A form for debate, for networking with peers across the county, and for engaging with a range of invited guests who join us to speak on issues facing the culture sector today.

Through inclusive discussion and openly sharing our knowledge, skills and experiences we look to find creative ways to enable the cultural sector in Dorset to demonstrate best practice, maximise its impact and influence change at a local, regional and national level.

Our chapter is open to anyone working in or connected to the arts and culture sector in Dorset: We welcome individual practitioners, arts and culture organisation staff, local authority officers and educators.

Our theme, our guiding light, is Solidarity.

As a group, we have 4 aims, each of which we believe is totally dependent on the others.

  • To support one another through these challenging and unstable times

  • To build a better understanding amongst ourselves of the breadth and diversity of the Arts & Culture Sector in Dorset, and the interdependencies between us

  • Begin to build our vision, our manifesto, for Arts & Culture in Dorset and the role we can play in supporting the wider ecology in Dorset – and indeed the wider South West

  • Identify what we collectively want to fight for in the coming months, at local level alongside our friends in local government and at national level in the upcoming spending round

We welcome new members to the network at any time! If you would like to join us, join our Facebook Group, or sign up to receive our newsletters and meeting invites.

We hold regular fortnightly zoom meetings on Wednesdays 1-2pm with a schedule of topics including Freelance Workforce, Leadership, Climate Emergency, Wellbeing, Dorset Cultural Strategy, and Covid. 

We have a newly appointed Steering Group that will lead the movement in a new, inclusive and diverse direction. If you have any suggestions or questions you would like to bring up, please contact us at hello@theartsdevelopmentcompany.org.uk

The What Next? movement

What Next? is a free-to-access UK wide movement. With chapters across the UK, we bring together freelancers and small and large arts organisations to inform, debate and shape the future of the arts and culture.

Our Vision:  Arts and Culture play a vital role in creating a more equitable society.

This will be achieved when:

  • All people have access to arts and culture, and the sector reflects the full diversity of our communities.
  • The arts and culture sector takes greater ownership of its public sector role, improving quality of life for all

What Next? comprises 31 chapters operating across the UK, who each meet regularly in their own local community and together at monthly meetings. All are supported by a small core team and a Steering Group of sector leaders.