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Preston-based artists and producers set to receive package of support

Posted on - 25th January, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston Council, Preston News
Image of ‘Born to Protest’ from Lancashire Encounter Festival 2022
Image of ‘Born to Protest’ from Lancashire Encounter Festival 2022

Preston City Council is working with Arts Lancashire to develop a package of support for Preston-based artists and producers.

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As a first step, artists are being asked to complete a short survey about their professional needs around thinking, fundraising, space for creative practice, showcasing work and business skills.

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Volunteers can also take part in a one-to-one telephone or Zoom research interview where questions will be asked in relation to individual experiences and perspectives.

It’s hoped the research will highlight the challenges for artists and producers across Preston and provide an understanding of the different forms of support needed.

The survey results will be collated and evaluated in March, after which recommendations for a programme of support to meet the needs identified will be put forward to the Preston Cultural Framework Board.

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Tim Joel, Head of Culture at Preston City Council, said: “The arts are a significant part of life in Preston and we are keen to hear the voices of the valued artist communities who live and work in the city.

“The Preston Arts Sector survey offers creatives a chance to inform the future strategy and ambition of working together, providing vital information concerning the challenges faced by artists and how to manage these moving forward.

“Recognising the last couple of years have been challenging with Covid and now the cost of living crisis, rising inflation and energy prices, we are keen to understand how the local creative sector is faring and what support is needed now to help artists grow and develop. 

“Addressing key matters involving support, networking, spaces to create, business skills and access requirements will be the first step in guiding how we develop and enhance the cultural offer for Preston-based artists.

“To create positive change in an area as important as the arts, it is essential that a range of artists participate to fully understand the scope of their greatest needs. Through consultation, interviews and discussion we hope to gain insight from artists on ways in which we can continue improving this provision both now and into the future.

“The survey will inform a tailor-made package of support for artists to address the challenges raised and the Council is committed to working with Arts Lancashire to fund and support a sector support programme to roll out this year in direct response to the needs of artists.” 

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Alex O’Toole, Chair of Arts Lancashire, added: “Arts Lancashire is delighted to be working with Preston City Council to support Preston artists.

“The Preston arts sector is incredibly important to Lancashire’s cultural offer and has a key role to play in activating the city as a vibrant, exciting place to live, work and visit and in helping to meet the wider social and wellbeing needs of residents.

“We want to help make it more possible for people to develop careers as artists in Lancashire. We need this kind of research to help ensure artists are valued and properly supported for the work they do so they are able to deliver their best work and feel ambitious for their practice in Preston and beyond.

“The needs survey will give us a base of real knowledge about the needs of Preston’s creative practitioners and will help us support cultural leaders to better understand how to make this work sustainable, professionally and personally.” 

Preston City Council and Arts Lancashire plan to develop a package of support for Preston-based artists and producers as the outcome of the survey, which will focus on guidance, fundraising, practice space, showcasing work and more. 

The deadline for the Preston Arts Sector survey is Monday 6 February 2023.

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