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Monday, November 18, 2013

The Nitty Gritty on Fresh Start and the Way Ahead in the Arts in D+G

For those who have asked in person on the Blog and on Facebook is the transcript of Jim Tildesley's presentation at the Fresh Start Conference. The text is available to download in the Useful Documents section of the Fresh Start Website.
Although it is longer than your average Commonty post and certainly has less pictures, we feel it is such a key document for the road we are all travelling that we are publishing it in full.
Jim began with a list of the key recommendations made during the consultancy period of the Fresh Start project. These are the recommendations that were drawn from and presented back to the sector at public sessions. This is the foundation of what the arts sector is recommending as a course of action for the next two years.
The second part of Jim's presentation is the down and dirty mechanics of of the governance of the new structure will work. (NB we seriously need a name for all this....Fresh Start has always sounded like a hygene product.......hey all you creative types....any thoughts?)

Over to Jim:

The Report by Culture Matters, after wide and lengthy consultation, recommended the following:-

  • We should be ambitious - establish an international ambition for the arts and turn the weaknesses of smallness of dispersed population and peripheral location into a strength by alliances internationally with regions elsewhere in the world that share those characteristics and the region's strengths in environmental quality, literature and visual arts.

  • Confirm and consolidate the Region's new strategy and structures for the Arts

  • Create a new Regional Arts Plan for Dumfries and Galloway arising from the consultations of the Chamber of the Arts at area, local and regional level and the Fresh Start programme.

  • Establish an Annual Arts Convention as a gathering of all stakeholders in the arts in the Region which would make an annual assessment of progress against the agreed goals in the Regional Arts Plan.

  • Reconfigure the Chamber of the Arts as a Strategic Board to provide oversight, advise the Council on implementation of the 2013-15 programme and work with it on the programme from 2015. The Board would also manage the core executive (regional and area convenors) contracted by the Council and may hold funds that were not accessible by the Council itself.

  • Reconfigure the Regional Arts Hub as a co-ordinating and executive body bringing the region's professional arts strength together to implement the arts programme to April 2015.

  • Consolidate and build on the four Area Hubs and their Area Plans, encouraging and supporting engagement with the Council's devolved structures and co-ordination and co-operation with region-wide arts services and identified priority arts initiatives

  • Encourage local arts programmes in presentation and participation through area support for local venues and activities and through the encouragement of ambitious area-wide programmes able to attract regional and national attention and resources

  • Improve the Region's internal infrastructure for the arts by supporting the development of the Dumfries Town Centre as a Cultural Quarter, digitally connected to international standard and as a model for a Regional Capital of a rural area.

  • Working with the Council's events strategy and structures to develop regional ticketing, marketing, audience development and information services.

  • Develop a Research and Development centre for region-wide pilot programmes addressing arts provision for rural populations - particularly for touring, the elderly and young people.

  • Ensure effective links with other Council and national strategies in the Creative Industries, Health and Wellbeing, Community Learning and Development, Tourism and Environment

  • Build a sustainable arts infrastructure of internationally referenced arts organisations

  • Implement a strategy to strengthen key cultural organisations immediately and secure long term arts revenue funding for a group of those organisations from Creative Scotland (and elsewhere) during the application round in 2014. 
  • Form a partnership with the culturally related ambitions for the Crichton Institute and Campus.

The Mechanics of the New Structure
RC = Regional Convenor....AHC = Area Hub Convenor
There are other Board Members of DGAP who can better answer questions of some of the detail of the recommendations but turning to my area of work, the structure of the new organisation:
The Chamber of Arts to be constituted as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation with a Board of Charity Trustees composed of persons without financial interest in the work of the organisation or the advice that it offers to the Council.

The Chamber of Arts Charitable Objectives are:-

o   the advancement of the arts, heritage and culture in Dumfries and Galloway and elsewhere and principally for the benefit of the people of Dumfries and Galloway.
o   the provision of advice to Dumfries and Galloway Council and others on policy, programmes and projects in the arts, heritage and culture
o   the provision of support of all kinds to practitioners, participants and organisations in the arts, heritage and culture
o   to do all of the above with reference to the role of arts, heritage and culture in the advancement of: education; community development; urban and rural regeneration; wellbeing; equality and diversity and environmental promotion and improvements

The Chamber of Arts would be constituted as a two tier Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

  • the Charity Trustees as a body admits persons to membership subject to specified conditions. The condition being “a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of the arts, culture and heritage in Dumfries and Galloway”
  • those members then - in general meeting - receive the report of the Board and elect some of their number to the Board to serve for periods set out in the constitution.

The Area and Regional Hubs be professionally convened through five 'operational' commissions.

Initial appointment of Trustees
The new Chamber structure needed to provide for continuity with the work of the DGAP Board and the current Chamber. To achieve this three members of the current DGAP Board who do not anticipate any conflict of interest for themselves or those close to them or for organisations they work for during the period to March 2015 have been appointed as the founding Trustees to oversee the registration of the Chamber with the Charity Regulator and the Chamber’s incorporation as an SCIO.

On incorporation and the initial recruitment of Members four Area Trustees will be appointed. All members with post codes in one of the four areas of the region be convened under the Chairmanship of a Board member of the Chamber to elect a nominee to serve on the Chamber - by co-option - until March 2015.

The full Board of nine will be completed by the co-option of two additional Trustees one of whom will represent Partnership organisations and the other Arts Organisations.

One third of the Board will 'stand down' at each Annual General Meeting. The three founding members have all been asked to indicate their willingness to be the first three members of the founding Board to stand down in this way. They will be replaced by three Members elected to the Board at the 2015 AGM. Thereafter the Board will consist of nine Trustees as below.

Area representatives   4
Partner representatives 1
Arts organisation representatives 1
Elected in General meeting  3

There is a need to maintain the momentum so:
The three initial Trustees of the Chamber are appointed. They are Cathy Agnew, Karen Ward Boyd and Jim Tildesley
The constitution has been drafted and submitted to the Charity Regulator.
The Regional Convener Commission has been awarded to Kathleen O’Neill
The Commissions for the Hub Conveners are advertised with a submission deadline next week.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks Mr Tildesley, Fresh Start and Commonty - very useful to be able to pass this on to those unable to attend last week.
    I trust these recommendations are now safely en route through Mr Tildesley's Venn diagram.