What change do you want to see through culture? | Forum

When: Thursday 12 January 2023
10.30 – 3.30PM (in-person), 11.30 – 3.30PM (online)

Location: Mansfield Museum, Leeming St, Mansfield, NG18 1NG
& YouTube Livestream

Book here, booking is essential as we have a limited in-person capacity

Contemporary Visual Arts Network East Midlands (CVAN EM) is facilitating a discussion day for artists, arts workers and organisations with a focus on those based in Ashfield, Bolsover, Boston, Chesterfield, East Lindsey, NE Derbyshire and Mansfield. These areas were identified as Priority Places by Arts Council England (ACE) in their Delivery Plan for 2021-24.

The forum will focus on exploring place-based fundraising, especially around ACE’s Priority and Levelling Up for Culture Places. The ambition for this event is to build confidence and understanding around fundraising avenues and partnership working in the region.

This event is part of a long-term project and will address some of the key findings from recent research into strengthening cultural and creative opportunities in these localities with an emphasis on funding. Comments shared included:

  • Small pockets of funding or time limited funding means that creative provision and employment is unsustainable, and impact is minimal.
  • The limitations and precarity of funding exclude participants.
  • The larger the fund the more competitive the process.
  • A need to raise aspirations by helping arts workers and organisations to gain access to knowledges, support, models, and resources that mean they can be more ambitious.

This partnership project with the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Programme supported through Networks Funding looks at tackling key issues within the current fundraising environment.

This event is supported and hosted by Mansfield Museum.

Access: The building entrance and room we will use at Mansfield Museum has level access and the venue has accessible toilet facilities. BSL interpreters will support the live event and closed captions will be available to our online audience.

Priority for in-person attendance is given to artists, arts workers and organisations based in East Midlands Priority Places, however attendees from across the region are welcome.

Online attendance is open to all. The event will be recorded and published via the CVAN EM website. Please read CVAN EM’s Digital Code of Conduct ahead of attending online.

Please contact colette@cvaneastmidlands.co.uk with any access queries.

Bursaries: There are x6 £100 bursaries available to support in-person attendance for artists and freelance arts workers based in Ashfield, Bolsover, Boston, Chesterfield, East Lindsey, NE Derbyshire and Mansfield. To apply please:

  • Send a statement of no more than 1/2 page of A4 (2 minutes for audio / video) explaining:
    • How attending will help you to build confidence and understanding around fundraising avenues and partnership working.
    • Please include your name and address.
  • Submit as an attachment, link or in the body of an email to colette@cvaneastmidlands.co.uk by Thursday 6 October. The email subject line should read: Forum Bursary_ [Your Name]. Please get in touch with any questions. Responses will be sent by Wednesday 12 October.

10.30 – 11.30AM coffee and networking (for in-person audiences only)

Time and space for attendees to meet in-person and chat over coffee. Differences and similarities in challenges faced across Priority and Levelling Up Places will be discovered.

11.30 – 11.45AM: CVAN EM welcome (start livestream)

CVAN EM Regional Director Colette Griffin and Mansfield Museum Curator Jodie Henshaw will welcome participants and introduce the event.

11.45 – 12.30PM: Partnership working with Saad Eddine Said

CVAN EM Chair Saad Eddine Said will speak on the importance of partnership working. Known for his City Take-Overs, Saad Eddine Said is a curator who initiates and builds bridges and creative partnerships between local communities, artists, activists, social entrepreneurs, innovators, cultural organisations and governmental institutions. His work focuses on co-creating impactful and artistic takeovers that are aimed at re-thinking, re-imagining and re-shaping the structure and future of institutions and communities in towns and cities nationally and internationally. Saad is Artistic Director and CEO of New Art Exchange, Nottingham.

12.30 – 1.30PM: Lunch (pause livestream for lunch)

Lunch will be provided by Patchills Pantry, Mansfield. Please contact colette@cvaneastmidlands.co.uk with any dietary requirements on booking.

1.30 – 2.30PM: Strengthening arts, cultural or heritage fundraising with Mandy Fowler

Mandy Fowler is an independent consultant, curator and producer working in contemporary visual arts across individual organisations, consortia, and artists. She has worked with large scale national institutions such as National Portrait Gallery and National Trust and visual arts NPO’s including Nottingham Contemporary, Modern Art Oxford and Firstsite as well as smaller artist-led organisations. She is an Advisor for Arts Council of Wales, a Board Member for the disability arts organisation DASH, sits on the advisory group for New Art West Midlands contemporary visual arts network and is an Associate for The Fifth Sector Consultancy undertaking place-based strategic consultancy (including most recently Derby).

Her work ranges across the strategic development of organisations, individuals, consortia, and developing cultural strategies; developing creative projects and ideas and securing partners and funding.

Mandy also mentors creative professionals at all stages of their careers, especially at early points in their careers, and has a particular interest in developing the practices of and opportunities for artists who have marginalised lived experiences in the sector.

2.30 – 3PM: Reframing art to cultivate a thriving cultural ecology with Karl Greenwood

Karl Greenwood is the Director of First Art, a charity and Creative People and Places programme working across Ashfield, Mansfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire. Karl will discuss how we can work together to strengthen the cultural ecology, touching on areas of First Art’s work around cultural enterprise, cultural development surgeries and cultural asset networks, as well as developing co-production models with local people and artists.

Karl has over 20 years’ experience managing a wide range of art programmes across the UK that work collaboratively with artists, communities and cross-sectoral partners, Karl has been involved in the Creative People and Places programme for 9 years as Appetite Director in Stoke-on-Trent and now as the First Art Director. Karl has led on setting up artist development programmes, co-production models, and creating new cultural assets such as outdoor festivals to strengthen the arts infrastructure of a place.

3 – 3.15PM: Closing comments

3.30PM: End

Click here to download a PDF version of this information.
Click here to download a docx. version of this information.



CVAN EM is the free-to-access Contemporary Visual Arts Network for the East Midlands, encompassing Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, and Rutland. We celebrate and support arts and culture in the region, fostering an inclusive

long-term future for the sector, emphasising equity and access for all arts workers.

Alongside 8 other regional networks we amplify voices, debate, and democratic change as part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network England. Our strength lies in our network. For details on CVAN EM’s work with Priority Places click here.

Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy:

At Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, we work to empower cultural professionals by supporting them to develop their practice and find creative, new approaches to fundraising. We believe that collaboration is a powerful tool for stimulating innovation, sharing ideas, building knowledge and developing new skills. Our Networks Funding aims to achieve exactly that.

We offer core financial support to fundraising groups or networks across England to support them to grow and thrive. Our funding will contribute to the development of new training events, conferences, seminars or meetings, with the aim of strengthening arts fundraising skills and building robust partnerships across the sector.

Mansfield Museum:

Our mission is really simple, we want to bring people together to create healthier, proud communities. We’re all about helping local people discover the world around them, cherishing Mansfield’s unique stories, and bringing them to life. Our big dream is to be a place where you belong in the hope that everyone can be inspired.


Image credit: The Full Shebang, First Art. Photo by Lamar Francois.


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