Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

Yn ôl i Chwilio

Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu

Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee

06/03/2019

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Bethan Sayed AC Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Caroline Jones AC
David Melding AC
Delyth Jewell AC
Mick Antoniw AC
Rhianon Passmore AC
Vikki Howells AC

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Gareth Coles Cyfarwyddwr, Celfyddydau Gwirfoddol Cymru
Director, Voluntary Arts Wales
Mia Rees Rheolwr Polisi a Materion Cyhoeddus, Ymddiriedolaeth y Tywysog Cymru
Policy and Public Affairs Manager, The Prince’s Trust Cymru

Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru a oedd yn bresennol

National Assembly for Wales Officials in Attendance

Martha Da Gama Howells Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
Nathan Wyer Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Robin Wilkinson Ymchwilydd
Researcher

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:59.

The meeting began at 09:59.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Helo a chroeso i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu, sesiwn gyhoeddus. Eitem 1: cyflwyniadau, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau. Hoffwn i groesawu Delyth Jewell, Aelod Cynulliad, i'r cyfarfod cyntaf fel Aelod Cynulliad newydd yma, felly croeso mawr i ti. Dŷn ni wedi cael ymddiheuriadau gan Jayne Bryant. Oes gan unrhyw un rywbeth i'w ddatgan yma heddiw? Dim byd.

Hello and welcome to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, the public session. Item 1: introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. I would like to welcome Delyth Jewell, Assembly Member, to her first meeting as a new Assembly Member here, so a warm welcome to you. We've had apologies from Jayne Bryant. Does anyone have any declarations of interest today? No.

10:00
2. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 (vi) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o'r cyfarfod ar gyfer eitemau 3 a 4
2. Motion under Standing Order 17.42(vi) to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting for items 3 and 4

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o'r cyfarfod ar gyfer eitemau 3 a 4, yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the meeting for items 3 and 4, in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Felly, eitem 2 ar yr agenda: cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i wahardd y cyhoedd ar gyfer eitemau 3 a 4. Ydy pawb yn hapus gyda hynny? Grêt. Diolch.

Therefore, item 2 on the agenda: a motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting for items 3 and 4. Is everyone content with that? Great. Thank you.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 10:00.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 10:00.

10:45

Ailymgynullodd y pwyllgor yn gyhoeddus am 10:45.

The committee reconvened in public at 10:45.

5. Minnau hefyd! - Ymchwiliad i rôl celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol: Y sector gwirfoddol
5. Count me in! - Inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion: Voluntary sector

Grêt. Dŷn ni'n gyhoeddus nawr, a dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen at eitem 5 ar ein hagenda ni, sef 'Minnau hefyd!', ymchwiliad i rôl celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol. Mae gennym ni heddiw y sector gwirfoddol i mewn i roi tystiolaeth i ni. Croeso i chi heddiw. Mae gyda ni Mia Rees, sef rheolwr polisi a materion cyhoeddus, Ymddiriedolaeth y Tywysog yng Nghymru; a Gareth Coles, sef cyfarwyddwr Celfyddydau Gwirfoddol Cymru. Croeso i chi yma heddiw. Fel sydd yn digwydd fel arfer gyda ni yn y pwyllgor yma, dŷn ni'n gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol gan Aelodau Cynulliad gwahanol. Felly, os yw hi'n iawn gyda chi, fe fyddwn ni'n mynd yn syth i mewn i gwestiynau a bydd cyfle gyda chi i roi eich barn am y cwestiynau dŷn ni'n eu gofyn.

Mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gen i o ran cymryd rhan mewn cynhyrchu celfyddydau a diwylliant—y broses graidd yna o gynhyrchu rhywbeth. Sut ydych chi'n credu bod pobl sydd mewn ardaloedd o dlodi yn gallu bod yn rhan o'r broses hynny? Sut ydych chi'n ymwneud â, hyd yn oed, diffinio pwy ydyn nhw? Sut ydych chi'n ffeindio'r rhwydweithiau hynny, os ydyn nhw'n bodoli, er mwyn treiddio i mewn i'r gymdeithas mewn ffordd organig, lle nad yw e'n rhywbeth sydd yn top down, hynny yw? Rwy'n credu bod hynny yn rhywbeth sydd yn bwysig i ni o ran yr adroddiad penodol yma. Os dŷn ni am ddefnyddio'r celfyddydau i gael gwared ar dlodi, sut mae pobl yn gallu gwneud penderfyniadau drostyn nhw eu hunain a chreu eu celfyddyd nhw eu hunain hefyd? Felly, eich barn ar hynny o beth.

Great. We're in public session now. We move on to item 5 on the agenda, namely 'Count me in!', an inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion. We have today the voluntary sector in to give evidence. Welcome to you today. We have Mia Rees, policy and public affairs manager, the Prince’s Trust Cymru; and Gareth Coles, director of Voluntary Arts Wales. Welcome to you both. As usual in this committee, we will be asking questions on different themes from different Assembly Members. So, if it's okay with you, we'll go straight into questions, and you will have an opportunity, then, to give your comments on the questions that we ask.

The first question comes from me in terms of participation in the production of arts and culture and that core process of producing something. How do you think people who are in areas of poverty can be a part of that process? How are you involved with, even, defining who they are? How do you find those networks, if they do exist, in order to become rooted in that community in an organic way so it's not a top-down affair? I think that's important for us in terms of this specific report. If we want to use the arts to tackle poverty, how can people make decisions for themselves and create their own art as well? So, what's your view on that?

Okay, yes, thank you. Diolch yn fawr iawn. In terms of the analysis and who is involved, Voluntary Arts operates across Wales and the whole of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland as well, and we convene a diversity panel. One of our aims is to address socioeconomic disadvantage. So, in terms of our analysis of that, I think the best we've come up with to date is a postcode analysis of where participants are coming from, and then we strive to put on events in areas we know are more disadvantaged, and then we do a comparison of the postcode analysis of the participants with the areas in which we're operating. I don't know if that's perfect; I don't know if that fully answers your question.

But in terms of the self-determination of people to be involved, one thing I'd say to start with is that I don't think we'd start with an assumption that—. Often, what gets shown is what gets measured. So, we would say that there's an awful lot of creative cultural activity that takes place in every community across Wales, but it doesn't necessarily benefit from direct public subsidy. So, if there's public funding of the arts not reaching certain areas, that shouldn't lead necessarily to an assumption that there's a lack or a deficit of creative participation in those areas. It may be called something different; people may be not using the term 'art' to reflect what they do, but nevertheless their involvement might contribute to the cultural life of the community. So, for example, an informal knitting group or a craft group wouldn't benefit from any public subsidy, wouldn't necessarily be constituted, wouldn't feature on anyone's radar, but nevertheless there's an opportunity there for people to participate in meaningful creative activity. So, I'd suggest that we start with what people choose to do themselves in their own time at their own expense, and maybe there are assets that we can build from that point of view.

