The Cultural Commissioning Programme is a three year Arts Council England funded programme which runs to June 2016. It’s being delivered through a partnership between NCVO, NPC and nef
Over the three years we aim to deliver a range of workstreams to: - help the arts and cultural sector understand the commissioning landscape and where appropriate develop skills and capacity to engage in cultural commissioning - enable commissioners to develop awareness and know-how of commissioning arts and cultural organisations to deliver public service outcomes - encourage relationships between cultural providers and commissioners - influence policy makers and raise the profile of this area of work.
When I say the arts and cultural sector I mean arts organisations, museums and libraries.
We are conscious of the distinction between arts and culture that engages beneficiaries as spectators and those that engage beneficiaries as participants. Both of these elements are involved in the programme and we’re interested to see if they support different outcomes for people in different circumstances.
Important to emphasise this isn’t about pushing all arts and cultural organisations into contracts with local authorities. Important that more organisations (and commissioners) are aware of the opportunities but must be clear about the reality of being funded in this way (the positives and the negatives) to enable organisations to make informed decisions.
Brief overview of the research - aim/ timescale/ numbers reached The aim of the work was to develop a clearer picture of the extent to which arts and cultural organisations were involved in delivering commissioned work and to help clarify where best to focus the main activity of the CCP.
We think these are ways a&c works that commissioners would be interested in – haven’t mapped them to specific commissioners because may would be interested in various places across the circle. They feed into each other
This bit is (kind of) outcomes based
Place and inclusion: Regeneration, engaging seldom heard voices, safe ways to explore difference, pride and local identity, community cohesion, reintegration into society
Life skills: route into education, route into employment, social skills, cognitive and creative skills
Health and wellbeing: physical health, mental health recovery, identity, social bonding, reduce social isolation, address stigma.
Then on the right we have more thematic things / ways a&c can work.
Engagement / adherence – it’s fun and socially engaging so people want to keep coming Preventative – e.g. it’s building individual and community resilience by building skills, confidence and connections, by building peoples confidence in agencies its increasing the likelihood of people looking for support before they reach a crisis. Inclusivity – celebrating and exploring and articulating difference – people feel it’s less stigmatizing Assets – neutral place, making use of collections.
Key Message: Commissioner may find arts and cultural organisations can add value in designing services as well as delivery – through knowledge of beneficiaries and through creative approaches to consultation
Emphasize that co-design and co-production is frequently in how approaches are developed and delivered.
Similar process thinking about beneficiaries
Children - Children in care, early years, teenage parents Young people - Often specific outcomes or sub-groups Older people / retired - Isolation, dementia, arts in residential care People with disabilities - Both adults and children Hard to reach - Not a survey criteria but important in interviews Local communities - Arts and kindness; Place making and local identity General public- Lots going on, but not a suitable segment Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) - Not so strong in interviews Refugees / Asylum seekers - Get online and improve resilience – libraries Adults - Lots going on, but not a suitable segment Gender specific - Very little identified
So there really is a lot going on in the areas that public sector commissioners are interested in
Where is there alignment between a&c orgs and commissioners?
Mapped what’s going on through a lengthy process including literature review plus interviews with providers commissioners and experts and a survey completed by arts orgs Here, categories shaded darker (at the top) is where we found more going on. Interesting in itself, and helped us identify where to focus the programme. Categories NPC developed for another piece of work.
Appreciate that there may be a bias in who responded to our survey - although telephone interviews seemed to endorse the outlook we developed.
Won’t go through all of them (possibly pick out a few to highlight)
Mental health - Recurring theme. Links with wellbeing and physical health. Well-being - Important outcome for almost all interventions Education and learning - Collaboration, problem solving, re-engaging w/ learning Employment and training - Mostly in combination with specific beneficiary group, homeless, offenders, people with mental health problems, Physical health - Not much in isolation, but lots of overlap. Crime and public safety - Various aspects: domestic violence, diversionary, offenders Inclusion/ participation / community cohesion - Relationship between cultural engagement and civic engagement. Interest of ACE (creative people and places) Regeneration - Strong theme in some areas Conservation and environment - Some examples but not strong theme in survey or interviews Substance use - Relatively little Finance / legal - Not much Housing - Very little, some discussion of supported housing
The sing for you life programme delivered social music making sessions for older people in the Kent area.
The intervention was evaluated in a controlled experiment by the Sidney de Haan centre at Canterbury Christchurch University. The experiment delivered very robust evidence that musical therapies have a strong and durable effects including:
Increased general mental health Decreased anxiety Decreased depression
The intervention group received treatment at the beginning of the study, leading to a spike in mental health and an ebb in depression and anxiety indicators (@ month 3) the effects then wore off, but the treatment group still delivered higher scores on mental health and lower on depression and anxiety six months after the initiation of the study.
The report recommended that music based interventions be more widely recognised as a cost effective treatment strategy and more widely rolled out.
Singing interventions now broadened to include groups for people with enduring mental health conditions for people with dementia and their carers.
A pressing need Policy is supportive Some existing practice already available
Cultural Commissioning Programme, Lucie Stephens
Making Connections with the
Cultural Commissioning Programme
Head of Co-production, NEF
• Introducing the Cultural Commissioning
• Sharing our recent research
• Outlining the ‘Making Connections’ work
• Examples of how arts and cultural
interventions could support Housing
• Arts & cultural organisations better able
to engage with public sector
• Public service commissioners more
aware of potential for arts & cultural
organisations to deliver outcomes
Effective working in
Use of existing
Heat map: who is involved
Older/ retired people
People with disabilities
Seldom heard communities
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME)
Refugees / Asylum seekers
Heat map: areas of focus
Education and learning
Employment and training
Inclusion/ participation / community cohesion
Crime and public safety
Conservation and environment
Finance / legal
Sing for life, Kent
• Music based programme delivered in Kent evaluated by Canterbury
University, achieved a range of positive outcomes
• Supporting independence and
tackling isolation of older people
• Social prescribing
• Mental health support and recovery
• Around your table discuss the main challenges
that your community is facing
• Record these on post-its and group them on
flip chart paper
• Give a title to the groups
• Review the themes you have identified
• Agree one issue you are most interested in
• Working with others around the table use the
planning sheet to identify next steps
Please hand in your evaluation
sheet as you leave