hannah Cervenka

Southern Region Representative (job-share)

West Oxfordshire DC

01993 861554

Charlotte Gardiner South East Region Representative (job-share)

Waverley Borough Council

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Gail Brown

South East Region Representative (job-share)

Surrey County Arts

01483 776128

Nickola Moore

South West Region Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Borough of Poole

01202 633973

Helen Miah

South West Region Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Swindon BC

01793 465353

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

Redditch Borough Council

01527 63051

Lizzy Alageswaran

Yorkshire Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

Rotherham MBC

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Gill Cooper

Yorkshire Regional Rep: nalgao (job-share)

City of York Council

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Carys Wynne

South Wales Regional Rep

Blaenau Gwent CBC

01495 322510

Gwawr Roberts

North Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Gwynedd CBC

01286 679721

01353 669022

Sian Hughes

North Wales Regional Rep (job-share)

Conwy CBC

01492 575572

Chris Willison

West Wales Regional Representative

Pembrokeshire CC

01437 775246


Sue Isherwood

Executive Officer


01749 871110

Pete Bryan



0116 2671441

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

If you would like to write an article for the next issue, the next copy deadline is Friday 28 March 2008. Please also talk to our editor Paul Kelly, Tel: 01752 217281 email:


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