And then, secondly, I suppose I'd say that there's—. We would see it as a local cultural infrastructure that supports participation in creative activity, and a key example of that would be buildings. We were talking about this just before coming in. If there are buildings available for people to—beyond, you know, front rooms and kitchen tables—rehearse, convene, to practice, to perform, then that enables those groups to meet, to thrive and so on. With the lack of those community buildings—if there are areas where buildings are closing, where libraries are closing, for example, where pubs are closing—then that's a key barrier, I think, to participation and self-determination and that choice to participate in creative activity.

10:50

I would second a lot of what Gareth said, particularly about community arts involvement. So, a lot of the young people we work with at the Prince's Trust Cymru are involved in very local, community-based organisations, whether that's local theatre companies or local craft groups, and they very much feel that those spaces are for them. However, where the barrier appears is those bigger cultural institutions that they don't feel are for them. So, I find it really interesting that, in your question, you spoke about top-down—that's very much a view that the young people we spoke to in preparation for giving evidence at this committee said. They very much felt that they were an add-on—'We feel we should speak to some young people about what we do at x large institution, because we feel that it makes us look good to do so', not that they actually want to include those voices, that they really value those voices. Very much they feel that it's part of what they should do. Now, saying that, I don't think it's fair to put all organisations under that.

However, if you look at how arts organisations are managed and the structures that they have, who they have on their boards et cetera, it is very much a top-down approach, and there isn't much community. Where people in the community, particularly we find in disadvantaged communities or lower socioeconomic communities—they very much keep it in the community, they form their groups, lots of use of the rooms above pubs and suchlike to do what they want to do. Now, I would echo what Gareth said—they do not call that 'art'. When I was speaking to a lot of young people, a lot of things that I would call 'art' that they do—whether that's playing in bands or participating in street festivals and things like that—they don't call that 'art and culture'. They don't have, necessarily, a name for it. Sometimes, they call it, 'Oh it's just what we do in our community. There's not much for us to do, so it's something to get involved in.' And I think that's really interesting. Sometimes the language of art can be quite distancing.

However, what I would say is that there is a perceived lack of knowledge amongst young people—that they don't understand classic art or they don't know what's available to them, and I think that's unfair. So, when I spoke to young people in researching this, they almost all knew that the national museum in the middle of Cardiff was free to go into. I'll be honest, some of them said they know that because they've been caught in the rain before and needed somewhere to go, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing if they then ended up going in and then spending time in there until the rain eased off; they still accessed art, and they knew that that was a free space for them. They also felt it was a space for them. So, they talked a lot about how, particularly at the weekend, there are lots of children running around in there and, therefore, if they're there as a group of youngsters, they're not going to be looked at in a kind of, 'What are you doing in our space?' way, whilst they did mention certain spaces across Wales where they felt that, if they had gone into them, they would have been looked at in a way that sort of said, 'This isn't for you. What are you doing here? This isn't your space.' So, I hope that answers your question in some way.

That was actually exactly the point that I wanted to raise before, Mia, you spoke about it. The two of you, how do you think we can encourage as a community—as  a community I mean also just society generally—how can we encourage large cultural institutions to be more accessible so that everyone, from every walk of life, feels that those institutions belong to them? Because they're there for the nation, they're there for everyone, and it's so dismaying to hear that lots of people would feel that they'd be looked at askance if they were to walk in. What do you think can be done in a really—? Is there a public awareness campaign that lots of different institutions could be a part of? I don't want to put words into your mouth, but what do you think could be done?

I think the first thing to note is that we're very fortunate in Wales that a lot of our public art is public and is free at the point of entry, and a lot of the young people we spoke to talked about, when they were children, being taken by their schools or being taken by their parents or carers to art institutions as a free, cheap family day out, basically. And a lot of them saw that as a very formative thing—and learning that these places are free to enter. And if you know these places are free to enter and you're welcome to enter them and that initial barrier's not there, then if they find an interest in something they enjoy or they find something, they did say that they are then willing to pay for particular exhibitions or particular performances, but it's removing that first payment barrier, and being able to experience it at a young age is really important. If you are brought up as a young person in Wales being told by the adults around you, 'That building over there isn't for us, that's for different people in this city or for different people in that area', that doesn't help. In speaking to teachers, a lot of them say, 'We really enjoy taking our young people on school trips'—whether it's to the national library or to the museums or to art galleries—'We really enjoy it, but there are a lot of barriers in our way now to make that a very easy thing to do.' And, therefore, it's often left to parents who don't often know or don't have the resources or the time to do that. So, I would say that's one thing.

I think there's also a really clever thing—I'm mentioning it a lot because I did actually go there yesterday with a group, to the museum—which is that all the staff at the museum talk to each other at a normal talking level, so they're not all whispering to each other—'Because we have to be really quiet, because it's that kind of space.' [Laughter.] They're all just chatting and there were two having a chat about what they got up to on Saturday night. So, because they were talking at a normal level, there wasn't this 'Hush, hush' feeling in the room—

10:55

Yes, intimidation, and creating that atmosphere. So, I think it's about creating that atmosphere and about making sure those spaces are open. You walk into the museum and it is open—there is a cafe right there and there are people from all walks of life there. Just that initial barrier is really important—if you break that down, there's no cost and it's an open place where people don't feel intimidated.

One thing that the Wales Millennium Centre do quite well is they do a lot of things in the space as you walk into the centre. So, for example, they've done beat box competitions and dance competitions that are actually, as you go in the centre, just on the floor, or they're outside the centre when it's not raining. I think that's really good and it encourages a lot of people from the local communities of Grangetown and Splott—they come down to it because it's just there. They don't even have to go through a door in order to see it, but because they've seen it and it's associated with that cultural institution, if they then see something associated with that cultural institution that grabs their eye, they're more likely to access it.  

I'd echo a lot of that. I too was at the museum yesterday, we've just started a new voluntary group there as well, so they're getting praise from us as well. One thing I'd add is that there are already in place—a lot of these larger cultural organisations do a lot of outreach work within communities already. That's certainly in place. Echoing my earlier point, we would encourage partnership with what's already on the ground with local community groups, voluntary groups and so on, and then there's always the question, if there's an intervention from a large arts organisation in the community, 'What happens next? How is that sustained and embedded within the community?' So, some consideration of maybe forming groups, maybe building that link so it's sustained, so it doesn't feel like a fantastic opportunity that then comes to an end, but so that's built in right from the start, that embeddedness within a community, would be really, really helpful.   

