Docstoc

Facts_ Figures_ Futures

Document Sample
Facts_ Figures_ Futures Powered By Docstoc
					         Facts, Figures, Futures
           Voluntary Arts: the State of the Sector
                                          Northern Ireland 2003



                                         Researched and Written by
                                                      Brenda Kent




Voluntary Arts Ireland
Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann
Voluntar Airts Airlann
PO BOX 200, Downpatrick, BT30 6WE.
T. 028 4483 9327 E. info@vaireland.org
W. http://www.vaireland.org
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



    CONTENTS                                                                   Page
    Foreword and Acknowledgements                                              i
    The Consultation Process                                                   iii
    Introduction: Background, Objectives, Methodology, Definitions             iii
    Executive Summary                                                          vi
    Summary of Recommendations                                                 xv
    Chapter One - The Level and Nature of Participation                        1
    Adult Involvement and Participation in the Arts                            1
    Participation through Voluntary Arts Groups                                2
    Total Participatory Attendances                                            3
    A Note on Low Levels of Arts Involvement but High Levels
                                                                               5
    of Voluntary Arts Activity
    Art Form Choices                                                           6
    Summary and Conclusions                                                    9
    Chapter Two - The Nature of Participants                                   10
    Gender                                                                     10
    Religion/Community Background                                              11
    Age                                                                        12
    Socio-Economic Status                                                      14
    Working Status                                                             18
    Geographic Distribution of Participants                                    18
    Council Areas                                                              19
    Summary and Conclusions                                                    21
    Chapter Three - Voluntary Arts Groups                                      22
    The Size of the Sector                                                     22
    Position within the Voluntary Sector                                       23
    Legal Structures                                                           24
    The Role of Art in Groups                                                  25
    The Longevity of Groups                                                    25
    The Work of Voluntary Arts Groups                                          27
    Specialist Provision                                                       27
    Ways of Working                                                            28
    Voluntary Arts Audiences                                                   29
    Group Catchments                                                           30
    Summary and Conclusions                                                    31
    Chapter Four - The Resources Employed                                      32
    Human Resources: Voluntary Support                                         32
    Committee Volunteers                                                       32
    Other Volunteers Within Groups                                             33
    Volunteering in the Community                                              34
    Age Profile                                                                36
    Socio-Economic Classification                                              37
    Working Status                                                             37
    Gender                                                                     38
|
    Religion                                                                   38


        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



     Geographic Distribution                                                   38
     Time Spent Volunteering                                                   39
     Volunteer Organisation in Voluntary Arts Groups                           40
     Human Resources: Employees                                                41
     Staff                                                                     42
     Artists and Tutors                                                        43
     Summary and Conclusions                                                   44
     Financial Resources                                                       46
     Income                                                                    46
     Expenditure                                                               48
     Premises and Equipment                                                    49
     Summary and Conclusions                                                   50
     Support Resources from the Infrastructure                                 51
     Consultation with Public Bodies                                           55
     Summary and Conclusions                                                   56
     Chapter Five – Uses and Benefits of Voluntary Arts                        57
     Voluntary Arts and Social Benefits                                        57
     Voluntary Arts and Individual Benefit                                     58
     Summary and Conclusions                                                   60
     Chapter Six - Current and Future Needs                                    61
     Support and Development Needs of Voluntary Arts Groups                    61
     Audience Development                                                      62
     Participation Development                                                 63
     Barriers to Future Participation                                          65
     Organisational Development                                                66
     The Future of the Sector                                                  67
     Sustainability                                                            69
     Social Capital                                                            71
     Summary and Conclusions                                                   72
     Chapter Seven - The Roadshows                                             73
     Findings of the Roadshows                                                 74
     Funding                                                                   75
     Human and Other Resources                                                 78
     Participation and Audience Development                                    80
     Recognition of the Sector                                                 82
     Information and Advice                                                    83
     Infrastructure Support and Networks                                       84
     Summary and Conclusions                                                   85
     Chapter Eight - Recommendations                                           87
     Appendices                                                                96
     One: Public Awareness of Support and Arts Organisations                   96
     Two: Groups Responding to the 2002 Group Surveys                          96
     Three: Roadshow and Research Participants                                 99
10
     Bibliography                                                              102


        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



LIST OF DIAGRAMS                                                                      Page
1.    Comparison of Participation Through Groups, Clubs and Classes in                3
      Past 12 Months by Art Form Across Northern Ireland, England and
      Scotland
2.    Frequency of Regular Group Meetings                                             4
3.    Percentage of the Total Adult Population Participating in Arts in               6
      the Previous 12 Months by Art Form
4.    Popularity of Art Forms amongst Participants in Voluntary Arts                  7
      Groups in Northern Ireland
5.    Voluntary Arts Groups in Northern Ireland by Main Art Form                      8
      Practised
6.    Participation Rates per 100 by Art Form and Gender                              10
7.    Participation Rates per 100 Population by Art Form and Religion                 12
8.    Age Profile of Voluntary Arts Participants                                      13
9.    Comparison of Age Profiles of Participants in Arts Groups England               13
      and Northern Ireland
10.   Age Profiles of Adult Participants Across All Voluntary Arts Groups             14
11.   Percentage of Each Socio-Economic Class Participating in the                    15
      Voluntary Arts
12.   Comparison of Socio-Economic Classification of Participants with                15
      General Population
13.   Percentage of Groups having Different Proportions of Participants               16
      in Socio-Economic Groups D and E
14.   Percentage of each Socio-Economic Group Participating in the                    17
      Different Art Forms
15.   Working Status of Participants                                                  18
16.   Comparison of Adult Participation Rates with Density of Voluntary               19
      Arts Groups by Area
17.   Geographic Distribution of Voluntary Arts Groups compared to                    20
      Voluntary and Community Organisations
18.   The Voluntary Cultural Sector within the Voluntary and                          23
      Community Sector
19.   Comparison of Legal Status of Voluntary Arts Groups with                        24
      Voluntary and Community Sector
20.   Age Profile of Groups Engaged in Voluntary Art by Group Type                    26
21.   Mean and Median Ages of Arts Groups by Art Form                                 27
22.   Age Profile of Audiences for Voluntary Arts                                     30
23.   Age Profile of Committee Members in the Voluntary Arts Sector                   33
24.   Percentage of Total Adult Population Volunteering to Assist                     35
      Voluntary Arts Groups by Nature of Assistance
25.   Age Profile Comparison of Volunteers in Voluntary Arts Groups                   36
      and All Volunteers
26.   Profile of Working Status of Volunteers in Arts Groups Compared                 37
      to All Volunteers
27.   Geographic Distribution of Art Group Volunteers Compared with                   38
      Volunteers in General

        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



28. Comparison of Frequency of Volunteering by Arts Volunteers and                    39
    All Volunteers
29. Training Provided to Art Group Volunteers                                         41
30. Employment of Staff by Voluntary Arts Groups                                      43
31. Employment of Artists and Tutors by Voluntary Arts Groups                         43
32. Annual Turnover of Voluntary Arts Groups                                          46
33. Average Profile of Groups' Income Sources                                         47
34. Nature of Expenditure by Voluntary Arts Groups                                    48
35. Venues Most Often Used for Arts Events by Voluntary Arts Groups                   49
36. Nature of Voluntary Arts Infrastructure Bodies                                    52
37. Sources of Information and Advice                                                 54
38. Voluntary Arts Groups' Engagement in Consultations with Public                    55
    Bodies
39. Social and Community Related Activities                                           57
40. Benefits of Voluntary Arts Participation                                          58
41. Issues Important to Groups-Weighted Scores                                        61
42. Main Obstacles to Increasing Audiences                                            62
43. Capacity to Accept More Participants                                              63
44. Likelihood of Future Participation in Voluntary Arts by Region,                   64
    Gender and Religion
45. Likelihood of Future Participation in Voluntary Arts by Age and                   64
    Socio-Economic Group
46. Single Most Important Factor Determining Future Participation                     66
47. Issues Facing the Sector - Weighted Score                                         67
48. Groups' Expectations for Level of Activities 2002/4                               68
49. Priorities for Voluntary Arts Groups as Expressed on Roadshow                     74
    Record Cards

LIST OF TABLES                                                                        Page
1.    Gender of Participants in Voluntary Arts Groups by Art Form                     11
2.    Participants by Religion                                                        11
3.    Distribution of Voluntary Arts Groups by Area                                   19
4.    Age of Group by Type                                                            26
5.    Attitudes to Output and Process by Group Focus                                  28
6.    The Extent and Nature of Volunteering within Voluntary Arts                     34
      Groups
7.    Percentage of Each Age Groups Volunteering to Assist Arts Groups                37
8.    Employment in Voluntary Arts Groups Compared with the                           42
      Voluntary Sector in General
9.    Sources of Grant Aid Received by Voluntary Arts Groups                          46
10.   Membership of Umbrella Bodies or Networks                                       53
11.   Support Body Services Most Used or Valued                                       54
12.   Top Five Issues Facing Voluntary Arts Groups                                    61
13.   Percentage of Voluntary Arts Groups Having Written Plans                        66
14.   Voluntary Arts Ireland Roadshow Schedule 2002/3                                 73


        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Foreword
The Voluntary Arts Network (VAN) was founded in 1992 with the mission
to promote participation in the arts and crafts. The phrase “voluntary arts”
was coined to describe those arts and crafts that people undertake for self-
improvement, social networking and leisure, but not primarily for payment.

The range of art-forms is wide and includes folk, dance, drama, literature,
media, music, visual arts, crafts and applied arts, and festivals. These
activities take place in a wide range of contexts including individual practice,
local clubs and societies, classes and summer schools. Each contains its own
opportunities and its own challenges, but the benefits of the voluntary arts
to social cohesion, inclusion, lifelong learning and well-being are becoming
widely recognised.

Our task is to help individual voluntary artists and craftspeople, local
volunteer-led groups and umbrella bodies to find the skills and knowledge
they need to exploit fully the benefits of creative participation in the arts.

Our aspiration is that within a generation, everyone will have a varied menu
of high quality opportunities to practice the arts and crafts within easy
access, at an affordable price, under local democratic control, well
supported by an effective infrastructure.

Our belief is that targeted support for the voluntary arts and crafts will bring
sustainable benefits to people and communities throughout these islands.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland Five Year Plan launched in 2001 has a
strategic objective of engaging with the voluntary arts sector. The Lottery
funding awarded to the VA Ireland research project is a welcome
expression of commitment to pursing this objective, as is the appointment,
2within the Arts Council, of an Arts Development Officer with
responsibilities which include the Voluntary Arts.

This report and the extensive research behind it, represents a significant
step towards recognizing and harnessing the potential of the voluntary arts
sector in Northern Ireland. With the strategic information contained herein
the goodwill of all parties, and creative partnership thinking, Voluntary Arts
Ireland, the Arts Council, local authorities and all involved in the sector can
start together along the road to bringing the benefits of arts participation to
everyone.

The facts speak for themselves. The figures provide a baseline. The future
starts here.

Roger Fox
Chief Executive. Voluntary Arts Network



       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   i
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Acknowledgements
This report and the research behind it could not have been completed without
the financial support or input of those listed below.

With thanks to all for making it possible.


 •    The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


 •    The Carnegie UK Trust.


 •    The following City, Borough and District Councils and their Arts Officers
      for hosting and/or facilitating the Roadshows and Conference:
      Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast,
      Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Derry,
      Down, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Limavady, Lisburn, Moyle, Newry
      and Mourne, Newtownabbey, Newtownards, North Down, Omagh,
      Strabane.


 •    The 300 plus voluntary arts groups that responded to questionnaires,
      attended the Roadshows or otherwise contributed information.


 •    George Roe at grid for the cover photography. www.gridimage.com


 •    Jan Branch, Chris Palmer and Joan Reid for their research support.


 •    Ultonia Solutions for the translations. www.ultonia.com


 •    The members of the Voluntary Arts Ireland Committee, Katherine
      Martin and Jamie Moreno Tejada for commenting and proof reading.


 •    Olive Broderick and Roger Fox for their help and support throughout.




ii     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



•
Consultation Process
This report is in part a consultation document – its recommendations providing
a starting point in what deserves to be a wide ranging and fruitful debate about
the future of the voluntary cultural sector in Ireland. Comments on the
recommendations are invited from all who have an interest in the sector.

The report’s implications will be presented for discussion at the Voluntary Arts
Ireland conference 16 to 17 May 2003. Out of this a framework will arise for
further discussion and action in building a sector Strategic Development Plan .

Introduction

Background

Participatory arts are served by a range of providers - schools, colleges,
Councils, community arts groups, voluntary arts groups - all of which are
engaged in enabling people to apply, and to benefit from, their creativity.
Voluntary Arts Ireland, and this research report, is focused upon groups that
are arts centred and led by volunteers, and which may or may not employ
professional assistance.

This is the first report on the nature of the voluntary cultural sector in
Northern Ireland. The research has been compiled by Voluntary Arts
Ireland and funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the National
Lottery through ACNI and the Carnegie (UK) Trust.

Voluntary Arts Ireland is an initiative of the Voluntary Arts Network.
Established in 1992, VAN exists to promote participation in arts and crafts.
Along with the other national organisations within the network - Voluntary
Arts England, Voluntary Arts Scotland and Voluntary Arts Wales - Voluntary
Arts Ireland seeks to support the voluntary arts sector by facilitating the
development of a strong infrastructure, strategic thinking and good practice.

In 2001, the committee of volunteers who had been steering the
development of VAI secured sufficient funding to appoint a part-time
Network Officer to develop the organisation’s work. The first priority was
to address the dearth of information about the sector so that future planning
decisions and advocacy work might be evidence based.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, having recognised the need to engage
with the voluntary arts sector in its arts plan 2001/6, made available Lottery
funding to support research to map the sector in Northern Ireland. With
partnership funding from the Carnegie (UK) Trust and 20 local authorities, VAI
was able to commence the research in the late summer of 2002. This report is
the result.


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   iii
                   Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Objectives

The objectives of this report and associated research are to:
      • Describe the extent and nature of involvement in the arts that is a
          consequence of the voluntary arts sector in Northern Ireland.
      •   Estimate the level of volunteering that emanates in the voluntary arts
          sector.
      •   Examine the development needs of voluntary arts groups
      •   Generate a body of information to aid decision making and planning
          within and with regard to the sector.
      •   Establish pre-baseline figures for the measurement of change.
      •   Develop and refine research methodologies suited to the voluntary arts
          sector.


Methodology

The information in this report has been drawn from a range of sources in an
attempt to engage and reflect the wide variety of individuals, art-forms and
organisations that make up the voluntary arts sector.

1) Three Group Surveys
     a) The AmArts Database
     In 1999 ACNI commissioned a survey of amateur arts. 400 groups replied
     and the resulting AmArts database was the first and only organised source of
     raw data on the voluntary arts in Northern Ireland. This has been re-
     analysed to provide supporting data in this report.
     b) The Easter 2002 Group Survey
     In the spring of 2002, all those on the AmArts database, plus others known
     to VAN were mailed in order to update their contact details and gather
     basic statistics on current activities. 90 responses were received.
     c) The State of the Sector Groups Survey Autumn 2002
     A postal questionnaire, commissioned and piloted during the summer of
     2002, was distributed to 1,000 voluntary arts groups and umbrella
     organisations in September 2002 of which 120 are analysed herein.

2) The Roadshows
In order to collect qualitative information, encourage participation by those
not comfortable with questionnaires and to allow elaboration of complex
issues, a series of 19 Roadshows in 17 towns and cities ran over 6 weeks in
the autumn of 2002, with a further 6 held in March 2003. These Roadshows
were held in the evening to facilitate volunteers with work or home
commitments, with additional lunchtime meetings in Belfast and Derry.
The two hour sessions were structured to allow participants to identify and
prioritise the key issues for their group and for voluntary arts in the area. A
total of 160 organisations contributed their views.



iv        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



3) Participation Survey
A research agency was commissioned to conduct face to face interviews with
1,010 people selected to represent the population profile of Northern Ireland
as a means to explore the level and nature of participation in the voluntary arts.


Gaps and Weaknesses to Note

Not all councils have an Arts Officer and thus have limited information on
voluntary groups in their area. Several councils were unable to provide a list of
arts groups for analysis citing concerns regarding Data Protection legislation.

Volunteers have limited free time and this limits the capacity to complete
questionnaires or attend evening meetings.

Some committees meet infrequently or only for part of the year and may have
been unable to respond to the questionnaire in the eight weeks given.

It is possible that those least satisfied with the support available to them or who
faced particularly difficult problems were more likely to attend the Roadshows
than groups which were content with the environment in which they operated.

Definitions

The voluntary arts are those arts and crafts that people undertake for self-
improvement, social networking and leisure, but not primarily for payment.
The range of art forms is wide and includes folk, dance, drama, literature,
media, music, visual arts, crafts and applied arts, and festivals.

For ease of presentation, the term art is used to refer to all art and craft forms.

Volunteers are defined as people who give their time or talent to benefit others
or the community.

Adults are all those aged 16 or over.

The standard socio-economic group definitions used are:
A - Highly skilled and educated professional and managerial personnel
B - Skilled or educated middle managerial and professional personnel
C1 - Skilled or educated lower managerial and professional personnel
[ABC1 - Combination of above]
C2 - Skilled manual workers
D - Semi or unskilled manual workers
E - Pensioners, casual or lowest grade workers, not in work




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   v
                    Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



1
    THE LEVEL AND NATURE OF PARTICIPATION

    The overall level of adult involvement in arts activities (i.e. whether professional
    or voluntary, undertaken through groups, lessons or alone) is significantly lower
    in Northern Ireland than in England, Scotland and Wales.

    In one year over 12% of the adult population participates in the arts through
    voluntary arts groups in Northern Ireland.

    Adult participation in the arts through groups is more prevalent in Northern
    Ireland than in England and is equal to if not greater than in Scotland.

    Voluntary arts activity equates to 71% of all adult participation in and
    attendance at arts events in Northern Ireland.

    The voluntary arts sector is the lead provider of participatory opportunities in
    Northern Ireland and without it levels of arts participation would be
    considerably lower.

    Voluntary arts groups in Northern Ireland provide 8.1m adult participatory
    attendances a year and also provide high levels of audience attendances,
    possibly of the same order.

    Arts participation and the voluntary arts sector are predominated by the
    performing arts.

    Participation in literature/writing, dance, certain crafts and the visual arts is
    comparatively weak.




2
    THE NATURE OF PARTICIPANTS

    Men and women are equally likely to take part in voluntary arts groups,
    although the larger number of men engaged in music and particularly bands,
    masks a predominance of women participants in groups pursing other art
    forms.

    Those describing themselves as Catholic are slightly more likely than those
    describing themselves as Protestant to be engaged with voluntary arts groups.
    A difference in the arts forms favoured by the two main communities is
    suggested.

    Many voluntary arts groups do not collect information about the
    religious/community backgrounds of their participants.




    vi     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



People aged between 16 and 24 and over 65 are most likely to participate in
voluntary arts groups. Just under half of all adult participants are aged 40 or
under.

People in the A, B and C1 socio-economic categories are twice as likely to take
part in voluntary arts groups as those in groups C2, D and E.

People in socio-economic groups C2, D and E do participate but access a
narrower range of art forms. 44% of the groups providing data drew 75% or
more of their members from groups D and E.

There is no relationship between working status and likelihood of participating
in voluntary arts groups. People in full time education were most likely to be
engaged in the voluntary arts sector.

Levels of participation and the density of voluntary arts groups is highest in the
West (Counties Tyrone, Fermanagh, Londonderry) and lowest in the North
(County Antrim, other than Belfast City). Rates of participation in the North
are less than half the Northern Ireland average.




3
VOLUNTARY ARTS GROUPS

There are 900 voluntary arts groups in Northern Ireland recorded by
Voluntary Arts Ireland to date; many more are not yet recorded. The lowest
estimate for the total size of the sector is 1,400 groups.

At this level, the voluntary cultural sector comprises 23% of the entire
voluntary and community sector.

Voluntary arts groups are more likely to have charitable status and less likely to
be a Company Limited by Guarantee than groups in the wider voluntary and
community sector.

The voluntary cultural sector is distinguished by a high proportion of
independent, formally unconnected groups.

Voluntary arts groups are long-lived, the average period since foundation being
35 years. The newest groups to emerge have been those promoting art across
a geographic area, craft groups and networks. There has been a noticeable
growth in the number of voluntary and community groups employing arts in
their work, especially in the period from 1994 to 1999.

The majority of voluntary arts groups (80%) do not work exclusively with a
particular section of the community.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   vii
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Those groups that make separate provision for young people find greater
success in attracting and retaining younger participants than those which do
not.

Audience figures for the voluntary cultural sector are not readily available.
Those provided show that groups draw 58% of their audience from the local
community and are relatively successful in attracting younger audiences, with a
quarter being under 25 and half under 40 years of age.

The majority of voluntary arts groups have small catchments and serve local
communities. 10% of groups held a Northern Ireland wide remit and 13%
operated across the UK or the Republic of Ireland or both.

7% of locally based groups gave performances or staged exhibitions outside of
Northern Ireland.




4
THE RESOURCES EMPLOYED

HUMAN RESOURCES: VOLUNTEERING

Voluntary arts groups could not operate without the input of volunteers.

Committee volunteers are slightly more likely to be women and aged over 40.
9% of committee members are under 25.

In addition to committee members, a further 29% of participants give their
time to help arts groups run.

60% of voluntary arts groups undertake activities to benefit others in the
community.

Groups estimate the total voluntary input of all volunteers equates to 5% of
the adult population or 2,100 full time workers a year. The Participation Survey
indicates more than double this, with 12% of the adult population having
assisted voluntary arts groups in the past year.

Volunteering in the voluntary cultural sector equates to up to a third of all
formal volunteering in Northern Ireland, second only to volunteering in sport
and recreation.

Two third of arts volunteers are over 35. Those over 65 and in the ABC1
socio-economic grouping are most likely to volunteer. This profile is almost
identical to that for volunteers across the whole voluntary and community
sector.




viii   Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The voluntary cultural sector is slightly more likely to attract volunteers not in
work or in full time education, male volunteers and volunteers from the
Catholic community than the voluntary sector in general.

Arts volunteering, like volunteering in general, is lowest in the North region
(County Antrim, excluding Belfast City).

Arts volunteers are 50% more likely to assist their group fortnightly or more
frequently than volunteers in general.

Half of those assisting arts groups volunteer at least 25 weeks in a year, one
third for less than 4 weeks.

Those who volunteer least frequently are most likely to be aged over 50 and in
social groupings D and E.

