Our Way Forward
Blog by Helen Willmott, Programme Director
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been thinking a lot about what the rest of 2020 will hold. From trying to predict when government guidelines might change to considering how people will be feeling about joining in with activities when they are able to start again, there’s a lot to think about.
In planning our programme for the remainder of 2020, we’re keeping a few things in mind. Firstly, that the majority of people, both adults and children, will continue to spend much more time in their homes than usual. And that lots of people will continue to ‘shield’ for the foreseeable future and many more will have serious anxiety about attending group activities. We’re also aware that whilst the range of cultural experiences currently available online is brilliant, not everyone has good access to the internet, and many will prefer offline experiences.
So, in planning the next phase of our activity, we’re promising the following:
- We will concentrate our efforts on projects that specifically reach those who are least likely to engage in traditional cultural activities. We will combine this with a focus on those who have been most adversely affected by the pandemic.
- All of our projects will have a remote version for the foreseeable future, to make sure that those shielding or who feel uncomfortable attending events will still have the opportunity to participate. This will be through a combination of digital activities and physical delivery of ‘creativity packs’.
- New projects will start remotely and be flexible enough to move to in-person activities when it is appropriate.
- We will take the lead from our communities about when to return to in-person activities. This will be different for each project and we will keep listening to local people, volunteers and partners to see when this is most appropriate.
- We will continue the Cultivate programme to provide support to both artists and community groups to sustain their own creative activities locally.
- We are paying all artists and freelance contractors for promised work, and are committed to open and straight-forward commissioning processes for future contracts.
- We will be flexible about working hours and the eventual return to office-based working for our staff team.
We hope that these commitments will provide some reassurance to those that we work with. Nothing is set in stone and we know that the situation will change many more times over the coming months. But we will stick by the principles of inclusivity, accessibility and community leadership. And we promise to be open in the process.
There’s some exciting projects in the pipeline, so keep in touch and together we’ll help each other to stay creative during this difficult time.
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