Thank you. There is some very, very good practice in terms of our cultural organisations across Wales and that is continuing to be mainstreamed and driven hard from the top. But in regard to austerity and in regard to local government, community arts tend to be always the short end of the straw, and in terms of propagating voluntary arts groups across Wales and everything that needs to happen at organic gateway level, how do you feel that is actually impacting in terms of on-the-ground access to community arts? 

There's some research that suggests—and this goes throughout the voluntary sector—that the 20 or so big household-name charities stay the same, they're fairly robust, and the tiny little groups that are entirely voluntary do stay the same because they're entirely independent of funds anyway, so any kind of threat to that—. I would suggest that there's a degree of resilience within that very, very local sector. The problems come when things like buildings or these enablers that enable people to participate in their local cultural activity are affected, and maybe indirectly. So, I'm thinking back to the work the older people's commissioner did talking about participation in local communities. I think it's exactly the same. These, sort of, elements of the infrastructure, like community transport, even access to public toilets and certainly buildings, that's where people will find that their ability to participate in their local communities with others, like mine did on creative pursuits, will definitely be affected. 

Also, to reflect, we did some research last year into the nature and breadth of really grass-roots, everyday creativity across Wales, and I have to reflect the message that small amounts of funding are very, very welcome. There's not a lot—

So, on that particular point, very briefly, because I'll get told off by the Chair, but in that regard, bearing in mind the massive amount of proportional funding that goes to the top four or five organisations, the big cultural organisations that we were referencing, do you feel that balance is right in terms of Welsh arts council funding?

11:00

I think it's being looked at at the moment. There was a recent consultation from the Arts Council of Wales about the use of their lottery funds, and this came out. So, I think we'll see soon whether there's an element of micro grants, you know, small, less than £500, even smaller than Awards for All type of funding. That's the thing that we're hearing there's a need for. It is small amounts, but it's also a request that the administration is proportionate, the application and the monitoring are proportionate to the scale and nature of the risk. In a £100 or £200 grant, which is nearly nothing, there's no sort of liability there, so it needs to be directly proportionate to the nature of the work.

I would say that there's been a bit of an atmosphere in austerity that the arts culture is very much an add-on; that it's a nice-to-have. At Prince's Trust Cymru, we've always embedded arts, particularly into our programmes for young people who are the furthest away from the job market. Because we very much see arts as a tool to help build confidence, self-belief and teamwork, all those sorts of things. Arts and sport, to be fair, as well, they're both fantastic at doing that and therefore, seeing those as a nice-to-have, I don't think is the right message. 

I would say that a lot of community organisations at the grass roots—echoing a little bit what Gareth said, they're run by volunteers anyway; they are basically self-funding on people's goodwill and time. And this is me speaking as me with my observations and not as the Prince's Trust. One of the concerns that I have about the way that the arts council funds is—so, for example, in the last tranche, they basically just renewed everybody's funding at a slightly lower level; they didn't really dig into the community work that all of those different groups were doing and really analyse the growth and potential and engagement that those different groups were doing. In my personal opinion, I think it was a bit of a cowardly thing to do, I think they really could've dug in. If you look at some of the smaller groups in their portfolio, they just received a little bit less, but some of those smaller groups are doing fantastic big things, really innovative stuff, and some of them in the middle are just sort of trotting along and have just done the same thing for many years, not engaging with new audiences, not going out there and really seeking the communities in Wales that don't understand what they do, or buy into what they do. And I think that there's more of a role for the arts council to really ask of its organisations, 'What are you doing?' Now, I appreciate, in the current climate, that's very challenging with the finances, but that is how arts is sustainable—by keeping audiences growing and by keeping people of all ages engaged and feeling that they're part of the arts.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am hynny. Dŷn ni'n gorfod symud ymlaen. Caroline Jones.

Thank you very much for that. We have to move on to Caroline Jones.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. I wonder if you could tell me to what extent you think that participation in the production of arts and culture can help lift those currently in low-paid employment out of low-paid employment into higher paid employment, and hopefully help with career opportunities further down the line—career enhancement. How do you think this could be achieved? And, the second part of this question is with regard to social exclusion and poverty, how do you think participation in the production of arts and culture can help lift those out of poverty, and those minority groups, possibly, being socially excluded?

If I could pick up on the point about helping with careers, obviously, that's what we're in the business of at the trust, helping support young people into sustainable careers. A lot of businesses tell us that the young people who come to them do not have basic skills. We hear this over and over again. So, one thing that we really encourage is for young people to volunteer and get involved in things that do interest them. If certain careers and jobs aren't really sparking your interest, get involved in something that is and volunteer. And then we talked about—when you're in a job interview and they say, 'Give me an example of when you've worked in a team', use those examples of when you were in a team pulling together an art project, use that example of when you and your friends met up and you played football together and you organised a five-a-side league and now that's expanded across the whole of Rhondda Cynon Taf, rather than just your one village. Those sorts of examples are really, really important in actually being a successful person in the workplace. And we would also say that there needs to be a work/life balance as well. So, when we're working with young people, we talk to them a lot about their careers and how they want to progress and what sectors there are jobs in—but you need to be an individual who has something that is yours, in your time, that you can unwind with, and it helps your mental health, whether that's crafting, which we've referred to quite a few times, or whether that's being in local theatre companies, taking that time for yourself in an organised way that actually—. If you don't do it, you're letting other people down in that group, because your community is really positive. 

11:05

But do you not think that an introverted personality would benefit from the help? You were saying they should have that basic confidence. A lot of people wouldn't have that, if they have an introverted personality. They might have an awful lot to offer.

We do a lot of pushing people to their boundaries, and to the point where they—if someone says, 'No, I'm not doing that', that's fine. That's completely fine. But we will push and encourage and say, 'Come on, we believe you can do this.' And actually we find with young people, once they've done it, they say, 'Actually, I can do it', and 'It was actually at the trust that I found out that I could say "yes" to things, and I could do it, and yes, I was this introverted person, and I still am, and I'm still scared of things, but actually, being in life and doing things that scare you is good for you.' That kind of mindset is really important, and I think that the arts play a really big role in helping people reach that stage.

Absolutely. I completely agree.

