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News from the Inquiry

The Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations has been very quiet over the past few months as we processed all the amazing and insightful information you sent us about your civic role.
Posted by Sam Cairns

It has taken us far longer than we planned to sift through everything we’ve been sent to draw out the learning and insights but we are aware of the importance of doing justice to the subject and your expertise.

When we launched the Inquiry in May 2016 we believed that the civic role of arts organisations was important. Working through all the examples, case studies and thought pieces you have sent us directly and via our research partners What Next?, ICC and the RSA has shown us the depth of commitment in the arts sector to supporting civic engagement.

As a Foundation we want to support the civic role of arts organisations more and we will be launching a Phase Two of the Inquiry. We will be consulting on our ideas for Phase Two within the report on Phase One which we will publish on the 10th July 2017 and then through a series of roundtable workshops around England later in 2017.

Civic Role Principles

The Phase One report published in July will include a bank of case studies and a draft set of Civic Role Principles. You may remember we tested a series of definitions for civic role as part of the Phase One consultation work. Based on your feedback we have decided trying to define civic role is not helpful – it quickly becomes contested and acts as a barrier to people and organisations becoming involved. Rather than creating a definition for civic role we will be suggesting civic role principles in the Phase One report. We are drawing out these principles from the Phase One research and expect consultation with the sector to refine them during Phase Two.

Scoping research

In preparation for Phase Two we are also doing some scoping research which we are tendering for at the moment (see more on this page). The scoping research together with your feedback from the workshops and to the Phase One report will shape our Phase Two activity.

A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts organisations so far and special thanks to our Advisory Panel, International Reference Group, What Next? and RSA members for their generous sharing of expertise and time to date. We look forward to continuing the conversation.

Image: LIFT. Professional speed dating at a LIFT Tottenham Artist Hangout

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