On behalf of the Culture Arts and Heritage Recovery Taskforce, may I ask you to join me in a focus group to consider a range of challenges facing our particular community-focused sector. I will be chairing and reporting back from this focus group on behalf of community arts practices and organisations.
The taskforce has been asked to provide recommendations on how to:
- to support the reopening of heritage sites, theatres, performance venues and relevant public gathering places in line with the Executive’s Pathway Out of Restrictions;
- to stimulate culture, arts and heritage activity, re-start the cultural economy and enable the sector to play a central role in rebuilding social and economic life here;
- to explore outdoor performance/activity, including at youth, amateur and community level across the summer, autumn and into the longer term, as a means of encouraging participation and building audience confidence as the opening of indoor and outdoor facilities and activities rolls out;
- to advise on any short-term actions to support skills retention and to provide opportunity for potential new-entrants embarking on a career in the sectors; and;•
- to identify medium to long term actions which might be considered in the development of a new Culture, Arts and Heritage Strategy.
- What is the timeline? The Taskforce is working to have a draft report complete by the end of June given that there is an immediate funding issue to be addressed following the Executive’s announcement of £13million to the sector.
- Who sits on the Taskforce? Given the footprint of the sector, membership ranges from representation from Community Arts, theatre, music, Freelancer to name but a few. A full membership list can be found here
- Who are we engaging with and how? The taskforce has established 7 focus groups to ensure the widest reach across the sectors, with wider engagement through a live online survey available here: Culture, Arts and Heritage Recovery Taskforce Survey – NI Direct – Citizen Space Please disseminate the link to the survey to your own networks please.
- This survey will take approximately 10 mins and it will complement and provide an update to the survey’s which we already know have been completed across the sector over the last 12 months.
- Ideally, we would like to have key recommendations that can cover immediate needs, medium term needs and longer term needs of the sector – we would ask for a time frame to be considered, what funding would be required to take forward each recommendation as well as its potential impact.
I have attached the paper that we presented to DfC in September last year for your information. Many, if not all of the considerations that we reported on last year unfortunately still represent challenges for the sustainability of our sector today.
I am sorry that we do not have much time nor indeed, many options in the immediate term, but we hope to represent as many views as we can in the time at hand!
The EVENTBRITE registration link to the Monday 7th June, 3pm meeting is below.
Again, I apologise for the rushed nature of this engagement but the calendar was already set before any deliberations got under way. If you cannot make it, do offer your thoughts via the survey tool above please.
If you are taking part in another sub sectoral focus group, if you could let me know, that’d be great as well.
Community Arts Partnership