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Our Cultural Commons: A national conversation about local culture has just begun

ADUK-green-A-blockVoluntary_ArtsWhere was your first cultural experience? And where will be your last? Chances are the answer to both those questions will be ‘close to home’.

Our Cultural Commons is a new national conversation about local cultural infrastructure – what works, what doesn’t, how and where it thrives – and how it could reach its full potential. The conversation was started by Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, but now everyone with an interest in culture is invited to join in and explore how local cultural provision can be made better.

In the coming years, most of us will be able to experience the arts and cultures of the world virtually. Some of us will also travel to experience them in person. But all of us will grow up and grow old experiencing and participating in the arts and culture, locally. The rapid pace of change surrounding all our local cultural spaces, including changes to local government, and the rapid digitization of the wider cultural world, means that previous models of local cultural planning no longer provide support effectively.

Chair of Voluntary Arts, Peter Stark had this to say about Our Cultural Commons: “Our cultural life – first and last – is local. Our cultural commons should be places where joy and grief can be shared; wellbeing, concern, caring, kinship and respect are promoted; happiness and laughter, wonder and curiosity and learning are everyday experiences. Despite, or perhaps in response to, a harsh economic climate, exciting new collaborative solutions are already emerging. There is now an urgent need to build on this work to ensure that local cultural opportunities remain integral to our lives and those of future generations”

Jane Wilson, Chair of Arts Development UK said: “We are in one of those rare moments where change is not just likely, but inevitable, and ways of supporting local cultural infrastructure, which have built up over many years, are not going to remain the same. Although this is a significant challenge it also provides us with a real opportunity, to look again at how we understand, support and nurture the richest possible cultural lives for all our communities.”

To read more about Our Cultural Commons, sign up for updates or get involved, visit www.ourculturalcommons.org

Welcome to Arts Development UK!

What is AD:UK?
Arts Development UK is a professional association for people working in arts and cultural development in England and Wales.

Its values are that AD:UK should be:ADUK-green-A-block
• Creative and collaborative
• Forward thinking and flexible
• Professional and passionate.

Who should be a member?
Anyone working in a role which encourages the development of arts and cultural activities to improve quality of life, aspiration and opportunities for people in places and communities.

This includes individuals such as artists, policy-makers, managers, officers, consultants/freelance and organisations eg community, arts, heritage, museums and libraries and local authorities.

What are the key benefits of membership?
• Access to member areas of this website with special content
• A weekly e-zine (cited as the ‘go to’ source of information for policy updates, opportunities and professional knowledge)
• Advocacy for individuals and the industry sector
• Annual conference and seminars
• CPD accreditation through the Professional Fellowship Programme
• Access to a UK-wide network of experienced professionals (Skills & Knowledge Bank)
• Up-to-the minute information and analysis
• A collective strength for the protection of arts and culture in UK society

There are many more – please follow this link for a full description of AD:UK.

How do I join AD:UK?
Members are welcomed as individuals or organisations. Membership details are available here.

The website
Anyone can access this website as either a member or non-member of AD:UK. There is plenty of interesting content to read. However, to get the full benefit, you will need to be a paid-up AD:UK member to access all areas, such as member directories and key documents. You will need an AD:UK access key to view restricted pages which you will receive on joining AD:UK as a paid member.

You can also sign up  to receive a weekly digest of posts from this site, using the link on the left, whether you are an AD:UK member or not.

Join ADUK now for 2015/16 – fees frozen at last year’s levels

April 2015 sees the start of Arts Development UK’s new membership year and we are pleased to announced the membership fees have been fixed at last year’s levels.

Meaning that:

  • Personal membership for individuals working in the arts or creative industries can join at £80+VAT (£96 total)
  • Standard Organisational membership is just £175 + VAT (£210) for organisations  through a named officer
  • Group Organisational membership is available where more than one person in an organisation wants to join: Group membership for up to 5 named officers is £275 + VAT (£330) and for up to 10 named officers is £300 + VAT (£360)
  • Students and people in between jobs can join for £42 + VAT (£50.40)

Group Organisational Membership offers the best value for money for larger organisations where more than one person wants to become a member,  saving £75+VAT on two standard organisational memberships.

