Behind Closed Doors?

Published: 21 November 2017

(Please note: ‘we’ in this instance refers to myself, Professor Amanda Ravetz and Mark Smith)

75 people have come forward to be part of the Stakeholder Forum for the project. They have generously agreed to inform the creation of the platform and the design of a new validating model for socially engaged artistic practice, and I just want to say thank you to everyone who responded with such positivity to the project (and made my job super nice over the past few weeks!).

We are preparing for the first Advisory Board meeting. In light of the recent Bristol Visual Arts Review, where a public gathering was called after decisions had been made behind closed doors regarding the re-distribution of Arts Council funding in the city (for a thorough account of proceedings and the subsequent’ We Dont Need Gatekeepers’ campaign see, it is interesting to consider the role of an ‘Advisory Board’, and what that means for a project like ours, which seeks to alter (or at the very least, address) the ‘top-down’ methodology of the current artistic eco-structure of socially engaged and community practice.

The meeting will seek advice and information from artists, producers, funders, community representation, galleries, researchers and academics in response to our aim to create a platform and new model of validation for socially engaged artistic practice.

In an attempt to be transparent about the workings of the board, and not to exclude anyone from the discussion, the questions posed at the meeting will also be live tweeted to give a different platform for response outside of the closed meeting room, where anyone with the capability to use digital media can be heard. This is just an initial idea of how to try and engage a wider audience without breaking meeting confidentiality.

The Advisory Board have been given a link to the webpage for the project to prepare for the meeting, and the questions we will be asking are listed below:


How do we enable all the voices to be heard on this project on an equal level - starting with this room/platform?!


What don’t you understand about the project?


What would you change at this early stage - the good, the bad and the ugly!


What are the opportunities of the project?


What advice can you give on advocacy, accessibility, diversity, inclusivity and sustainability - acknowledging that these are all complex requirements, and of equal importance to the success of the project?


If there are any questions you think we should be asking let us know in the comments below!


Models of Validation > 

Rebecca Senior Rebecca Senior

Research and Development Coordinator

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