Gulbenkian Inquiry

Professional dancers practicing for upcoming show
Professional dancers practicing for upcoming show

 

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What Next? is working with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as part of the Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations. As part of this process, we have commissioned three artist groups to work with communities across the UK and ask what they think the civic role of an arts organisation should be and four What Next? Chapters who will work with local partners to understand the role of arts organisations within their geographical context.

About the Artist Commissions
We are delighted to announce the commissioned artists are Rebecca Manson Jones and Deborah Mason working in the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark, London, Kyle Walker and the Creative Experts at Contact Theatre who will work in North Manchester and Sally Tonge in Shropshire. The artists will work with underserved communities and ask what they think the civic role of an arts organisation should be.

Forty three artists/artist groups applied for the award and after a two stage application process the panel were thrilled to award the three commissions to a combination of artists working in rural/urban areas located in various places across the UK which addressed a civic role in both social cohesion and health (dementia). More about the projects here.

About the Location Studies
The four chosen locations are Basingstoke, Nottingham, Sunderland and Yarmouth and Lowestoft. The What Next? Chapters in these places will be leading the studies, working with local partners, networks and the general public. In each location the aim is to understand the role of arts organisations within the local community, find out what people want from their arts organisations and learn how the sector can support future activity. More about the projects here.

About the inquiry
In April 2016, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK Branch launched a three phrased inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations. The Inquiry seeks to increase awareness of the civic role that arts organisations play nationally and in their communities. The first phase is intended to tackle definitions, scope and remit of the inquiry. Its activity includes in-depth research and widespread consultation to understand what constitutes ‘next practice’ and seed a network for future activity.

What Next? is working with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as its engagement partner on phase one of the inquiry. As part of this activity, we will work with our national network of 35 chapters to engage colleagues from both within the cultural sector and across other sectors, and explore ways to generate real excitement about the idea of civic responsibility and the arts. We want the arts sector to explore and embrace the artistic benefits of civic responsibility as well as the social benefits, and we want to shine a light on the cutting-edge nature of this area of work. This engagement will take place through a series of structured activities in Summer/Autumn 2016 developed in collaboration with the inquiry research partners; Institute of Cultural Capital (ICC), through the artistic commissions and through the four location case studies.

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