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Cultural Sector Engagement Programme

As the current Creative Fuse NE and the Cultural Sector Engagement Programme come to a close, we are delighted to be able to share a range of resources and links.

In the meantime, there are lots of Fuse and Fuse related activities, funding and support still available across the region, which the cultural sector can get involved in – including ongoing business support in Tees Valley, funding and new commissions.

Find out more

If you would like to receive updates from Creative Fuse about any future activities, please sign up here.

Cultural Sector Showcase – 27th September 2018

This event is the culmination of the Cultural Sector Engagement Programme and is a celebration of ‘fusion’ in all its forms, including:  innovation in business and creating new products and services; growing the capacity, skills and knowledge of creative businesses and freelancers; activities which create a legacy for the region’s cultural and heritage sector; inspiring innovation pilots which have broken down barriers between cultural practitioners and organisations, academics and creative, digital and IT businesses and ‘fused’ their expertise to create new and exciting cultural assets and activities.

Find out more about all of the panel members at the event, click here to download or view pen pictures and weblinks.

Click here to see everyone who registered to attend the event.

Tweet about the event here #FuseCulture

Anyone for CAKE? Exploring Diversity Connecting Creativity (3-5pm 4th October, MyPlace Middlesbrough)

One of a series of Creative Fuse Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) events, this session will explore different perspectives on how to achieve everyday diversity and inclusion. Speakers will share their work and approach to delivering inclusive projects and identifying practical top tips for you to innovate when designing your own products and services.

Participants can continue the evening with the launch of the Middlesbrough Art WEEKENDER

Find out more about the series of CAKE events here.

Fuse on Film

We’ve captured the essence of what Creative Fuse is all about in a series of short films, with academics, cultural practitioners, artists and organisations, as well as creative, digital and IT businesses talking about what Fuse has meant for them and the impact it is having. From the overall ambition and activities of Fuse to specific projects and approaches, these films demonstrate the range and depth of the Fuse programme and give a voice the cultural sector. Click on the links to watch the films:

What is Creative Fuse?

What is innovation?

Supporting Innovation

Creative Fuse Innovation Pilots

Get Ready to Innovate (Northumbria University)

Digi Transform (New Writing North)

Opto-Photo Kinesia (Northern Dance and Northumbria University)

Creative Hack for Digital Make Believers – Hackumentary (Fab Lab Sunderland)

Innovation at Northumbria

Pushing the boundaries – Fuse innovation pilots

Find out more about the whole range of innovation pilots which have delivered inspirational new activities, products and services, many involving the cultural sector. They were grouped around themes, including: Building social change; CDIT, Health and Wellbeing; Digital Heritage; Digital (R)evolution; Future Cities; Immersive Innovation; and Smart Data Innovation.

Find out more

What the region said – Creative Fuse Report June 2017

Creative Fuse NE is a response to the ambition of growing the creative economy by bringing together or ‘fusing’ expertise from universities, creative, digital and IT sector, wider public and private sector and the cultural sector. Read about the context for Creative Fuse and the research to understand the size, nature, challenges and ambitions of the creative industries in the North East.

View or download the report

Wider opportunities

GX Grants Scheme

The GX project, led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative provides a range of opportunities for North East small and medium sized businesses, following on from the Great Exhibition of the North.  The GX grants scheme is for people with a project to develop new products and services. An innovation grant scheme is on offer for £1000-£12500 for those who are eligible and can put some of their own funding into it.  There are particular sectors eligible, but this includes: Creative, Digital, Software and Technology; Life Sciences and Health; Health Innovation; Business information modelling; Immersive Technologies; Subsea and Offshore Energy.

Find out more

Arts Council England

Champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. Supports activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Between 2018 and 2022, investing £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

ACE North

Find out more about culture and creativity across the wider North (NE, NW, Yorkshire and Humber). There are offices in Central Square Newcastle, with relationship managers for all of the arts and cultural forms, providing advice and guidance, as well as support around developing grant applications, resources, research and data, self evaluation and more.

In terms of funding and grants, the following are available:

Project Grants is ACE’s open access programme for arts museums and libraries funded by National Lottery.

Developing your Creative Practice a new development fund to support independent creative practitioners.

Other funds available for arts and culture practitioners and organisations, from trusts and foundations, other Lottery programmes, education and training, business funding, film funding, non-UK funding and fundraising resources.

