What we do

(top) Wolf’s Child, Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2015. Photo: Steve Tanner. (bottom) The People’s Tower, Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2014. Photo: Chris Taylor.

What Next? meetings take place throughout 30 chapters across the UK either on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis whereby people come together to share, debate and take collective action on issues facing the local and national cultural sector.

Meetings are typically 1 hour long and frequently have guest speakers to share a particular perspective on a topic. The ethos of the meetings is to engender open, positive and inclusive conversations with Chatham House rules.

Four times a year the chapter chairs come together for a national meeting and communication is maintained through email and video conferencing. As a movement we initiate conversations with community leaders, politicians, funders, academics and business people. We work with experts when we need to engage with specific agendas, for example the Cultural Learning Alliance on issues related to education, learning and young people.

We work collaboratively to write position papers about the value of culture to our society and economy, drawing on the consensus and arguments forged at meetings, and over the past 18 months we have submitted to HM Treasury at the time of autumn statements, annual budgets, and Comprehensive Spending Reviews.