I absolutely agree with that, and I think this gets to the nub of it. In terms of the well-being that participation in different forms of creative activity can bring, how do we bring about that well-being? I think, particularly from the voluntary, community-based, amateur arts sector, it's a real skill of the group leaders to deliver things sensitively and skilfully, to create that space where people feel welcomed and reassured, and maybe that's a cup of tea, that's a friendly chat, that’s the space that’s in their community, and to get them into a position where they can be challenged—challenge themselves or be challenged. Then the satisfaction there, and the building of confidence and everything—the sense of well-being, developing skills, everything I think stems from that. So, I think some recognition of those group leaders, and they may be—this is where the lines are blurred—professionals in the daytime, and they may volunteer their time for a local arts group in the evening, they may be paid, particularly amateur music groups, describing themselves as 'amateur', but professionally led, so it's a bit of a blend, really. But yes, that's where it starts. And then you can have development of confidence, development of social skills. There's some research that suggests that literacy is improved, that cultural awareness is improved through participation in a particular art form. You become more aware of how that's practised elsewhere. And also technical skills as well, which may lead to education or training or employment.

Another point I'd make briefly is that sometimes the pathways aren't clear in terms of what you're asking about maybe a career, a professional career, in the arts. We did some work, again across the UK, to improve our understanding of participation from black, Asian, minority ethnic communities in creative cultural activity, and it really fundamentally changed the way we worked. But one of the messages came from that—that the pathways, for those people from BME backgrounds, were not clear, to a professional career in the arts. So some support there was clearly needed.

It's needed. That's why I mentioned the socially excluded groups of people, who've grown up in social exclusion, and so on, who need that extra bit of help.

Finally, my last question is: how successfully have you worked with Welsh Government sponsored bodies, for example, the national museum, ancient monuments and so on and so forth, in this production?

We've worked with organisations that receive funding from Welsh Government—so, arts council organisations and others. We have found that they're often short, sharp interventions. They parachute into a community or an organisation, they work with a group. We did some stuff with Artes Mundi a few years ago and it was absolutely transformational. It was an amazing woman who ran this particular project and she took our young people all around all types of different arts. She took them to Bristol and did a tour of all the street art in Bristol; she showed them how silversmithing works; all of these amazing skills that they didn't even know were skills that people did, and then she left. And yes, some of those young people still get together and do things together, but actually a lot of those projects are like that.

I understand that that is because of funding. We have a funding system that is what it is at the moment, but if you look at organisations like Performance Platfform, for example, which is run out of the Wales Millennium Centre, which was set up during the Tiger Bay musical, that was to encourage young people in the local community, particularly in Grangetown, to get involved in theatre; that was transformative for those young people. The Wales Millennium Centre noticed that and they now run that theatre group every single Saturday for young people in the community, and it's now been widened out to young people across Cardiff. And they took the initiative of, 'This is working, and these young people are loving it so much it's worth putting that money in.' But most organisations aren't able to do that, and therefore measuring, actually, the long-term benefit that publicly funded programmes have is very challenging and very difficult. And yes it exposes people to the arts, and that's fantastic, but it needs to be more than just exposure, it needs to be encouragement and building, in my opinion. 

11:10

Our relationship is predominantly with the Arts Council of Wales. We're not a portfolio client of theirs—we're not part of the 67 arts portfolio Wales organisations—but we've received project funding from them, which has enabled us to do some of the work that I guess we're discussing here today. And we're also partnering with them on the Get Creative Festival coming up in May, and also with the BBC. That does provide an opportunity to showcase the breadth of creative opportunities for people right across the country with the coverage from the BBC, which is incredibly helpful. 

I mentioned the lottery consultation and the arts council's corporate plan, which looks to widen access to the arts. It's clearly on their agenda currently. And then we've worked with National Museum Wales as well. Last year, we did a large community arts project, which was featured in the national museum and the exhibition was seen by 47,000 people. It was fantastic that a large number of people from right across Wales participated in something—4,500 people participated in something—producing drawings, which was then seen as legitimised by this huge cultural institution. That was certainly very welcome. 

Diolch, Caroline. David Melding. 

Thank you, Caroline. David Melding. 

I accept the points both of you made at the very start, that to be human is to engage in creative activity and sometimes we don't recognise what is going on and we value the more formal expressions. But I'm going to look at the more formal assets that we have, because that's where the vast amount of public money goes. So, if you're looking at the National Library of Wales or the national museum, the millennium centre, Welsh National Opera—these giants in the cultural field—they have to be fully accessible to all. Now, that doesn't mean that everyone will want to go and access those activities, but there are barriers there that particularly impinge on people on low incomes. When I visited the Cardiff Fusion project, they were very keen to really talk about some of the nuts and bolts issues like bus fares. That's even in Cardiff; can you imagine if you're trying to get from Aberdare or Ebbw Vale down to watch a performance in the evening here? Where do you go for a reasonably priced dinner or lunch, depending on the time of day? Childcare. These are the things that have a huge impact on the ability of people to access the arts. I just wonder: are you aware of some of these barriers being very successfully dealt with or is this something that we really need to focus on?

If I could touch on the childcare point as one point, we've a lot of young parents that we work with at the trust, and we've seen an increasing number of institutions that have a messy performance or messy exhibition, and the whole point is that you're there to bring your children with you and that it's meant to be a relaxed atmosphere and, if you're in the theatre, if a child starts crying or yelling because there's a baddie on the stage, that's fine, it's not a problem. There have been a lot of autism-friendly performances, for example. There's been a great increase in those in both theatre and in art, and that's really positive, because you can bring your child with you.

However, obviously, not everyone wants to access certain arts with their child. Some arts are absolutely not appropriate for young children. So that is an issue, and I think it adds to some feelings of social isolation that some groups find. When they have children and they're from a lower income, they have to really pull everything back and, often, sport and art are the first things to go. And I don't think that's good for people's long-term mental health. 

Travel is one that's mentioned. I would mention, actually, that amongst our young people, knowledge of arts institutions in the main cities of Wales, so in Swansea and Cardiff, was quite high—they could name one. However, they needed quite a lot of prompting to name things that were actually in their community. Once you mentioned, 'What about so and so?' they said, 'Oh yes, I suppose there are; I hadn't really thought of that.' That's quite interesting. But if they knew something was happening and it was something they cared about, they would make the effort to put the money aside to do it. Now, not everybody is in that situation to do that. They talked a lot about finding out on social media through following certain artists and certain cultural influencers on social media, and they promoted arts things on their sites. But one thing I would say is that none of the young people I spoke to knew that they could get reduced ticket prices at most arts venues, which really surprised me. Particularly at the Welsh National Opera, as you know, I think for under-30s still it's £5 a ticket, which is fantastic, but a lot of people didn't even know that, which surprised me.

Cost is an issue. It's particularly an issue for young parents and people who are unemployed. When you're living day to day, week to week, accessing arts is not at the forefront of your mind, and I think that's just the honest way of looking at it, to be honest. 