Those who volunteer most often are most likely to be aged 16 - 20 and in
socio-economic group C2.

The voluntary cultural sector engages volunteers on a strong, ongoing basis
throughout the year and also draws in further volunteers, particularly from
socio-economic classes D and E, on an occasional or once a year basis.

Arts groups rely heavily upon word of mouth to recruit volunteers.

The voluntary arts sector is less likely to pay volunteer expenses than the
voluntary sector in general.

Few voluntary arts groups provide volunteers with training relating to
Management, Fundraising, Marketing or other non-arts skills.

HUMAN RESOURCES: EMPLOYMENT

Under a third of voluntary arts groups employ contracted staff. Those that do
are equally likely to employ workers on permanent contracts, fixed term
contracts or a mixture of both.

The average level of employment per group in the voluntary arts sector is 3.5
times lower than in the voluntary and community sector in general, and there is
a greater dependence on part-time employees.

The provision of non-arts training for staff in the voluntary arts sector is
underdeveloped.

Over half of the groups in the voluntary arts sector provide either regular or
occasional employment for artists in an art-related role.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   ix
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



FINANCIAL RESOURCES

60% of voluntary arts groups have a turnover of under £6,000 per annum, one
fifth operating on under £1,000 a year. 11% have annual budgets exceeding
£50,000.

Over two thirds of voluntary arts groups have received some form of grant aid.

Local Authorities are the most usual source of grant aid, followed by Trusts and
the National Lottery Distributors’ combined small grants scheme, Awards for
All.

Three quarters of voluntary arts groups have two or fewer grant funders.
45% have just one source of grant aid, most usually the local Council.

The voluntary cultural sector has a greater dependence on earned and donated
income and a lower level of reliance on statutory funding than the voluntary
and community sector as a whole.

One third of voluntary arts groups gain 80% or more of their income from
earnings.

Income from Trusts to the voluntary arts sector is underdeveloped and income
from investments is non-existent in comparison with the voluntary and
community sector in general.

Three quarters of voluntary arts groups make some form of charge for
participation. Although two thirds offer student discounts and a third reduce
rates for children and those not in work, there is concern that fees may present
a barrier to participation.

OTHER RESOURCES

Just under a fifth of voluntary arts groups are based in premises which they
describe as inadequate and one fifth in premises described as excellent.

Under half of the premises used for meetings or rehearsals have full wheelchair
access and a quarter have no such access.

Full wheelchair access is available in 60% of cases where groups use their
premises for arts events.

There is better wheelchair access for audiences at performances than for
participants at regular meetings.

One fifth of groups using their regular premises for arts events have use of an
induction loop, minicom or Braille signage.




x      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Under half (45%) of groups have office or arts equipment; a small minority
describe it as inadequate.

60% of voluntary arts groups own or have use of an email facility.


NON - FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

The voluntary arts sector has fewer relationships with a narrower range of
funders than the voluntary and community sector as a whole. The majority
(84%) of voluntary arts groups relate to just one Local Authority, and the same
proportion run their activities entirely themselves.

Network and umbrella bodies make up less than 10% of the voluntary arts
sector. This is a significantly weaker infrastructure than in the voluntary and
community sector, where 53% of groups have a networking or resource role
towards others, and 16% are umbrellas having a membership structure.

The music sector is best provided with support organisations, and there has
been a recent growth in umbrella or network bodies covering a particular
culture or Council area.

Just over half of the arts infrastructure bodies focus their support primarily on
voluntary arts groups; the balance support a particular art form across both the
professional and voluntary sectors.

The majority of voluntary arts infrastructure bodies do not employ staff.

Just under half of all voluntary arts groups are in membership of one or more
umbrella bodies.

Voluntary arts groups have not joined umbrella bodies in the voluntary and
community sector in any great numbers.

Local Authority Arts Officers, arts umbrella bodies and local rural community
networks are the main sources of information and advice for voluntary arts
groups.

Information, advice and facilities, including group insurance, are the umbrella
body services that groups most use or value.

One in two voluntary arts groups have participated in consultations with a
public body – most usually the Local Authority or the Arts Council of Northern
Ireland. Fewer than 5% have engaged in consultations with Departments or
European bodies.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   xi
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003




5
USES & BENEFITS OF VOLUNTARY ARTS

Voluntary arts groups are active across a range of areas of social and economic
benefit.

Over two thirds of groups in the voluntary cultural sector applied the arts to
cross community activities; a third worked with children or young people in
education; and a similar proportion contributed to community regeneration;
raised funds for other charities and took part in cross border activities. More
than a quarter used arts to promote life long learning, adult education or to
work with older people.

Participation in the voluntary arts produces benefits for the individual in relation
to personal development, education, social inclusion and well being.

The single greatest benefit of participation in the voluntary arts, as identified by
individual participants, was personal enjoyment and satisfaction.

Almost half of the participants in voluntary arts groups identified meeting new
people as a benefit of their arts activities.

Individual benefits identified by over a quarter of participants included learning
new skills, being able to give something back to the community and staying in
good mental or physical health.

Arts participants are more likely to identify health, education and learning
benefits than volunteers across the whole of the voluntary and community
sector.




6
CURRENT AND FUTURE NEEDS

Securing funding and increasing the number and range of participants and
audiences are issues seen as vital to their own future by over 60% of groups.

Almost one group in two considers recruiting and retaining volunteers or
securing improved facilities as being very important to their future.

The need to source and engage arts tutors and artists is an important issue for
over 50% of voluntary art groups. The sector holds great potential for
providing employment for artists.

A lack of funding for marketing is considered the single biggest factor restricting
audience growth, followed by a shortage of volunteers, suitable venues and
marketing skills.




xii    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



One third of voluntary arts groups have some spare spaces for participants.
48% find it difficult to recruit participants.

18% of adults said they were likely to take part in voluntary arts activities in the
future. This figure would rise significantly if barriers to participation were
reduced.

Almost half of the adults surveyed would participate if they had more time.

Time (40%), local availability (22%), subject choice (17%) and affordability
(13%) were the single most important factors determining participation.

Men, those living in the North region, people in the Protestant community,
those aged 25 to 34 and people in socio-economic groups C2, D and E were
least likely to believe they would participate in the voluntary arts.

Less than a third of groups have any sort of written plan. 62% would like to
develop plans if appropriate support was available, fundraising and marketing
plans being those most often requested.

Only 5% of voluntary arts groups have conducted research relevant to their
work.

The most important issues facing the voluntary arts sector as a whole and
identified by over 50% of groups were a voluntary arts support body, attracting
younger people, a regional development strategy, increased recognition, a voice
for the sector, links with Councils and improved information flow.

Voluntary arts groups are not in decline. 64% intend to expand current arts
activities or develop new ones in the next two years.

The voluntary arts sector exhibits high levels of sustainability and has the
potential to make an even greater contribution to building social capital.




7
THE ROADSHOWS

This section presents conclusions from the Roadshows that are not covered by
previous chapters.

Voluntary arts groups perceive there to be few sources of grant aid open to
them and tend to view the criteria, application and reporting procedures of
funders as inappropriate to the scale and focus of voluntary arts groups.

Groups find most difficulty in attracting grants in respect of running costs.

Most groups seek to engage employees only when they cannot secure skilled
volunteers.


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   xiii
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Groups have a great concern for artistic excellence and find difficulty in
securing skilled artists and arts technicians to assist them in this regard.

Voluntary arts groups have difficulty in sourcing neutral, affordable premises
which provide adequate equipment and full disability access.

Voluntary arts groups request assistance to develop the number and range of
people they engage with whether as participants or as audiences. Groups are
especially concerned to find ways to make participation more attractive to
younger people.

Most groups reflect the community in which they operate and generally prefer
a ‘colour-blind’ approach to the community affiliations of participants.

Affordable transport is of concern to groups operating in rural areas or working
primarily with young people or the elderly.

There is a huge desire for increased recognition by funders, policy makers and
the public of the value of voluntary arts.

The information, advice and training provided by the voluntary sector cannot
be fully utilised by voluntary arts groups, because it is not set in the context of
small arts organisations operating primarily on a voluntary basis.

Groups are concerned about operating in a ‘claim culture’ and request
contextualised information on the law and good practice in managing a range of
risks.

Local Authority Arts Officers are a crucial source of support for voluntary arts
groups. Their time and resources are not indefinite, and groups can not always
access hands-on support to the extent required.

Groups belonging to arts umbrellas are better able to source insurance, tutors,
demonstrators and other art form support and so can focus more time and
resources on local provision.

The Roadshows were often the first time voluntary arts groups had met. Not
all Local Authorities have Arts Committees or Fora and not all such bodies
have members drawn from the voluntary arts sector.

Voluntary arts groups would welcome the opportunity to build networks,
provided that these were structured to be time and cost efficient.




xiv    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Please see Chapter Eight for the context and detail of the recommendations.

1. Resources – Funding

   1.1. Plans to develop future income streams should seek to preserve the
        sector’s sustainability and independence by building upon its ability
        to raise funds through earnings and local community based
        fundraising.

   1.2. Funders should seek means to secure the foundations of voluntary
        arts activity as a sustainable base on which to build participation in
        the arts.

   1.3. The Arts Council should consider developing a programme of
        capacity building support for groups with a demonstrable potential
        for development. The programme should not be limited to grant
        aid, but should encompass providing development support through
        a partnership of the Arts Council, Arts Officers and Voluntary Arts
        Ireland, backed by development workers and specialist trainers.

   1.4. Funders and resource bodies should review their lines of
        communication with the voluntary arts sector and ‘volunteer’ proof
        their communications, programmes and processes.

   1.5. Funders should review their guidelines to ensure there is plain
        language clarity regarding the aims of the funding programme and
        size of grant available and should publish a clear scoring system so
        that potential applicants can assess their likely match with the
        criteria before applying.

   1.6. Funders should seek to ensure that application and reporting
        procedures are commensurate with the level of risk involved.

   1.7. Funders should be open to helping groups develop proposals before
        a formal application is made.

   1.8. Funders should consider providing ‘research and feasibility’ funding
        to enable groups to conduct research and/or engage expert advice
        in developing proposals for later submission.

   1.9. The rejection of applications should be approached by funders as a
        development opportunity, and applicants should receive a clear
        explanation for refusal.




      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   xv
                  Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



      1.10. Funders should avoid making refusals on the grounds of minor
            inaccuracies in completed forms.

      1.11. Awards for All has had a positive reception and should be
            continued and extended.

      1.12. Groups, in conjunction with the relevant umbrella bodies, should
            review the role of adjudicators and seek ways to make the most of
            their skills. Funders should consider funding adjudicators as part of
            their endeavours to raise artistic standards and levels of skill.

      1.13. The Arts Council and/or DCAL should instigate a pilot project to
            provide multi-year funding to key resource agencies in order to
            provide increased stability in the developing infrastructure.

      1.14. The Arts Council, Arts Managers Groups, Community Relations
            Council, DCAL, key infrastructure bodies and other appropriate
            voluntary sector agencies should establish a system to ensure the
            timely communication of information between funders and those
            delivering support and advice to the sector.


2. Human and Other Resources

      2.1. The Arts Council should facilitate the employment of artists by
           voluntary arts groups seeking to enhance their standards of
           performance.

      2.2. Councils and area re-development agencies should consider
           providing voluntary arts centres when seeking ways to revitalise
           areas or bring buildings back into use.

      2.3. Funders and Voluntary Arts Ireland should consider how groups
           might access support from peripatetic support workers at key
           development points (e.g. applications, reporting, development
           planning) as a complement to the work of Arts Officers.

      2.4. Local authorities should consider offering discounts on arts venues
           to local voluntary arts groups as ‘gifts in kind’ alongside their current
           art grants schemes.

      2.5. Funders are encouraged to extend support for repairs and minor
           renovations to venues located in small, rural communities so that
           arts groups can continue to provide activities at a very local level.




xvi      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
              Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



  2.6. Arts Officers should investigate the feasibility of establishing a local
       authority system for sharing, swapping or renting affordable
       equipment and storage space.

  2.7. The expertise in volunteer management and development that
       exists in volunteer and community development infrastructure
       bodies should be contextualised to make it accessible to the
       voluntary arts sector.


3. Participation and Audience Development

  3.1. The sector needs to find ways to match opportunities to participate
       to the lifestyles adopted by people in the 21st century. A research
       project to examine the position of arts participation within the
       context of the other choices available in the entertainment and
       leisure industry is indicated.

  3.2. To increase the sector’s skills and confidence in Audience
       Development, research should be undertaken to gather together,
       edit and disseminate relevant literature and the experiences of
       those successfully engaged in Audience Development.

  3.3. Arts funders wishing to pursue a social agenda need to find creative
       and facilitative ways to develop the focus on social inclusion
       amongst voluntary arts groups.

  3.4. The relevant funding, policy and infrastructure bodies should work
       together to develop and resource a strategy to increase the skills
       and confidence of voluntary arts groups in relation to their
       contribution to good relations.

  3.5. Information and training in respect of increasing access to the arts
       for people with disabilities should be contextualised and more
       widely circulated amongst voluntary arts groups.

  3.6. Voluntary arts groups should seek to address transport issues by
       forming links to accessible transport schemes. Funders should
       consider providing assistance towards the cost to volunteers of
       offering transport to those who could not otherwise take part.

  3.7. Groups that have been successful in attracting a wider range of
       participants should be enabled to share their experience with
       others. A short case study report, drawing out transferable ideas
       would be one means of achieving this, as would regular area
       networking events and an annual Voluntary Arts Ireland conference.




     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   xvii
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



4. Information and Training

    4.1. The range of information currently available needs to be assessed,
         organised, contextualised and promoted to the sector in order to
         increase its accessibility. Priorities for information, support and
         training include:
               •     Funding sources and fundraising techniques.
               •     Skilled local artists and arts advisers.
               •     Volunteer recruitment, development and management.
               •     Audience and participation development .
               •     Sources of managerial and organisational development
                     support.
               •     Developing accessibility.
               •     Legal requirements and standards of good practice re:
                     Child Protection, Health and Safety, Insurance, etc.

    4.2. Providing accessible information and training needs to be
         complemented by hands-on facilitation to provide groups with the
         capacity to interpret and apply it to their own work. This could be
         achieved through extending the number of arts officers and/or
         providing a team of peripatetic development workers to work in
         partnership with a number of Councils across a given area.


5. Recognition

    5.1. The inclusion of voluntary arts in the Arts Council of Northern
         Ireland five year plan is welcome, and similar consideration should
         be given to the sector in the strategic thinking of public bodies
         charged with developing the arts, voluntary activity, active
         citizenship, community infrastructure and life long learning.

    5.2. All Councils and Local Strategic Partnerships should recognise the
         existence and needs of the voluntary arts sector in their cultural
         plans. They should seek means to consult the sector and consider
         developing ways to map and measure the extent of voluntary arts
         activity in the area.

    5.3. All area arts committees and local partnerships should include
         representation from the voluntary arts sector as should working
         groups/committees related to volunteering and voluntary activity.

    5.4. The Arts Council, local authorities and Voluntary Arts Ireland
         should work together to formulate a strategy for building on the
         healthy level of participation in the voluntary arts sector by
         recognising and celebrating its achievements.



xviii   Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



  5.5. Public bodies involved in developing the arts or voluntary activity
       should seek means to demonstrate their recognition of the needs of
       voluntary arts sector through a programme of visiting areas outside
       of Belfast, regionalising services where possible and holding
       meetings and functions outside of office hours.

  5.6. The Arts Council, local authorities, the Tourist Board and DCAL
       should work together to identify ways to realise the potential that
       voluntary arts events hold for enhancing cultural tourism.

  5.7. The infrastructure bodies within the voluntary arts sector should
       come together to identify practical means to raise the profile of the
       sector and build its capacity to contribute to policy development
       and coherently advocate its needs to policy makers.


6. Infrastructure Support and Networks

  6.1. Each local authority area should have, as a minimum, one Arts
       Officer’s post with cover provided during periods of leave.

  6.2. Arts Officers should have access to support resources on which
       they can call in fulfilling their role of assisting voluntary arts groups
       including:
            •      A list of tutors, artists, conductors etc. available to
                   support voluntary arts groups.
            •      A guide to funding sources for arts and voluntary activity.
            •      Research information and trends analysis.
            •      A guide to organisational development resources suited
                   to the needs of voluntary arts groups.
            •      A list of other voluntary arts groups, so that those
                   operating in the same area or field of interest might be
                   contacted to advise or support others.
            •      Information and resources relating to constitutions,
                   charitable status and the legal requirements applying to
                   voluntary arts activities.

  6.3. To stimulate networking, partnership building, resource sharing and
       the exchange of good practice, regional networking events should
       be organised in a manner that best suits volunteer attendance.

  6.4. The publications and websites of funders and sector infrastructure
       bodies should be developed as means to disseminate examples of
       good practice.




     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   xix
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



     6.5. Researchers in the voluntary and arts sectors should seek means to
          share their plans and findings and make data available to the sector.
          A co-operative network of researchers would help to avoid
          duplication in research effort and encourage compatibility of data.

     6.6. Groups should adopt committee structures that include posts or
          sub-committees with specific responsibility for networking, planning
          and linking with the Council so that these important, but not often
          urgent, matters are brought to the fore and attended to.

     6.7. Voluntary Arts Ireland should continue to seek ways to link the
          sector to the skills and resources available in the wider voluntary
          and community sector, contextualising these where necessary and
          should continue to raise awareness of the societal benefits of the
          voluntary arts.




xx      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                  Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Chapter One - The Level and Nature of Participation

Adult Involvement and Participation in the Arts

There are a range of sources of information on arts participation in the UK.
Unfortunately, none are directly comparable.

In 2001, a Scottish Arts Council survey1 concluded that 85% of the adult
population had attended arts events in the past year and 78% had
participated. However, this latter figure included activities such as reading
books (70%) and covered professional as well as voluntary involvement.

Similar research for the Arts Council England2 established that 79% had
attended at least one arts event in the past 12 months and 87 % of adults
had participated in arts activities in the last year. Again this figure included
reading books (73%) buying a book (49%) and clubbing (25%).

In 1994, a Voluntary Arts Network3(VAN) report re-analysed data from a
1991 Arts Council of Great Britain commissioned survey of 10,000 people.
This showed that 53% of all adults in Great Britain took part in arts or
crafts activity other than as their profession.

‘Across the Learning Divide’4 research into adult learning in the arts, in
1998, gave the following national rates for adults who regularly take part in
arts and crafts: England – 57%, Wales – 48%, Scotland – 51%.

An unpublished survey for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI)
conducted in 2002 found that 31% of adults had attended an arts activity
and 17% had taken part in the arts at some point and just 9% had taken
part in the arts in the past year alone. There was no definition of ‘arts
activities’ given and it is unlikely that most people considered clubbing or
reading as arts activities when answering.

The Voluntary Arts Ireland Participation Survey of 1,010 people across
Northern Ireland in October 2002 found that in the previous twelve
months, more than 12% of adults had taken part in arts or crafts activities
organised by a voluntary arts group. Taking the population as a whole, this
represents 160,600 adults.




1
  Attendance at, participation in and attitudes towards the arts. Scottish Arts Council. 2002.
2
  Skelton, et al. Arts attendance, participation and attitudes in England. October, 2001.
  Report of a study carried out by Social Survey Division of the Office for National Statistics.
3
  Strengthening Foundations. Voluntary Arts Network. 1994.
4
  Carlton and Sargant. Across the Learning Divide. Adults learning in the arts and crafts.
  National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. 1998.


        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann           1
                      Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The Participation Survey also asked those who had not taken part through
voluntary arts groups if they had participated in arts in any other way. 5%
had practised arts on their own, 3% had with a few friends as an informal
group and just 1% had done so by taking part in a course or workshop run
by a local college or council or other group.

Taken together, this suggests that 21% of adults can be said to have actively
participated in the arts over the past year for reasons other than profit.

This finding highlights the need for further clarification of the 9%
participation figure produced by the ACNI survey. Plans for further study
by both the Arts Council and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure
during 2003 will, when published, provide a better understanding of the
perception of what is and is not art and the degree of participation.


Participation through Voluntary Arts Groups

The VAI Participation Survey asked people specifically if they had taken part
in arts activities through a voluntary arts group (as opposed to a class run by
the public sector, such as in a college or Council, or a private business).

Over 12% of adults in Northern Ireland had done so during the twelve
months to October 2002. Taking the population as a whole, this represents
160,600 adults.

The Scottish Arts Council survey5asked people if they took part in the arts
through classes, clubs or groups. Although the survey did not specify if these
were volunteer-led groups, it is likely that many were.

The published figures do not give an overall percentage of the population,
but do show the percentage taking part in each art form. As respondents
could give more than one response, a simple summing of the percentages is
not possible. However, the chart below shows that the level of
participation through groups is comparable to those in Northern Ireland,
although the Scottish figures include those who took classes and this will
inflate the Scottish figures.

The Arts Council England6 research also asked about involvement in classes,
clubs and groups. 9% of adults in England had attended art classes or
lessons, considerably more than the NI figure of 1%. 8% had taken part
through clubs or groups. 2% of the population had engaged in a choir, 2%
in music making, 2% in drama and 2% in dance. Other art forms involved a
lesser percentage of the population and were not specified in the report.


5
    SCA, ibid.
6
    Skelton et al. ibid.


2          Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                                              Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Diagram 1 presents the available information for involvement in the arts
through groups, clubs or lessons in England and Scotland and through
voluntary arts groups in Northern Ireland.

                                          Diagram 1: Comparison of Participation through Groups, Clubs and
                                        Classes in Past 12 Months by Art Form across Northern Ireland, England
                                                                    and Scotland
                             6.00
  % of National Population




                             4.00




                             2.00




                             0.00
                                      Craft        Dance       Drama        Music       Singing        Textile     Visual      Writing
                             N. Ireland - Voluntary Groups   Scotland - All Groups, Clubs or Lessons    England - Groups and Clubs (top 4)




Total Participatory Attendances

The equivalent of computing, say, the total number of tickets sold to adults
for all professional arts events in a year is to calculate the number of times
individuals take part in the arts through the groups they attend.

The autumn survey of groups gathered data on how frequently members
met. The average was 27 meetings per annum. If this is multiplied by
number of people taking part in such groups (as established by the
Participation Survey) it gives a result of 4.3 million ‘participatory
attendances’ by adults over one year.

