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6 people sat on stage. Behind them is a orange slide which says the words: We're Open To Ideas.
Photo: Phill Crow

Not just a new name and a fresh lick of paint…

Following the full-scale re-launch of Lincoln Arts Centre, we wanted to delve deeper in our new artistic approach. So our Director Ben is taking us through some of the details...

This change is about so much more than just a new name, a shiny logo and a fresh lick of paint. It’s about complete and fundamental transformation of our programme, in our perception for our people and of our place. That means from the way we chair our meetings, to the way we utilise project management tools to create work efficiencies, to the way we recruit or induct people into our organisation, or how we overhaul our deals and contracts to include environmental considerations or restructured our budgets to invest better in access provisions. We’ve designed this new approach with 260 stakeholders through a landmark and active research project entitled the Future Arts Centre. The data from this project continues to be discussed actively and informs our next steps, alongside a new group of volunteer Critical Friends.

Incorporated into all this change is the creation of an entirely new artistic vision, policy and the processes to enable that to happen. Partnerships are fundamental to achieving our mission so we have made clearer mechanisms to establish meaningful relationships, and eventual partnerships with arts and non-arts based organisations, companies and people. We’ve put a lot of thought into this, we’ve designed a process that not only enables you to send us your finished works, and for them to be reviewed by a group of people who all have subject specialisms – a democratic and collaborative approach to programming, but we’ve also established a ‘route in’ if you just simply have an idea. We recognise our place as a big institution and our skill in connecting, bringing people together to coalesce around an idea. So we won’t just have a simple transactional relationship with you, where you tell us you finished product and we ‘flog’ it to audiences to get ‘bums on seats’. We’ll attempt to cultivate an ecology of makers, thinkers, doers and dreamers who want to support and promote each others work and grow the scale and ambition of their work together.

Now, we won’t always get this right and we certainly won’t be able to satisfy the level of ambition and sheer amount of talent that exists within the bounds of this county alone. But I always say don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good and I believe this new approach, is not only our responsibility to test but we have a genuine opportunity here to cultivate an ecology of ideas.

I could have an interesting conversation with someone every day about a creative idea they’ve got, and know the transformative impact that would have on people so we need to find a pathway to ensure more of those ideas and conversations become a reality, because as we say in our vision: we believe in a world transformed by creativity.

  • Published:
    Wed 26th Apr 2023
  • Posted by:
    Ben Anderson

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