Louise Blackwell

What Next for Culture?

What Next? is a national movement bringing together arts and cultural organisations from across the UK, to articulate, champion and strengthen the role of culture in our society. The Brighton & Hove chapter has over 350 members spanning creative individuals and businesses across genre and scale. We usually meet monthly but the group currently meets weekly via zoom in response to the need for cross sector support and collaboration during the pandemic.

To sign up to the What Next? Brighton & Hove mailing list click HERE

Louise and Marina Norris lead the What Next? Brighton & Hove Chapter meetings.

We currently meet every other Thursday from 10am – 11am.

On 24th June from 10am – 12 noon we are hosting a longer session. In partnership with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK branch) are delighted to invite you to a workshop on The Civic Role of the Art Organisations: What Happens Next?

In 2016, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) launched The Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations in order to promote the valuable role that arts organisations do and could play in their communities. Since then, the relationship between the public and arts organisations has continued to change. More than ever, those receiving public investment need to articulate the value they bring, including to their local communities. The Inquiry has been aiming to connect those that believe that the arts are central to society and want their organisation to play a civic role.

Over the last year we have seen how many art organisations were able to mobilise their relationships both within the local arts ecosystem and with wider civil society. There are opportunities to embed the lessons learned and take further action as we move towards recovery.

This workshop is a chance for you to reflect on the changes and learning that has taken place, craft an inspiring Civic Role vision for the future and commit to action to get us there.

Who is it for?

The workshop is open to all, including artists and freelancers, but will be particularly useful to leaders and trustees of arts organisations of all sizes who are involved in strategic planning and building a post-pandemic recovery.

We hope you will come away with:

– A refreshed sense of connection to your organisation’s Civic Role;
– A clear vision of what your priorities are and where you are on the journey;
– Plenty of insight, inspiration and ideas from your peers.

The workshop will be experiential and interactive. Contact me for the Eventbrite sign up link.


On 10th June the meeting was Co-Chaired by Marina Norris and Faith Dodkins and focused on equality and safety for women in the arts. We were joined by Kai Stone from Good Night Out and Beth O’Leary from The Attenborough Centre. You can watch the recording here.

On Thurs 27th May the meeting was Co-Chaired by Louise and Ben Price and focused on independent producers in the city. We were joined by Kaya Stanley-Money from Camden People’s Theatre to share different perspectives on producing and what indie producers in the city need. You can watch the recording here.

On Thursday 13th May the meeting was Co-Chaired by Marina and Lucy Stone from No Stone Unturned and the focus was fundraising. You can watch a recording of the meeting here. Lucy also genrously shared her helpful documents on how to build a case for support. Download them here: Case for Support Canvas – No Stone Unturned and Case for Support What Next.

On Thurs 29th April, Jessica Cheetham, Artistic Director of Spun Glass Theatre co-chaired the meeting and qwe were joined by Jack Gamble from the Public Campaign for the Arts. You can watch the recording here.

On Thursday 1st April we were joined by musician Tom Gray from the Mercury Music Prize winning band Gomez . He spoke passionately about the #BrokenRecord campaign he founded in May 2020 to raise awareness of the lack of royalties that go directly to music artists from streaming platforms. Watch a recording of the meeting here.

On Thursday 18th March we were joined by Jamie Arnell, founder and principal funder of The Pebble Trust who fund Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe and local young people. Jamie will talk about the work The Pebble Trust does in Brighton. Watch a recording of the meeting here.

On Thurs 4th March at 10am members of the Founding Group of the ABCD for Cultural Recovery in Brighton & Hove answered questions about the recruitment processes for the Programme Management Services and Working Group members roles to take the plan forward. Here is a recording of the meeting and you can see the Q&As here.

On Thurs 18th Feb at 10am. We were joined by Professor Paul Sermon, School of Art, University of Brighton who will be giving a short overview of the recently AHRC funded project Telepresence Stage. You can watch the recording here.

On Thurs 4th February we were joined by Ian Baird representing EPIC and Andrew Comben representing Arts & Cultural Industries Commission (ACIC). We provided an update on the ABCD Cultural Recovery plan for the City. You can access a recording of the meeting and the chat box here – you don’t need a passcode.

On Thurs 21st January at 10am we were joined by Donna Chisholm, Assistant Director, Culture Tourism and Sport at Brighton & Hove City Council who provided an overview of the Council’s priorities as they relate to culture and the linkages from culture across to tourism, outdoor events, the Brighton Centre and the seafront which are all part of her portfolio. As part of this meeting we also be shared information about the three networks: What Next?, EPIC and the Arts & Cultural Industries Commission (ACIC), what their role is in the city and how they work. You can access the meeting recording here passcode is WhatNext1?