Digital Catapult and NETV (Digital Catapult Centre North East & Tees Valley)

NETV delivers the Digital Catapult strategy in the North East of England, primarily focusing on regional strengths including manufacturing and healthcare. Its main purpose is to enable startups and scaleups to work with large organisations, by educating traditionally non-digital companies on the value of emerging technologies. The NETV Centre has other key strategic aims including addressing market failure in other sectors – for example enabling the Third Sector to benefit from emerging technologies despite a current lack of understanding and financial limitations and there are great opportunities for the cultural sector.

The team successfully run one of the Digital Catapult Immersive Labs and launched The Emerging Technology Centre (PROTO) in Summer 2018, based in Gateshead. PROTO will help businesses to innovate. Through open innovation programmes, demonstrators, access to research and development facilities and getting hands on with kit to test and create digital solutions, PROTO can help you understand how technology can solve your business challenges.

Other Support and Networks

The North East loves to network.  There are a range of informal and formal networks and opportunities to access support and get together with like-minded or radically new and different people to generate new ideas and activities.  These networks have helped us get the word out about Creative Fuse opportunities for the cultural sector since May 2017 and they will continue to support, nurture and inspire the sector.

Not an exhaustive list, but here are some we think the cultural sector might be interested in, if you’re not already involved. (Not on the list and should be? Let us know and we can add your links to share):

NE Contemporary Visual Arts Network – A network of contemporary visual artists and curators delivering across the region and promoting contemporary visual arts

Generator – North East resource and the leading music development agency in the UK, with support for artists and music related businesses from young entrepreneurs, to graduates, masterclasses, business coaching and scale up – as well as running Digital Union

Northern Film and Media – working with businesses and professionals specialising in film, TV and screen-based arts, primarily through talent development projects, events and production service. Driving regional commercial film and television production and attracting inward investment by promoting the region as a base for incoming film and TV production.

Digital Union – Generator – This is the largest collective of creative digital businesses in the North East, enabling collaboration, business support, mentoring, business development opportunities, marketing assistance and more

Digital Cultures is a quarterly meeting of North East England arts and culture professionals, producers, researchers and technologists. The group’s focus is the creative application of technology and novel digital practice across arts, culture and heritage public programmes. Click here to contact the organiser.

Durham Creatives – it provides professional development programmes for artists and creative practitioners. We offer workshops, events and practical support to engage with buyers and commissioners. Our programmes are open to anyone with a creative spark who’s living or working in the North East and is thinking about starting or growing a creative business.

Cultural Partnerships

North East Culture Partnership: Driving a vision and the Case for Culture action plan for the region. It involves local authorities, universities and colleges, businesses and voluntary organisations and of course, cultural sector practitioners and organisations, to champion the role of culture in the social, economic and creative growth of the region. Its Annual Stakeholder Forum is at 30-16.00 on 5th November at ARC in Stockton and is open to anyone to attend.

Click here to find out more and register

NE area based cultural partnerships: These are self-motivating partnerships in cities and towns across the region, where a range of local and regional partners come together to work on ambitions, priorities and activities for their particular area.  Co-ordinators from these partnerships meet quarterly with the co-ordinators of the North East Culture Partnership to share learning, developments and look at future policy and strategy:

Sunderland Cultural Partnership

Creative Darlington

Durham Cultural Partnership

Gateshead Cultural Partnership

Tees Valley Combined Authority – Culture and Tourism

Northumberland has developed a cultural strategy which is being considered by the County Council. This includes proposals for a new county wide Cultural Partnership.

NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues (building based partnership): it was also responsible for enabling the cultural sector to be part of Creative Fuse NE with one of its members acting as a cultural sector partner (Tyneside Cinema) for funding and also employing the Cultural Sector Engagement Broker and hosting the programme of activities

WhatNext?: This 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

What Next? NewcastleGatehead and What Next? NewcastleGateshead facebook group

What Next? Sunderland

What Next? Darlington


Cultural Sector Engagement Briefings

Declan Baharini was the dedicated Cultural Sector Engagement Broker at Creative Fuse North East. She distributed a regular Cultural Sector Update with Creative Fuse news and opportunities, tailored to cultural organisations through partnerships and networks in the region from November 2017 to June 2018 to raise awareness and encourage engagement in the programme.

Click on the links below to find out the opportunities that were available during the programme, in our Cultural Sector Engagement Briefings:

14th October 2018

1st June 2018

18th May 2018

26th April 2018

6th April 2018

18th March 2018

2nd March 2018

16th February 2018

18th January 2018

13th December 2017

25th November 2017

7th November 2017

12th October 2017

22nd September 2017

29th August 2017

8th August 2017