Becoming an AD:UK member gets you access to:

Professional development opportunities

  • Development of skills and professional competencies
  • Structured Induction & Buddying programmes
  • A Professional Fellowship Programme available to all members
  • A new Skills and Knowledge Bank, with opportunities for skills and knowledge exchange with members across the UK

Events

  • Regional Groups, which offer support, study visits, information and skills exchange
  • Opportunities to gain valuable management experience
  • A major annual conference and national seminar programme – this year’s national conference will be taking place at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 16th & 17th October and members are able to register at a discounted rate.

Research, Information & knowledge resources

  • The weekly E-Zine with headline news and a weekly assessment of fundraising and grants available for the sector (which may otherwise cost over £200 in individual subscriptions to external sources)
  • A growing range of IT based information and knowledge resources including our web-site: www.artsdevelopmentuk.org with a wide variety of information resources, Twitter and Facebook feeds and on-line forums to exchange news and views.

We also organise the annual national local authority arts investment survey which is a national indicator for the state of the sector and useful lobbying tool.

If you want to find out more about member benefits you can download the 2015 Arts Development UK Membership Benefits form or get in touch at artsdevuk@aol.com

Party manifestos & the arts

Six of the seven leading parties have now published their manifestos, revealing varying commitment to arts and culture. The Green Party is alone in its pledge to reverse the tide of cuts with an additional £500m for the arts, while UKIP say they would abolish the DCMS. Except for UKIP, all affirm the necessity of the arts and culture in society. Labour and The Greens both mention creative education. Labour will guarantee a universal entitlement to it, intending to strengthen creative education in schools and after-school clubs, with the Green Party also pledging to support creative and vocational areas in the curriculum. Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru all mentioning their commitment to ensuring that galleries and museums are subsidised sufficiently for this to continue.

The Conservatives say they would continue and potentially extend tax reliefs for those working in the creative industries, while the Liberal Democrats mention the specific aim of doubling the number of businesses that hire apprentices, finding new markets in the creative and digital industries. They also pledge continued support for the Creative Industries Council as a tool to address barriers to finance for small creative businesses, and to grow the creative industries as a whole. Conversely, Labour plans to establish a new Prime Minister’s Committee on Arts, Culture and Creative Industries, with membership drawn from all sectors.

Labour makes a clear commitment to working with public bodies to rebalance funding across the country, while The Greens go a step further, pledging to “give local authorities powers to encourage local live performance in the arts by moving funding from the regional to the local level”. The Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru say they would guarantee access for all, but make no mention of geographical distribution, while the Conservatives claim credit for having already achieved geographical spread: “Over the last five years, we have made sure that arts funding benefits the whole of the UK.”
Source: Arts Professional: read more here)

Shaping the Arts Landscape: ADUK Midlands & Northern Regions Mass Meeting: Booking is now open on Eventbrite

ADUK-green-A-blockWednesday 13th May 2015 (11.30 – 17.30)
Venue: The Central Library, St Peters Square, Manchester, M2 5PD
Cost: Free, but with a small optional charge of £12 (£10 +VAT) to cover lunch.
Following our successful first Southern Mass Regions Meeting in London on 17th March, AD:UK are hosting the second mass regional meeting for our members in the Midlands and the Northern regions of England (to include East & West Midlands, the Yorkshire/Humberside and NE Region and the NW region invited to attend). Entitled “Shaping the Arts Landscape”, the event takes place on Wednesday 13th May (a week after the General Election) and will include a panel debate followed by a series of more informal discussion forums before splitting into regional discussions with your regional coordinators.

The meeting will be free for members to attend, but there will be a small surcharge of £10.00 (+ VAT), for lunch and refreshments. We will have a plenary session at the beginning and then will break into our usual regional groups with your regional coordinators, finishing up with an opportunity for you to catch up with your colleagues and informally network before we all get trains home.

So please get the date in your diary! Booking forms for the Midlands & Northern Regions Mass Meeting are now available on Eventbrite here (where you can pay for the lunch surcharge directly by credit card). It you do not require lunch, a Word version of the booking form is available through AD:UK at artsdevuk@aol.com (but please eat prior to the event as the venue does not allow other food to be taken into the premises).

We hope that you will be able to join us. Please note that the event is also open to non-member organisations.