11:15

I absolutely agree with your points; they do chime with our experiences. One example you're probably aware of is that the Sherman Theatre realised, I guess, that they weren't necessarily reflective of the communities that existed around them, so they have an initiative supported, I think, by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation called the Sherman 5, and this brings volunteers in, but they use a time banking scheme. So, I think that's important for two reasons. One is that it kind of recognises there's a cost implication to time, and then they can participate through those time credits in wider cultural activity, or purchase other things. But firstly, I think, or prior to that, it does recognise—. It puts a value; it says that this is important. They've done work to almost soften the boundaries of that as an institution. You can vote there on voting day. So, I think initiatives like that really help to break down the barriers of the cultural institution that isn't for us, but welcome people in the entire community, and that's a good example. 

David, just before you come in, Mick wanted to have a question on this. 

Is there a danger, though, that this is all very much top-down, going into communities and saying, 'This is what you can do and should do'? I'll give you an example. A number of—. You're right: there are a lot of cultural activities taking place at a very base level in communities and often people don't know about it. My experience, though, is that for most of them, what they say is—. I'll give you an example: you're a jazz band or a jazz marching band and you've got no money for instruments. There are actually no sources where you can get grants for that. The other thing is, 'We want to go to a competition somewhere. We can't afford to go to it.' The poverty—. The problem is that it's not about people telling you about things; they've got the thing they want to do. The fact of the matter is that the whole provision basically almost excludes that from happening, so what you end up with is basically people doing stuff, good stuff, within the community, engaging communities, et cetera, but their poverty actually excludes them. The system we have is a very top-down system towards communities that actually doesn't reflect, quite often, what those communities need, certainly at the base level, to actually be able to participate. 

I would echo Gareth's point that he made earlier about those smaller grants, and how important they are, and they are often the first to go. And we go, 'We need to keep our big institutions that represent art to the whole of Wales and the world going, but we're going to cut those small community funds—those £100, £200.' That is a problem. I think also a lot of these community groups don't know these little funds exist. I have to say, having been involved in my community, the number of times when people have mentioned things to me and I've gone, 'Have you thought about applying to so and so?' 'Oh, what's that?' That's not their fault, but a lot of people don't even know that they exist, and I think that's a problem. There are little pots of money out there for the very things that you're talking about—touring and buying instruments—but, actually, a lot of people just aren't aware they're even there. Is that fair? 

Yes, and I think also sometimes they're not—. There are a number of trusts and foundations throughout the UK—well, England and Wales—registered with the Charity Commission, but they only give money to charities. So, if small, either unconstituted or informally constituted, groups aren't charities, then they won't be able to access them. So, in terms of the proportionality of a micro grant scheme, it would need to consider how groups are constituted. A simple bank account and a set of rules might be enough for a micro grant, without the need for charitable registration, which might not be appropriate. 

I know of respected galleries like g39 that's based just off City Road, for example. They're an established contemporary art venue, really leading in Cardiff and Wales; they have just changed their status to being a charity, because they've been missing out on funding. Now, if an organisation of that stature, which attracts world-renowned contemporary artists, feels the need to change, then these local community groups that you're talking about—. And becoming a charity is hard—you need a lawyer to do it in a lot of circumstances. And I think, for community groups that I've been involved in, having a chairman, a treasurer, and some sort of elected body should be enough. And when you're talking about a couple of hundred pounds, a lot of it is from, I would say, trusts and foundations, it's not necessarily public funding, because we understand that, obviously, taxpayers' money does have that extra element of checking that needs to happen. A lot of it does come from foundations and trusts.

11:20

Yes. I just wanted to follow up this point of outreach work, which can be two types really, I suppose. The national collection's artefacts can go out to communities, and it's a part of a structured exhibition, for example, that the national museum may put on, or local bodies could have more access to the national collections. But it seems to me that we have a very conservative—once an artefact goes into a collection, its preservation is what is absolutely utmost, and obviously, sometimes, that is clearly what you need to do, but we have an awful lot of examples of similar types of artistic objects or material and a lot of it is held in storage. Shouldn't we be taking more risks, and getting it out there, and not quite be so worried about the insurance value and the temperature of the room that it's going to be in for two weeks? Some of these things, factors.

And then the other point: how accessible are these collections? If a group of girls want to do something on suffrage and they want some of the ephemera of the age that we've collected, how easy is that?

I understand that you did invite Sian David from the Wallich to this committee to give evidence to you. And I think it might be worth following up with her, because she led a very interesting project, called 'Who Decides?' And that was actually working with the museum, where she worked with people with experience of homelessness, who went in to the national archives and the collections and what we had in the back room of the museum, and got to see it. And they curated an exhibition in the museum. And they chose art that spoke to them in some way. And the little plaque next to it didn't have, 'Was a great painter of the Baroque period, and you can see the use of colours symbolise'. It was a little bit saying, 'I chose this piece of art because it's a beautiful Welsh landscape, and it reminds me of my dad and walking up on these hills when I was a child.' And it was one of the most emotional exhibitions I've ever been to. And that was a fantastic initiative, of really getting stuff out of the back room, and into the community. But it's one that I know of—I honestly can't tell you any others. And it was working with excluded individuals who were experiencing homelessness at the time, to give them something else to do. So I think there are initiatives like that, and, because it was so successful, I really hope that more will happen.

I can't talk about the insurance side of this—I'm not an expert in that area at all. But I think this culture of you cannot touch it, and things like that, can be quite isolating. I've seen some exhibitions where they've done replicas of the art, so people can touch it, and really get up close, and maybe do things you wouldn't normally do with the art. And that's great, particularly for children—they're very tactile, and that's what they want to do. So I think there have been some really good initiatives, but you obviously have to have somebody who sees value in that—again, going on Mr Antoniw's point—at the top, who sees value in that, who's willing to push that, who's willing to say, 'It's alright, we'll sort out the insurance later, let's do this.' And the idea that people who have no knowledge of the arts going back into the back rooms of the museum, and going, 'I like that one, can I come out and see it?', I think that's phenomenal.

I agree. If they are held in trust for the nation, they should be available—widely available—for the nation. Like Mia, I'm not an expert in insurance—it hasn't come up with the groups that we work with on a day-to-day basis. But a broad principle, yes: anything that widens that access, or any removal of those barriers to access, would be welcome. But, again, I'll be leading some drawing workshops in the Leonardo da Vinci gallery, currently in the museum. We'll be doing some life drawing. So, a nude model will be right there in the middle of the Leonardo da Vinci drawings. So, I was quite surprised that that's a possibility. I think that there are little steps in that direction. 