On Thurs 7th January 2021 we were joined by Lilli Geissendorfer, Director of Jerwood Arts. Lilli shared Jerwood Arts’ approach to collaboration in relation to their work on the Weston Jerwood Bursaries, Live Work Fund and Jerwood FVU Awards. This meeting was British Sign Language interpreted. Here is the link to the recording and the Access Passcode: T=%i.76v

On 5th November we were joined by Anna Jefferson and Davina Christmas from Arts Council England South East team to talk about the Developing Your Creative Practice grant programme. You can see the PowerPoint presentation they gave here: DYCP 2020 Ext Presentation_AJ and DC. You can watch the recording of the meeting here the passcode is: H$kBzW4B

Chat box notes from the meeting on 22nd October where organisations who were successful in their Cultural Recovery Fund applications shared their plans: chat box What Next meeting 22nd October 2020 and here is the link to Part 1 of the zoom recording, Part 2 is here.

Notes from the meeting on 8th October: What Next_ BH Minutes.8.10.20

Notes from meeting on 24th September 2020: What Next_ BH Minutes.24.9.20. With Paule Constable from Freelancers Make Theatre Work and Laura McDermott leading a discussion on lobbying and the Comprehensive Spending Review. You can watch a recording of the meeting here using the passcode: Dj!8fM1+

On 6th August we met to discuss the Brighton & Hove Recovery Plan you can access the recording of the meeting here password: #&PJKfW0 You can also read the minutes What Next_ BH Minutes.6.8.20

On 30th July we hosted a meeting with Jon Linstrum and Davina Christmas from Arts Council England, South East. You can listen to a recording of the meeting here using this Access Password: +jC+E4r? You can also access a pdf of the PowerPoint presentation that Davina made NLPG July 2020.

On 16th July we hosted the online launch of the Open Up Arts report, commissioned by the Brighton & Hove Arts and Creative Industries Commission with research undertaken by Brighton People’s Theatre. You can find a recording of the meeting here password: 9E@v^#7!

On 9th July we hosted a meeting with venues and promoters to discuss re-opening plans. Here is the recording. The password is 8P?u2+$8

On 25th June, Toni Darton from Sussex Community Foundation joined us and shared information about how SCF is supporting people in Sussex at this time. Here is the chat box from the meeting and here is a link to the recording. Password: 5S+0=0n9.

Here are the minutes from the meeting on 18th June. And here is a link to the recording. Password is 9Q*4298.

Here are the notes from the meeting on 11th June where Richard Freeman joined us and gave a presentation on the Brighton & Hove discretionary grants programme.

On 4th June Jenni Lewin Turner offered a statement to the group concerning equality and inclusion, particularly in reference to racism. What Next Minutes 04.06.2020 Anti-Racist Resources

What Next minutes 28th May

On 21st May we were joined by the three Brighton & Hove MPs; Peter Kyle, Caroline Lucas and Lloyd Russell-Moyle. If you’d like to watch a zoom recording of the meeting, let me know. louise@louiseb.co.uk You can read the minutes from the meeting here: Whats Next 21.5.20 Final notes

What Next minutes 14th May 2020 with Gavin Stewart from the Business Investment District in Brighton.

What Next minutes 7th May 2020 with Lou Williams from Coast to Capital.

What next minutes 30 April here.

What Next minutes 23 April 2020

What Next minutes 16th April here.

What Next minutes 9 April 2020.

Notes from 2nd April meeting here.

The first meeting in 2020 was on Thursday 26th March and you can see the notes from the meeting here: What Next Brighton and Hove chapter notes from Zoom meeting 26 March 2020.

In 2019 the following meetings took place:

28th Feb: Climate and Culture at ONCA Gallery. The meeting included guest speakers: Ann Light, Professor of Design and Creative Technology at University of Sussex who spoke about her research into how creative practices of all kinds enable transformations to sustainability and pianist Sarah Kingdom Nicolls who shared a taste of of her work on musical activism.

In 2018 we held the following meetings:

Feb: at Hove Town Hall with Val Birchall, Programme Director for Arts, Culture & Tourism at Brighton & Hove City Council focussing on the Cultural Framework for the city.

March: at Phoenix Galleries was focused on how the community can engage in finding solutions for the homelessness in Brighton & Hove.

May: at West Blatchington Nursery and Primary School focussing on harnessing parent and carer power in the city

September: at ONCA Gallery focussing on how arts & culture can impact on climate change communication.

In between the main meetings there have been sub-group meetings following up the conversations on homelessess and climate change. Sign up here.

To sign up to the What Next? Brighton & Hove Climate Change mailing list click HERE