AD:UK Southern Regions Mass Meeting: Booking is now open on Eventbrite

Tuesday 17th March
The Lift, Islington, London
Following feedback from various members, both at the conference and in other ways, it seems that many members would appreciate more time to meet other colleagues from outside their immediate working are so AD:UK is hosting two Mass Regional meetings, one north, one south. These follow-on from the already successful All-Wales ADUK Cymru meetings that are already part of our annual programme. Each day will include a discussion forum and panel debate followed by a series of more informal regional discussions with your regional coordinators.

The date for the first of these meetings for members from the South of England (SW, SE, London and Eastern Regions), will be on Tuesday 17 March when we will be hosting a joint regional meeting in London taking place at Lift in Islington.

The meeting will be free for members to attend, but there will be a small surcharge of £10.00 (+ VAT = £12), for lunch and refreshments. We will have plenary sessions at the beginning and then will break into our usual regional groups with your regional coordinators, finishing up with tea and a chat before we all get trains home.

So please get the date in your diary and let’s start the year off together. Booking forms for the Southern Mass regional networking meeting are now available on Eventbrite here (where you can pay for the lunch surcharge directly by credit card). It you do not require lunch, a Word version of the booking form is available through AD:UK at artsdevuk@aol.com (but please note that the venue does not allow other food to be taken into the premises).

Information about the Midlands and Northern Networking meeting (for members in the East & West Midlands, NW, NE and Yorkshire Regions invited to attend) will follow shortly in the ezine, and is scheduled for 13th May, taking place at the Central Library in Manchester so watch this space and reserve either the 17th March or 13th May in your diary now!

Arts Development UK Cymru Meeting

Thursday 19th March (12.30 – 16.30)
Crafts in the Bay, Cardiff Bay
The next Arts Development UK Cymru meeting will be held at Crafts in the Bay in Cardiff Bay on Thursday 19th March (an agenda and more details will follow shortly). The meeting is scheduled from 12.00 – 16.30 and lunch will be provided.

We were originally scheduling the meeting for Wrexham, but Oriel Wrecsam is closing in March. We will try to find an appropriate venue for the next meeting in Mid/North Wales (and it you would like to offer a space, please let me know).

Can you please hold the date in your diary?
Pete Bryan: Administrator: Arts Development UK. Tel: 01269 824728, Email: artsdevuk@aol.com

AD:UK S Wales Regional Meeting

Thursday 26th Feb
The Red House, Merthyr Tydfil
The next AD:uk South Wales meeting will be held on Thursday February 26th at 9:30am for a 10am prompt start at the Red House, Merthyr Tydfil (CF47 8AE). The agenda will include information about Creative Europe funding, discussions on film and social media development and local authority arts benchmarking. I would be very grateful if you could confirm your attendance asap.
Caroline O’Neill, Arts & Creative Industries Development Manager RCT CBC Tel: 01443 490258/07786 523614 or email: Caroline.A.O’Neill@rctcbc.gov.uk

Our Cultural Commons

Picture of Jane Wilson, Chair of AD:uk

Jane Wilson, Chair of AD:uk

Our Cultural Commons is inviting leading thinkers from the cultural and related fields to provide comment and provocation to help stimulate discussion. This month Jane Wilson, Chair of Arts Development UK talks about the importance of cultural expression and the role of local authorities and the state in holding that cultural space open. Jane reports:

The term, Our Cultural Commons, as used here, came out through discussion, and only afterwards did we come across the use of the concept ‘cultural commons’, as a developing concept elsewhere, building on the work of Elinor Ostrom (a Nobel prize winner for her work on the commons as an alternative to market economics and government intervention). Hess and Ostrom (2007) defined Commons as a general concept that refers to a resource shared by a group of people, built on principles of self-governance, community action and local action. Within the cultural sector, we have become most accustomed to the use of the word commons in relation to intellectual property, and in particular the concept of creative commons, but the definition as proposed byOstrom and Hess goes much further, encompassing much more nuanced concepts of governance, sustainability, rules, accepted practices, and processes of evolution and change.