However, the use of a straight average does not accurately reflect the
distribution of frequencies with which groups meet. As Diagram 2
illustrates, over a quarter of groups meet every week (i.e. between 48 and
52 times a year) and in all, 77% meet 12 or more times per year. Using this
distribution to calculate the proportion of participants meeting weekly,
fortnightly, monthly and so on, gives a total of 4.5million participatory
attendances at regular meetings - equivalent to every participant attending
just one art group 28 times a year.




                                Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann                                  3
                      Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



                 Diagram 2: Frequency of Regular Group Meetings (Group Survey 114)


         Three Times a Week

               Twice a Week

                     Weekly

        Three Times a Month

              Twice a Month

                    Monthly

     Between 5 and 9 per Year

                   Quarterly

                  Less Often

                                0%   5%     10%      15%      20%      25%      30%      35%




In addition to their regular meetings, 30% of groups meet for rehearsals an
average of 42 times a year. Again, it is possible to plot the frequency of
rehearsals against the numbers taking part. The resulting figure is reduced
by 44%, as only those 56% of people who take part in performance arts
are likely to be involved in rehearsals. This process gives a total of 3.8
million participatory attendances at rehearsals. Thus, between regular
activities and rehearsals, the sector provides over 8 million participatory
opportunities a year.

This figure does not include attendance as part of an audience at a voluntary
arts event. Because several groups perform at the same event (e.g. Drama
Festivals, Band Competitions, Feis), the audience figures gathered by the
survey included double counting and are insufficient to produce an accurate
estimate of the size of the total audience for the voluntary arts. However,
given figures that are known (e.g. voluntary drama groups attract audiences
totalling 250,000 people a year7) and the astonishing level of attendance at
band competitions or performances and local dance and speech festivals, an
estimate of audience figures of the same order as those for participatory
attendances would not be impossible.




7
    Michael McGimpsey, MLA. DCAL Press Release 24/01/01.


4          Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



A Note on Low Levels of Arts Involvement but High Levels of
Voluntary Arts Activity

During almost three decades of the ‘Troubles’ the people of Northern
Ireland are acknowledged as having adopted a life style that involved not
going out, or at least of not straying far from one’s own area in search of
entertainment.

Analysis of existing groups for which start dates are known (400) reveals
that almost half were formed between 1969 and 1994. One explanation
may be that people chose to establish their own local group in order to
avoid travelling to attend activities elsewhere. It might also be explained as
an ‘active citizen’ response to the limitations imposed by the times.

This interpretation would account for the great extent to which arts
participation in Northern Ireland rests on involvement in local voluntary arts
groups. It also lends support to the oft repeated anecdotal statement that,
alongside the Arts Council/ Local Government’s programme of professional
tours, the voluntary arts sector, and in particular the voluntary drama
sector, played a key role, in keeping theatre and artistic activity alive and,
more importantly, accessible, during the worst of times.

The sector is not, however, stagnant, and new groups form each year.

Although only 17% of recorded voluntary arts groups were established
since 1995, the rate at which surviving groups formed rose from 8 a year
(1969-1994) to 17 a year following the ceasefires of the mid 1990’s.

Two explanations come immediately to the fore. First, that the major
impact European ‘Peace’ funding had on the wider voluntary sector, also
had an effect in the voluntary cultural sector. This is certainly the case in
regards to community arts groups. An unpublished 2001 Community Arts
Review shows a clear ‘spike’ in group formation coinciding with the flow of
European ‘Peace’ funding. The VAI survey, however, found less evidence of
volunteer-led arts groups having been able to access European funding and
any impact is likely to be less pronounced and of a more indirect nature.

The second, and more likely explanation is that, the Troubles were a major
cause of low participation in the arts, and in their absence people now feel
more confident about expressing themselves creatively and joining with
others to do so.

Whatever the influences on the growth of the voluntary arts sector in
Northern Ireland, one thing is clear: Rates of growth have been insufficient
to deliver the levels of participation in the arts and crafts found elsewhere in
the UK.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   5
                        Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Art Form Choices

Figures giving participation by art form are not available for the 9% of those
who claimed to have taken part in the past year in reply to the ACNI
survey. However, we can compare the choices made by all participants in
England and Scotland during 2001/2002 with those made by people
participating through voluntary arts groups in Northern Ireland during the
same period as measured by the VAI Participation Survey.

Diagram 3 shows that participation in Northern Ireland is dominated by the
performing arts.


              Diagram 3: Percentage of the Total Adult Population Participating in Arts in
                                the Previous 12 Months by Art Form
                    Data drawn from VAI Participation survey, Arts Council England, Scottish Arts Council per notes page 1



         Writing



      Visual Arts



          Crafts



    Performance


                    0                5                10                15                 20                25              30
                                                           % of National Population
           England - All Participation          Scotland - All Participation           NI - Participation in Vol Arts Groups



Some of the difference between NI and elsewhere can be accounted for by
the fact that the NI figures relate only to activities in groups and those from
England and Scotland do not. Nonetheless, the pattern reflects that in
Diagram 1, which presented information on participation in groups, and
thus confirms the dominance of the performing arts.

A more detailed look at the art forms pursued by participants in voluntary
art groups in Northern Ireland shows that together Music, Dance and
Singing account for 54% of all participation (Diagram 4).

This emphasis on the performing arts seems in part due to the distinctive
culture of the place. For example, participation in Bands (Accordion, Brass,
Concert, Drum Flute, Fife, Pipe and Silver) accounts for 45% of
participation in music as a performer or player. Northern Ireland’s higher
level of church attendance may go some way to explaining the strong choral
tradition with choirs accounting for two-thirds of participation in song.




6      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                    Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



A local cultural influence is also seen in dance, with almost a quarter of
survey respondents who engaged in dancing doing so in a form that was
either ‘Irish’ or ‘Scottish’ in nature.

Whilst participation in weaving, dying, spinning, patchwork and quilting is
relatively strong in Northern Ireland, very few respondents took part in
other textile crafts, such as knitting, lace and dress-making. This may be
because the survey focused on activities undertaken in the context of a
group, and it is possible that these are still largely ‘household’ tasks
undertaken alone and at home.

Whether because of the wider choice of local art forms, or because they
are pursued outside of voluntary groups, participation in the visual and
written arts is considerably weaker in Northern Ireland than elsewhere.

Not shown are activities pursued by less than 1% of participants. These
included Heritage and History (0.7% of participants), Festivals and Carnivals
(0.6%) and the Irish or Ulster Scots language (0.4%)

Even if Local Languages and Story Telling are included and reallocated to
Literature/Writing, this art form is not pursued to any great extent though
group activity, a somewhat surprising result in an area where the common
belief is that creative writing and the oral tradition are strong.


            Diagram 4: Popularity of Art Forms Amongst Participants in Voluntary Arts
                      Groups in Northern Ireland (Participation Survey 126)
              30%

              25%

              20%

              15%

              10%

               5%

               0%
                                                         hy
                                                           ir




                                                           ft




                                                           h
                                                           e
                                                         ce




                                                         fts




                                                           s
                                                           e




                                                           e




                                                         fts


                                                          ic
                                                         os




                                                        ie
                                                       ur
                                                       bl




                                                       rs
                                                        is
                                                      ho




                                                       ra




                                                      us
                                                     an




                                                     ap
                                                    de




                                                     ra
                                                     ra




                                                    or
                                                    /Ir
                                                    m




                                                   ea
                                                    pt
                                                     C
                                                    C




                                                 lM
                                                   C




                                                   C
                                                  D




                                                 gr
                                                 se




                                                  Vi


                                                 sh




                                                 St
                                                 ul
                                                ile




                                                eh
                                               /In




                                              er




                                                d
                                              er




                                              to




                                             na
                                            Sc
                                            En




                                             tti
                                             or




                                            or
                                            xt




                                             R




                                           oo
                                           ce




                                           th
                                           th




                                          ho
                                         co




                                         tio
                                         Te
                                         d/




                                         or
                                          s
                                        or




                                          s

                                        W
                                        O
                                       en


                                        O




                                     ilm




                                      tP




                                       ay
                                      an




                                     -S




                                      di
                                    rm
                                      g
                                    di




                                    Pl




                                   ra
                                  Ar
                                 t/B




                                   in

                                  tF
                               Au




                                 ce




                                 fo




                                /T
                               ak




                                g
                              Ar
                             en




                             er
                            an




                             in




                            lk
                           to




                         t-M




                        -P
                         m




                         rit




                        Fo
                          e


                         D
                       ak
                      ng
                       ru




                     rin




                      W
                      al




                      a
                     M
                    st


                    Si




                   on




                    m
                   ,P
                  In




                 ra
                iti
                w




              D
    ay




             ad
             ra
  Pl




           D




          Tr
        t,
      in
    Pa




As the first such survey, the results of the Participation Survey should be
viewed with some caution as, unless a second can be undertaken, there is
no way of establishing if it provides an accurate benchmark. Support for the
pattern of participation, however, can be found by looking at the nature of
voluntary arts groups as measured by the Group Surveys.




         Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann    7
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Analysis of the 773 groups where art form is recorded shows clearly the
predominance of performing arts (Diagram 5).

Some 59% of groups focus exclusively on Music, Dance, Singing or Drama.
Again, bands and choirs feature strongly, the former accounting for 63% of
all music groups and the latter for over 90% of groups engaged in song.

In this analysis of group activity, Theatre, the Visual arts and Literature fare
rather better than in the survey of individual participation. This might in part
be explained if, as is likely, such groups have fewer members than, say
bands or choirs, a smaller number of people are thereby being served by a
greater number of groups.

The Cross Form category covers groups that use a number of art forms.
Of these, 26% were groups promoting art in general across a particular
area or town, 22% were Community Groups running art projects as part of
their work in the community, 18% were arts groups offering a range of art
forms to specific groups (e.g. youth, people with disabilities), 17% were
Festivals involving more than one art form and 15% were groups using a
number of art forms to explore and promote the Irish or Ulster Scots
cultures.


           Diagram 5: Voluntary Arts Groups in Northern Ireland by Main Art Form
                             Practised (All Group Surveys 773)
              Dance rises to 8% if 'Traditional' groups providing Irish dancing are re-allocated



                                             Other Craft
                               Traditional
                                              4% 3%
                                  4%                               Music
                               Dance                                25%
                                 5%
                            Literature
                                8%


                                Song
                                 9%
                                                                     Theatre
                                    Visual                            20%
                                     10%
                                               Cross Form
                                                  12%




The predominance of performing arts groups can be partly explained by the
fact that choral singing, play acting and band performances, by definition,
require a group of participants and can involve costly equipment or venues
that could only be accessed by the resources of a group of people. In
contrast, embroidery and writing can practised with a minimum of
equipment, in the home or non-specialised venues and without the need for
other participants.




8      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The VAI Participation Survey did ask people who had not taken part in the
arts though groups whether they had participated either at home or
informally with a group of friends, and gained positive replies from 5% and
3% respectively. It did not enquire as to the art form pursued, but if these
8% took part predominantly in crafts and the written arts, this might in part
redress the balance.

Given the general low level of participation in general, a more detailed
survey into the extent to which the different art forms are practised by
people on an individual basis (i.e. outside of voluntary groups) would help to
establish the degree to which participation is encouraged and fostered by
belonging to a group.




       CHAPTER ONE - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The overall level of adult involvement in arts activities (i.e. whether professional
or voluntary, undertaken through groups, lessons or alone) is significantly lower
in Northern Ireland than in England, Scotland and Wales.

In one year over 12% of the adult population participates in the arts through
voluntary arts groups in Northern Ireland.

Adult participation in the arts through groups is more prevalent in Northern
Ireland than in England and is equal to if not greater than in Scotland.

Voluntary arts activity equates to 71% of all adult participation in and
attendance at arts events in Northern Ireland.

The voluntary arts sector is the lead provider of participatory opportunities in
Northern Ireland and without it levels of arts participation would be
considerably lower.

Voluntary arts groups in Northern Ireland provide 8.1m adult participatory
attendances a year and also provide high levels of audience attendances,
possibly of the same order.

Arts participation and the voluntary arts sector are predominated by the
performing arts.

Participation in literature/writing, dance, certain crafts and the visual arts is
comparatively weak.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   9
                                                            Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Chapter Two - The Nature of Participants

Gender
The Participation Survey found that men and women were equally likely to
take part in voluntary arts groups. However, men were far more likely than
women to be involved in music and the visual arts. Craft, by contrast, is
predominantly a female activity, and women were slightly more likely than
men to take part in dance groups.

                                                           Diagram 6: Participation Rates per 100 by Artform and Gender
                                                                             (Participation Survey 126)
  Participation Rate per 100 of Population




                                             9.0
                                             8.0
                                             7.0
                                             6.0
                                             5.0
                                             4.0
                                             3.0
                                             2.0
                                             1.0
                                             0.0
                                                                                                                         e
                                                                         er
                                                     ll



                                                            d




                                                                                         ng




                                                                                                                 a




                                                                                                                                   ge
                                                                                   al




                                                                                                                                            er
                                                                                                      ft
                                                                                               ce
                                                   -A




                                                                                                                         ag
                                                                                                             m
                                                           an




                                                                                                      ra
                                                                                 su
                                                                       th




                                                                                                                                        th
                                                                                               an




                                                                                                                               it a
                                                                                        So




                                                                                                             ra
                                                                                                     C




                                                                                                                       gu
                                                          B


                                                                   -O




                                                                                                                                        O
                                                                              Vi
                                               ic




                                                                                              D




                                                                                                                               er
                                                                                                            D


                                                                                                                     an
                                             us




                                                                                                                              H
                                                                  ic




                                                                                                                   /L
                                             M




                                                                us




                                                                                                                   re
                                                            M




                                                                                                                 tu
                                                                                                             ra
                                                                                                            te
                                                                                                            Li




                                                                                        Men         Women



However, if data drawn from arts groups, rather than the survey of
individuals is analysed, it shows that, on average, 64% of participants in
voluntary arts groups are women.

The difference in the participation rates for women between the
Participation Survey and the groups’ survey might in part be explained if
women were more likely to participate in arts through groups, whilst men
opt for more individual approach. However, this is not supported by the
Participation Survey which found that of those who had not taken part
through a group, women were twice as likely as men to have engaged in an
artistic activity on their own or through a course.

The average gender make up of voluntary arts groups masks considerable
differences amongst art forms as is shown in Table 1.

The difference in the gender data between the Group Survey and
Participation Survey also arises because Music and Theatre are less likely to
engage female participants. Since performing arts groups predominate , the
greater proportion of men therein will mask the lower level of male
involvement in other art forms when figures are considered across all
groups.


10                                                 Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



 Table 1: Gender of Participants in Voluntary Arts Groups by Art Form
 (Group Survey 126)
 Groups’ Art Form Focus                                               % Women
 Craft                                                                   95
 Dance                                                                   66
 Visual Arts                                                             68
 Cross Art Form                                                          70
 Literature/Poetry                                                       62
 Theatre                                                                 61
 Music                                                                   49
 Average Across All Groups                                               64


That men are marginally in the majority within voluntary arts music groups
is to a great part explained by the predominance of bands within this sector.
Within the band sector just 40% of participants are women, a figure that
rises to between 62% and 65% in the case of folk, traditional, choral and
operatic music groups.


Religion/Community Background

The Participation Survey of 1010 individuals found that participation rates
were higher by 2% amongst those who identified themselves as being
Catholic.

 Table 2: Participants by Religion (Participation Survey 126)
 Self-Described Community Identity             Participating in Voluntary Arts
 Catholic                                                      13.6%
 Protestant                                                    11.8%
 Other/Not stated                                              10.0%
 All                                                           12.4%


Although the number of respondents per art form in the Participation
Survey is too small to draw firm conclusions, patterns are sufficiently
evident to conclude that the Protestant and Catholic communities have
different emphases in their arts activities and that these reflect cultural
traditions to the extent that the differences would be of little surprise to the
lay observer (Diagram 7). For example, there were ten art forms in which
Protestant respondents engaged but in which no Catholics participated. The
majority of these were bands, most especially flute bands.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   11
                                                                     Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



                                                              Diagram 7: Participation Rates per 100 Population by Art Form and Religion
                                                                                       (Participaton Survey 126)

                                                       6
     Participation Rate per 100 of Total Population

                                                       5

                                                       4

                                                       3

                                                       2

                                                       1

                                                       0




                                                                                                                                  gy
                                                                                                                 fts




                                                                                                                                               g
                                                                                                                                   ts
                                                             c



                                                                     ds




                                                                                  ir



                                                                                          ce




                                                                                                                                                     a
                                                                                                        fts
                                                              i




                                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                             in
                                                                                ho
                                                           us




                                                                                                                                Ar
                                                                                        an




                                                                                                                                lo
                                                                   an




                                                                                                               ra
                                                                                                      ra




                                                                                                                                                    ra
                                                                                                                                         r it
                                                                              /C
                                                        M




                                                                                                                             no
                                                                                                              C
                                                                                                     C




                                                                                                                             al
                                                                                       D
                                                                  B




                                                                                                                                                   D
                                                                                                                                        W
                                                                            ng




                                                                                                  s/




                                                                                                                           su
                                                         l




                                                                                                             er




                                                                                                                          ch
                                                      Al




                                                                                                  t
                                                                                               Ar
                                                                          So




                                                                                                           th



                                                                                                                        Vi



                                                                                                                       Te
                                                                                                          O
                                                                                            ile
                                                                                          xt
                                                                                        Te




                                                                                         Protestant                        Catholic



Likewise there were nine art forms in which Catholics participated but in
which Protestant respondents did not, Irish dance and Feis being most
notable.

Other art forms showed a different proclivity amongst the two main
communities for different art forms. However, it must be emphasised that
the number of respondents, when broken down across art form and
religion, is not sufficient to draw firm conclusions at this level and further
investigation is warranted.

The surveys of arts groups did not ask for information on religion as
previous sampling found that groups were not yet able or willing to monitor
or present this information, and it appeared that an aspirational ‘open to all’
answer would mask true figures. This is an area in which groups might be
assisted to develop and conduct data collection and monitoring.



Age

The Participation Survey found that 22% of those taking part in voluntary
arts were aged 17- 24 and 21% were over 65. Just 17% were aged 25 to
34, a time when family and work might be expected to dominate
commitments. However, a further 21% were aged 35 to 49 – by no means
an age in which nests are totally empty (Diagram 8).

What is perhaps more informative is to look at the likelihood of individuals
within each age group to be taking part.




12                                                         Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                                                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



                                                         Diagram 8: Age Profile of Voluntary Arts Participants
                                                                     (Participation Survey 126)



                                                                                 16-24
                                                                                  22%




                                                                                                         25-34
                                                                  65+
                                                                                                          17%
                                                                  21%




                                                                                                 35-49
                                                                        50-64
                                                                                                  21%
                                                                         19%




Diagram 9 compares participation rates for different age groups in
Northern Ireland with those established by the Arts Council England survey
of involvement through groups and classes. The profiles are not dissimilar.

In Northern Ireland 15% of those over 65 and 18% of people aged 16 to
24 took part in the voluntary arts in the last year; participation rates were
lower for those in the age groups from 25 to 64.

Thus, whilst these findings appear to support anecdotal evidence that
people discover and enjoy the arts once they have the time post retirement,
it also shows that young people are still taking up the challenge of creative
activity.

The figures also support the assertion that time may be a barrier to
participation for people during periods in their lives when nurturing family
and work is prioritised.

                                           Diagram 9: Comparison of Age Profiles of Participants in Arts Groups
                                            England and Northern Ireland (ACE 6042. Participation Survey 126)

                                 20
  % of Age Group Participating




                                 15


                                 10


                                 5


                                 0
                                                                           ge
                                     4


                                             4


                                                     9


                                                              4


                                                                            +




                                                                                     4


                                                                                             4


                                                                                                     4


                                                                                                             4


                                                                                                                     4


                                                                                                                             4


                                                                                                                                        +


                                                                                                                                         e
                                                                                                                                     ag
                                   -2


                                           -3


                                                   -4


                                                            -6




                                                                                   -2


                                                                                           -3


                                                                                                   -4


                                                                                                           -5


                                                                                                                   -6


                                                                                                                           -7
                                                                         65




                                                                                                                                      75
                                                                        ra
                                 16


                                         25


                                                 35


                                                          50




                                                                                 16


                                                                                         25


                                                                                                 35


                                                                                                         45


                                                                                                                 55


                                                                                                                         65




                                                                                                                                   er
                                                                     ve




                                                                                                                                 Av
                                                                   IA




                                                                                                                                   d
                                                                  N




                                                                                                                                 an
                                                                                                                               gl
                                                                                                                             En




                                             Northern Ireland                                             England




                                      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann                            13
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The figures supplied by groups in response to the Group Survey indicated
that 21% of participants were under 17. As the Participation Survey
concerned itself only with adults, and thus, the analysis of the groups’
response has been limited to those over 17. However, it is important to
note the large number of young people involved in art through the
voluntary cultural sector.

In broad agreement with the figures provided by the Participation Survey,
groups reported that 19% of adult participants were aged 18 to 25
(Diagram 10).

A key difference between the findings of the Participation and the Groups
Survey was the extent of involvement by the over 65’s, with groups
reporting just 12% of participants in this age range.

         Diagram 10: Age Profiles of Adult Participants Across All Voluntary Arts
                               Groups (Group Survey 70)



                                            18-25
                                             19%

                             65+
                             12%




                                                            26-40
                                                             30%




                               41-65
                                39%




The Group Survey shows 30% of participants to be aged 26-40. This is
surprising given the reports at Roadshows that this age group were so
focused on family or career that time did not allow their participation.

In both the participation and Group Surveys, there was an increase in
involvement after the late 30’s and 40’s suggesting that those who do move
away from participation in their mid-twenties may return to their art later
on in their lives. However, further research into patterns of involvement
and barriers to participation is indicated.


Socio-Economic Status

Of that 12% of the population which had participated in voluntary arts
groups in the past year, 59% were in socio-economic classes A,B or C1,
17% in C2 and 24% DE.



14    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                   Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



However, account must be taken of the different numbers of each group
within the survey sample (which reflected the NI population). By doing this,
it can be seen in Diagram 11 that 18% of people in classes A, B and C1 took
part as compared to 9.4% of those in C2 and 8.1% of people in classes D
and E.

It might be assumed that those who are out of work or retired have more
time available in which to pursue arts or crafts interests, and thus, the
relatively low level of participation by groups D and E suggests that factors
other than time, such as the cost of materials, uniforms, instruments,
transport and the like, might present barriers to participation.

           Diagram 11: Percentage of Each Socio-Economic Class Participating in the
                           Voluntary Arts (Participation Survey 126)
                                      For Definitions see page v.



