What Next?

What Next? is a movement bringing together arts and cultural organisations from across the UK, to articulate and strengthen the role of culture in our society. We want to engage the public in new and different conversations about how and why the arts are important, and become a catalyst for fresh thinking and new policy ideas.

To date we have done this through beginning positive, informed and inclusive conversations with each other and community leaders, politicians, funders, academics and business people. These conversations are now beginning to happen in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Coventry, Cambridge, Cardiff, the North East and the South West.  We hope that many more will start to convene.

Our main purpose is to find new ways of engaging with ‘the public’ – our audience and visitors, and our potential audience and visitors: the ever-expanding millions who value and take part in the work made with, for and by them.

Our main task is to encourage these people, as individuals and as communities, to make connections between the many different ways art and culture affect and enhance their lives. We want to urge them to register their endorsement of, and pleasure in their art and culture. We want them to become active participants in this debate and in the work that we do.

What Next? is an experiment. We want to try different ways of approaching engagement and advocacy.  This requires feeling our way and being responsive to the changing climate and the ideas of our growing membership.

Some Key Facts About What Next?

  • What Next? is a movement, not an organisation or campaign. There is no central leadership structure and it is run primarily on a voluntary basis.
  • Over 150 cultural organisations have been involved so far, with meetings being held across the UK.
  • What Next? is open to any organisation or cultural leader that wants to be involved.
  • We believe in constructive, consensual dialogue.
  • What Next? is not about demanding more funding – we want to encourage widespread  support for the arts in their wider social context.

Follow What Next? on Twitter


Location: Cardiff
Members: 24
Latest Activity: Nov 22, 2016

Discussion Forum

That Changed My Life project - What Next? South East Group

Some information on the That Changed My Life project led by What Next? South East:There’s a group of us working on a project that encourages folk to upload short films about a moment of art that…Continue

Tags: My, Life, Changed, That, Next?

Started by Michelle Carwardine-Palmer May 7, 2014.

Comment Wall

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Comment by Laura H Drane on February 19, 2015 at 21:13

Yesterday, the BBC and What Next? with artists and organisations all over the UK, launched a year long celebration of the nation's arts, culture and creativity.

The aim is to recognise and celebrate the every day creativity of everyone, and to encourage everyone to have a go at making, singing, playing, performing, and so on.

Next week in Cardiff, there are a series of WN?-organised debates happening across the city - check the listings out here on the BBC's new microsite:

On Twitter, check out the hashtag #bbcgetcreative and follow @wncardiff and @bbcgetcreative for more updates through the year.  

This is the news story from the launch:

And there are listings, press releases and more on here:

Get involved and get creative!

Comment by Laura H Drane on November 3, 2014 at 22:37

Tomorrow's What Next? mtg in Cardiff is about ideas for action! Join us 8.30am for 1hr Cardiff Uni; all welcome, every Wed. @WNCardiff 

Comment by Laura H Drane on October 13, 2014 at 23:48

What Next? Open to all, each Wed at 8.30am for 1hr. Follow . Full agenda:

Comment by Laura H Drane on October 9, 2014 at 22:24

Pleased to say you can now find upcoming agendas and biogs of attendees here:

We're also on twitter: and #wn2014 

Comment by Laura H Drane on October 1, 2014 at 23:21

We now have a wordpress site which we're developing to share notes of the upcoming meeting and other things of interest. Also we are now on twitter: #wn2014

Comment by Laura H Drane on September 23, 2014 at 1:10

What Next? is a national movement about the value of arts and culture in the UK.

In Cardiff, we meet weekly on Wed 8.30am for 1hr. OPEN TO ALL

Let me know if you want on the mailing list or details to come along. I've just sent the agenda and papers for tomorrow so you should have those now if you're already on the email list.


Comment by Michelle Carwardine-Palmer on August 25, 2014 at 23:52

Due to the NATO Summit on Friday 5th September the What Next? group will reconvene meetings from Friday 12th September

Comment by Rhian Richards on June 25, 2014 at 3:33

Join in the conversation and share your thoughts

We want to encourage a response from our audiences about their points of view on how arts and culture impacts on individuals and society.

Visit my blog and share your views here

Comment by Yvonne Murphy on May 18, 2014 at 23:53

Friday 23rd May  2.15PM – 3.30PM

The Value of Culture Debate

Alastair Spalding, CEO and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells chairs a What Next? conversation on the impact and value of culture, arts and literature in our society. He will be joined by guests including Tony Ageh, Controller, BBC Archives Development, to discuss how we can get the public to appreciate the many different ways art and culture can affect and enhance our lives.



How can we work together better across the cultural sector to encourage the people of this country, as individuals and as communities, to see connections between the many different ways art and culture affect and enhance our lives; to urge everyone to register their endorsement of – and pleasure in – their art and culture, especially where these are under threat?


What next? Is a national movement bringing together arts & cultural organisations across the UK to articulate & strengthen the role of culture in our society. We want to engage the public in new & different conversations about the value & impact of arts, literature & culture on all our lives. What kind of society do we want and how do we make that a reality?

Comment by Laura H Drane on April 23, 2014 at 22:51

You're welcome to join us any/every week for What Next? at WMC, Fridays 8.30am for 1hr. This week: we're considering responses to ACW Inspire strategy consultation. 


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