11:25

I should say that the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales also—when I visited there, they give paintings to various schools across Wales for about two weeks. So, they tell the children that they own that painting and then they can take part in a scheme where they would do whatever they want with that painting, and the insurance that they have would cover that possibility. So, I think they're doing that with schools—more in mid Wales. That could be expanded, because then, like David's point, it is allowing people to see art that's there, but is all gathering dust at the moment, so—.

I can't remember the name of the organisation, but there was an organisation that, initially, was lending art to charities and organisations to hang on their walls and they've expanded out to schools. I'm not sure if it's a similar scheme, but that's been really popular. A lot of companies have then sponsored art, so they've had the art in their board rooms for x amount of years, and then—. I think Barclays was one of the banks that was involved in it, and then Barclays sponsored all of the art that was in their buildings to go out to schools in communities. So, I think there's a part to play for private organisations as well in funding this.

Just very shortly, is there any directory of all these things that are in the system? I saw something described, but there are these tens of thousands of things, and I think the point you make is absolutely right in terms of stuff being almost hidden away, but, if you don't know it's there, you don't know what to ask for, do you?

We'll have to look and see if there is a directory. Rhianon, did you want to have a question?

I think in regard to some of the exhibitions that you talked about, in terms of the homeless exhibition, which you said was moving in terms of the platform initiative at the millennium centre, and in regard to the overall theme of this session today—are we actually catering effectively to those who can benefit majoritively from the arts and don't access them—do you think that there's a lack of vision in terms of some of our major institutions in regard to having that freedom and flexibility? And it may be cost, and it may not be the question to ask of you, but you'll have your perspective. Do you think that there's a lack of vision in actually saying that actually access from excluded and vulnerable groups is actually not part of our agenda in the arts?

It's so individual, and it is, again, down to leadership. If you have a visionary leader, whether that's on the board or whether that's leading the institution, or you even have a member of staff whose job is community engagement, for example—if you've got people at the top who value it, then it happens. However, if you don't, and I think some organisations have really failed in this area, then you don't. You need a—

So, is that the job for Welsh Government to further direct, in terms of publicly funded organisations, or Welsh arts council-funded organisations?

I think there's a role. I think there's a role, when funding is granted, for there to be a community aspect. A lot of organisations that we work with, they know that, if they don't engage with more groups, then they're going to die. They're very aware of that, and therefore they take those steps to go out and engage with more people. But that's not across the board, and often they're not rewarded for it by the arts council. So, I won't name names, but there's one organisation that I spoke to that actually said, 'Well, we did a load of community engagement in x community in Cardiff and we really enjoyed it, but we won't be doing it again because the arts council said that it wasn't part of our brief'—as part of their portfolio. So, they're not going to do it again, and I think that's a terrible, terrible shame, because it's not viewed as part of what they're meant to be delivering for the arts. And I think that there is absolutely a role to play to prevent that.

Yes, very briefly. I think it may be a matter of perception. So, this is to put it very bluntly and possibly unfairly, but, if an organisation is doing something and says, 'These people aren't engaged, therefore, the problem is with them—we need to reintensify our efforts to do what we're doing to try and engage with those people', that might be the wrong approach. There may be a different approach, as I say, working with those communities, realising the assets and resources and capabilities and skills and choices within those communities—that then may reflect back on a different approach from those larger institutions.

And I think there needs to be a sensitivity that some arts organisations come in and go, 'You need this; we are giving this to you.' And nothing is more patronising or turns people off more. So, there's also got to be an element of tone as well, working with the communities rather than going into the communities and then parachuting out again. 

Thank you, Chair. Mia, I'd like to return to one of the first points you made, actually, at the start of the session, where you said that, since the advent of austerity, funding for the arts has, in your view, become something of an add-on or a 'nice to have'. Obviously, with the financial pressures that we're facing, there's more and more of a drive to have a cost-benefit ratio or to prove the impact of something in order to secure that funding. I wanted to specifically hone in on the difference between participating in the production of arts and culture and actually attending arts and cultural events. The evidence we've got, particularly evidence from the Bevan Foundation, says that there's limited research to actually show that attending cultural events, being in the audience, has any impact on helping people to raise themselves out of poverty. So, I wondered what your views were, both of you, on that. Is that a barrier to funding and what can be done perhaps to counter that kind of claim? 

11:30

If I could put it quite crudely, engaging people in participation costs a lot more than reducing your ticket prices and getting bums on seats. If you are to engage in participation, as you will all know through what you all do, there is a real commitment of time and effort and energy and money that needs to be spent on that. It is much easier to go, 'We're going to reduce our ticket prices and open the doors to people'—it's quicker, it's easier and it's cheaper. I would say that it's not unvaluable to get people viewing. People can't do and can't be what they can't see. So, actually, that initial barrier of being able to see is still important, and the young people I spoke to very much said that seeing art when they were children was very formative to them growing up and having an interest in the area. I don't know what the answer is, apart from, from my point of view, if you are going to fund institutions, having it as part of—. This goes back to Rhianon's point—fundamentally, what they are, part of their job, is to bring in participation and is to engage people and to do so meaningfully. I know it's not as simple as that, but that would be my way to answer that.   

Just very briefly, I wonder if another element—. So, our mission is to promote participation in creative activities, so we see the benefits from people's active involvement in it. I think they are mutually supportive—attending an art gallery will be inspiring if you're a visual artist and may help you with your own work. But the other element I'd see in terms of participation is, I think, self-determination and governance, so, self-governance of groups—it's really important that people are involved in the decision making of their groups, and are therefore, some research suggests, more prone to be actively engaged in the civic life of their community as well, because they're volunteering, because they're involved in governance, because they're looking at maybe the funding issues and things and they're seeing the involvement in the community as part of that kind of civic life as well. So, I'd say that's an additional element, as well, that's important. 

So, to sum up, would it be fair to say that you both think that the benefits of attending arts and cultural events might be difficult to actually weigh up scientifically, but they are there and they can help those who are more disadvantaged to further their prospects in life? 

I think measuring arts—the value of art and the importance of art—is almost impossible to do by the nature of what it is. The way that we measure its value at the trust is the confidence that being involved in those activities gives—those soft skills that it gives people to progress in their lives positively, to help them live, learn, earn successfully. A lot of those skills come from engagement in the arts and we can measure them to some extent. When we apply for funding, we have to assess on those hard outcomes: how many young people did we get into work, how many young people did we get into training? It's very difficult to get funding. They go: how many young people have you given confidence to to the extent that they are now getting up every morning, getting out of bed and actively participating in their communities? I don't think we've ever received funding that's assessed on that, and that's, I think, part of the challenge. 

