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Mapping the cultural youth offer in Nottingham March 2016


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Data from a small research project conducted in 2014-12015 to examine some youth arts provision in Nottingham

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Mapping the cultural youth offer in Nottingham March 2016

  1. 1. Mapping youth arts participation in Nottingham Pat Thomson and Becky Coles Centre for Research in Arts, Creativity and Literacies February 2016
  2. 2. the “Bubble” project • Was funded by the East Midlands youth arts bridge organisation, The Mighty Creatives • Was led by New Art Exchange and involved five other Nottingham based arts organisations – Nottingham Contemporary, City Arts, Lakeside, Castle Museum, Nottingham Playhouse • Additional funding was provided by the Centre for Advanced Studies The University of Nottingham, for a postdoc to work on mapping the youth cultural offer of the six organisations and support each to do an action research project
  3. 3. some notes on mapping • Maps are usually a snapshot at a particular time. Some maps however are dynamic. • We can only ever map some things, so what we decide to include and exclude is important. • Bubble Maps are partial – they are focused on partner organisations. We did not look at schools for example. School by school information is hard to get and with the demise of the LA it could become even harder. • Maps benefit from standardised information. This is not the case here. Different Bubble partners had different kinds of data collections. • Bubble partners’ programmes were of different orders - so what counts as participation as seen by one organisation is different. Differences cover not only art form but also duration and the degree of ownership/agency of the young people involved.
  4. 4. • Different organisations have different capacities to collect and process data. The larger the organisation the more likely they are to have a data friendly infrastructure. • Bubble maps are provider led. The take no account of more general cultural participation, of community sponsored events and programmes, individual artists and vernacular and traditional practices. • Nevertheless, even partial maps can tell us something…
  5. 5. Bubble and linkages with some other organisations in the city
  6. 6. We were given information about the programmes offered by each of the Bubble partners
  7. 7. Outer regions not as well served as inner – where does the city end?
  8. 8. Why map? Cultural Mapping Toolkit, Creative City Network, Canada.
  9. 9. Using maps to support planning – Dallas, USA
  10. 10. Examining Both Supply and Demand The prevailing approach to addressing lack of participation has been to view it as an issue of limited supply. Those wishing to address inequities in OST arts participation ask: “What can we supply the market with (e.g., programs, teachers, underwriting) that changes the status quo?” But this question assumes the problem is only one of unmet demand, that “if we build it, they will come.” But such a supply-oriented approach is only part of the solution. A more balanced and comprehensive method lies in pairing supply solutions with a stronger consumer demand orientation. Effective marketers seek to understand what their potential customers want and how they make their decisions, and then do what is necessary to meet those needs and desires. As applied to OST arts, we might ask whether the market need might not be simply more programs, but rather different kinds of programs. Businesses often do consumer research with tweens and teens, but they rarely make such research public out of competitive interest. Our study offers an unusual public glimpse of what influences urban, low-income youth as consumers in how to spend their free time and make decisions about their various choices. … Extending mapping to include young people From Something to Say, Wallace Foundation, 2013
  11. 11. Where to now? • A dynamic map would require ongoing or regular data updates. • There would need to be agreement about shared categories, common data definitions boundaries and exclusions • The process would need to not place additional administrative burden on organisations, noting that this would be disproportionate to size. • We would need to be clear about the things that we wanted to know – e.g. particular art forms and particular postcodes or neighbourhoods. • We would need to decide whether the benefits to the city and to the arts organisations would justify the time and expense of developing a dynamic map.