                                 ABC1

   20.0



   15.0                                               C2
                                                                            DE

   10.0



    5.0



    0.0




The sensitivity of classifying people and perhaps a lack of experience in
doing so may both be reasons that groups were less likely to supply data
about socio-economic status than other factors.

            Diagram 12: Comparison of Socio-Economic Classification of Participants
                  with General Population (Group Survey 65 NI Census 2001)
   45

   40

   35

   30

   25

   20

   15

   10

   5

   0
              AB            C                D             E Benefits/Not        E Retired   E Student
                                                               Paid

                        % of Participants in Groups                 % of Population




          Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann                    15
                             Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Sixty-five groups did provide socio-economic data, and Diagram 12 differs
markedly from the Participation Survey profile. 61% of participants in
responding groups were in occupational groups D and E. The largest single
group were people not in paid work (42%). This group (E) comprises 31%
of the population, again suggesting time as a barrier to engagement. The
socio-economic group most under represented is C - those in Skilled
Manual, Junior Management or Senior Clerical occupations.

Diagram 13 controls for the varying size of arts groups by considering the
proportion of each group made up of those in classes D or E. Only 13%
had less than one quarter of their members in groups D and E whilst in
44% of arts groups, over 75% of members were in classed as such.

                         Diagram 13: Percentage of Groups having Different Proportions of
                         Participants in Socio-Economic Groups D and E (Group Survey 65)

                   50%


                   40%
     % of Groups




                   30%


                   20%


                   10%


                   0%
                            under 25%            25%-50%              50%-75%              over 75%
                                  % of Participants the Group in D and E Socio-Economic Groups




The contrast between the socio-economic findings of the Participation
Survey and the Group Survey may be partly explained by the group
respondents being less practiced in assessing socio-economics status. It is
also likely that the groups response is skewed since the sample is relatively
small (65 groups) and cross art form groups were slightly over-represented
amongst survey respondents. Such groups have a larger than average
number of participants and are more likely than others to report a high level
of D and E participants (average73%). Of the music respondents, 70%
were musical bands which also reported a predominantly DE participation
(71%) and a larger than average group size.

Evidence that different socio-economic groups participate in different art
forms is found in the Participation Survey.

Diagram 14 shows that there is a difference in the art forms favoured by
participants from different socio-economic backgrounds.




16                  Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                    Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



In terms of preference, Music, Song Dance and the Visual Arts are the art
forms most favoured by ABC1’s. Dance, Crafts, Bands are most chosen by
C2 and Dance, Textile Crafts and Song by people who are retired, on
benefits or students.

Here, Drama is seen to be pursued almost solely by those in classes ABC1.
This does not marry with the figures provided by the Group Survey in
which 50% of drama participants were identified as being in classes D or E.

           Diagram 14: Percentage of each Socio-Economic Group Participating in the
                         Different Art Forms (Participation Survey 126)

               Drama

  Literature/Language

                 Craft

       Music - Bands

                Other

               Textile

                Visual

                 Song

        Music - Other

               Dance

                     0.0%          2.0%         4.0%          6.0%            8.0%        10.0%         12.0%

      % of ABC1 Population Participating   % of C2 Population Participating    % of DE Population Participating



It is worth noting that the figures record the percentage of each socio-
economic group taking part in each art form and that, since an individual
may participate in more than one art group, the percentages will not tally
with the overall participation figure.

The total level of participation across art forms was 1.8 times greater than
the number of people involved, suggesting that many people take part in
more than one art form. If this multiplier is applied evenly across the socio-
economic groups, then a total level of 32% would be expected for ABC1’s,
17% for C2’s and 15% for D and E combined. Rather, figures of 35% for
ABC1, 13% for C2 and14% for DE. This means that people with generally
higher incomes are more likely to take part in more than one art group than
those in groups C2, D and E. Again, it must be asked to what extent
disposable income determines the ability to take part.

Although the figures from this first survey must be viewed with caution, it
would seem safe to conclude that whilst people in the ABC1 socio-
economic categories are more likely to take part in voluntary arts groups,
the sector is by no means dominated by the professional and middle classes,
with groups reporting a high level of involvement by groups C2, D and E,
most notably cross-art-form groups and bands. Further investigation into
the backgrounds of those who participate is needed to establish what
barriers there might be.


        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann                           17
                   Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Working Status

Diagram 15 shows that whilst the biggest single group of participants are
those not in work, the highest rate of participation is amongst those in full
time education and that rates of participation amongst those in work,
whether full or part time, and those not in work are not significantly
different.


              Diagram 15: Working Status of Participants (Participation Survey 126)

  50

  45

  40

  35

  30

  25

  20

  15

  10

     5

     0
             Full time                  Part time            Not in Work                FT Education

                         % of All Who Participated   Rate of Participation per 100 Population




Geographic Distribution of Participants

The Participation Survey found that the likelihood of any individual being
engaged in a voluntary arts group varied significantly depending upon where
they lived.

The left column in Diagram 16 gives the percentage of the population taking
part in voluntary arts. Whilst 19% of adults in the West (counties Tyrone,
Fermanagh and Londonderry) engaged, the figure was just 5% for those
living in the North (Antrim, outside of Belfast City). People in Belfast City
(10%) and the South (counties Armagh and Down),(11%), were almost
twice as likely to participate as those in the North.

An analysis of recorded voluntary arts groups reflects this pattern. The right
hand column in Diagram 16 indicates the number of arts groups per region
expressed as the percentage of all recorded groups. It must be stressed that
not all groups are yet recorded. All the same, it would seem safe to suggest
that opportunities to participate are not spread evenly across Northern
Ireland and that this is reflected in actual participation levels.




18       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                      Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



               Diagram 16: Comparison of Adult Participation Rates with Density of Voluntary
                     Arts Groups by Area (Participation Survey 126 Group Surveys 817)
       40




       30




       20




       10




        0
                   West                   Belfast City               South                     North

                  Adult Participation Rate per 100       Density of Voluntary Arts Groups as % of Total




Council Areas

70% of groups related primarily to councils east of the Bann. Despite its
population density, just 30% of groups related to councils in the
conurbation around Belfast (Carrickfergus, Newtwonabbey, Ards, North
Down, Castlereagh and Lisburn).


    Table 3: Distribution of Voluntary Arts Groups by Area
    Council Grouping                                                         % of Recorded Groups
    Eastern Conurbation                                                               30
    South/South East                                                                  23
    West/South West                                                                   22
    North East                                                                        17
    North West                                                                         8


This distribution of groups is not dissimilar to that of voluntary and
community organisations as established by the NICVA State of The Sector
Report 20028, which drew on data supplied by 777 active voluntary sector
groups having broadly charitable objectives.




8
    State of the Sector 111, Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action. 2002.


            Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann                   19
                  Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Diagram 17 shows that voluntary arts groups are less concentrated in
Belfast and have a proportionately higher rural focus than the groups in the
NICVA survey.

43% of groups in the voluntary and community sector were based in the
cities of Belfast and Derry compared to 36% of arts groups. That voluntary
arts groups serve a local population and have a grass-root reach is further
illustrated by the Group Survey’s finding that median distance travelled by
participants to the group is under 7 miles.




           Diagram 17: Geographic Distribution of Voluntary Arts Groups Compared to
                 Voluntary and Community Organisations (VAI 817 NICVA 777)

  40

  35

  30

  25

  20

  15

  10

     5

     0
               West               Belfast City               South                   North

                        % Voluntary and Community Groups   % Voluntary Arts Groups




20       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003




      CHAPTER TWO - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Men and women are equally likely to take part in voluntary arts groups,
although the larger number of men engaged in music and particularly bands,
masks a predominance of women participants in groups pursing other art
forms.

Those describing themselves as Catholic are slightly more likely than those
describing themselves as Protestant to be engaged with voluntary arts groups.
A difference in the arts forms favoured by the two main communities is
suggested.

Many voluntary arts groups do not collect information about the
religious/community backgrounds of their participants.

People aged between 16 and 24 and over 65 are most likely to participate in
voluntary arts groups. Just under half of all adult participants are aged 40 or
under.

People in the A, B and C1 socio-economic categories are twice as likely to take
part in voluntary arts groups as those in groups C2, D and E.

People in socio-economic groups C2, D and E do participate but access a
narrower range of art forms. 44% of the groups providing data drew 75% or
more of their members from groups D and E.

There is no relationship between working status and likelihood of participating
in voluntary arts groups. People in full time education were most likely to be
engaged in the voluntary arts sector.

Levels of participation and the density of voluntary arts groups is highest in the
West (Counties Tyrone, Fermanagh, Londonderry) and lowest in the North
(County Antrim other than Belfast City). Rates of participation in the North are
less than half the Northern Ireland average.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   21
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Chapter Three - Voluntary Arts Groups

The Size of the Sector

There are currently 900 groups recorded in the Voluntary Arts Database,
820 being voluntary arts groups and 80 being community groups employing
art in their work. The database has been operating for 18 months and is
not yet a complete record of the sector.

Data on average group size drawn from the 374 groups that provided
information on regular participants shows the mean to be 63 regular
participants, the median 35 and the mode 20.

The Participation Survey established that 160,600 adults take part in
voluntary arts groups in a year, of which 54% engage for 25 or more weeks
(i.e. they are regular participants). The mean size of groups suggests there
would need to be some 1,400 art groups to accommodate this number of
regular participants. Using the median suggests 2,500 groups. The
Participation Survey however, also showed that, on average, individuals
participated in 1.8 different art forms and thus are likely to belong to more
than one group.

To take account of this dual group membership and the fact that art groups
vary in size (e.g. Craft groups have more members than literature groups),
the number of people engaged regularly in each art form can be divided by
the mean size of group within each art form. This gives an estimate of 3,900
groups. Using the median gives 6,500.

These figures underline the need to gather together further data on
voluntary arts groups from all local Councils, an exercise currently hindered
by disparities in local authority provision for the arts and their concerns
regarding Data Protection Legislation.

For the purposes of providing a starting point, it seems reasonable to adopt
the lowest suggested figure of 1,400 groups and thereby assume that the
VAI database has captured data for 64% of all voluntary arts groups in
Northern Ireland.

It also seems plausible that the database contains relatively fewer contacts
for community groups using art in their work. In 1999, the researchers
developing the first AmArts database (of 400 groups) noted the poorest
returns (15%) from such groups. There may thus be a large number of this
type of group as yet unrecorded.




22    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                                           Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Position within the Voluntary Sector

The NICVA State of the Sector9 report states that there are 5,000 voluntary
and community groups and organisations on the ‘SectorNet’ database.
5.8% of these were identified as having a primary purpose relating to arts
or culture (290 groups).


Given that 900 voluntary arts groups are already recorded, it seems
reasonable to assume that the voluntary arts sector is not, to any great
extent, recorded within the SectorNet database but is additional to it.


Groups engaged in education or training predominate the voluntary sector
as recorded by SectorNet (6.6% of the total), followed by those concerned
with economic or community development and employment (10.6%).



                                              Diagram 18: The Voluntary Cultural Sector within the
                                      Voluntary and Community Sector (Nicva 777 VAI Records & Estimate)
                            25
                                                                                               Education/Training


                            20                                                                 Economic/Community
                                                                                               Development/Employment
    % of Voluntary Sector




                                                                                               Advocacy/Information
                            15
                                                                                               Cross Border

                            10                                                                 General Charitable


                                                                                               Disability
                            5

                                                                                               Arts/Culture

                            0
                                    SectorNet 2002     With Recorded    With Estimated Total
                                                       Voluntary Arts      Voluntary Arts
                                                          Groups              Groups




If, however, the 900 already recorded arts groups are added to the
SectorNet figures (having first deducted the 290 already therein), voluntary
arts and cultural groups would account for 16% of the voluntary sector,
ahead of education and training at 15%.


If the lowest total estimate of 1,400 voluntary arts groups is included, then
the position of voluntary arts as the predominant sub-sector in the
voluntary sector becomes startling - being equivalent to 23% of all
voluntary and community organisations.



9
    Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action. Ibid.


                                 Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann            23
                        Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Legal Structures

Over half (56%) of those voluntary arts groups that responded to the
Autumn Group Survey were unincorporated associations as compared to
45% of groups recorded in the NICVA survey. Of voluntary and community
groups, however, just 27% were recognised charities as compared to 37%
of voluntary arts groups.




              Diagram 19: Comparison of Legal Status of Voluntary Arts Groups with
                 Voluntary and Community Sector (NICVA 777 Group Survey 103)
                       Some groups are both a Charity and Company Ltd. thus % do not add to 100



                                                                                Other
     Voluntary &
     Community
       Groups                                                                   Trusts/Friendly Societies



                                                                                Company Ltd by Guarantee



 Voluntary Arts                                                                 Recognised/Registered Charity
    Groups

                                                                                Unincorporated Association


                   0         10       20       30        40     50       60
                                           % of Groups




The most notable difference is that, despite the greater proportion of
charities, voluntary cultural groups are far less likely to have Company
Limited by Guarantee status. Just 17% of voluntary arts groups enjoy the
protection of limited liability, as compared to 43% of groups in the wider
voluntary and community sector. This exposure to risk may be the result of
a lack of resources leading to a perception of there being little need to seek
protection. It might also be due to low levels of awareness of risk or to a
lack of the time and other resources needed to pursue such status. It is also
perhaps indicative of a weaker formalising structure in the voluntary arts
sector. In this respect it is worth noting that 8% of voluntary art group
respondents did not have a written constitution.




24       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The Role of Art in Groups

Voluntary arts are practised by a variety of groups. In some cases, art is just
one of a range of vehicles employed by a community organisation to deliver
social or economic benefits. In others, the art form itself is central, with
benefits such as social cohesion or life long learning flowing as
consequences.

Of the 169 groups that responded to the Group Surveys, 86% were
independent or local or community based groups, 9% were a part of a
larger organisation and 5% were branches of a regional or national body. By
comparison, the NICVA survey found 47% of the voluntary and community
sector to be made up of groups that were part of Regional, National or
International organisations.

The vast majority (86%) of Group Survey respondents were groups whose
sole or primary purpose was arts based.

Half of those who were not primarily arts focused were local, voluntary or
community groups using art in their work. The balance, 12% of the total,
were art projects within larger community organisations. Just 6% of groups
which focused almost totally on arts, were part of another organisation as
compared with 50% of those groups in which art comprised just a part of
their work.



Longevity of Groups

The comparatively unstructured, unincorporated and independent nature of
the voluntary arts sector suggests that it might be in a constant state of flux
with groups forming and fading rapidly. It is undoubtedly true that ad hoc
groups form, pursue an objective and close, but the picture painted by the
data is one of remarkable stability, longevity and sustainability.

The average (mean) time in operation for the 406 groups where
information is available is over 35 years. However, 25% are over 50 and
5% over 100 years old. These long established groups skew the mean
figure. The median age of the groups is 20 years and the mode 13.

The overall figures obscure differences between groups formed primarily as
arts groups and those which have arisen as part of the work of a community
organisation. Table 4 shows that the former tend to be longer established.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   25
                             Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



 Table 4: Age of Group by Type (All Group Surveys 406)
 Years in Operation Arts Focused Groups                                        Arts in Community Groups
 Mean                      35.70                                                         15.40
 Median                    24.50                                                         12.00
 Mode                      13.00                                                         11.00


Diagram 20 shows the age profile of groups within the sector. In the case
of both arts centred groups and community groups using arts, the majority
of existing recorded groups were formed before the ceasefires of the mid
1990’s, the largest number being formed during the Troubles. However,
groups primarily focused on arts are more likely to have been formed more
than 35 years ago (i.e. prior to 1969) than arts activities arising out of
community groups. Notably, over a third of community groups running arts
projects or activities commenced doing so during the period that ‘Peace 1’
funding was available. The rate of formation appears to have slowed
considerably as that source closed and before ‘Peace 2’ came on line. This
pattern does not appear to the same extent amongst groups focused more
exclusively on arts.


                     Diagram 20: Age Profile of Groups Engaged in Voluntary Art by Group Type
                                              (All Group Surveys 406)
                                                                                                    1%
                   100%                                                 5%
                                      8%
                                                                        14%
                                    17%                                                             35%
                   75%
     % of Groups




                                                                        42%
                                    42%
                   50%

                                                                                                    58%
                   25%
                                                                        39%
                                    32%

                    0%
                                                                                                    6%
                          All Groups Engaged in Arts        Primarily Arts Focused           Community Focused
                                                                                               Employing Arts
                                Over 35 Years          11 to 35 Years         5 to 9 Years    Under 5 Years




As Diagram 21 illustrates, the length of time groups have been established
varies by art form.

Bands are uniformly long established having been in existence an average of
76 years. Choirs and operatic societies are the next oldest sector, the
mean age of such groups being 40 years. However, there is a greater spread
of ages, with new groups being formed more frequently and more recently
than is the case for bands, hence the median period since foundation is 29
years. This effect is also seen in the case of Theatre, the Visual Arts and
Literature/Language groups where a few groups, established very many


26                 Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                                    Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



years ago, skew the average (mean) figure upwards. The impact of this is
most notable in the case of Folk, Traditional and Other Music
(excluding Bands and Choirs) where the ages of groups is so diverse that
the median (15 years) is almost half the mean age (29 years).

Groups engaged in crafts and in the general promotion of art or culture in a
certain geographic area are most likely to have been established since 1990.

Possible factors behind this include the relatively recent emergence of
groups acting as networks across a town or county and of those promoting
the Ulster-Scots culture. In relation to craft groups, it is possible that these
are formed continuously but tend to be short lived, as members move away
or retire. Another possibility is that craft groups are a relatively recent
phenomenon, because in previous years, crafts were practiced individually
at home, or at work, and only relatively recently have formalised groups
emerged, either to preserve skills or to take advantage of the educational
and social benefits of meeting together to practice a craft.


                                    Diagram 21: Mean and Median Ages of Art Groups by Art Form
                                                      (All Group Surveys 338)
                               80
                               70
    Years in Operation




                               60
                               50
                               40
                               30
                               20
                               10
                                0

                        ral        aft
                                       s           ge          Ar
                                                                  ts        rar
                                                                                y
                                                                                        rar
                                                                                            y
                                                                                                    am
                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                tie
                                                                                                                   s
                                                                                                                          nd
                                                                                                                            s
                     ne         Cr              ua         al             po         po          Dr          cie       Ba
                   Ge                       ng         isu                                                 So
                in                       La          V               tem          tem        and        ic
            rts                      or                           on         Co
                                                                                n
                                                                                         tre         rat
          rA                    ure                         h/C           lk/         ea         pe
       reo                  erat                      o ttis          l/Fo          Th         dO
    ltu                  Lit                       /Sc             na                     sa
                                                                                             n
  Cu                                           ish            itio                    oir
                                           - Ir          rad                        Ch
                                     nc
                                         e            -T
                                 Da              sic
                                              Mu

                                                 Mean Group Age                     Median Group Age




The Work of Voluntary Arts Groups

Specialist Provision

Previous chapters have already shown that voluntary arts groups cover a
range of art forms, with performing arts predominating.

Four fifths of the sector is comprised of groups open to all without
specialism. Just 7% of groups work exclusively with children or young
people, 6% with women only, 4% with people with disabilities and 3%
work solely with the elderly.



                         Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann                            27
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Some of those groups which do not work exclusively with a specific section
of the population do make separate provision as a means of accommodating
a wider range of participants. 28% provide a separate youth section, 12%
provide separately for adult beginners, 8% for women only, 6% for people
with disabilities, 5% for older people and 3% operate men only sections.

Further examination of these figures, however, show that specialised
separate provision is most often found within organisations offering more
than one art form, most often within a community group context. Those
art groups focused on one art form are less likely to operate separate
provision, the notable exceptions being Bands, Theatre and Festivals.

The Autumn Survey of groups provided information on the age range of
participants across different art forms. The nature of response is such that
firm conclusions cannot be drawn (for example, no dance groups provided
age information). However, sufficient data is available to show that, on
average, 27% of participants are aged between 14 and 26. This rises to
50% in the case of Bands, 37% in Drama and 30% in Festivals and Feis.
These art forms also have a higher than average number of participants
aged 18 to 26. This is in sharp contrast to Visual Arts or Craft groups where
there are very low levels of participation by people aged 18 to 26 and no
recorded separate provision for young participants. These patterns suggest
that making separate provision is an effective means of attracting younger
participants who may then transfer to the ‘adult’ body of the group later on.


Ways of Working

Out of 108 group respondents, 68% felt that the quality of their artwork
and the way in which it was achieved were of equal importance. 18%
stated that the process by which the group worked towards an arts output
was more important, whilst 14% felt that the quality of the art work was
most important. Interestingly, whilst 15% of groups focused primarily on
one art form felt that the standard of artistic output was most important,
none of the arts groups operating within community organisations placed
quality above process.

Table 5: Attitudes to Output and Process by Group Focus
Most Important          % of Art Groups         % of Art in Community Groups
Quality                       15                              0
Process                       16                              38
Both Equally                  69                              62

The majority (89%) of groups provided opportunities to take part in the
arts, 32% provided opportunities to consume the arts (i.e. to see or hear
them) and 51% considered promotion of the arts, or a particular art form,
to be part of their work.


28    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                   Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Voluntary Arts Audiences

The Group Survey found that 88% of groups engage in performances,
exhibitions or other public events. 40% stage events involving their group
alone, 15% only take part in events organised by others and 45% take part
in both their own events and those organised by others.

In total, groups reported taking part in or staging 1,540 public events, 634
that involved just their group and 906 that involved others.

Audience figures for these events are difficult to calculate as double
counting occurs where, say, several drama groups take part in the one
festival. However, 31 groups which staged events not involving others
reported a total audience of 39,000 people, or 1,250 per group per year.
By extrapolation, if 88% of all recorded groups staged events which
attracted similar audiences, then the sector would serve audiences of
1million a year. However, given that the drama sector alone plays to annual
audiences of 250,00010 and that events involving more than one arts group,
such as carnivals, festivals, competitions, feis and marching bands, attract
audiences of thousands, this is likely to be a hugely conservative estimate,
and a figure in the region of 8 million has been suggested.

Given that the sector’s contribution to total audience figures in Northern
Ireland is indisputably sizeable, further research is urgently required to
collect and collate information about voluntary arts audiences.

Unfortunately, fuller audience information is unlikely to be immediately
available from the sector itself. Three quarters of groups have not
researched their audience, although 40% would like to. Over half (53%) of
the groups stated it was either very or fairly easy to sell tickets or to get the
public to attend events. Just 9% said attracting an audience (paying or not)
was very difficult. Interestingly, none of those that had conducted audience
research reported tickets selling as very difficult. Indeed, groups that had
conducted research were almost 30% more likely to find it easy to sell
tickets/attract the public than those that had not.