Some of the points I wanted to ask about some of the barriers that exist you've actually dealt with, but it still seems to me that some of the poorest groupings in communities are ones that have the greatest difficulty being reached. A lot of the evidence that we've had from various bodies talks about the problems of the scale of funding and the relatively small numbers that we're actually reaching. So, is it fair, first of all, to say that what we're really just doing is scratching the surface in terms of what could be achieved? Is that a fair representation as to where we are?

11:35

That's a tricky one to answer. Possibly, yes. We've shared a few maybe local examples, and you'll be aware of them, which would feel—. I suppose, yes, it's a really superficial thing, but I guess what might be particularly helpful is that those opportunities could be scaled and something—. I was just reflecting on your earlier point about, say, musical equipment, musical instruments. Could there be ways of sharing those assets between the professional bodies who have, maybe, equipment or something that's not used all the time, with some of the communities that you're talking about? There may be opportunities to scale up some of the things. But, yes, potentially, there's that perception that we are just—

I suppose what I'm getting to is: is, really, the limitation—? I mean, there are all sorts of things, and there's no one-size-fits-all, there's no silver bullet way of dealing with this. Does this really just boil down to the availability of funding, but also the flexibility of the way in which that funding can be used? My experience in what I see is that everything is incredibly rigid in terms of how things are run. There are so many parameters built in that, quite often, it's more trouble than it's worth. It doesn't actually relate and it almost becomes a barrier. So, take two things—flexibility and funding—to what extent could—? I suppose the immediate answer is, 'Yes, we'd love lots more funding into it.' I suppose that's the starting point. But the second one, the flexibility as to what we do—are we too tied into the creation of rigid systems of doing things?

One thing I—. It reflects on funding, actually. When you apply for some funding through some trusts and foundations and organisations, the form alone—it's just colossal. It's like filling in a PIP claim; it's just ridiculous. It's many, many, many pages, it asks questions that—your average community organiser just looks at it and says, 'I don't even know what that word means, let alone how I evidence it in our group.' But some trusts and foundations have changed, so they call them, or they pop in and see them when they're doing what they're doing, and they chat to them and that's how they—. And then it's up to the individual funding organisation to fill in the form on behalf of that organisation or to go back and report back. Now, trusts and foundations have the resources to do some of that, and I think that there's more scope for those more flexible ways for people to get funding. Again, sending a form and someone e-mailing back costs a hell of a lot less than sending someone to Pembrokeshire all the way from London, where the foundation's based, in order to asses that community group in person. I think that's a barrier—just the forms to apply for the funding. And, like I said earlier, even knowing that the funding exists of course as well. I think—yes, I think that would probably be my summary on that point. I hope that answers your question.

Do you want to ask about the Fusion project, while you're speaking now, your question 17? 

Just one thing then, in terms of how we actually evaluate what we're doing, because a lot of it is anecdotal and so on. You talked now about flexibility issues and so on, which I think are really important in terms of when you try and evaluate what's being done and how you might intervene or support, et cetera. But, if you were to state one or two things you'd really like to see change that you think would make a difference, apart from just, 'We'd like more money', what would they be?

It would be longer term projects for me. So, this I find—. I think it can be damaging to come in to a community, raise their hopes and aspirations, and then disappear and leave a void. I think there is scope for coming in, doing that really intense work, and then leaving some kind of footprint or support to continue that work. Now, that doesn't necessarily have to be money—it could be people with skills to help build those community organisations and keep them going. So, that would be my one thing that, if anything was to happen—rather than these short, sharp projects, more—. If it's working—and, again, how do we assess that it's working, but, if it's working, allowing some way to keep that project in some form so that that community still feels it's being served.

11:40

I'd absolutely echo that. We hear that all the time about the nature of project funding, no availability of longer term or core funding. And I'd add to that—I suppose things feel incredibly rigid and inflexible, as you say. Sometimes, the projects are almost determined by the funders in terms of, 'These are the policy priorities that we want to see, these are the deliverables we want see.' So, projects that meet that are funded and then deliver that. It's starting to feel a little like procurement of a service rather than a grant investment in something that might not look—it might turn out differently—but nevertheless delivers those differences, those outcomes, rather than just the deliverables that are socially meaningful.

Are there things that could be done to increase collaboration as well as, then—the benefits of that?

Yes, absolutely. I think that there are sometimes arts organisations—they come in and they just assume that there aren't people in the community who know about this. I think that there is scope for some arts organisations to do a bit of a fact-finding mission on, 'Is there a small community group that we can help build and develop into something bigger and more meaningful, rather than come in and do something completely new?' And actually I think that there's real scope for that, because, actually, that would be more long term as well because, if they came in and built up a community group, that's going to have a longer term, better impact and also it's in the community—it's not this coming from Cardiff to show you how to do the arts.

In terms of the benefits of working in the arts and how that can combat either social exclusion or poverty, I know that we've noted that over half of people working in that sector or sectors earn less than the living wage and this issue that we've got that a lot of people seem to have to give up or sacrifice something in order to do something that they love—I mean, how can we combat that?

I think it's a similar point: if it's short-term funding, then people inevitably—it's not a sustainable position. If it's an artist being commissioned to do a piece, then it's inevitably a very short time, not an awful lot of funding, it gets very competitive, and then, yes, it's not a sustainable living.

We have a lot of young people that we support to set up their own businesses that have an arts element, and when we help them put together their business plan, we really encourage them to look into more regular ways of making money, and that's because we want them to still be able to do what they want to do. So, for example, we have one young woman that we've supported who makes art out of concrete, and she goes into community groups and works with older people, working with concrete and their hands, and she offers that as a service to care homes all over Wales. And then we have another young person who goes into businesses, and she runs staff days in her art form. That's one way—. Now, we really encourage that. Obviously, there's a lot of resentment towards that, because, like, 'I shouldn't need to do that', but that is the world that we live in and, therefore, we try and help form those relationships to help them do that.

The other thing I would say is that a lot of our young people find the tax credits system very helpful, and some of them view it a little bit like a loan in that they've got that support and then, at the end of the year, they do—and then sometimes they have to give it back, because they've been so successful that they don't need it and they feel real pride in that. If that system wasn't there, that could be quite concerning. The other thing I would mention as well with arts and young people particularly are things like filling in your tax return. If you're an artist, you have to do that, and that can be incredibly daunting— 

Exactly. And that in itself can be daunting. We also have a lot of young people who take on part-time roles to supplement, and then what they do is try and minimise the hours they're doing part-time as their business is more successful. It sounds very harsh, but that reality of, 'You're not going to be able to give up work tomorrow in order to pursue—.' We have to be honest, and we do talk about that, and that means that that person is more likely to be successful. So, those that have either stayed in part-time jobs or who engage with business or other organisations to help keep a regular income coming in are more likely to be successful. They cannot rely on just commissions.

