Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

Reshaping is refreshing

  • Date: 24 November 2011
  • Area: South West

In June and July, the Regional Planning team in the south west ran a series of Reshaping events for arts organisations undertaking change in this transitory financial year. The events introduced the two Reshaping documents which focus on business support and digital opportunities. They also provided a safe, confidential environment to discuss organisational issues with peers, Arts Council England representatives and other external experts, who they were also able to consult with on a one to one basis.

The first Reshaping paper highlights investment choices for socially orientated businesses, preparing for commissioning, collaborative practice, governance and organisational development. The second document explores digital opportunities available for creating and adding value through production, marketing and distribution.

Over eighty arts organisations participated in the events held in Bristol, Plymouth, Taunton, Weymouth and Swindon. 95% of participants indicated that the event was very useful or useful. Comments included:

'Excellent and comprehensive'
'Very helpful including funding info'
'Helps you consider different approaches to problems/issues'

Reshaping is a time limited partnership project coordinated by the Arts Council's regional planning team until December 2011. Partners include Rise, South West Forum, Devon School for Social Entrepreneurs, West Mead Creative, Wessex Community Assets and Mission Models Money. A LinkedIn group has been set up to enable participants to continue to network and provide peer support.

The digital opportunities document was commissioned from I-Dat, the Institute of Digital Art and Technology at Plymouth University.

Next steps:

  • We are continuing to refresh and add to the Reshaping documents as new information comes to light. We will ensure that the documents are passed on to partners who can then alter and adapt them as they see fit.
  • Building on the interest in the Digital Opportunities strand of the work and potential national funding, further support activity will be planned over the next 12 months in partnership with National Portfolio organisations and Higher Education institutions in the south west region.
  • With South West Forum we are planning a briefing paper on how third sector agencies can support, work with and learn from arts organisations and embrace the wider arts ecology.  
  • A marketplace between arts and community organisations and commissioners is currently being planned in Devon. This will be a model for elsewhere.  
  • The School for Social Entrepreneurs are offering ten bursaries of £1000 each to individual artists /arts organisations for a three month action led social enterprise course at Dartington, supported through a Grants for the arts award.

We hope that the Reshaping project has successfully supported arts organisations to manage change in the south west.