Although so few groups have research information on audiences, most
offered figures for audience composition. In 75% of cases then, these must
be assumed to be educated estimates.

On average, respondents reported that 26% of their audiences comprised
family and friends, 62% were others from the local community and 12%
travelled from further away, indicating the extent to which arts groups
provide a service to local communities, above and beyond those directly or
indirectly involved in the group’s activities.


10
     Michael McGimpsey. MLA ibid.


          Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   29
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Group information suggests that 59% of audiences are women and 11%
are people with disabilities. However, this last figure masks huge variations
of between 1% and 95%, the higher figures arising from groups working
exclusively with people with disabilities.

Diagram 22 presents the data collected from groups about the age of the
audience for their exhibitions, productions or other public events. Just less
than half the average audience was below the age of 40 and almost a
quarter was under 25. If those responding are representative of the sector,
then it is clearly performing reasonably well in attracting younger people to
the arts as consumers.


         Diagram 22: Age Profile of Audiences for Voluntary Arts (Group Survey 74)
                                      Over 80
                                        1%           Under 18
                         65-79
                          13%                          13%



                                                                  18-25
                                                                   11%




             41-64
              40%                                                26-40
                                                                  22%




Group Catchments

Chapter two illustrated that voluntary arts groups stretch across Northern
Ireland, having a slightly greater focus on rural areas than the voluntary and
community sector as a whole, with, for example, one quarter being based in
Belfast as compared to one third of voluntary and community groups.

Over half (55%) of the respondents to the Group Surveys in 2002.
operated within the bounds of a village town or city. 17% covered a
Council area or County with 4% operating in border counties. 10%
operated across Northern Ireland, 8% had an all Ireland remit and 5% a
UK remit. 7% of groups, whilst based in and drawing members from one
particular area in Northern Ireland, performed across Ireland, the UK and
abroad.

All bar three organisations use English as the main language of the group.




30     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003




     CHAPTER THREE - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

There are 900 voluntary arts groups in Northern Ireland recorded by
Voluntary Arts Ireland to date; many more are not yet recorded. The lowest
estimate for the total size of the sector is 1,400 groups.

At this level, the voluntary cultural sector comprises 23% of the entire
voluntary and community sector.

Voluntary arts groups are more likely to have charitable status and less likely to
be a Company Limited by Guarantee than groups in the wider voluntary and
community sector.

The voluntary cultural sector is distinguished by a high proportion of
independent, formally unconnected groups.

Voluntary arts groups are long lived, the average period since foundation being
35 years. The newest groups to emerge have been those promoting art across
a geographic area, craft groups and networks. There has been a noticeable
growth in the number of voluntary and community groups employing arts in
their work, especially in the period from 1994 to 1999.

The majority of voluntary arts groups (80%) do not work exclusively with a
particular section of the community.

Those groups that make separate provision for young people find greater
success in attracting and retaining younger participants than those which do
not.

Audience figures for the voluntary cultural sector are not readily available.
Those provided show that groups draw 58% of their audience from the local
community and are relatively successful in attracting younger audiences, with a
quarter being under 25 and half under 40 years of age.

The majority of voluntary arts groups have small catchments and serve local
communities. 10% of groups held a Northern Ireland wide remit and 13%
operated across the UK or the Republic of Ireland or both.

7% of locally based groups gave performances or staged exhibitions outside of
Northern Ireland.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   31
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Chapter Four - The Resources Employed

This chapter considers the human, financial and other resources employed
to enable the thousands of voluntary arts groups across Northern Ireland to
survive.


Human Resources: Voluntary Support

Voluntary arts groups could not operate without volunteers. 95% of groups
rely on two or more volunteers to serve on the committee or otherwise
help it run.


Committee Volunteers

Analysis of the data from the Autumn Group Survey shows that more than
nine out of ten voluntary arts groups have a management or organising
committee of volunteers. (82% have their own committee, 11% are
managed by the committee of a larger organisation in which they are part.)

The average committee comprises 9 people. Assuming there are 1,400
groups and 93% have committees, then some 12,000 people donate their
time and expertise to manage them. Each committee member gives 68
hours a year on average, making a total input equivalent to 500 full time
paid workers per annum.

Volunteers on committees are slightly more likely to be women (56%) than
men, although this small majority is reduced to 1% if women only groups
are excluded from the calculation. Excluding groups exclusively working
with people with disabilities, just 2% of committee members were
reported as being disabled. Although it is likely that respondents recorded
only those with clearly apparent sensory or mobility impairments, this figure
indicates a need to increase access to group management committees for
people with disabilities.

Almost a quarter of committee members in the sector are retired, just 6%
are unemployed and 2% are students.

Two thirds of committee members are aged over 40 (Diagram 23),
although, encouragingly, 9% of committee members are under 25.




32    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



         Diagram 23: Age Profile of Committee Members in the Voluntary Arts Sector
                                     (Group Survey 94)

                                          80+       18-25
                                          1%         9%
                          65-80
                           17%



                                                             26-40
                                                              23%




                             41-64,
                              50%




The Committees in the sector are formally structured. All but 4% of
groups have a Chairperson and the same proportion a Secretary. Nearly 9
out of 10 have a Treasurer and 58% a Vice Chair. One quarter appoint
additional office bearers. In 15% of groups, these include a person with
responsibility for Public Relations, an indication of the sector’s recognition
of the need for marketing.

There is evidence of groups having adopted fixed terms of office for office
bearers, the average time in post for both current and previous Chairs
being four years. However, in over 10% of cases, the Chair has, or had,
held the post for more than ten years. Secretaries are slightly longer
serving, averaging 5 years in the post with 20% having been in position for
ten or more years.



Other Volunteers Within Groups

In 86% of groups, participants in the art form also gave their time to help
the group run in ways other than serving on the committee.

The equivalent of 28% of all participants regularly took on one or more of
the above roles to help the groups, and 22% did so on an occasional basis.

Some of the above volunteers were also committee members. If they are
deducted from the totals, it is seen that in addition to committee members,
the equivalent of 29% of all participants, either regularly or occasionally,
volunteer to assist the group.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   33
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Applying this figure across all 1,400 estimated voluntary arts groups, suggest
that some 22,000 people give their time and skills free to help groups run.
Each volunteer gives an average of 55 hours a year, making a total input
equivalent to 750 full time paid workers per year.

 Table 6: The Extent and Nature of Volunteering within Voluntary Arts
 Groups (Group Survey 90)
 Volunteering Role                                  Groups With Such Volunteers
 Administration, Accounts                                      68%
 Fundraising for the Group                                     61%
 Promotion, Marketing, Ticket Selling                          57%
 Planning, Rotas, Organising                                   37%
 Art Tutoring or Teaching                                      33%
 Directing, Producing, Conducting                              33%
 Lights, Costume, Uniforms, Curating                           30%
 Laundry, Catering, Transport, Ushering                        27%
 All forms of In-Group Volunteering                            86%



Volunteering in the Community

In addition to giving their time and skills to run the group and benefit others
within it, participants in groups also volunteer through the groups to assist
others outside it.

60% of voluntary arts groups reported activities to benefit others. 44% of
all groups staged performances or exhibitions to raise funds for other
charities. 29% help organise events for others, 22% stage events for the
elderly or ill and 18% provide educational work in schools. Where groups
engaged in this form of volunteering in the community, over a quarter
(27%) of group participants regularly give their time to such activities, and
more that a third (35%) volunteer on an occasional basis during the year.

If 60% of all voluntary arts groups carried out such work, then, based on
average group size over 31,000 people a year, 2% of the adult population is
volunteering in the community through voluntary arts groups.

These volunteers give an average of 45 hours a year to these activities – the
equivalent of 850 full time workers helping in schools, hospitals, day centres
and with charity fundraising.

Combining all volunteering, both within groups and as part of groups
working in the community, gives a total of 65,000 volunteers, 5% of the
adult population, giving time equal to 2,100 full time workers a year.




34     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                          Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Although impressive, the Participation Survey suggests that the groups that
supplied the information behind this figure have vastly underestimated the
extent of voluntary support they receive and give.

The Participation Survey asked 1,010 individuals if they had given time to
help voluntary arts organisations during the previous 12 months. 12% of the
adult population had done so, 250% more than the figure suggested by the
groups themselves (Diagram 24).

                Diagram 24: Percentage of Total Adult Population Volunteering to Assist
                Voluntary Arts Groups by Nature of Assistance (Participation Survey 124)


        Other support                                 6%


      Organisation or
      Management of                   3%
       Group/Events


     Sharing Art skills               3%



          Fundraising                                 6%



        All Volunteers                                                               12%


                          0%     2%        4%       6%          8%         10%     12%     14%
                                                % Total Adult Population


One explanation for this discrepancy may be that the Group Survey
enquired about ‘volunteering’, whilst the Participation Survey asked about
’ways of assisting the group’. It is possible that group respondents did not
consider all forms of assistance to be volunteering in a formal sense.

The Volunteering in Northern Ireland Survey,11 2001 indicates that 35% of
the adult population carries out formal voluntary work, that is it is
undertaken with, or under the auspices of, an organisation.

Based on this, the Participation Survey figures suggests that volunteering in
the voluntary cultural sector equates to over one third of all formal
volunteering in Northern Ireland. (The data provided by the groups
indicates 14%.) However, the Volunteering Survey reported that just 7%
of formal volunteers, 31,400 people, were volunteering with and through
culture and arts organisations.

It appears that the Volunteering Survey could have underestimated arts
related volunteering by between 100% and 500%. This might be explained
by the context of that survey. It is possible that when asked about
volunteering, many people would not identify the giving of time or skills to


11
     Volunteering in Northern Ireland 2001, Volunteer Development Agency. Prepared by
      Ulster Marketing Surveys.


           Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann       35
                                  Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



or through a voluntary art group as such. One reason for this might be that
they consider volunteering to relate to welfare or charitable organisations.

Another explanation might be that volunteering is perceived as purely
altruistic, something that benefits others, whereas those who engage in
voluntary arts do so because they enjoy it. They may therefore, not
consider something they are motivated to do out of their own interests to
be the sort of volunteering about which the VDA survey was enquiring.

If volunteering in or through the voluntary cultural sector is as sizeable as
the Participation Survey suggests, then volunteering in arts or cultural
groups is second only to volunteering in sport and recreation organisations
(30%) and equal to volunteering through religious organisations (27%).


Age Profile

Two thirds of those who volunteer to assist arts groups, as recorded by the
Participation Survey, are aged over 35.

The two equally most common age ranges for volunteers are 35 to 49 and
50 to 65. This makes arts volunteers slightly older on average than
volunteers as profiled by the Volunteering in Northern Ireland Survey12
where the most common age range was to 35 to 49 (Diagram 25).

                              Diagram 25: Age Profile Comparison of Volunteers in Voluntary Arts
                             Groups and All Volunteers (Participation Survey 126 Volunteering in NI
                                                              456)
                       30%


                       25%


                       20%
     % of Volunteers




                       15%


                       10%


                       5%


                       0%
                                  16-24                  25-34              35-49                  50-65

                                 Volunteering in Voluntary Arts Groups      Volunteering in Northern Ireland



Taking into account the number of people in each age group in the
population, Table 7 shows that those aged over 65 are most likely to
volunteer (15 out of every hundred people this age), whilst those aged 25 to
49 are least likely (11 per hundred).


12
     Volunteer Development Agency. Ibid.


36                       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                                  Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



 Table 7: Percentage of each Age Group Volunteering to Assist Arts
 Groups (Participation Survey 126)
 Age Group                                       % of Age Group Volunteering in Arts Groups
 16-24                                                              12
 25-34                                                              11
 35-49                                                              11
 50-64                                                              13
 65+                                                                15


Socio-Economic Classification of Volunteers
Volunteers in arts groups were most likely to be in the higher socio-
economic groups. 57% were ABC1, 18% C2 and 25% in groups D and E.
This profile is almost identical to that found for volunteers in the
Volunteering in NI Survey. Those in classes A, B and C1 were twice as
likely as those in classes D and E to be arts volunteers. (17% compared to
8% rate of volunteering.)


Working Status
The voluntary arts sector has a greater proportion of volunteers either not
in work or in education (60%) than the volunteering sector as a whole,
where those in work, either full or part time are in the majority (51%).

                          Diagram 26: Profile of Working Status of Volunteers in Arts Groups Compared
                               to All Volunteers (Participation Survey 126 Volunteering in NI 456)

                   60%


                   50%


                   40%
 % of Volunteers




                   30%


                   20%


                   10%


                   0%
                                Full Time             Part Time                Not in Work                 FT Education

                                             Volunteering in Voluntary Arts Groups    Volunteering in NI



Looking at volunteering rates, 16% of those in full time education volunteer
in the arts sector, as compared to 13% of those not in work or in part time
employment and 11% of people in full time work.




                         Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann                      37
                                  Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Gender

Although men and women are equally likely to participate in the voluntary
arts, women are marginally more likely to volunteer within arts groups, with
13% doing so as compared to 12% of men. The arts appear to attract a
slightly higher proportion of male volunteers, 44% as compared to 42% of
all volunteers across Northern Ireland.



Religion

A small majority of arts volunteers are Protestant, 40% identified
themselves as Catholic and 7% as Other. This is a slightly higher proportion
of Catholic volunteers than across volunteering in general, which stood at
36% when measured by the Volunteering in NI Survey. Taking into account
the composition of the sample, there was no difference in the rates of arts
volunteering between the Catholic and Protestant community (12%).



Geographic Distribution

The distribution of those who volunteer in the Voluntary Cultural sector
broadly reflects that for volunteers across all sectors although, as noted in
relation to levels of participation in Chapter One, the North (i.e. Co
Antrim, outside of Belfast City) has markedly low levels of volunteering.


                           Diagram 27: Geographic Distribution of Art Group Volunteers Compared with
                              Volunteers in General (Participation Survey 126 Volunteering in NI 456)

                   0.5



                   0.4
 % of Volunteers




                   0.3



                   0.2



                   0.1



                    0
                                 South                      West         Belfast City                  North

                                         Art Group Volunteers             Volunteering in Northern Ireland




38                       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Time Spent Volunteering

The Participation Survey asked how many weeks in a year each individual
was involved in assisting their art or craft group activity.

Half assisted on a fortnightly basis (i.e. 25 or more weeks in a year) and
over one fifth did so at least weekly, indicating a very high level of
engagement in the sector.

At the other end of the scale, 23% were involved just a few times a year
(four weeks or less); possibly a measure of those who engage on a seasonal
basis (e.g. Summer Events, Festivals, Pantomimes).

Participation is thus polarised, with half of all arts volunteers engaging in
their activities at least 25 weeks out of the year and one third just for less
than 4 weeks in a year.

There is, however, a difference in who attends. Those who spend less than
four weeks with voluntary arts groups are more likely to be aged 50 - 64,
working part time and to belong to social classes D and E.

Those who spend the entire year in voluntary arts activities are more likely
to be aged 16 to 20, in full time education and to be in social group C2.

A comparison with the data from the Volunteering in NI survey shows
volunteers in arts groups are 50% more likely than all volunteers to assist
their organisation fortnightly or more frequently.


                          Diagram 28: Comparison of Frequency of Volunteering by Arts Volunteers and
                                 All Volunteers (Participation Survey 126 Volunteering in NI 456)

                   50



                   40
 % of Volunteers




                   30



                   20



                   10



                   0
                            Weekly         Fortnightly      Monthly      Few Times a Year       Once a Year
                                     Arts Groups                  Volunteering in Northern Ireland




                        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann           39
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The data supplied by the Group Survey on volunteering was incomplete.
Many groups did not keep, or did not have the time or resources to
produce, full records. Given that the survey was completed mainly by
volunteers, this is understandable. Despite including a definition in the
questionnaire, some groups did not consider people to be ‘volunteers’ if
they were helping the group to run. Others considered all participants to be
volunteers because that attendance was not compulsory.

Where information was provided it indicated that 58% of volunteers were
women. 4% of volunteers were people with disabilities. Groups also
reported that 25% of all volunteers were in socio-economic classes A and
B. This compares to their reports that 19% of participants were in these
classes, suggesting that the higher income classes are more likely to
volunteer to support the group. The next largest group of volunteers were
people not in work or unemployed (22%) and retired people (15%).
However, the total proportion of D and E volunteers reported by groups
(64%) is over double that found in the Participation Survey (25%) and
needs to be taken with some caution given that respondents are not
necessarily skilled in assessing socio-economic class. However, it does
support the Participation Survey finding that those not in work or in manual
employment may be more likely to volunteer in the arts than in other
sectors, and further investigation is warranted.



Volunteer Organisation in Voluntary Arts Groups

88% of groups identified word of mouth and 70% cited family and friends
as one of the main ways in which volunteers were recruited. Indeed 40%
of groups relied entirely on one or both of these methods of recruitment.
This is broadly in line with the Volunteering in NI Survey which found that
49% of all formal volunteers found out about volunteering through family
and friends.

60% of voluntary arts groups also used other means of recruitment. 84%
reached out to potential volunteers through their events, 37% through
newspaper stories, 33% used posters and 28% used paid advertising. By
comparison, the Volunteering in NI Survey found that 8% of all formal
volunteers had responded to media advertising in NI. Around 10% of arts
groups used other methods of recruitment such as printed newsletters or
websites.

Just 18% of voluntary arts groups paid volunteers’ expenses, most usually
travel, although a few also paid subsistence. A number commented that
expenses were paid only when funding was available for a particular project.




40    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



This level of reimbursement is lower than that found across voluntary and
community groups in general, the Volunteering Survey establishing that
23% of groups in NI offer to pay volunteering expenses, as compared to
48% in the UK.

The Volunteering Survey also found that 28% of all formal volunteers said
they had received training for their unpaid work. Exactly the same
percentage of voluntary arts groups said they provided training for their
volunteers.

Arts groups were most likely to provide training in arts skills (18%) and
10% provided an induction. There is evidence that groups are responding
to new legislation, with 4% providing Health and Safety or Child Protection
Training. A similar percentage provided committee skills training, however,
overall, training in skills needed for organisation development such as
management, marketing or fundraising was rare.

In more than half the cases (53%), training was provided in house. 17%
turned to umbrella bodies in the arts or voluntary sectors and 30% used
courses offered by local colleges.


         Diagram 29: Training Provided to Art Group Volunteers (Group Survey 106)


                                        Other, 4%
                   Management Skills,
                         1%


                     Marketing, 2%

                Fundraising, 3%
                                                            Art Skills, 18%

                 Personal
              Development, 3%


             Committee Skills, 4%



                                        Induction, 10%




Human Resources: Employees

The extent to which Voluntary Arts Groups rely upon the input of
volunteers is underlined by examination of the level of paid employment
within the sector.




      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   41
                    Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Staff

Overall, 30% of groups employed either permanent or temporary staff or
both - 98% having five staff or fewer.

One fifth of groups employed permanent staff, the nature of employment
being almost equally split between full time only, part time only and a mix of
both.

13% of groups engaged temporary staff. Groups engaging temporary staff
were twice as likely to offer part time positions as those having permanent
staff. Half of those groups relying on temporary staff had just the one
employee.

Table 8: Employment in Voluntary Arts Groups Compared with the Voluntary
Sector in General

Voluntary Arts Groups (Group Survey 106)
                                Full Time                   Part Time        Total %
Permanent                           47                          23             70
Temporary                           13                          17             30
Total %                             60                          40
Voluntary & Community Sector (NICVA 777)
Permanent                           49                         22               71
Temporary                           18                         11               29
Total %                             67                         33


The average employment was1.7 posts per group across the voluntary arts
sector. This contrasts with 6 per group given in the voluntary sector survey
produced by NICVA13. Despite the difference in overall levels of
employment, the profile of permanent and fixed term/temporary posts is
very similar. The voluntary arts sector, however, appears to have a greater
dependence on part time positions, in particular, part time temporary
positions which account for 17% of employment in the voluntary arts.

As noted in the NICVA survey, these figures should be approached with
some caution as there may be confusion over what is defined as a
permanent, fixed term or temporary post.

The work undertaken by staff was spread equally across arts tasks
(Programming, Delivery and Training/Tutoring) and managerial tasks
(Administration, Marketing and Fundraising), with administration being
slightly more dominant than any other role.

In the majority of organisations, staff assist with both arts and managerial
roles, although in 25% staff are engaged to provide teaching or training and
13
     Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action. Ibid.


42         Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                   Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



do not assist with administration. This tends to happen in groups employing
few staff, and it would appear that these are organisations that have found
funding to incorporate tutors into their core staff.

           Diagram 30: Employment of Staff by Voluntary Arts Groups (Group Survey
                                            106)




                                     64                                     19            11          6




     0%      10%         20%       30%       40%       50%       60%     70%      80%         90%      100%
                                                   % of Groups

            No Staff              Permanent Staff Only            Temporary Staff Only              Both



Just over half (55%) of those groups which employed contracted staff
offered staff training. 31% provided an induction and a similar proportion
offered art skills training. 18% of staff received training in marketing or
fundraising and 13% received management training. In most cases, the
training was provided by external agencies such as colleges or universities.
Although the sample size of groups was small (38), the figures suggest that
training for staff, especially in management and non arts skills, is not
extensive.


Artists and Tutors

            Diagram 31: Employment of Artists and Tutors by Voluntary Arts Groups
                                    (Group Survey 106)




                          47                                 20                   23                 10




   0%      10%          20%       30%       40%        50%       60%     70%       80%         90%         100%
                                                   % of Groups

                 None         Regular Artists/Tutors Only    Occasional Artists/Tutors Only         Both




        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann                               43
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



One quarter of groups employed artists or tutors on a regular basis and a
similar proportion employed tutors occasionally, within which 10%
employed both regular and occasional tutors. Thus just over half of all
groups provided some form of employment for tutors or artists.

Of those groups employing regular tutors, two thirds engaged 4 or fewer
tutors a year and a quarter employed between 5 and 12 tutors annually.
The remaining 9% engaged 30 or more tutors, such organisations being
large initiatives, often owning premises and also employing core staff.
By contrast, 30% of those groups that employed only occasional tutors
employed 13 or more.

The employment pattern shows two equally sized blocks of employing
groups - those providing regular employment for a small number of tutors
and those engaging bigger teams of occasional tutors.



      CHAPTER FOUR - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
                             HUMAN RESOURCES

VOLUNTEERING

Voluntary arts groups could not operate without the input of volunteers.

Committee volunteers are slightly more likely to be women and aged over 40.
9% of committee members are under 25.

