In addition to developing opportunities for artists in the South West, how do we retain, attract and develop producers and arts managers?

Danielle Rose, 17 July 2012

Person who called session: Danielle

People present: Kelly, Ben, Jane

Joined by: Katie, Robert, Alasdair & Peter

I called the session / raised this topic for a few reasons -

* sometimes feeling pressure to move away for work

* sense that need to gain experience and skills elsewhere to be able to really have something to contribute to the SW

* desire for support network

Some of the issues and concerns we discussed as a group were:

* How can we allow producers to ‘cut their teeth’ here?

* need to identify market / audience for work

* lack of infrastructure and support

* not becoming too insular, developing SW whilst being aware of bigger picture

* retaining / developing own identity whilst participating in national network

* “Not what you know, but who you know..” or perhaps more importantly WHO KNOWS you when securing work

* Need to / ability to travel (sense within group that unlikely will be able to sustain self working in solely in one place)

* needs to be bravery / willingness by venues and funders to work with new producers and take risk

* Should we respond to existing audiences or develop new ones?

* artists need arts managers and vice versa

* what region lacks is young, energetic producers

* lack of South West ‘product’ directly related to lack of producers

* networking websites underused / don't fulfill need? Still disjointed in finding info and each other

* artists are moving away because not people here to develop / manage their work and collaborate with

Some of the opportunities that came up were:

* potentially we have a bit of a blank canvas and are not bound to existing rules or ways of working

* supporting each other and growing through experimentation and collaboration together

* importance / value of work that emerges from within a community, rather than external producers coming and going

* having to work across different locations and with different people of huge value

* investing in new work and audiences good for everyone - cross-fertilisation


* “Don't leave!”

* we need a conversation about this subject with venues, artists, funders, producers etc. “in the room”

* Just do it / act - learn and develop through doing

* As starting point DO approach venues and orgs with requests for what's needed - be it space, hot desk, branded email address… don't ask, don't get

* formation of regular action learning groups for producers - support, thrashing out problems/ ideas (Amonite in Dorset held up as an example)

* need for mentoring

Thank you to everyone who participated


South West, producers, south west, career development, opportunity, emerging talent, arts management