Cultural commissioning survey launched - Museums Association

Cultural commissioning survey launched

Initiative aims to build ties between culture sector and public services
Profile image for Geraldine Kendall Adams
Geraldine Kendall Adams
Museums and galleries in England have been asked to take part in a survey on the extent to which they are engaged in delivering public services in areas such as healthcare and education.

The survey is part of a three-year Cultural Commissioning Programme launched in July to raise awareness of opportunities and build relationships between the cultural and public service sectors.

The £895,000 programme is funded by Arts Council England and will be delivered by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), in partnership with the New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), the New Economics Forum and the arts network Mission Models Money.

The initiative reflects the emerging trend among local authorities, NHS trusts and other public agencies to put statutory services up for tender rather than delivering them directly.

It aims to assess how arts and cultural organisations can be better commissioned to achieve social impacts and to create greater awareness among commissioners about the potential of the cultural sector to fulfil their requirements.

Although bidding for tenders can be resource-heavy, the potential benefits to the museum sector include diversifying income, demonstrating tangible impacts to funders and reaching new audiences, as well as the opportunity to establish new partnerships.

The programme’s project manager, Jessica Harris, said: “Cultural commissioning is happening in pockets all over the country but without a cohesive vision. There’s no single port of call at the moment where cultural commissioners can go to find out what’s available to them.

“The programme aims to build up an understanding of what good practice looks like and facilitate meaningful, sustainable relationships between both of these sectors.”

The survey is part of the programme’s initial research phase. “We want to understand what the cultural commissioning landscape looks like, what the challenges are, how practice can be strengthened and where the best opportunities lie,” said Harris.

Building on these findings, the programme will fund a series of training events, pilot projects and case studies, as well as developing resources to help signpost the cultural sector’s work to commissioners.

The Museums Association’s head of policy Maurice Davies said: “It’s great that serious work is being done on how museums and galleries can benefit from commissioning.

"This is a project that has great potential to help museums and I urge people to complete the survey so that their organisations can better meet the needs of commissioners.”

The survey can be completed at before 6 October.

Leave a comment

You must be signed in to post a comment.