In addition to committee members, a further 29% of participants give their
time to help arts groups run.

60% of voluntary arts groups undertake activities to benefit others in the
community.

Groups estimate the total voluntary input of all volunteers equates to 5% of
the adult population or 2,100 full time workers a year. The Participation Survey
indicates more than double this, with 12% of the adult population having
assisted voluntary arts groups in the past year.

Volunteering in the voluntary cultural sector equates to up to a third of all
formal volunteering in Northern Ireland, second only to volunteering in sport
and recreation.

Two third of arts volunteers are over 35. Those over 65 and in the ABC1
socio-economic grouping are most likely to volunteer. This profile is almost
identical to that for volunteers across the whole voluntary and community
sector.



44     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003




The voluntary cultural sector is slightly more likely to attract volunteers not in
work or in full time education, male volunteers and volunteers from the
Catholic community than the voluntary sector in general.

Arts volunteering, like volunteering in general, is lowest in the North region.
(County. Antrim, excluding Belfast City).

Arts volunteers are 50% more likely to assist their group fortnightly or more
frequently than volunteers in general.

Half of those assisting arts groups volunteer at least 25 weeks in a year, one
third for less than 4 weeks.

Those who volunteer least frequently are most likely to be aged over 50 and in
social groupings D and E.

Those who volunteer most often are most likely to be aged 16-20 and in socio-
economic group C2.

The voluntary cultural sector engages volunteers on a strong, ongoing basis
throughout the year and also draws in further volunteers, particularly from
socio-economic classes D and E, on an occasional or once a year basis.

Arts groups rely heavily upon word of mouth to recruit volunteers.

The voluntary arts sector is less likely to pay volunteer expenses than the
voluntary sector in general.

Few voluntary arts groups provide volunteers with training relating to
Management, Fundraising, Marketing or other non-arts skills.

EMPLOYMENT
Under a third of voluntary arts groups employ contracted staff. Those that do
are equally likely to employ workers on permanent contracts, fixed term
contracts or a mixture of both.

The average level of employment per group in the voluntary arts sector is 3.5
times lower than in the voluntary and community sector in general, and there
is a greater dependence on part time employees.

The provision of non-arts training for staff in the voluntary arts sector is
underdeveloped.

Over half of the groups in the voluntary arts sector provide either regular or
occasional employment for artists in an art related role.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   45
                               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Financial Resources

Data provided by 144 groups indicates that 60% have a turnover of under
£6,000 per annum, one fifth operating on under £1,000 a year. Just 11%
have annual budgets of over £50,000. Thus 20% operate on £100 a month
or less and a further 40% on around £100 a week.

                                 Diagram 32: Annual Turnover of Voluntary Arts Groups
                                                (Group Surveys 144)


                50%


                40%
  % of Groups




                30%


                20%


                10%


                0%
                      Under      £1,000 -   £6,000 -   £11,000 -   £20,000 -   £50,000 -   £100,00 -   £200,000
                      £1,000      £5,999    £10,999     £19,999     £49,999     £99,999    £200,000      plus

                                                         Annual Turnover




Income

69% of groups reported receiving some form of grant aid. 31% of groups
received funding from just one grant making source.

Table 9 shows the percentage of groups receiving funding from each
source. That local Councils are key funders of the sector is evident as is the
small but growing role of Awards for All.

 Table 9 : Sources of Grant Aid Received by Voluntary Arts Groups
 (Group Survey 108)
 Source of Grant                                                                % of Groups
 Local Council                                                                       54
 Trusts                                                                             18*
 Awards for All                                                                      15
 ACNI                                                                                14
 ACNI Lottery                                                                        10
 Departments                                                                          5
 Europe                                                                               3
*Trust funders included NIVT and Cooperation Ireland, and may thus include grants from the
European funds they administer.




46                Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                    Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



55% of those groups in receipt of grants had more than one external
funding source, with a quarter having 3 or more funders. Where groups
had just one source of grant aid, this was almost always the Local Authority.

As might be expected, groups having the highest incomes had the most
diverse range of funding sources and were most likely to have attracted
funds from welfare or social funders.

Whilst the majority of groups received some form of grant aid, this was not
always a sizeable amount. Diagram 32 shows the average proportion of
groups’ income drawn from different sources. The average voluntary arts
group receives more than half of its income from earnings and fundraising
(i.e. donations and sponsorship).

One third of groups gained 80% or more of their income from earnings (i.e.
fees, sales, charges); whereas one quarter relied to the same extent on
project or revenue grant aid. The balance of groups had an income less
denpendent on one source, but even so, earned income tended to be the
largest single stream of income.

              Diagram 33: Average Profile of Groups' Income Sources (Group Survey 84)

                     Fundraising or
                    Sponsorship, 14%




                                                                        Revenue or Project
                                                                           Grants, 38%




                   Fees, Charges,
                     Sales, 48%




By comparison, the NICVA State of the Sector Survey14 found that earned
income accounted for just 23.5% of gross annual income in the voluntary
and community sector, 42.7% of income being derived from statutory
sources (including Europe). Amongst voluntary arts groups, statutory
funding accounted for 38% of income.

Income from gifts, donations and Trusts is considerably lower in the
voluntary arts (14%) than the wider sector (29.4%), and no arts groups



14
     Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, ibid


           Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann       47
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



noted an income from investments, an area that accounts for 4.3% of
income in the NICVA survey. The arts sector within the voluntary sector is
thus far more dependent upon sustaining itself through earnings.

Almost three quarters of groups charged for participation either by means
of an annual fee (30%), a charge for taking part in activities (28%) or both
(6%). Annual subscriptions ranged from £1 to £150 with a median of £19 a
year. Almost half of those making a charge offered discounts. Annual fees
were most commonly discounted for students (63%), children (38%) and
those on benefits (33%), whereas, participation charges were discounted
for the unemployed (37%), pensioners (33%) and children (30%). Several
groups also offered reductions to families and people with disabilities.

Over half of all groups sold tickets for performances or exhibitions, of which
97% provided student discounts; three quarters discounted tickets for
pensioners and students; and 61% had a reduced ticket price for people out
of work.


Expenditure

Employment of staff, artists and tutors accounts for 40% of expenditure
within the sector. The cost of hiring venues in which to meet or stage
exhibitions or performances is the next largest cost. 16% of the sector’s
income is expended on arts equipment or materials, including musical
instruments.

                Diagram 34: Nature of Expenditure by Voluntary Arts Groups
                                    (Group Survey 130)




                               Other, 13%

                    Fundraising, 1%
                    Marketing, 7%                         Artists / Tutors, 34%




                    Equipment /
                   Materials, 16%


                                                        Staff Salaries, 6%

                                      Venue Hire, 23%




The ‘Other’ category includes insurance, transport and the cost of staging
events or performances, the last possibly hiding further employment and
materials costs. Relatively little is spent on marketing given the comparative
importance of ticket sales activity fees as an income source and just one
percent is dedicated to raising funds.



48     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                    Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Premises and Equipment

Two thirds of groups have premises or offices; although only 5% own
these, the majority renting and 5% borrowing.

One third of groups with premises described its condition as 'Good’, 29%
as ‘Basic’ and 18 % felt it was ‘Inadequate’. 21% said their premises were
‘Excellent’, the majority of which were accommodated within new or
recently renovated arts or community centres.

Less than half of the premises used for meetings, rehearsals and events had
full disability access, and almost a quarter (24%) had no disability access at
all, the balance having partial accessibility.

More than half (55%) of those groups having premises held arts events in
them, 60% having full disability access and 14% none. Thus, choices about
where to meet and to stage events (quite probably determined by cost)
mean there is greater disability access for audiences to arts events than for
participants to take part in the groups’ regular activities.

Disability access was interpreted as wheelchair access. 20% of groups
using their regular premises for arts had use of an induction loop, minicom,
or Braille signage. These amounted to 13% of all arts groups in the survey.

             Diagram 35: Venues Most Often Used for Arts Events by Voluntary Arts
                                 Groups (Group Survey 86)

                    Pubs

                   Hotels

                 Libraries

           Private Homes

                 Schools

                Outdoors

         Church Facilities

   Other's Buildings/Halls

 Council Owned Premises

            Own Building

                             0%   5%   10%   15%   20%   25%   30%   35%   40%      45%   50%
                                                     % of Groups




Diagram 35 shows the results of asking groups to name the three places
they use most to present arts events. It should be noted that ‘Own Building’
will include premises rented from the Council, churches or other groups

Some 45% of groups own arts equipment, and a further 5% borrow it.
More than half (53%) rate it as being in good condition, 9% as excellent
and 33% as basic. Just 4% felt their arts equipment was inadequate.



        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann             49
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



A similar proportion (43%) either owned or borrowed office equipment, of
which 72% stated that it was either good or excellent and a quarter that it
was basic.

Sixty percent of groups either owned or had use of an email facility.




      CHAPTER FOUR – SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

                   FINANCIAL AND OTHER RESOURCES


FINANCIAL RESOURCES

60% of voluntary arts groups have a turnover of under £6,000 per annum, one
fifth operating on under £1,000 a year. 11% have annual budgets exceeding
£50,000.

Over two thirds of voluntary arts groups have received some form of grant aid.

Local Authorities are the most usual source of grant aid, followed by Trusts and
the National Lottery Distributors’ combined small grants scheme, Awards for
All.

Three quarters of voluntary arts groups have two or fewer grant funders.
45% have just one source of grant aid, most usually the local Council.

The voluntary cultural sector has a greater dependence on earned and donated
income and a lower level of reliance on statutory funding than the voluntary
and community sector as a whole.

One third of voluntary arts groups gain 80% or more of their income from
earnings.

Income from Trusts to the voluntary arts sector is underdeveloped and income
from investments is non-existent in comparison with the voluntary and
community sector in general.

Three quarters of voluntary arts groups make some form of charge for
participation. Although two thirds offer student discounts and a third reduce
rates for children and those not in work, there is concern that fees may
present a barrier to participation.




50     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003




OTHER RESOURCES

Just under a fifth of voluntary arts groups are based in premises which they
describe as inadequate and one fifth in premises described as excellent.

Under half of the premises used for meetings or rehearsals have full wheelchair
access and a quarter have no such access.

Full wheelchair access is available in 60% of cases where groups use their
premises for arts events.

There is better wheelchair access for audiences at performances than for
participants at regular meetings.

One fifth of groups using their regular premises for arts events have use of an
induction loop, minicom, or Braille signage.

Under half (45%) of groups have office or arts equipment, a small minority
describe it as inadequate.

Sixty percent of voluntary arts groups own or have use of an email facility.




Support Resources from the Infrastructure

It has already been noted that voluntary arts groups are in the main, stand-
alone independent organisations and operate without the support of a ‘head
office’ or formal relationships with groups elsewhere.

31% of voluntary arts groups receive no grant aid and a further 31%
receive grant support from just one funder, thus there are fewer linkages to
a smaller range of funders than are found elsewhere in the voluntary sector.

Likewise, the vast majority of voluntary arts groups (84%) relate to just one
Local Authority. Only 6% have contact with three or four Councils, usually
neighbouring or within the same county and none claimed working relations
with all 26 Councils.

The independent nature of groups in the sector is further underlined by the
way in which they operate. 86% of groups responding to the Autumn
Survey stated that their arts activities were started and run largely by the
group alone. Of the 14% whose activities were mainly run jointly with
other groups, a third were network or resource bodies. Where partners
were stated, these included schools, day centres and other arts groups.



       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   51
                                                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



One explanation for the relatively low level of networking and partnership
working in the sector is that the sector does not have the infrastructure in
place to encourage the development of the inter-group and inter-sector
relationships that characterise the rest of the voluntary sector.

In the survey of the voluntary and community sector,15 over half (53%) of
the respondents perceived themselves to be either network, resource or
umbrella organisations. Almost 16% were umbrella groups in that they had
a membership structure.

In contrast, the VAI database identifies 60 groups as network or umbrella
bodies in Northern Ireland. This equates to 8% of the sector as currently
recorded. A number of infrastructure organisations based in the Republic of
Ireland and GB also provide support to groups in Northern Ireland, but the
numbers are small, and even with their inclusion, the proportion of
networking or umbrella organisations does not rise above 10% of the total
sector.

Just over half of the infrastructure bodies focused their support primarily on
voluntary arts organisations, the balance supporting a particular art form
across both the professional and voluntary sectors.

The Music sector (including Musical Theatre) is best catered for with music
related infrastructure bodies forming a third of all support organisations. A
quarter of network or umbrella groups were generic in nature, in that they
offered support to all art forms across a specific geographic area. Crafts of
various forms, Literature/Language and Drama networks each accounted
for around 10% of the total number of such bodies, the balance being
spread across Dance, the Visual Arts, Festivals and other art forms.


                                             Diagram 36: Nature of Voluntary Arts Infrastructure Bodies (Base 60)

                                      35%


                                      30%
     % of All Infrastructure Bodies




                                      25%


                                      20%


                                      15%


                                      10%


                                      5%


                                      0%
                                             Music      Generic Art      Crafts    Literature and    Drama          Other
                                                                                     Language




15
     Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, ibid.


52                                      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The comparatively small number of voluntary arts infrastructure bodies, and
the fact that not all completed the survey, means that the sample size is too
small to draw definitive conclusions about the nature of such bodies.
However, the figures available suggest that 40% engage staff, a quarter of
which employ just one person, most usually in a generic ‘Development
Officer’ role. Around 15% of these had appointed their first local employee
within the past two years. This encouraging indication of development of
the infrastructure is also evidenced by a number of longer standing umbrella
or network organisations obtaining new or additional funding for specific
projects, most notably through the ACNI National Lottery fund prior to its
suspension in 2001.

Given the relatively small number of infrastructure bodies in the sector, it is
perhaps surprising that the Group Survey found that almost half of the
respondents (48%) described themselves as members of one or more
umbrella or support bodies. None the less, over half of the sector operates
without such infrastructure support, which may go someway in explaining
the isolation that has been noted above.

Table 10: Membership of Umbrella Bodies or Networks (Group Survey 169)
 Group has Membership of:                                             % of Groups
 One Umbrella body                                                        32
 Two Umbrella Bodies                                                      11
 Three or More Umbrella Bodies                                             5
 Total Number of Groups Having Membership                                 48
 Total Number of Umbrella Bodies Cited by Groups                          52


Most of those affiliated to an umbrella body were members of just one. The
majority (70%) of groups that belonged to more than one infrastructure
body had joined two or more organisations concerned with the same art
form, most usually Music or Drama. The balance of groups in multiple
memberships was split equally between those belonging to two or more
community umbrella organisations and those belonging to one art form
umbrella and one community umbrella. The former were most usually arts
projects within community groups which may not be aware of the art form
umbrellas available. The latter represented less than 3% of all voluntary arts
groups. It would seem that the sector, by and large, is not accessing the
support available from the infrastructure of the wider voluntary and
community sector.

The community umbrellas most accessed by arts groups are the local and
Regional Rural Networks. Membership of NICVA was limited to a handful
of arts groups and none had relations with the Volunteer Development
Agency. A review of membership of such agencies shows that they have not
as yet attracted significant membership from the voluntary arts sector – a
position confirmed by the organisations themselves.



       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   53
                     Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



                  Diagram 37: Sources of Information and Advice (Group Survey 63)


                 No One


          Others in Field


        Own Staff/Board


                   ACNI

   Voluntary/Community
      Umbrella Body

      Art Umbrella Body


     Council Arts Officer


                            0%   5%    10%      15%      20%        25%   30%       35%   40%
                                                      % of Groups




Whilst not joining voluntary sector support networks, voluntary arts groups
do turn to them for specific services, with 27% of groups using community
umbrellas as a source of information or advice. Arts umbrellas, although
fewer in number, provided support to 28% of groups. The importance of
local authority Arts Officers is again underlined, being a source of support to
over a third of voluntary arts groups. One fifth contacted the Arts Council
of Northern Ireland for advice and 14% turned to their own staff or board.
Libraries, Colleges, Funders and Auditors were each referred to by under
5%, and 8% stated there was no one they turned to for such support.

Groups were asked to identify the services provided by umbrella bodies
that they most used or appreciated. The number responding was small
(30), but it does indicate the type of non-financial support that groups value.

Information and Advice was followed by Services and Facilities. These were
most valued or used by half of those in membership of infrastructure
bodies, this figure being equally split between those using facilities (e.g.
room hire, photocopying) and those citing a group insurance facility. The
comparatively lower appreciation of Networking, Lobbying, and Training,
reflects the short time horizons and weak infrastructure in the sector.

 Table 11: Support Body Services Most Used or Valued (Group Survey 30)
 Service Most Valued or Used                                              % of Groups*
 Information and Advice                                                        66
 Services and Facilities                                                       50
 Networking and International Links                                            33
 Lobbying and Promotion                                                        16
 Training                                                                      13
*Groups could identify more than one, thus total is over 100%




54       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                             Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The number of groups giving a reason for not joining a support body was
small (28), and again the responses must be seen as merely indicative and
regarded with some caution. The most common reason given by 54% of
respondents was that the group was not aware of any such a body. 39%
stated that membership was not considered useful and 17% that the group
could not afford the subscription fee.


Consultation with Public Bodies

Voluntary arts groups have begun to form linkages with public bodies, either
in a funding relationship or through consultations. Just over half of the
groups responding to the survey (51%) had taken part in consultation with
a public body.

A fifth of all groups had participated in consultation with just one body –
most usually the local Council; 8% had engaged with two agencies – most
usually the Council and Arts Council of Northern Ireland; and 13% had
taken part in consultations organised by three or more public bodies.

Diagram 47 illustrates that groups were most likely to have been involved in
consultations with their local Council or ACNI. Engagement with other
Departments was low. Fewer than 5% of groups had engaged in
consultation with or through NICVA, NIVT or other European funding
intermediaries.

                        Diagram 38: Voluntary Arts Groups' Engagement in Consultations with
                                          Public Bodies (Group Survey 55)

                40%




                30%
  % of Groups




                20%




                10%




                0%
                       Local     ACNI    DCAL      VCU      DE      DSD    DHSSPS     DEL     DETI
                      Council

ACNI                  Arts Council of Northern Ireland      DSD      Department for Social Development
DCAL                  Department of Cultural, Arts &        DHSS     Department of Health, Social Services
                      Leisure                               PS       and Personal Services
VCU                   Voluntary and Community Unit          DEL      Department for Education & Learning
DE                    Department of Education               DETI     Department of Enterprise & Industry




                  Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann        55
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003




      CHAPTER FOUR - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


NON-FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

The voluntary arts sector has fewer relationships with a narrower range of
funders than the voluntary and community sector as a whole. The majority
(84%) of voluntary arts groups relate to just one local authority and the same
proportion run their activities entirely themselves.

Network and umbrella bodies make up less than 10% of the voluntary arts
sector. This is a significantly weaker infrastructure than in the voluntary and
community sector where 53% of groups have a networking or resource role
towards others and 16% are umbrellas having a membership structure.

The music sector is best provided with support organisations and there has
been a recent growth in umbrella or network bodies covering a particular
culture or council area.

Just over half of the arts infrastructure bodies focus their support primarily on
voluntary arts groups, the balance support a particular art form across both the
professional and voluntary sectors.

The majority of voluntary arts infrastructure bodies do not employ staff.

Just under half of all voluntary arts groups are in membership of one or more
umbrella bodies.

Voluntary arts groups have not joined umbrella bodies in the voluntary and
community sector in any great numbers.

Local Authority Arts Officers, arts umbrella bodies and local rural community
networks are the main sources of information and advice for voluntary arts
groups.

Information, advice and facilities, including group insurance, are the umbrella
body services that groups most use or value.

One in two voluntary arts groups have participated in consultations with a
public body – most usually the local Council or the Arts Council of Northern
Ireland. Fewer than 5% have engaged in consultations with Departments or
European bodies.




56     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                  Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Chapter Five - Uses and Benefits of Voluntary Arts

Voluntary Arts and Social Benefits

Groups were asked to identify those social or economic contexts in which
they had applied the arts in the past two years, whether by themselves or in
partnership with others.

82% of all groups identified one or more areas of social or economic
concern in which they had been recently active with 40% being active in
five or more of the different areas shown in Diagram 39.


                       Diagram 39: Social and Community Related Activities
                                      (Groups Survey 108)
         Work with Minority Ethnic Groups
                     Engaging with Carers
                   Tackling Unemployment
                  Work in Hospitals/Health
                       Work Skills/Training
          Engaging People with Disabilities
                       Promoting Tourism
                   Work with Older People
              Promoting Life Long Learing
                Promoting Adult Education
                    Cross Border Activities
            Fundraising for Other Charities
   Contributing to Community Regeneration
       Work with Children/Youth Education
               Cross Community Activities

                                              0%   10%   20%   30%    40%    50%   60%   70%
                                                               % of Groups




Cross community activities were the only area to which more than two
thirds of groups had applied the arts in the past two years. More than a
third had engaged with children or youth education, community
regeneration, raising funds for other charities and cross border activities.
Over one fifth were engaged in adult education, promoting life long learning
and working with older people. More than one in ten had used the arts to
promote tourism, engage people with disabilities or develop work skills
training. More than 5% had used art in hospitals, the health field, to tackle
unemployment or to engage with carers or minority ethnic groups.

Whether or not groups perceive themselves to be taking a planned and
active role in addressing social issues, it has been argued that they have an
inevitable impact on building social capital because they engage people as
volunteers, are a vehicle for social cohesion, tackle isolation and develop
community pride at a local, and perhaps wider, level.



       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann             57
                       Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The recently published report ‘Doing It Ourselves16 further explores the
impact of voluntary arts on social inclusion and makes a strong case for
recognising and supporting the sector as an effective channel for tackling
social need. The sector’s contribution to social capital is discussed in
Chapter Six.


Voluntary Arts and Individual Benefit

The Participation Survey asked those who took part in voluntary arts groups
their reasons for doing so. In addition to being motivated by personal
enjoyment (81%), a third of participants cited a desire to learn new skills
(34%), to meet people (29%), develop their art skills (22%) and share their
skills or knowledge with others (17%).

These are the ‘expectations’ that cause people to become involved in the
voluntary arts in the first place. By looking at the benefits participants
considered to arise from their arts activities, it is clear that voluntary arts
groups are meeting these expectations.



