It seems a long time ago that a fresh faced and excited new team took on the task of delivering the Creative Partnerships programme in Stoke on Trent, however it was only 8 years ago.
In 2009 when PiCL was formed, our vision was to carry on delivering the CP programme, but also branch out into other areas, form new and different partnerships that would eventually diversify our funding base.
This challenge was one we didn't quite conquer. Thinking about it, what a task that was always going to be, moving from funder of creative programmes with an income of over £800,000, to an organisation seeking funding. How can you completely transform your offer from giving money to support delivery, into something people would want to buy, or at least to buy into ?
These are the questions PiCL are still facing now and why the Making it Work consortium is so vital to us and the future. Working alongside these exceptional arts organisations, it is exciting to embark on unpicking exactly how you build sustainable organisations, find new and innovative ways of funding them, how do we communicate what we do and more importantly how to we build the capacity of the organisations so they don't just survive, but thrive and grow?
As a consortium of organisations we have all been used to coming up with fresh and exciting projects. How can we, with the time and support that the Catalyst funding provides and using our collective creative heads find new solutions to our funding needs?
Our first task is to 'Go and See', so we will be donning our hats and coats and heading off to check out other people and places that are getting it right, remembering it is important we ask the right questions.
- What are the similarities, what are the differences?
- How might this work in our context and specifically Stoke/North Staffs?
- Is it something we want to do ?
- How long did it take ?
- What resources did they need?
- What help did they have ?
- What didn't work, what mistakes can we learn from ?
As we put our best foot forward at the start of this process, it feels good to know that although we are looking for what works for each of the organisations, we are on a learning journey together and not just those involved in the consortium but as a wider sector in North Staffordshire.