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.

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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.

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Comment by Laura H Drane on April 17, 2014 at 2:46

Hi, just checking in to say that if any of you aren't on the weekly email list and would like to be (to attend the Fri morning mtgs) then please drop me a line on lauradraneassoc @ and I'll add you. Promise it's only one email a week!

Comment by Michelle Carwardine-Palmer on April 3, 2014 at 7:05

I attended the BBC event at the Pierhead on Tuesday evening.  A presentation from Tony Hall on the BBC's relationship with Wales.  To read the full transcript click on the following link;

Highlights I noted included;

  • Last year Wales produced almost 7% of BBC UK TV - higher than its share of the population
  • BBC Radio Wales has its highest audiences in a decade
  • The launch of Horizons Cymru will boost the careers of some of Wales' most exciting musicians
  • The BBC will be the broadcast partner for the Hay Festival
  • President Jimmy Carter will join a live BBC Radio Wales transatlantic broadcast as part of the Dylan Thomas 100 programme
  • UK media market remains highly centralised in London and the south east
  • English language programming from and for Wales has been in decline for almost a decade
  • There are aspects of life that aren't sufficiently captured by BBC TV in Wales - including comedy, entertainment and culture
  • The BBC need to think about how it strengthens support for national and regional self-expression as it prepares for a new charter

Tony Hall announced that they will begin the process of creating their new Charter for 2016 onwards and put a call out to;

"I challenge you tonight to tell us how we can continue to improve and deepen the service we offer Wales; how we can continue to ensure that Wales can see itself and talk to itself on its own terms in a digital, interactive world; and how we can continue to take the very best talent produced and developed here in Wales and place it on a global stage."

Comment by Laura H Drane on April 2, 2014 at 9:07

Hi and welcome to the group everyone. I am the chair of the What Next? chapter that meets weekly at 8.30am for an hour on Fridays at WMC in Cardiff. You'd be most welcome to join us any weeks you are able to. If so, and you want to be added to the email circulation list (just one message per week!) then please let me know.


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