                              Diagram 40: Benefits of Voluntary Arts Participation
                                          (Participation Survey 126)

                    Lets Me Do Things I Am Good At


                     Broadens My Experience of Life


      Stay Active and in Good Mental/Physical Health


     Help Others/Give Something Back to Community


        Broaden My Experience/Knowledge of the Art


                                   Learn New Skills


                 Meet People and Make New Friends


          Makes Me Feel Good/Gives Me Satisfaction


                                                       0%   10%   20%       30%         40%   50%   60%
                                                                        % Respondents




The benefits of participation identified by those who take part fall into four
overlapping, interrelated areas:




16
     Doing It Ourselves, Voluntary Arts Network, 2003.


58         Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                   Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Personal Development
           The building of self confidence and satisfaction by taking part in an
           activity that is enjoyable and that allows participants to engage in
           something they consider themselves to be good at.

Educational
           The learning of new skills and broadening experience, whether
           related to arts, people or work.

Social
           The ability to tackle isolation by meeting new people and enabling
           participants to put something back into the community by sharing
           their skills with others.

Physical
           The stimulation of body and mind to promote good health.


Whilst the headings are not identical, the benefits identified by participants
in voluntary art groups (Diagram 40) and those cited by all formal
volunteers, as measured by the Volunteering in NI Survey17, are broadly
similar. In both cases, personal enjoyment/satisfaction was rated the single
biggest benefit (50% arts: 74% volunteering), followed by meeting new
people (48% arts: 57% volunteering). There was a slightly higher emphasis
on health benefits amongst volunteers in general than arts participants (25%
arts: 32% volunteers). Notably, more participants in the voluntary arts
believed their experience developed skills or learning (29%) than did
volunteers in general (10%).

These findings indicate that the creation of art is not the only contribution
the sector makes to society, but that it has an important role to play in
relation to social inclusion, education, life long learning, both personal and
community health, and, more generally, to building what has become
referred to as social capital.

It is perhaps little wonder that the majority (81%) of those who take part
replied that their voluntary arts activities were important to them, almost
half going as far as to say that they were very important to them. It would
seem that they should be just as important to those seeking to build the
‘new’ Northern Ireland.




17
     Volunteer Development Agency. Ibid.


          Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   59
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003




       CHAPTER FIVE - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Voluntary arts groups are active across a range of areas of social and economic
benefit.

Over two thirds of groups in the voluntary cultural sector applied the arts to
cross community activities, a third worked with children or young people in
education and a similar proportion contributed to community regeneration,
raised funds for other charities and took part in cross border activities. More
than a quarter used arts to promote life long learning, adult education or to
work with older people.

Participation in the voluntary arts produces benefits for the individual in relation
to personal development, education, social inclusion and well being.

The single greatest benefit of participation in the voluntary arts, as identified by
individual participants, was personal enjoyment and satisfaction.

Almost half of the participants in voluntary arts groups identified meeting new
people as a benefit of their arts activities.

Individual benefits identified by over a quarter of participants included learning
new skills, being able to give something back to the community and staying in
good mental or physical health.

Arts participants are more likely to identify health, education and learning
benefits than volunteers across the whole of the voluntary and community
sector.




60     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Chapter Six - Current and Future Needs

Support and Development Needs of Voluntary Arts Groups

The two Group Surveys asked respondents to indicate the issues they
believed would be most important to their particular group’s work over the
coming two years. Table 12 shows the top five responses.

Table 12: Top Five Issues Facing Voluntary Arts Groups
(Group Surveys 161)
Issue                                                               % of Groups
Funding                                                                 71
Increasing the Number or Range of Participants                          65
Attracting Bigger Audiences                                             61
Recruiting or Keeping Volunteers                                        47
Improved Facilities                                                     47

The Autumn Survey also elicited responses to a more detailed question,
asking respondents to weight their replies by indicating the top three in
order of importance. Diagram 41 shows the resulting weighted scores.

Again, the need to find and make secure funding topped the list of concerns.
The desire to increase the range and number of people engaged with the
group, whether as audience members or participants, featured strongly.

          Diagram 41: Issues Important to Group - Weighted Scores (Group Survey 104)
                                       nd Gr y




                                                              te




                                                                d
                                                             es




                                                 qu ps




                                                                s
                                                              nt



                                                             ps




                                                              ts
                          an s/P f P ts
          nd ncr ing d F ces




                                                               ff
                                                               s
                                      ai rma e



                                                               s




                                                               s




                                                             ng
                                                 ud re




                                                              t




                                              IT litie
                                                              l
                                             Vo nce




                                                           de
                                                            er




                                  So Par ber
                                             to Sta
                                               tiy ali




                                                          ua
                                              fo op
                                                           is




                                                          an
                                 om e A me
                                           r A ecu




                                             to iliti




                               Im ts E rou




                                                         ou




                                                          ni
                                           A nte
                                                         n



                                                         rt




                             pu ffic clu
                                         un Qu




                                                       al



                                        al cip
                                                        e




                                        e/ em




                                                      ai
                                        or aci
                                                      ie




                                                     ip
                                        ng /A




                                                       r
                                                    ac
                                                     S




                                                    G




                                                  Ev
                                                   fo




                                                  Tr
                                                   lu




                                                 Ex
                                                 rs




                                                  ti
                                                 rt




                                                 M




                                                 F
                                                 e




                                                 s
                                                o




                                                g
                                             or




                                              rt




                                              e
                                            ly
                   In die ee
                                           in
                                             e
                                         er
                                           e
                                         M




                                        Tu




                                         n




      nd ear Co ys
                             cu ov
                                      ge




                                       itt
                                      ov
                                     ith




                                      m
                                       r
                                      g




                                     ci
                                    nc




                                     O
            R or E Ra




                                     a




                                    rs
                                     A




                                    m
                                   Fu
                                   pr
                                   ig




                                   et
                                   in




                                   pr




                                   W
                                   w
                                   t




                                 m




                                 te
                                  B




                                 R
                                nd




                  ru ven
                                Im



                               se
                                 r




                              nk




                              C




                              e
                              d
                           Fu




               to Au
                           ea




                            lv
               Li to
                           Li




                          to




                        om
                        Se




                        vo
                          n
    e




                     ng




                      ai

                    ch
                       s
                       it
  ak




                    C
                 nk
                     f




                 Tr
                   I




                 ni
                 g
 M




              ec
              in




              ai




               d
    Fu es
           an
           Tr




            g
         in
         R
        Fu




       nd
     Fi




The need to recruit and retain volunteers to support the group, identified
by 50% of respondents, was of far greater prominence than the need to
secure funding for staff (22% of groups). However, 51% of groups were
concerned about securing tutors, conductors or artists and ranked this the


        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann    61
                     Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



fourth most important concern. This reflects the findings of the Easter
Group Survey which asked what roles further volunteers were required to
fulfil. The responses split evenly across tutoring, providing technical
assistance in staging events and fundraising/administration. Thus the need
to secure volunteers is to an extent, part of the same need as that to secure
art tutors, producers, conductors, set builders and others actively engaged
in the art form.


Audience Development

The issue of audience development was a close second to that of funding.
The survey also asked groups what they perceived to be the main obstacles
to increasing audience sizes. Not all groups sought an ‘audience’ but 75%
did respond as illustrated in Diagram 42.

Yet again, the scarcity of funding was seen as the main reason preventing
development, and again, the lack of suitable venues featured strongly (the
need for neutrality, suitable equipment and affordable pricing being
specifically mentioned).

Over a third of groups believed that they could expand their audience if
they could find additional volunteers and develop their marketing skills.
However, just under a third claimed that the nature of their art was what
limited audience size. A similar number pointed to the limitations of the
group’s current capacity to take on more – a combination perhaps of the
number of volunteers, level of funding and scarcity of management or
marketing resources.

                 Diagram 42: Main Obstacles to Increasing Audiences (Groups Survey 89)

                                  Other

                Ticket Prices Too High

                Inadequate Equipment

 Need Training to Build Artistic Quality

                      Shortage of Staff

     Capacity of Group to Take On More

               Nature of Art/Repertoire

               Lack of Marketing Skills

               Lack of Suitable Venues

                Shortage of Volunteers

           Lack of Funds for Marketing

                                           0%   10%   20%    30%     40%      50%        60%   70%
                                                             % of Groups




62        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The need for staff, equipment and training to develop quality of artistic
output in order to build audiences were each cited by between one fifth
and one quarter of groups.

Also mentioned, by 5% or less, were location (rurality often being seen as a
limitation on audience size), the weather and the attitude of the public
towards a specific art form or attending arts events in general.


Participation Development

Voluntary arts groups are distinguished by having participants instead of or
in addition to audiences.

Groups were asked to select one of three statements to describe the
current availability of opportunities to take part in the group’s arts activities.

            Diagram 43: Capacity to Accept More Participants (Group Survey 83)


                       We Cannot Meet the
                         Demand, 18%



                                                               We Find it Hard to
                                                                    Recruit
                                                               Participants, 45%



                 We Have Some
                Spare Places, 37%




Just under a fifth, stated that they could not meet the demand to
participate, and less than half of the groups found it difficult to recruit
participants (Diagram 43). With over a third of groups having some spare
spaces, it is clear that there is capacity to increase participation in the arts
through existing voluntary arts provision.

The Participation Survey of 1010 adults indicated that the demand to match
this supply may already exist.

Whilst 12.5% of adults took part in activities organised by voluntary arts
groups in the past year, 18% said that they were interested in doing so,
being either ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ likely to participate in the future. 61% of adults
across Northern Ireland said they were either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ unlikely to
participate in the future. This does not indicate that the majority of the
population are uninterested in arts, rather that there are barriers to taking
part which are explored below.



       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   63
                                          Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



                               Diagram 44: Likelihood of Future Participation in Voluntary Arts by Region,
                                            Gender and Religion (Participation Survey 1010)

                    90%
                    80%
                    70%
  % Respondents



                    60%
                    50%
                    40%

                    30%
                    20%

                    10%
                         0%
                                ge




                                                                                   t
                                                           th




                                                                                                     en
                                              ity




                                                                      h




                                                                                                                              lic
                                                                                           en




                                                                                                                  nt
                                                                                es
                                                                      ut
                                                         or




                                                                                                                ta



                                                                                                                            ho
                              ra




                                                                                                   om
                                             C




                                                                                          M
                                                                               W
                                                                    So




                                                                                                              es
                                                        N
                            ve




                                          st




                                                                                                                          at
                                                                                                  W



                                                                                                            ot
                                        fa
                          IA




                                                                                                                          C
                                                                                                          Pr
                                      el
                         N



                                     B




                                                          Very or Fairly Likely            Very or Fairly Unlikely



In a reflection of current participation patterns, people in the North
(County Antrim, excluding Belfast City) were least likely to participate in
the future (8%) and most likely to believe they probably would not do so.

Men believed they were less likely to participate than women. There was a
small difference between the two main communities in terms of those likely
to participate. 17% of Protestant respondents compared to 19% of
Catholics surveyed felt they would take part, and a greater proportion of
Protestants than Catholics replied that they were unlikely to do so.

                               Diagram 45: Likelihood of Future Participation in Voluntary Arts by Age and
                                          Socio-Economic Group (Participation Survey 1010)

                         80%

                         70%

                         60%
         % Respondents




                         50%

                         40%

                         30%

                         20%

                         10%

                          0%
                                  NI            16-24       25-34      35-49      50-64     65+       ABC1           C2        DE
                                Average

                                                    Very or Fairly Likely                 Very or Fairly Unlikely



Anticipated future participation also varied by socio-economic group.
Almost a quarter of those in the ABC1 group believed they would be likely
to participate in voluntary arts in the future, as compared to 16% of C2 and
14% of D and E groupings.




64                         Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Likelihood of future involvement in voluntary arts also varied with age. One
quarter of those aged 16 to 24 felt it likely they would be taking part; this
fell to one fifth of the 25 to 34 age group and was lowest (14%) for those
aged between 35 and 49; rising to 17% of the over 50’s. Interestingly,
those aged over 50 were also more prone to stating they were unlikely to
be participating in the future, most probably a reflection of having adopted
settled patterns of interest and involvement in the community.

The decrease in the likelihood of taking part between the ages of 25 and 50
gives some support to the commonly held belief that people in their thirties
and forties concentrate their time on career and family and so have less
capacity to take part in activities outside of work and the home and indeed,
time was identified as one of the major barriers to participation.


Barriers to Future Participation

Although under a fifth of the adult population stated they were likely to take
part in voluntary arts activities in the future, this does not indicate a lack of
interest. Rather it is a representation of the existence of barriers, real or
perceived, to taking part.

Just over half of the respondents said they did not currently participate
because they had no interest in the arts.

Almost half (49%) of the 1010 people surveyed stated that they would take
part in voluntary arts activities in the future if they had more spare time.
Indeed, over a quarter (26%) would take part if an activity of interest was
available in their area. Just over one in ten referred to affordability and 4%
to the need for affordable transport.

If the sector can develop ways to reduce the perceived time commitment
of participation, increase choice locally (which also reduces travel time and
cost) and ensure that activities remain affordable to all, the scope for
increasing involvement is sizeable.

When asked to identify just the one most important factor determining
future participation, 40% cited time, 22% local availability, 17% the
availability of a subject of interest and 13% cited affordability (Diagram 46).

Respondents in the North area were less likely than others to point to time
as a limit (just 33%) and more likely to point to the need for the subject of
their choice to be available (30%). Those in the West were more than
twice as likely to identify affordability as the one key issue determining
future participation (21%) than people living elsewhere. The only
respondents to identify affordable transport as the most important factor
were living in the West (1%) or Belfast City (4%).



       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   65
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



         Diagram 46: Single Most Important Factor Determining Future Participation
                                (Participation Survey 1010)


                            Not Known, 2%

                     Other, 4%
                 Affordable
               Transport, 1%                              Time, 40%

                Affordability, 13%




                 Choice of Subject,
                       17%

                                               Local Availability,
                                                     22%




Organisational Development

It maybe that the issues in the bottom half of Diagram 40 are not prioritised
for development because groups already deal with them effectively.
However, it seems more likely that the needs for funding and to engage
people in the group, in whatever roles, are so dominant that developmental
issues, such as training committee members, evaluation, IT systems and
networking are placed over the long term horizon.

Consideration of the planning habits of groups further suggests that the
need to concentrate on survival or fire-fighting is causing groups to be more
reactive than proactive.

Less than a third of groups (32%) had any sort of written plan. As Table 13
shows, groups were most likely to have a strategic or operational plan
covering two to three years. 13% have developed fundraising plans. There
were other forms of plans, but none of these had been developed by more
than 10% of groups.

 Table 13: Percentage of Voluntary Arts Groups Having Written Plans
 Type of Plan Written                                                    % Groups
 Strategic                                                                  15
 Fundraising                                                                13
 Business                                                                    9
 Marketing                                                                   9
 Audience Development                                                       7
 Volunteer Development                                                       3
 Other                                                                       4

62% of groups stated that they would like to have plans if support was
available to help develop them.


66    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                   Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The single most desired plan was a Fundraising Strategy (37% of all groups)
followed by a Marketing Plan (29%). One quarter of groups would like to
develop a strategic or business plan, and a fifth would like an Audience
Development Strategy, with 18% stating that, if support were available,
they would like to develop a plan for recruiting and developing volunteers.

Just 5% of groups had conducted research, most being into the need for
provision prior to developing a new project. Just one group had conducted
an evaluation and one had researched its audience.

Given that the majority of voluntary arts groups do not offer management
training to staff or volunteers it is not surprising that the Group Survey
provides evidence that there is great scope for developing planning within
the sector.


The Future of the Sector

Groups were asked what they considered to be the issues of importance to
the voluntary arts sector as a whole over the next two years.

Issues identified by over 60% of groups were attracting more young people
(68%); a voluntary arts support body (67%); and recognition of the role
voluntary arts play in the community (63%). Over half the groups identified
a need to build links with Councils (57%), develop a regional strategy for
the sector (55%), and increase information flow (52%).

Groups were then asked to weight their answers by indicating the three
issues they felt would be most important (Diagram 47).

                       Diagram 47: Issues Facing the Sector - Weighted Score
                                        (Group Survey 108)

             Introduce New Technology

                Links with Departments

        Chance to Consult Government

      Ways to Involve Excluded Groups

       Links with Vol/Community Sector

             Improved Information Flow

                    Links with Councils

        Body to Speak up for the Sector

  Building Recognition of Role of Sector

            Regional Strategy for Sector

             Attracting Younger People

           Voluntary Arts Support Body

                                           0      40           80          120        160




        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann         67
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The need for a sector support body was deemed most important, closely
followed by the need to attract younger people to the sector. Four of the
top five issues related to the need for the sector to be recognised, heard
and developed in a strategic manner.

Although over half of the groups (57%) identified the need to build links
with Councils, and 46% felt it was important that the sector forge links with
the wider voluntary and community sector, in the face of other more
pressing issues, these were not as often selected as being amongst the top
three priorities when weighting answers. Similarly, whilst 40% identified the
need to find ways to involve excluded groups as important, it was not seen
as the most important issue and thus featured less strongly in the weighted
responses.

It maybe that day to day survival issues, such as fundraising and attracting
participants, means that the development of networks is forced into
becoming a secondary concern; however, it is evident from the previous
consideration of levels of consultation (Diagram 38) that groups do not
operate entirely without engagement with policy makers and public bodies.

The sector appears not to be despondent or in decline. As Diagram 48
shows, 64% of groups intend to either expand their current activities or
add new arts activities over the next two years. Indeed 29% believed they
would be doing both. A third of groups envisaged operating the same
activities at the same level, and just 3% reported their intention to scale
down or stop arts activities.

              Diagram 48: Groups' Expectations for Level of Activities 2002/4
                                  (Group Survey 100)

                                       Stop Arts Activities,
                                               2%
                      Reduce Arts
                      Activities, 1%
                                                                      Offer Same Arts
                                                                      Activities, 33%
            Expand Current and
              Offer New Arts
              Activities, 31%




                     Develop New Arts                          Expand Current Arts
                      Activities, 18%                            Activities, 15%




Such growth will be predicated upon securing sufficient resources, both
financial and human, and upon ensuring the sector has the skills and support
to plan and deliver excellence to everyone.




68    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                     Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Sustainability

Given the apparent dearth of time and resources to support organisational
development planning, funding and fundraising, why is the voluntary cultural
sector characterised by groups of significant longevity? The answer lies in
the extent to which voluntary arts groups possess ‘sustainability
characteristics’ and avoid barriers to sustainability.

Much recent government thinking is focused upon sustainability. The
NICVA State of the Sector report18quotes a survey carried out by the
Intermediary Funding Bodies/Sectoral Partners that put forward the
following as characteristics of a sustainable project:
       1. Well planned/set in a strategic context.
       2. Shared risk - other funders and communities own contributions.
       3. Sufficient local interest - critical mass of support including volunteers.
       4. Potential for mainstreaming - linking to voluntary and statutory
          sectors.
       5. Legacy/impact - longer term benefit.

Quite clearly, the majority of voluntary arts groups score well on points one
and two, having sizeable input from the local community and volunteers. As
discussed elsewhere, they also leave a legacy not only in terms of artworks,
but of personal and skills development and of social cohesion. What they
lack is a strategic overview of the sector and their work within it, the space
and resources in which to plan and the infrastructure to facilitate linkages to
the voluntary and statutory sectors.

Whilst having a number of the characteristics considered important to
sustainability, voluntary arts groups are also able to avoid at least one of the
barriers to sustainability.

The same NICVA report cites then unpublished research undertaken by
Area Development Management Ltd (ADM) and the Combat Poverty
Agency (CPA) as the most comprehensive investigation into sustainability.
This study highlighted a number of common barriers to sustainability,
including:
       1. Addressing long term needs through fragmented, short term
          measures.
       2. Sustaining motivation and commitment on the ground.
       3. Lack of forward planning.
Given the level of voluntary input, the rates of participation and the fact that
the vast majority of participants enjoy participating, the voluntary arts sector
can claim sustained motivation and commitment as one of its hallmarks.


18
     Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary action 2003. ibid pg 64


            Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   69
                  Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The issue of using short term, fragmented funding to tackle long term
objectives that characterises the wider voluntary and community sector
appears to be less of an issue in the voluntary arts sector. The main reason
the sector has avoided this barrier is that it has found so few sources of
grant aid open to it. Most arts groups have not secured funding from
Europe, or the Departments or agencies concerned with welfare, health or
development. Thus, for example, comparatively few arts groups faced
closure due to the recent ‘gap’ in European funding. That is not to say that
groups have not diversified their income; they have, but the sources tend to
be fees, sales, local business sponsorship and gifts in kind, none of which is
as subject the ‘short termism’ as government policy related grant aid. It is
somewhat ironic that the lack of diversified grant aid may play a part in the
sector’s sustainability.

The level of community and voluntary support combined with a low level of
reliance on grant aid are thus two of the keys to understanding the proven
sustainability of voluntary arts groups.

Sustaining activities, however, is not sufficient; they must also be developed
if they are to bring benefits to a greater proportion of the population. It is
the sustainable development of the sector that is hindered by inadequate
support for planning and a lack of an infrastructure to foster the links
necessary to long term growth and possible mainstreaming.

Sustainability research of recent past years has identified areas of need
within the broader voluntary sector. These apply equally, but in different
measure, to the voluntary arts sector and in that regard, may be
summarised as the needs to:
     • Measure and respond to community need and the needs of
         stakeholders.
     •   Plan within a strategic context in order to manage growth and change.
     •   Build income from a range of sustainable sources.
     •   Establish networks which give rise to working partnerships, synergy
         and effective advocacy/lobbying.
     •   Develop systems for monitoring, evaluation and the promotion of
         good practice.
The challenge for the voluntary arts sector is to meet these needs without
destroying the ethos of volunteering or the enjoyment of art that is the basis
for its success. The majority of volunteers are attracted by the art form and
the desire to meet people with whom they share an interest. They do not,
by and large, become involved to serve on the committee, raise funds or
write plans. None the less, that is what many do. The aim must be to find
ways to enable volunteers to fulfil their non-arts roles in an effective and
efficient manner, so freeing their time and energy to enjoy their artistic
pursuits, whilst enabling an ever greater number of others to join them
therein. If progress can be made towards this goal, then the sector’s ability
to contribute to the development of social capital will be further enhanced.


70       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                   Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Social Capital

A recently launched report on evaluating the social capital impact of
community based activity19notes that

     “Social capital has become an important concept in development
     theory where it is argued that societies characterised by high levels of
     social capital have a higher quality of life, and, indeed, are more
     economically competitive.”

As the ‘glue’ that holds society together, social capital is identified as having
three key dimensions – bonding, bridging and linking.

       • Bonding capital is the level of engagement between people in the
         same community.
       • Bridging capital is the degree of connectedness with others.
       • Linking capital represents the extent of engagement between
         voluntary and community organisations, resource agencies and
         funders.

