In 2015 East Durham Creates asked ARC Stockton to find out from our lovely community centres, partners, groups and artists what worries they have (if any) when putting on arts events and activities .
We worked with local artist Ree Collins to deliver two creative workshops for anyone interested in putting on anything arty. We were delighted to be joined by:
- Healthworks Peterlee
- Castle Eden Village Hall
- Blackhall Community Centre
- Thornley Residents Group
- Shotton Resource centre and community centre
- Gully house, Wingate
- Trimdon Station Community Centre/ The Barn/ Easington Welfare
- Greenhills Centre
- Easington Colliery Heritage Group
- East Durham Area Action Partnership
The following areas were the most popular things people wanted to learn more about:
- Money and where to find funding
This was a recurring theme in both sessions: some people knew where to find grants but weren’t succeeding in their bids and some people didn’t know where to go for funding. There seemed to be a real need for both project funding and larger scale organisational funding.
- Safeguarding and risk assessment with a focus on catering
Some centres were worried about the safeguarding and risk assessment that surrounded offering food as part of events and expressed concern around the ‘red tape’ they felt surrounded the provision of food.
- Social media and digital marketing
One thing we had thought we would see was a need for marketing advice, but this was not the case. Many of the venues in East Durham are doing a great job promoting the work they put on. They know their audiences, they announce events in the pub, the events go in the church newsletter, they give people small handouts that they can keep in their purse as they know a flyer will get lost and most importantly they use word of mouth networks. The only element we feel that could be improved upon would be the digital marketing and social media which might help them attract a new audience. Many of the venues had a target group that they wanted to reach via social media but currently weren’t confident using it.
- Pricing events for a community which have become used to free events
Charging for tickets is of course an issue for venue managers and groups working in this area. There was a lot of discussion around what people paid for at the different venues round the table and how this has affected attendance at events.
As we run a venue in Stockon and have got to know the area quite well, we thought it’d be a good idea to lead workshops on each issue as part of the Cultural Hubs programme that would be open to all centre managers in East Durham. However it quickly became clear that centre managers have varied and busy schedules so probably wouldn’t be able to attend. To increase the reach of this information across East Durham (and outside the area too) we decided to create some Top Tips on each topic, written by members of the ARC team who specialise in those areas. They are all ready and available at www.eastdurhamcreates.co.uk/resources.
We hope you find them useful!
Cultural Hubs Programme Manager