Arts Forum relaunchedThis year I am chair of the Arts Forum. We had a very positive and productive first meeting on 13 September. It was decided the forum will have a relaxed agenda going forward with talks, meetings held in various venues and a chance to share events and information within the arts community of Reading.
January's meeting was also very good. We were introduced to the new teaching faculty's premises in London Road and we are looking to have the next forum meeting there.
We also discussed the grant forms and process and Marion Livingston, lead Councillor for Culture and Sport, is reviewing the process with council officers. The feedback we heard was very useful.
Other topics we discussed were new technology in the Arts such as geo-caching and QR codes, how the arts fit into planning and new development (a topic for a presentation at a later date?) and the exciting summer ahead.
Aprils meeting was equally good. We had a tour of the University of Readings London Road campus. The education department are very keen to share their excellent facilities with the community. We saw performance and gallery space that could be utilised by Reading's arts community.
The Reading Cultural Partnership were there and talked about the grants programme that has started for this financial year and we also had some new attendees - Reading Rep and WAM - the festival of Weather, Art and Music.
The July meeting was another busy one, kindly hosted in Open Hand Open Space. We talked about Readings Cultural Vision as people felt it was unclear. It is vital we retain the talent Reading holds and concern was voiced that there isn't a single hub for promoting the Arts and that our events are rarely heard about outside Reading. Those attending felt the forum was vital, as it gives a voice to Arts groups in Reading. I have started discussing these concerns with the Lead Cllr for Culture & Sport. We also met in October at Reading College.
Please get in touch if you would like to be put on the mailing list or to attend the next forum planned for:
16 April 2013 6-7 pm.