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Our Cultural Commons: a joint initiative from ADUK & Voluntary Arts

LogoVoluntary_ArtsWorking in collaboration with Arts Development UK, Voluntary Arts is seeking a consultant on a freelance basis to undertake some initial mapping and scoping to lay the ground for a major national conversation. At the end of September 2014, the two UK-wide organisations that specifically support and represent local creative cultural activity, Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, will be launching a major new initiative to:
• collect evidence of existing innovative local collaborative practice to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure and then promote best practice
• provide a space for discussion of potential solutions to the problems facing local cultural infrastructure and organisation and the debate on the nature of the cultural commons that we aspire to in the future
• empower and support the voice of those ‘local’ ambitions in debates on future national cultural policies, structures and funding.

Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK will:
• launch Our Cultural Commons as a UK and Ireland-wide ‘debate’ at the end of September 2014
• manage an online debate to collect evidence of existing innovative local collaborative practice to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure and provide a space for discussion of potential solutions to the immediate problems faced by local cultural infrastructure
• run a series of roundtable discussions, ‘town hall meetings’ and other events as part of the UK and Ireland-wide debate
• organise a major conference in June 2015

The contract
The main task is to undertake an initial mapping and scoping exercise to gather, collate and edit input from Arts Development UK members, as well as Voluntary Arts staff and advisers (across the UK and Republic of Ireland). We want to collect a range of models of innovative local collaborative practice to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure, including examples from urban, rural, prosperous, disadvantaged and diverse communities – identifying local examples that could be used in influencing national cultural policy, structures and funding. The task will involve a period of research and information-gathering, follow-up by phone, and analysis, to create a summary document detailing the overall findings and identifying potential case studies. Several of these case studies will then be selected by Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, to be developed by the consultant for online publication. The consultant will work closely with the Chair of Voluntary Arts, Peter Stark OBE, and the Chair of Arts Development UK, Jane Wilson, who are jointly leading the Our Cultural Commons initiative.

The contract will deliver:
• An initial mapping and scoping of emerging new models of local cultural infrastructure and identification of potential case studies
• The development of case studies, selected by Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, in support of innovative and emerging models for local cultural infrastructure, to be published online to support a more visible launch of a national conversation about this in autumn 2014
• Advice, expertise and information gathering to support Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK’s preparation for the national conversation

The contract will be managed through direct reporting to Robin Simpson, Chief Executive of Voluntary Arts.

Further practical details:

• Fee and expenses: £4250 (inclusive VAT), with three payments of 30% on commencement, 40% at the midway reporting point with the Chief Executive, and 30% after completion.
• We anticipate the contract may require approximately 10-12 days’ work over a 6-week period.
• Submission: by email, CV and two page covering letter (deadline: 5pm on Friday 8 August).
• Appointment: in mid-August 2014.
• Submission: by end of September 2014.

Applying for this freelance contract
Please submit your application (CV and two page covering letter) by 5pm Friday 8 August at the latest. We prefer electronic submissions, sent to lindsey@voluntaryarts.org. Paper applications should be addressed to Lindsey Jackson, Voluntary Arts, Ground Floor, 121 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9PH.

For an informal, confidential discussion about the contract please contact Robin Simpson,
Voluntary Arts Chief Executive, on 01525 288067 or email robin@voluntaryarts.org. You may also find it useful to visit the Voluntary Arts website at: www.voluntaryarts.org.

Please find a more detailed brief for the contract here: OurCulturalCommons-ConsultancyOpportunity

Good luck with your application.