A commons provides…a new way of looking at what is shared or should be shared in the world around us. It focuses on collective action and the importance of understanding who shares what, how we share it and how we sustain commons for future generations” (Hess 2008). It is this more nuanced version that particularly resonates with the thinking that lies behind Our Cultural Commons.

If you would like to sign up to the Our Cultural Commons website and take part in the debate, please visit: http://ourculturalcommons.org/signup/

Continue reading Our Cultural Commons

Epic Awards

epic awardsFrom singing to knitting, theatre to painting, across the UK and Republic of Ireland over 60,000 volunteer-led amateur groups provide regular opportunities for people to take part in local creative cultural activities – the Epic Awards celebrate their achievements. The Epic Awards are run by Voluntary Arts, the UK and Republic of Ireland organisation set up to promote participation in creative cultural activity, with support from the Spirit of 2012 Trust. Epic Awards partners, who provide mentoring, training and capacity building support for winning groups, include Making Music, People’s Voice Media, Arts Development UK, Sue Isherwood and Rosemary Curtis.

Last year’s winners included a drumming group born out of the London 2012 Olympics, a knitting project that transformed a Welsh town, an arts festival that brought creativity to rural Scotland, and a group of poets who held recitals in their local park in Ireland. The Awards are open to all groups run by volunteers for no financial gain, and nominated projects or initiatives must have place in the twelve months prior to the nomination deadline. Nominees can be based anywhere in the UK or Republic of Ireland, practise any kind of art form or craft, and involve people of any age group or background.

Nominations for the 2015 Epic Awards will open on Monday 12 January and close at 5pm on Monday 16th March 2015. A Winners’ Reception will take place during Voluntary Arts Week, the annual celebration of creative cultural activity taking place from 15 to 24 May 2015.
For more details on how to nominate your group, visit www.epicawards.co.uk.

New Chief Executive of Arts Council England announced

Darren-Henley-new-CEO_jpg_360x240_q85Arts Council England have announced the appointment of Darren Henley as its new Chief Executive and who will succeed Alan Davey who is leaving after seven years. As well as leading Global’s Classic FM since 1999, Darren has been the author of two defining Government reviews into music and cultural education and is a champion of the importance of arts and culture in the lives of children and young people. From 2007 to 2010, he chaired the Music Manifesto, a government-backed national campaign to improve music education. Global and Arts Council England will now discuss a mutually agreed date for Darren to take up the role.

Cultural Commissioning Toolkits

Cultural-Commissioning-Programme_with-straplineThe Cultural Commissioning Programme has collated a range of resources on cultural commissioning for those wanting to engage in public service commissioning and for commissioners such as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, NHS and others wanting to work with arts and cultural providers. A range of toolkits are available on specific areas at:
Cultural commissioning resources
Understanding cultural commissioning
Practicalities of cultural commissioning
Cultural commissioning evidencing and support
Policy context
Mental health and wellbeing
Older people – cultural commissioning

Epic Awards 2015 nominations opening soon

epic awardsFrom singing to knitting, theatre to painting, across the UK and Republic of Ireland over 60,000 volunteer-led amateur groups provide regular opportunities for people to take part in local creative cultural activities – the Epic Awards celebrate their achievements. The Epic Awards are run by Voluntary Arts, the UK and Republic of Ireland organisation set up to promote participation in creative cultural activity, with support from the Spirit of 2012 Trust. Epic Awards partners, who provide mentoring, training and capacity building support for winning groups, include Making Music, People’s Voice Media, Arts Development UK, Sue Isherwood and Rosemary Curtis.

Last year’s winners included a drumming group born out of the London 2012 Olympics, a knitting project that transformed a Welsh town, an arts festival that brought creativity to rural Scotland, and a group of poets who held recitals in their local park in Ireland.

The Awards are open to all groups run by volunteers for no financial gain, and nominated projects or initiatives must have place in the twelve months prior to the nomination deadline. Nominees can be based anywhere in the UK or Republic of Ireland, practise any kind of art form or craft, and involve people of any age group or background. Nominations for the 2015 Epic Awards will open on Monday 12 January and close at 5pm on Monday 16th March 2015. A Winners’ Reception will take place during Voluntary Arts Week, the annual celebration of creative cultural activity taking place from 15 to 24 May 2015. For more details on how to nominate your group, visit www.epicawards.co.uk.