Cadw Arts and Heritage Framework

Mabinogion

Mabinogion

Cadw is the Welsh Government's historic environment service, working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales.

  • We conserve Wales' heritage to the best possible standard.
  • We help people understand and care about their history.
  • We help sustain the distinctive character of Wales.

Context for working with the arts

Cadw's venues include places where the arts, craft skills and their products were a part of the very fabric of the site, or were woven into the lives lived there. We aim to reconnect with many of the intrinsic qualities and stories of our sites, ones that are embedded in their heritage so they can be revealed for our visitors.  There are also places where the arts can open up symbolic or imaginative dimensions.  By working with the arts and engaging with people, we will find further ways of relating people to places and the things that make those places special. 

A particular strand of this work will involve a commitment to arts and crafts and the skills represented in the fabric of our heritage, re-discovered and applied by contemporary practitioners and sustained and rejuvenated by the craftsmanship of our own programmes of maintenance and conservation.  We envisage that working with the arts will help us develop opportunities for exhibiting and selling arts or craft work.

Vision for working with the arts

Cadw plans to work with the arts to increase the appreciation, understanding and animation of the sites in our care, to enable us to connect with growing and different audiences.

We aim to develop projects, activities and events that will use the arts to inspire our staff and visitors to think about monuments and sites in a different way.  We want to create new perspectives and new ways of considering and looking at Cadw monuments.

We want the arts to offer different experiences that will open up other questions, understandings and responses to enhance the interpretation of our monuments.

We aspire to engage in a new dialogue, within Cadw and with our visitors, one that can be provocative, enjoyable and enriching.

Cadw's commitment to working with the arts

1.   Cadw aims to be a leader in working with the arts in the heritage sector.  We will begin by developing an arts programme for a three year period 2012-15 and piloting different themes and ways of working.  This will complement the programme of events and animation which has always been a staple of Cadw's public engagement.

2.   Cadw will develop best practice in working with the arts through its heritage sites.  This will include staff involvement and training, contracting and establishing a clear understanding of the archaeological and conservation sensitivities of sites and the constraints imposed by risk management and health and safety considerations.

3.  Cadw will demonstrate a commitment to its published conservation principles and in particular the recognition that working with the arts will respect the need to sustain the heritage values of an historic asset but that this also provides an opportunity to enhance significance, in particular through aesthetic and communal values and to contribute to a sense of shared ownership.

4.   Cadw's aspiration is to present and commission artistic activity and interventions at its sites which are of a high standard, both in terms of the resources invested in the work, the art work produced and the visitors' experience of it.

Integral to the development of the three year arts programme will be monitoring and evaluation activity to inform development of this work going forward into 2016-2021.

5.   Cadw's commitment to the arts is stated in our guiding principles, values and priorities for 2012-16 which include:

Creative spark - we will be imaginative in our approach to our work, using creativity as a principle of delivery and encouraging others to respond creatively to the Welsh historic environment.

Promoting distinctive regeneration and sustainable development through heritage, including 'capturing distinctiveness'.

Promoting public access, appreciation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including 'making heritage sites enjoyable, relevant and stimulating to visit.

In line with these guiding principles Cadw will be proactive in working with the arts by developing four strands of activity.

1.   Building the internal capacity of the organisation to be able to:

  • Plan and programme co-ordinated and integrated high quality arts activities and events that also reflect the business development needs of the organisation.
  • Respond positively to opportunities presented by event organisers and those wishing to hire our venues, who may come from public or private sector organisations or community groups.

2.   Partnership working to resource and deliver projects including:

  • Developing the best networks to ensure the delivery of high quality artistic products and to build a profile for the work in order to attract future high profile national and international partners.
  • Building long term partnerships with organisations who can support cultural tourism and income generation through cultural consumption.
  • Fostering locally based partnerships to support local regeneration and sustainable development through arts and heritage projects.
  • Engaging young people, especially those who have experienced limited opportunities to experience and participate in heritage and creative opportunities.

3.   Commissioning a high quality arts programme designed to explore the power and potential of the arts to enhance the interpretation of our sites and stories relating to our monuments potentially including:

  • All art forms for example, new media and technology, literature, music, performances and visual arts and crafts.
  • All forms of artist activities such as exhibitions, artists' placements and residencies, artist-led initiatives and community workshops.

