Three work highlights from a pandemic year

Still from This Place is Changing (Great Place Scheme, Torbay Culture, 2021)

Today I noticed that 2021 is the 10th year of my independent arts and culture consultancy business. That’s got to be worth some chocolate. I’m delighted and grateful to have negotiated the bumpy 2020s with some degree of success, helping clients ranging from individual artists and creatives through to national development agencies.

This month I embark on some exciting new pieces of work – more on this soon. Before I begin the next challenges, I wanted to share a few of the inspiring, progressive clients and projects I’ve worked with over the last pandemic year.

Time Being at Maketank, was an exhibition by audiovisual artist Deborah Robinson with Ruairí Corr, that I produced for The Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health (University of Exeter) in September 2020. The pandemic made sure Time Being was a white knuckle ride, but it was satisfying to produce one of Exeter city centre’s few surviving in-person cultural events between the two national lockdowns.

January this year saw me complete an in-depth consultancy for Torbay’s £1.6m Great Place Scheme. I worked with the wonderful team at Torbay Culture to interrogate, understand and articulate this distinctive example of a place-based approach to culture and creativity. I particularly enjoyed working with Paul Brierley of WebToys to make a short film / animation about how the Great Place Scheme worked in Torbay. Check out the four minute film if you fancy it.

Most recently, I’ve relished the cerebral stretch of working alongside East Devon District Council’s Arts Development Manager / Gallery Curator Ruth Gooding, to tease out and express a new vision for inclusive rural cultural production in East Devon. With its focus on inclusion, diversity, land use and climate inequality, East Devon’s 2022-23 programme Creative Communities and the Land deals in matters close to my own heart. I can’t wait.

In between these projects I’ve also been working behind the scenes with Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector partners on my own geographic patch in North Devon. With One Northern Devon’s Arts and Culture Group and Beaford Arts, I’ve developed and secured funding for a new culture, health and wellbeing case study in seven towns. The project, which is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, launches this month, so watch this space for more information.

Finally I’d like to thank my clients for their custom and kind testimonials this year. I always welcome feedback.

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