CULTURE&, A London-based independent arts and heritage charity have secured £82,250 from the Arts Council’s Elevate Fund in order to develop a new business model and a plan that supports its strategic ambitions for the future.
Established in 1987 Culture& set about a mission to open up the arts and heritage workforce, audiences and programmes through training, cross arts commissioning and audience development.
The organisations flagship programme, the New Museum School, provides 18 work-based training placements annually with leading museums, galleries and arts organisations such as the British Museum, Southbank Centre, Royal Collection Trust, English Heritage and the British Library.
Having secured the funding actions will include developing the workforce training offer of the Culture& New Museum School in consultation with its partners, securing associates for its public programmes, staff development and strengthening governance.
Culture& will build on the success of the New Museum School, which through workforce training supports people from diverse backgrounds to access careers through high-quality work placements to attain a recognised cultural heritage qualification.
In the last decade they will have trained 121 people in gaining a Diploma Level III in Cultural Heritage, with 80 per cent of trainees finding full time employment in leading arts and heritage organisations within six months of graduation and 75 per cent retention in the sector.
The Impact of New Museum School has been to change the composition of the arts and heritage workforce in England. Whilst this has successfully diversified the entry level workforce, recent research for Arts Council England by Maurice Davies ‘Diversity in Major Partner Museums’ in 2015 points to the need to dismantle the barriers that prevent diverse professionals securing specialist, middle and senior management posts.
Evaluation conducted with graduates of the New Museum School has additionally cited the need for training at post-graduate level in order to progress careers, borne out in diversity in Major Partner Museums’.
Culture& in collaboration with partners will develop its business model to develop and deliver a flexible post-graduate Diploma in Cultural Heritage.
Costs and geographical barriers can impede people from accessing learning and to overcome this the New Museum School will provide an online service.
Easily accessible, cost-effective professional learning modules around issues of diversity along with a support network and a range of online tools will make excellent learning available to many more.
Dr. Errol Francis, CEO of Culture&, commented on the significance of the grant: “We are super excited to receive this Elevate award and can’t wait to get started on developing our strategic ambitions to open up the arts and heritage sectors to a more diverse workforce and audience.”