The other point I would like to make is that, if you look at the demographic of who artists are—who are the big artists who get commissions in galleries, wherever those are, there is a particular skew in class and connections. A lot of artists get commissions because of connections that they have. If you are in a family where there are no connections—no-one has any connection with the art world—how successful you are going to be in that is quite difficult. I look at artists who have gone to big colleges like Saint Martins in London, Central Saint Martins, and have come back to Wales with all these connections that they've built and been incredibly successful. But they were lucky enough to build those connections. If you can't do that, that can be a real hindrance in the arts world.

11:45

Ac i orffen—Rhianon Passmore.

And to conclude—Rhianon Passmore.

Thank you. I'll ask you to give your overview of what will improve community participation, particularly for vulnerable groups, in a minute. But with regard to the conversation that you've just had with us, around, perhaps, advice and help for business start-up, taxation, issues around the availability of the co-ordination of how to fill in those grant forms—those practical nuts and bolt things at a voluntary arts organisational level are absolutely immeasurably of importance to funding any career pathway, whether it is part-time or not. So, who should be doing that, and should it be co-ordinated via—I don't know—possibly a business start-up unit, the Welsh arts council, at Welsh Government level? How can we make that better and easier for those that need to access it? That's the first point.

The second point is with regard to community arts access, and the point that was made, Mia, I think, by you, around knowing your local community and growing your local community arts group or community group that's already there. Is there not a role for that to be strongly embedded within the local authority footprint, in order to grow everyone economically? I mean, I don't know what your thoughts are on those rather wide-ranging points.

I can have a quick shot, briefly, at both of those. I suppose my initial thought would be that support should protect the investment, so it should go alongside the funding. So, if artists are in receipt of funding from certain funds, then there's an interest in ensuring that there's sustainability, that they can make a living, that it's worth while, so maybe that kind of support goes alongside that, or at least that sort of co-ordination and the availability of support follows the money. And then—. Sorry, knowing your community—.

Is there value in what used to be very local commonplace, that local authorities would have a community arts department, a community arts development co-ordinator? No longer in terms of local government is that a main given. So, is that not absolutely a fundamental platform in terms of growing access to the arts? You may disagree; I don't know.

No, I'd say it is. I'd say it is. Those local authority arts officers, where there's still in place, have connections to their local communities that a national body simply wouldn't have. So, as part of the picture, I would say, yes, it's vital.

And the other point, then, was with regard to the practicalities, the nuts and bolts, of being able to work within the arts, and you mentioned a few points. Whose job is that strategically, in your view?

I don't think it's their job, but I think Arts & Business do some good work in this, in pairing people in business with arts organisations to support them to do those grants. So, they'll pair somebody who does maybe fundraising for their organisation or has worked with a trust or a foundation in the past, and they'll pair that person from that business with an arts organisation who needs someone like that. So, there have been some great things with arts, and I talk about Cardiff because that's my area—that's where I know—but, for example, there have been some big legal firms that have helped some arts organisations become charities, and they give them that completely pro bono. Now, I think there's scope for the business community to do that. I think it's one way that the business community can really give back to their local community, and I think that should be really encouraged as part of—

No, I don't think it's enough.

Should there be a wider strategy around that effective start-up support for the arts?

I think there's one problem—sorry, Gareth—that people's needs are very, very different. And a bit like your follow-on point with your local champions based in local authorities—they will understand the local context better, and therefore maybe they'd be better at finding support for those organisations or providing it themselves, because they would have a better understanding of the needs locally, because it does vary massively. But I can't really say what would really solve it. I think there is a tendency that sometimes arts organisations go, 'This is for the Welsh Government to sort out and solve.' The Welsh Government only has x amount of money, it only has x amount of scope, and, actually, it's for community and society, to some degree. Community and society in Wales is strong, it's healthy, it's organic. There are passionate, wonderful people. And, actually, I think it's about providing those people and improving their skills and really getting them out there and building it, rather than feeling chained to needing to rely on public funding and public support all the time. I think there's greater scope there, personally.

11:50

I think so. There is scope, potentially, for a wider strategy around that assistance.

There's clearly a need. There are different pictures, but from everything that we hear, there's clearly a need for that pathway and support to be clear.

And many of these issues were raised in the non-public funding of the arts report that we did. And I'm really sorry, but we have to cut it off now, we have gone over time. So, thank you all for your questions. I'm sure we can pursue it in other ways if Members want to write to you with anything that we haven't been able to cover. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am ddod i mewn atom heddiw. Byddwn ni'n eich cadw chi mewn cysylltiad â'r hyn rŷn ni'n ei wneud fel rhan o'r ymchwiliad yma. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Thank you very much to you for joining us today. We will keep you informed about what we do with this inquiry. Thank you very much.

Iawn. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Okay. Thank you very much.

Diolch yn fawr. Thank you very much.

6. Papurau i’w nodi
6. Papers to note

Symudwn ymlaen at eitem 6 a phapurau i'w nodi. Eitem 7 yw ymateb Llywodraeth Cymru i ymgynghoriad y BBC ar bolisi trwydded deledu sy'n gysylltiedig ag oedran. Roeddwn i eisiau trafod hwn yn fras yn y sesiwn breifat, os yn bosib. Wedyn, mae yna lythyr gan Gymdeithas yr Iaith ar reoliadau arfaethedig y Gymraeg a gofal iechyd, ac wedyn ymateb gen i i ymgynghoriad Ofcom: adolygiad o'r canllawiau ar gyfer cynyrchiadau a rhaglennu rhanbarthol. Ydy pawb yn hapus i nodi'r papurau hynny? Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Moving on now to item 6 and papers to note. Item 7 is the Welsh Government response to BBC consultation on age-related tv licence policy. I wanted to discuss this in private session, if that's possible. And then there's a letter from Cymdeithas yr Iaith on proposed Welsh language regulations and healthcare, and then my response to the Ofcom consultation: regional tv production and programming guidance. Is everyone content to note those papers? Thank you very much.

10. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod
10. Motion under Standing Order 17.42(vi) to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting for the remainder of the meeting

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Felly, rŷn ni'n symud ymlaen i wahardd y cyhoedd o'r cyfarfod ar gyfer yr eitemau nesaf. Ydy pawb yn hapus? Diolch.

So, we move on to a motion to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting for the following items. Is everyone content? Thank you very much.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 11:51.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 11:51.

Archwilio Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru