Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:19 Written by admin Thursday, 28 January 2010 02:39
Arts Council England’s Thrive! programme aims to provide a systematic approach to helping cultural organisations gain the expertise needed to respond to and influence a rapidly changing environment. It is supporting a number of organisations across England, including several consortia.
The Liverpool Thrive project was given £1.34 million – the largest award within the scheme – and will test out a new model for embedding the arts and cultural sectors in the processes of social and economic renewal.
Liverpool’s Thrive project has three key aims:
i) To develop the role of the cultural sector in civic leadership.
ii) To create a more audience and people friendly city centre.
iii) To research and develop new models of delivery in arts-led regeneration, with a focus on North Liverpool.
i) Developing a Civic Leadership Role
LARC’s civic leadership work will focus on three core activities: delivery of an advocacy campaign to promote the role of culture within regeneration; a research programme to support the campaign; and work to help deliver continuous professional development across the cultural sector.
LARC’s Thrive advocacy campaign will focus on promoting the public value and impact of the cultural sector on Merseyside. It includes a high level annual seminar led by an international speaker and is targeted at leading figures from the public , community, business and faith sectors in the city region. The campaign is also building a new dialogue between cultural organisations and higher education institutions and with the health sector, aiming to establish joint planning mechanisms and secure the funds needed to test out new ways of working together.
The research programme gives the campaign a solid evidential base and also aims to build research capacity in the cultural sector. The programme is supported through a research partnership with Impacts 08 – the Liverpool University/LJMU research programme set up to establish the social, economic and cultural impact of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year.
Our work will include the collection of key statistics about the LARC partners; mapping activities to chart the engagement of cultural organisations with other sectors such as health or higher education; and a series of research projects to look at the intrinsic (i.e. emotional and intellectual), social and economic impact of culture.
Continuous professional development (CPD)
LARC is developing a strategic approach to tackling a range of CPD issues across the city’s cultural sector – from programmes at entry level to address the lack of diversity in the workplace to support for emerging leaders and senior management.
Part of the work of Thrive is to develop LARC as a consortium, creating and supporting a series of working groups and regular network meetings at different levels in the organisations. We will also be considering how we can develop shared services both between LARC partners and more widely in the cultural sector.
ii) A More Audience and People Friendly City Centre
LARC has three main priorities under this aim:
- Audience Development - to support a strategic, joined up approach to audience development. LARC has worked in partnership with Arts Council England North West to run a year long audience development project, linking up with plans for Arts About Manchester to become a regional agency for the North West. Two staff from Arts About Manchester are based in Liverpool, working on a series of project including : the Merseyside Family Friendly website; Open City, a volunteer led programme to encourage new attenders to enjoy a range of cultural venues; and dataculture, an audience mapping project.
- Reconnecting the City: to ensure that the cultural sector is fully embedded within the process of creating a coherent approach to the promotion and development of the city centre. This is mostly addressed by engaging with agencies such as The Mersey Partnership, Liverpool City Council, and Liverpool Vision.
- Shared Events: a series of cultural interventions to help people feel an increased sense of ownership and safety in the city centre, such as the Long Night event which has taken place in October 08 and 09. A Family friendly scoping study is about to be launched, to consider how the cultural offer for families can be developed.
iii) Helping Regenerate North Liverpool
The programme involves developing a new model to demonstrate how cultural organisations can collaborate to maximum effect to support regeneration of a geographical area. Co-ordination is provided by a Partnerships and Development Coordinator who will work across the LARC partnership, and with other cultural organisations working in North Liverpool. This work started with a research exercise to map current cultural activity in North Liverpool.
To download the North Liverpool Mapping report please click here
LARC is working with other sectors in North Liverpool to develop new relationships and make sure we are able to maintain a clear understanding of the priorities of the key agencies working in the area. We are delivering a series of capacity building initiatives with cultural and community practitioners from the area, aiming to increase the development of cultural programmes by community organisations and other agencies.
There will also be a shared evaluation programme to provide useful evidence on the social impact of cultural engagement, and to develop evaluation skills within the cultural sector (see news and events)
Our focus in all our North Liverpool activity will remain firmly on the need to add value to existing activity and avoid jeopardising current provision and relationships.
As our Thrive programme develops, we will commission more research to test possible expansion of our collaborative approach in another geographic or thematic area.