4.  Planning and implementing a robust monitoring and evaluation plan including:

  • Collecting qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Producing a collection of case studies.
  • Commissioning an external evaluation report and recommendations for future development of the arts programme.
  • Supporting and/or leading conferences and seminars to share learning and best practice across the arts and heritage sector.

Arts Framework Action Plan 2012-2015

Objective One: Building the internal capacity of the organisation to be able to:

  • Plan and programme co-ordinated and integrated high-quality arts activities and events that also reflect the business development needs of the organisation.
  • Respond positively to opportunities presented by event organisers and those wishing to hire our venues, who may come from public or private sector organisations or community groups.

Actions

1.1 Increase Cadw capacity and resource for managing arts and events programmes through additional posts, upskilling of monument custodians and engagement of freelance animateurs.

1.2     Review Cadw's approach to events programming and develop a high-quality programme that builds on the Cauldrons and Furnaces project and retains the new audiences created through that project.

1.3    Review Cadw's approach to site 'hirers', including arts and community organisations, to provide a more flexible and integrated response to event ideas, including more effective joined up marketing.

1.4   Establish priority monument events plans and criteria and a checklist to aid responsiveness to project proposals and effective delivery.

1.5   Develop a marketing and public relations plan for events and projects whether Cadw led or led by a 'hirer'.

Objective Two: Partnership working to resource and deliver projects, including:

  • Developing the best networks to ensure the delivery of high-quality artistic work and to build a profile for the work in order to attract future high profile national and international partners.
  • Building long-term partnerships with organisations who can support cultural tourism and income generation through cultural consumption.
  • Fostering locally based partnerships to support local regeneration and sustainable development through arts and heritage projects.

Actions

2.1 Build partnerships with key partner organisations to support the development of high quality arts activities that support the Historic Environment Strategy and the Pan Wales Heritage Interpretation Plan such as:

  • Arts Council Wales - Public art residency programme.
  • Literature Wales - various projects under consideration.
  • Wales Millennium Centre - outreach opportunities.

2.2 Develop a plan for building on partnerships forged through Cauldrons and Furnaces.

2.3 Establish strategic cultural tourism partnership with key heritage and cultural service providers;  and for exploration of major opportunities with tourism sector.

2.4 Establish an agreed integrated site priorities map and identify actions, resources and timescales initially for Cadw but ultimately across the partnership.

2.5 Identify strategic partners for development of a vehicle for engaging young people, especially those with limited current opportunity to participate in heritage and/or creative activity.

Objective Three: Commission a high-quality arts programme designed to explore the power and potential of the arts to enhance the interpretation of our sites and stories relating to our monuments potentially including:

  • All art forms, for example, new media and technology, literature, music, performances and visual arts and crafts.
  • All forms of artist activities such as exhibitions, artists' placements and residencies, artist-led initiatives and community workshops.

Actions

3.1 Review Cauldrons and Furnace project in 2012 and identify artists, locations and institutions where a high quality legacy can be sustained.

3.2 Work with Sculpture Cymru to review 2012 metal sculpture exhibition and activities at Kidwelly and plan for 2015.

3.3 Review Songs from Stones project and generate options for applying the approach consistently and sustainably.

3.4 Plan and deliver initial partnership events in 2012 with Literature Wales and explore potential for future partnership events;  develop Strata Florida as a focal point for literature development in a heritage environment.

3.5 Develop a pilot community arts and heritage delivery plan for Segontium, including initial activities for 2012.

3.6 Deliver and evaluate the use of artists in interpretation for Conwy Castle and subsequently develop a good practice guide and prioritised programme for arts-based interpretation.

Objective Four: Planning and implementing a robust monitoring and evaluation plan including:

  • Collecting qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Producing a collection of case studies.
  • Commissioning an external evaluation report and recommendations for future development of the arts programme.
  • Supporting and/or leading conferences and seminars to share learning and best practice across the arts and heritage sector.

Actions
4.1 Develop an evaluation methodology informed by Cauldrons and Furnaces that can be used to evaluate future arts and heritage projects.

4.2 Work with partners to establish a research programme to gauge the depth of visitor experience/engagement with interpretative interventions at heritage sites.

4.3 Establish a good practice model for using creativity as a means for involving and engaging young people in exploring issues affecting the future of the historic environment.