Start a Chapter

Claire Patey, Crayfish Bob, Two Degrees 2011, produced by Artsadmin. Photo: Toby Smith

All you need to start a What Next? Chapter is the motivation to bring about change, plenty of passion and energy and a little bit of time. Most chapters are run by people working in the cultural sector, many of whom are leaders either of organisations or working in a freelance capacity.

Regular Chapter meetings are usually chaired by one or two people and held in the same place each time. We suggest that groups are small enough for everyone to have a voice and big enough to have a rich conversation. Organisations or local community groups provide in-kind space for meetings and volunteers from within the group take the lead on different issues and suggest possible guest speakers. For your first meeting we will offer a member of an existing What Next? group to describe our experience so far and the way we have been working.

We connect What Next? chapters to each other via monthly Chapter Chair meetings and our UK wide meeting on Zoom. We want the movement to be as informal in structure as possible whilst offering people guidance on what works best across the UK, and ensuring we are joined up together. We know that the success of the movement so far is down to the good will, generosity and energy of everyone involved and we always want to find new ways to support each other in what we do.

We want to work across art forms and with people involved in all corners of the cultural sector. Additionally we want to build unlikely alliances so that we can share ideas with other sectors and extend our connections. We think we need to identify the crucial issues we can effectively explore and act on together. A useful principle seems to be ‘highest common denominator’. Bluntly, we are interested by but don’t want to get caught up in the detailed agendas of individual organizations or art forms.

If you are interested in setting up your own What Next? group and want to talk to us about inviting someone to your first meeting, contact Clare Thurman.

We have developed a guide designed to help those interesting in starting a What Next? Chapter. View or download it using the link below.

Guide to starting a chapter