Engaging diverse communities – Medway City of Culture bid and Medway Culture Strategy brief

UPDATE –  We received excellent submissions in response to this brief. We’re have now been in touch with everyone who applied and are ready to start brief the organisations and people we are working with next week. Our thanks go to everyone who applied. 

Deadline now extended to Friday 10th July

Medway Cultural Partnership and Medway Council are in the process of creating a new Culture Strategy for Medway which will shape the cultural life of the area over the next ten years.  As part of the strategy, Medway is currently bidding to be 2025 UK City of Culture.

Both projects are collectively driven and involving all those who live, work and study in Medway is key to their approach, ambition and success.  We are seeking to work with partners to ensure as wide and diverse a range of voices contribute to the development of Medway’s cultural ambitions as possible.

We are seeking to partner with individuals or organisations who are representatives of or who work with diverse communities (especially language diverse communities) and who are able to host and facilitate informal engagement work with groups from diverse communities across Medway, or those whose voices may be lost in other public consultations.

Medway Cultural Strategy

We are working to create a ten year (2020-2030) Culture Strategy for Medway which will show how important culture is to Medway’s future, and enable everyone to have the opportunity to take part in or contribute to cultural life in Medway. The strategy looks to transform Medway in the longer term and in the short term, to bring about changes that lead to social and economic benefits.

The strategy is being developed by GJG Consultancy, supported by evaluation and research specialists Ruth Melville Research (RMR) and The Audience Agency (TAA), working in partnership with Medway Cultural Partnership and Medway Council.

Medway’s UK City of Culture bid
The title of UK City of Culture is awarded every four years by The Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport.  The competition is aimed at repositioning places through culture, arts and creativity.

The title of UK City of Culture will be a real game-changer for Medway.  It will give Medway a platform to tell the UK and the world what we have to offer and put Medway on the map as well as delivering considerable lasting social and economic benefits. The year will leave a legacy of local pride, increased visitor numbers and a more vibrant, inclusive and sustainable cultural sector.

City of Culture provides an opportunity to improve the quality of life and opportunities for local people, with increased opportunities to participate in culture, to gain experience and to access jobs in the tourism and cultural sectors.

Our programme will feature international, national and local artists providing the catalyst to greater community and cultural engagement across the area, celebrating our diverse communities, stories, shared heritage and contemporary culture that make Medway unique.

Medway’s bid is supported by the Medway Place Board, local universities and college, Medway Council and a wide range of businesses and creative sector organisations.  The bid will be run by an independent board of Trustees from across the area.

Engagement brief
We aim to work with partners to run sessions with three partner individuals or organisations between 1 July and 15 August 2020 with a focus on:

  • Medway as a place (present and future).
  • Community access to creativity and culture.
  • City of Culture themes and ambitions.

Partners would need to take part in an informal briefing discussion, organise and lead the group conversation in a way which complies with social distancing government guidelines and write up feedback from the group and/or take part in an informal debriefing conversation.

The engagement will shape the development of the themes, programme and approach to developing our City of Culture bid and the future direction of the Medway Culture Strategy.

We are keen to continue partnerships and relationships built through this brief to engage with communities to continue to shape Medway’s cultural offer throughout the duration of the ten year Culture Strategy.

A budget of £200.00 per partnership is available for this initial engagement work.

Contact and expressions of intertest
Please email a short expression of interest to cityofculture@medway2025.co.uk by Friday 10th July.

Please outline details about (i) you and/or your organisation, (ii) the focus group(s) you would be able to facilitate and (iii) details about who you would be engaging as part of these groups.

For more information or to discuss more fully, please contact Medway City of Culture Bid Director Imogen Robertson:  cityofculture@medway2025.co.uk | 0773194583