Exeter Culture

Exeter Culture: Growing a more sustainable and diverse cultural ecology

To all Ning members - Exeter Cultural Partnership is changing

Exeter Cultural Partnership is redesigning its website. In discussions with our Steering Group and a broader working group looking at functionality and accessibility, we’ve decided that the Ning platform is no longer suitable ­– as a platform, it will sit uneasily inside our new website design. We also feel that we’d be better able to support arts and culture conversations via other social media platforms.

We haven’t taken this decision lightly. There are currently 561 members on the Ning, and we value your contribution in helping to build the profile of arts and culture in Exeter. We certainly hope you’ll stay with us on the next leg of our journey – the new website will be launched in September along with our new name, ‘Exeter Culture’. In the meantime, there is a holding page – www.exeterculture.com – with the option to sign up to our new mailing list. We’re planning on sending out regular newsletters, so please do join!

As part of our research into the Ning’s functionality, it was noted that although the Blog is the most widely used aspect, the majority of the activity is the posting of events and opportunities (although there is little or no commenting or sharing, and the page views average around 20 to 30). We feel that this activity could more easily happen on other social media platforms. Part of our new remit is to encourage everyone to see that we’re not a membership organisation or a ‘closed clan’; by using Facebook (@ExeterCulture), Twitter (@ExeterCultural) and Instagram (exeterculture), we can more freely and openly communicate.

Regarding the Forum section, there are occasional posts (around two a month), which could be hosted by Facebook groups. For instance, to receive updates from and get involved in Exeter Visual Arts Forum, head over to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/exetervisualartsforum/ 

Please get in touch (b.dillon@exeter.ac.uk or l.m.l.goodband@exeter.ac.uk) if you want to know more. The current Exeter Cultural Partnership website will cease to operate within the next week.

There’s much to be excited about in terms of the city’s arts and culture offer, and we want to be at the heart of it – forging relationships, encouraging collaborations, joining the dots and supporting the sector’s development. So, see you there!

Exeter Cultural Partnership

Views: 171

Comment by Cedric Peachey on August 2, 2018 at 16:11

Having been on Facebook for several years, I was appalled to learn how complacent, if not complicit, they were when it came to sharing personal data following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.  I therefore decided to ditch Facebook completely.  I have had no regrets since then, given the succession of negative news on how lax FB is in providing a platform for views and material most people would regard as wholly unacceptable.  I would not wish to rejoin FB just to receive updates on cultural activities in Exeter and would far prefer a dedicated website free from the problems inherent in using existing social media, with all their commercial baggage and hidden agendas. 

Comment by STEPHEN BEVILLE on August 3, 2018 at 3:13

Quite agree Cederic.

This venture to 'up-date' or rather deform the existing website smacks as a complete waste of time and money. It's phoney. There is absolutely no valid reason for doing so, especially the removal of the forum and blog-space. This is just another attempt to prohibit any visibly evident democratic discussion or questioning of the arts and culture in Exeter - in particular with regard to how they are run and controlled (control being the key word). They do not want any free or open arena whereby independent thinkers, artists and contributors (outside the institutions) may have a voice and say with regard to Exeter's cultural welfare. Why? I imagine so because those in power are not able to (intellectually) stand up to some key objections that independent artists and musicians working in the city are entitled to make. As I mentioned in my previous blog on New classical music in Exeter, I am inclined to understand some people in administrative positions are being paid for actually preventing new and innovative work reaching the attention of the public, or being sponsored.

As a consequence of this latest move, I imagine the ECP will become not so much a 'partnership' as such but yet another example of a closed institution of increasingly autocratic control.

Comment by Lara Goodband on August 6, 2018 at 9:39

Dear Cedric,

Thank you for your comment.

I completely understand your position on FaceBook though I don't think anyone will need to rejoin that social media organisation to receive updates on cultural activity in the city. We've mentioned it here because at least one group, the visual arts forum, asked us to do so when we met with certain arts groups in Exeter to look at the future of ECP. Visit Exeter is the marketing website and listings for arts and culture activity in the city and with our new Steering Group, we've decided that we're not able to be the place for what's on listings. Exeter Culture is the voluntary members of the Steering Group plus Belinda Dillon, Officer, one day each week and myself, Director, 3 days each week on fixed-term contracts for a specific programme of work. We're all passionate about making the case for arts and culture in Exeter. We're about to embark on the first place-based arts & culture strategy in Exeter funded by ACE, ECC, Uni, College & BID. We'll also be launching our new website and sharing our plans in an event on 13 September which we're busy organising. If you'd you like to know more about that event do please email Belinda. We will still continue to communicate via our new newsletter in email, the website, Twitter and Instagram. So do please sign-up for whatever works best for you. And I'd be happy to discuss this more over a coffee if you want to drop me a line on l.m.l.goodband@exeter.ac.uk 

I look forward to hearing from you. Very Best wishes, Lara 

Comment by Lara Goodband on August 6, 2018 at 9:58

Dear Stephen,

Thank you for your comment. Re: the update of the website the previous Exeter Cultural Partnership Steering Group in 2017 applied for funding for a specific programme of work which included a new website. The old website is difficult to update so we did have to do something. I can assure you that this process of rebranding has been done openly and democratically. Our new Steering Group, who were all recruited through an open application process, and other arts and culture specialists have been involved in a series of workshops to discuss the new direction for Exeter Culture. The new Steering Group also includes members who are independent thinkers, artists and contributors. In fact, Exeter Culture, though hosted by the University strives to be independent of its funders and partners in order to best represent the makers and creatives in the city. We don't work for our funders but rather with them in partnership.

You'll see from my previous comment in response to Cedric that we're a small organisation with big ambitions. I can't comment on other organisations but a priority for us to support new work in whatever art form. I am relatively new to Exeter having come from working, most recently, in Hull on City of Culture projects and before that on range of art projects including the Cultural Olympiad project Wingbeats where I commissioned the composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad and recruited many young musicians from across the UK and internationally. I am personally passionate about making classical music accessible to children and young people across the country and as such support the Society of Musicians and am activity involved with Exeter Youth Orchestra. I would be interested to meet to discuss how we can best encourage and support classical music in the city. I know, too that Steering Group Member Laurence Blyth would be very keen to share his knowledge and expertise in this area. Unfortunately, neither Laurence nor I were able to attend Emma Welton's last meeting as we explained to Emma a few weeks before the meeting date. Do please get in touch via email on l.m.l.goodband@exeter.ac.uk and we can talk more about the issues that concern you. And, like Cedric, if you'd like to support us at the 13 September event do please drop Belinda a line. 

I look forward to meeting up. 

Best wishes, Lara 

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