The ceni report sets forward a number of proposed indicators for
measuring and evaluating the social capital outcomes of the work of a group
or sector.

An initial review of these shows that the voluntary arts sector appears to be
relatively successful at generating Bonding capital, those within a local
community or within a community of interest (say drama, or music) being
strongly engaged with their groups within that community. There is also
some evidence of a contribution to Bridging capital, but it is clear that the
potential of the voluntary arts sector in this regard cannot not be fully
realised until the lack of structures and resources to facilitate cross art form
and inter group networking is addressed. Just as importantly, this approach
to measuring the value of voluntary endeavour, underlines the need to
facilitate an increase in the number and quality of engagements between the
voluntary arts sector, funders and policy makers if the sector is to be
assisted in enhancing its contribution Linking capital within the community.

A pilot exercise to test the proposed social capital model of evaluation in
the context of the voluntary arts sector would help to highlight areas in
which resources should be concentrated to capitalise on the sectors’
inherent, but emergent, ability to contribute to the development of social
capital.




19
     Community Evaluation Northern Ireland (ceni), Report on Research into Evaluating
      Community Based and Voluntary Activity in Northern Ireland. Morrissey, McGinn and
      McDonnell. April 2003. Pg 5.


          Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   71
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003




         CHAPTER SIX - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Securing funding and increasing the number and range of participants and
audiences are issues seen as vital to their own future by over 60% of groups.

Almost one group in two considers recruiting and retaining volunteers or
securing improved facilities as being very important to their future.

The need to source and engage arts tutors and artists is an important issue for
over 50% of voluntary art groups. The sector holds great potential for providing
employment for artists.

A lack of funding for marketing is considered the single biggest factor restricting
audience growth, followed by a shortage of volunteers, suitable venues and
marketing skills.

One third of voluntary arts groups have some spare spaces for participants.
48% find it difficult to recruit participants.

18% of adults said they were likely to take part in voluntary arts activities in the
future. This figure would rise significantly if barriers to participation were
reduced.

Almost half of the adults surveyed would participate if they had more time.

Time (40%), local availability (22%), subject choice (17%) and affordability
(13%) were the single most important factors determining participation.

Men, those living in the North region, people in the Protestant community,
those aged 25 to 34 and people in socio-economic groups C2, D and E were
least likely to believe they would participate in the voluntary arts.

Less than a third of groups have any sort of written plan. 62% would like to
develop plans if appropriate support was available, fundraising and marketing
plans being those most often requested.

Only 5% of voluntary arts groups have conducted research relevant to their
work.

The most important issues facing the voluntary arts sector as a whole and
identified by over 50% of groups were a voluntary arts support body, attracting
younger people, a regional development strategy, increased recognition, a voice
for the sector, links with Councils and improved information flow.

Voluntary arts groups are not in decline. 64% intend to expand current arts
activities or develop new ones in the next two years.

The voluntary arts sector exhibits high levels of sustainability and has potential to
make an even greater contribution to building social capital.



72      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Chapter Seven - The Roadshows
In order to gather qualitative evidence against which to test the findings of
the quantitative surveys, Voluntary Arts Ireland held a series of ‘Roadshows’
open to all voluntary arts groups across Northern Ireland.

These open meetings were held in conjunction with 23 local authorities To
facilitate attendance by those who had day time commitments to work or
family, the events ran from 7pm to 9pm, with additional lunch time
meetings in the cities of Derry and Belfast. The Autumn Series collected
information which was then analysed and tested by feedback during the
Spring Series.

A total of 160 people representing over 130 groups attended, a high level of
engagement compared with contemporary arts consultations and seminars.

Table 14: Voluntary Arts Ireland Roadshow Schedule 2002/3
Town/City              Date 2002              Town/City             Date 2002/3
Londonderry-Derry      3 September            Newtownabbey          3 October
Dungannon              4 September            Ballymena             7 October
Armagh                 5 September            Belfast               8 October
Carrickfergus          9 September            Ballymoney            9 October
Downpatrick            10 September           Enniskillen           10 October
Newtownards            12 September           Antrim                12 March
Strabane               16 September           Lisburn               13 March
Cookstown              17 September           Castlereagh           19 March
Ballycastle            25 September           Limavady              20 March
Omagh                  30 September           Coleraine             25 March
Newry                  1 October              Banbridge             26 March
Craigavon              2 October

Participants were asked to set the agenda for discussion themselves by
noting key issues facing their group under one of six headings, each
presented on a separate card.

       Resources                          The People Taking Part
       Running the Group                  Information and Advice
       Recognition and Influence          Other

Having made notes on the appropriate card, leaving blank those cards not
relevant to their group, participants were asked to prioritise their needs by
placing a red dot against the one area of greatest concern and green dots on
up to two areas that were of next greatest importance. The areas were
then prioritised for discussion according to the number of red and green
dots. In this way, the sector itself set the agenda, and participants were
assured of having time to make presentations about those issues of greatest
concern within the time available.


      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   73
                                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Whilst not a rigorously scientific method, it is illuminating to analyse the
cards completed (anonymously) by participants. These were completed at
the start of each session before participants were influenced by the views
expressed by others during discussion. There is, however, a startling level
of consistency across all the Roadshows and the pattern of concerns
matches closely with that identified by the respondents to the Group Survey
wherein funding, audience/participation development and improved facilities
predominated the list of needs.

Almost half (47%) of all participants used their red dot to identify resources
as their main area of concern and 19% prioritised issues relating to the
number or nature of people taking part. Green dots were applied relatively
evenly across all the cards.

By scoring red 3, green 2 and non-prioritised notes 1, a weighted score can
be obtained across all the cards completed (Diagram 49). As in the survey,
resources and the desire to involve more and different people top the list.

More than half of the participants used their cards to highlight concerns
relating to organisational development, advocacy and networking (under the
headings of running the group or recognition and influence). However,
whilst these were seen as important, they were not prioritised as urgent in
the face of more pressing worries about resources.

                               Diagram 49: Priorities for Voluntary Arts Groups as Expressed on
                                                    Roadshow Record Cards

                      300




                      200
     Weighted Score




                      100




                       0
                             Resources        People        Information and   Running the    Recognition and
                                            Participating        Advice         Group           Influence




Findings of the Roadshows

A review and analysis of the discussion notes taken during each Roadshow
by the Voluntary Arts Ireland Co-ordinator and separately by the Research
Officer, identifies a number of issues and themes that arose across all or
most of the areas visited. The following section sets out these common
themes and presents a number of conclusions.



74                      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Funding

It is illuminating that, other than wishing for more volunteers or training to
improve sales skills, groups represented at the Roadshows made little
specific comment on raising funds by selling tickets or ballots or seeking
programme advertising or small amounts of local business sponsorship –
areas in which the survey figures showed they are relatively successful.
Rather, participants comments related almost entirely to accessing grant aid.

A number of groups had successfully accessed a range of funds. However,
the balance of groups having made an unsuccessful application to those that
had been successful was in the region of five to one. This ration changed
notably between the first Roadshows in September 2002 and the last in
March 2003, with the increase in success being almost entirely due to
groups becoming aware of and accessing Awards for All funding.

In contrast to other sources of ‘public’ or statutory funds, Roadshow
participants viewed Awards for All as an approachable and efficient funder,
most of those who had applied had been successful, but awareness was not
as extensive as it might be at 17% of adults (Appendix One) and attitudes
may well change as success rates fall. However, the simpler criteria,
application form and faster turn around time were welcomed.

There are few professional fundraisers employed in the voluntary arts
sector and whilst many volunteers have extensive experience of applying for
funding, resources in the sector have not permitted, or have not been
focused on, the development of a high level of professional fundraising skills,
and few of those tasked with the role have attended training in fundraising
methods. This is in a large part due to issues such as time, cost and location
acting as barriers to training, a subject returned to later.

Although funding bodies invest time and energy in developing and reviewing
their criteria and procedures, it was disturbing to find despair, frustration
and in many cases anger, underlying the comments of Roadshow
participants when commenting on their experience of seeking grant aid for
their work.

Some insight into how this surprisingly negative perception of funding
bodies has developed can be gleaned from the views and information put
forward as evidence by those attending the Roadshows.

There is a startling and widely held belief that Arts Council, Lottery, DCAL
and European funding is accessible only if you are amongst a group of
specially favoured organisations and/or you know the right ‘magical’ words
or phrases to write upon an application form. Sadly, there was very little
perception amongst Roadshow delegates of funding being allocated in
accordance with the value of the idea, work, need or passion behind a
project proposal.


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   75
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Consistently, across the Roadshows venues, participants related one, and
often more, anecdotal reports of applications being refused because
budgets did not balance by a few pence or because additional information
was required within a time period (usually a few days) that made it
impossible to respond if volunteers were away or the committee needed to
meet to make a decision. Whether based on fact or misunderstanding, the
prevalence of such tales illustrates the perception that funders have little or
no understanding of the difficulties of operating on a purely voluntary basis.

Application forms were seen as a test designed to prevent access to funds.
They were not understood on two fronts - firstly the language or ‘jargon’
used and secondly the purpose of what were seen as repetitive or even
trick questions.

Criteria designed by funders to encourage the targeting of funds on those
most in need or to ensure promotion of good relations appear not to be
understood as attempts to encourage groups to consider such matters, but
as barriers erected to prevent access to funding. As an example, many
groups believed there was a specified Catholic/Protestant balance or a set
level of participation by people with disabilities that had to be written in
response to questions about access in order to receive funding.

The time between the opening of some funding programmes and the
closing date was seen as being too short for groups that relied on volunteer
input and/or needed to bring volunteers together to make decisions about
projects.

Groups seeking relatively small amounts of money pointed to the ‘red tape’
involved in applying for and reporting on funds, and on several occasions the
Roadshow heard comments to the effect that groups believed that it cost
the funder more to process their grant than the value of the grant itself.

Few groups claimed to have developed better fundraising skills as a result of
rejected applications, pointing to there being little in most rejection letters
to help the group understand how to improve upon the project or
proposal. In short, the material gathered through the Roadshows suggests
that the current system of application and rejection has done more to build
frustration and anger than to develop and finely hone fundraising skills.

Roadshow discussions of funding invariably highlighted the perception that
there were no sources of funding for ‘arts’. At the time of the first
Roadshows, the Arts Council had received no uplift in funding for many
years, and three of the ACNI Lottery programmes had been suspended for
several months (they remained so between July 2002 and April 2003).

The majority of groups believed that the criteria set by community funders
failed to allow for the impact of arts on social factors and, conversely, that
arts funders operated criteria so focused on the social agenda that there


76     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



was no recognition of the sector’s roles of maintaining basic levels of art
skills in the population, preserving rare art forms and driving up standards of
artistic excellence.

Voluntary arts groups felt that they were struggling with a difficult balancing
act – wanting to deliver arts to the highest of artistic standards to the widest
range of people but perceiving funding to be available only for pursuing a
socio-economic/political agenda that did not have a great concern for the
quality of the art.

The Roadshows supported the survey findings that very few groups have
found access to funding aimed at promoting active citizenship, life long
learning, community cohesion or other social matters. A number (under
10%) had received Community Relations Council funding in earlier years,
but none had accessed this source within the past year. Three dance groups
reported receiving funding from the Sports Council and from health related
initiatives to encourage physical exercise.

In a fifth of the areas visited, there was expressed a belief that, of recent
years, large amount of arts funding had been invested in flagship venues to
the detriment of local arts groups.

Groups reported the greatest difficulty in securing grant aid towards running
costs as distinct from separate projects. This was reflected in the level of
disquiet about funds being targeted on ‘new’ groups or ‘new’ initiatives,
there being seemingly no recognition of or support for existing endeavours.
A number of participants suggested there be a form of low level ‘Annual
Support’ (ASOP) funding provided by local Councils or the Arts Council, or
both, to provide a level of security for voluntary arts groups that are ‘key’
within their own community.

Discussions highlighted the belief that whilst funding is available for start-ups
and for bigger groups ready to take on new projects, there was no
intermediary or development funding for groups not yet having the capacity
to take on sizeable projects, but which would have the potential to do so,
having already established a successful track record in their core work.

Securing funding year on year was the one issue of greatest concern to
those groups that had secured some grant aid. They pointed to three
debilitating effects of annual funding. First the need for an annual application
diverted a large amount of time and energy away from delivering arts
activities every year and was seen as a key cause for volunteer ‘burn out’.
Second, long term planning and continuity were severely hampered by a 12
month horizon and finally, one year was insufficient time in which to show
progress against long term goals.

A specific concern repeatedly expressed by groups, especially those
engaged in the verbal arts, was that funding for competitions and


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   77
                  Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



adjudicators was exceptionally hard to secure. Competitions with qualified
adjudicators were seen as playing an important role in creating motivation
to achieve, setting high standards and providing personal feedback to help
individuals build their skills.

The evidence presented across all the Roadshows suggests that voluntary
arts groups have met with little success in securing grant aid for their work.

It was difficult to judge to what extent the failure of applications was due to:

     •   The lack of time, resources and/or skills to prepare strong applications.
     •   The limits that resources and time place on groups ability to plan fully.
     •   The misunderstanding of the aims and criteria of different funders.
     •   The processes operated by funders in considering applications.
     •   The perceived dearth of arts funding perhaps causing groups in
         desperation, to make ‘long shot’ applications to any new funders that
         emerged, regardless of their priorities.

The complete answer is probably a combination of the above, in different
proportions in each specific case. Whatever the cause, the immediate result
is that huge amounts of time and effort is being expended on unsuccessful
and sometime inappropriate applications. The longer term outcome, it
appears, has been to create a less than positive perception of funders
which, in turn, must reduce the effectiveness of communications and thus
the likelihood of groups making or succeeding with grant aid applications.


Human and Other Resources

Groups at the Roadshows identified human resource needs on two fronts.
There was a call for skilled assistance with non-arts activities such as
administration and fundraising and for artists to help develop art skills. In
the former case, the need for help arose from the increased complexity of
funding arrangements, and in the latter, from the growing difficulty in finding
qualified or suitably experienced volunteers who had traditionally fulfilled
such roles.

Aside from a few that sought Development Officers, most groups did not
seek full time employees; rather, they required an ability to contract in
expertise and extra help for specific tasks at specific times, for example, to
help with preparing applications or accounts, or to develop new arts skills
for a particular performance or class.

Engaging staff, or additional voluntary help to run the group, was seen as
essential to freeing up time for arts and arts development, by reducing the
burden of administration, fundraising and management falling on each
individual volunteer.



78       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



A third of groups reported difficulty in recruiting, retaining or motivating
committee members, many feeling that responsibility for fundraising, or
concern over litigation prevented people from assuming responsibility. The
difficulty of getting younger people to help run the group was also raised.

The retention of participants and volunteers was mentioned under a
number of guises – most usually in terms of seeking greater ‘commitment’,
or competing for their time, and sometimes as ‘holding their interest or
motivation’. Clearly groups have been seeking effective ways to manage
their volunteers; yet, perhaps because of the lack of arts context, they were
not forming linkages with voluntary sector support agencies such as the
Volunteer Bureau or Volunteer Development Agency.

There is a great desire to raise and maintain standards of artistic excellence
in the sector, and related to this, there is a vast potential for the
employment of skilled artists (eg. directors, tutors, conductors); however,
such employment would be on a different pattern to elsewhere. Never the
less, tutoring groups once a week, or assisting with a specific production or
exhibition, could provide a regular income stream for a number of artists.

The need for premises was mentioned by more than a quarter of the
delegates at the Roadshows. In some cases this was a call for funds to
renovate current premises, in others, for a neutral venue (a comment
particularly prevalent in Omagh and Dungannon). Most often, however, it
was a plea for affordable, decent venues for meetings, rehearsals etc. Some
met in new art centres, but most noted that local groups had little access to
these because of the cost. There was some disquiet that, having applied
public funds to build flagship venues, the public, in the form of local arts
groups, could not afford to access them. Participants noted that the
premises most likely to be affordable often had no disability access, or were
of a nature or in parts of town that were not seen as accessible to the
whole community. At least ten percent of participants expressed concern
that schools were not made available during evenings or weekends and that
they represented a wasted community asset.

At a quarter of the Roadshows, participants suggested nests of offices,
rehearsal rooms and shared storage be developed for voluntary arts groups
where they could pool resources and find support from one another. It was
also suggested that these complexes might engage an administrator to help
groups prepare fundraising applications and reports. This ‘centres of
excellence’ concept might also be appropriate to developing networks and
strengthening the voluntary sector infrastructure. If, for example, a number
of art form umbrella bodies were to be located under one roof, they would
benefits not only from practical economies of scale, but from the enhanced
ability to share good practice, offer one another support and provide a ‘one
stop shop’ for a wide range of voluntary arts groups. By including meeting
space in the design of such centres, umbrella groups would also be able to
offer affordable facilities to their member groups.


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   79
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Participation and Audience Development

The voluntary arts sector in Northern Ireland is responsible for a greater
proportion of arts participation than elsewhere in GB and is the largest
provider of opportunities to take part in the arts. None the less, groups
represented at the Roadshows strongly felt that there was a need to
promote involvement in the arts per se, to raise the profile of the voluntary
arts sector in particular and highlight the rewards of involvement, especially
amongst young adults.

Despite the great concern about the need to recruit new participants and
volunteers, groups made little use of marketing methods other than word of
mouth or outreach at events. There was varying degrees of success in using
local papers for publicity purposes. The lack of resources and skills for
marketing professed at the Roadshows underlines the Groups Survey
findings that these factors placed limitations on audience development.

Resources and time, however, are not the only limiting factors. Further
exploration revealed many groups to be uncertain about how to start
building a more diverse group of participants, volunteers or audience.
Although hungry for ideas on how to develop their audience, they were at a
loss to know where to find affordable advice or support. This is probably
not unique to the voluntary part of the arts sector. There is little locally
available training or guides relating specifically to ‘audience development’
and no system to disseminate lessons learnt by those in receipt of Audience
Development grants or otherwise implementing effective Audience
Development programmes.

Over 75% of groups mentioned the need to involve young people, and
there was a similar level of concern for attracting male participants as well
as male tutors or volunteers to act as role models. In this regard, theatre
has been successful in reaching out to young people and men. Whilst bands
continue to engage young men, representatives stressed that this is no
longer taken as assured by the sector.

Groups had tried a variety of methods to attract younger members but
most often pointed to the competing time demands of education, career
and family as the reason for difficulties in getting younger people to
‘commit’ on a regular basis. The television was also seen as eroding active
participation rather than as a tool to encourage an interest in the arts.

A number of groups were keen to find ways to involve family groups and to
establish means for the older generation to pass on to children skills which
they appear not to be gaining because their own parents may never have
learnt them.




80     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Several groups represented at the Roadshows worked exclusively with
people with physical or learning disabilities and several were specifically
concerned with involving people in areas of social need. Others told of how
they reached out to find and involve older people isolated from their
communities and some engaged ex-offenders, Travellers and other minority
ethnic groups. The evidence of these groups and from research in GB
shows that voluntary arts can be an effective means of addressing social
exclusion. Dissemination of good practice and experience, however, suffers
from want of networking in the sector.

In relation to the community and ethnic mix of participants, most groups
described themselves as reflecting the make-up of the surrounding
community and did not know how this might be otherwise. A good
number took part in cross border trips, exchanges or competitions but had
not considered ways to develop the impact of these on extending the
diversity of participants or community relations. Those operating in single
identity communities had, on occasion, worked in partnership with groups
from the ‘other’ community, but this practice was not widespread. At least
half of the groups involved felt it most appropriate that they adopt a ‘colour
blind’ approach to the religious or community affiliation of their participants.

Whilst the Participation Survey showed that voluntary arts groups, like most
volunteering initiatives, have some work ahead to increase the involvement
of those in socio-economic groups C2 and D, those at the Roadshows
reflected the findings of the Group Survey. Clearly groups believe they are
engaging all socio-economic groupings, and further research is required to
clarify patterns of engagement across the socio-economic strata.

The main reason cited as limiting participation by people with disabilities
was the level of access to the venues used. Many groups pointed to the fact
that they could only afford low rent premises which had no access for
wheelchair users. (Indeed a few were concerned that the requirements of
the Disability Discrimination Act would force them to close as they could
not afford to provide a ramp or lift. Fuller explanation of the terms of the
legislation as it will apply allayed such fears.) Groups had not been
facilitated to consider other disabilities people experience or the many
minor, low cost adaptations that would facilitate participation.

Although the Participation Survey found that just 4% of the adult population
identified access to affordable transport as being a factor determining
whether they would take part in voluntary arts in the future, accessible
transport was seen as a real barrier to participation by groups at the
Roadshows, particularly those located in rural areas or serving older
members of the community. Some had formed links with local rural or
accessible transport providers, and others ran volunteer lift clubs.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   81
                   Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Recognition of the Sector

The information gathered at the Roadshows highlighted the extent to which
groups desire greater recognition for their work. Discussions identified a
request for increased recognition from funders, the public and other groups
in that order.

It would be too simplistic to dismiss the call for recognition from funders as
another call for more money. At the core of concerns was the belief
funders did not understand, and thus did not recognise, the particular
position of voluntary arts groups in the mandolar of the voluntary and arts
sectors and that this lack of recognition was manifest in the development of
funding criteria that focused arts funds on social issues and created social
funds which did not admit to the effectiveness of art as a vehicle for change.

The Roadshow evidence tended to support the finding of the Group Survey
that around half the sector had taken part in consultations with public
agencies, but that this was largely limited to Local Authorities and the Arts
Council, there being little contact with other public bodies, Departments or
the Assembly. Clearly, if the sector wishes to increase recognition amongst
policy makers, it will need to invest time and energy in building the skills and
structures needed to advocate itself and lobby more effectively.

The call for recognition extended beyond the revision of funding regimes
and many participants pointed to practices which they believed indicated
that their existence passed unacknowledged. Themes repeated by
participants across Council areas included:

     • The failure to include the sector in plans or consultations, both
         cultural and social.
     • The absence of a presence of funders, other than local authorities ‘on
         the ground’ outside of Belfast and their apparent reluctance to visit
         small groups or attend their functions.
     •   The holding of training, launches and advice sessions during office
         hours when volunteers are unable to leave their work.
     •   The dearth of reporting on voluntary arts activities in the media.
     •   The lack of research into the sector and information about its
         composition and needs.
     •   The apparent absence of any high level strategy addressing the
         development of the sector.

While a number of Roadshow participants were members of Local
Authority Art Committees or Fora, not every Council had such a body, and
not every such body had upon it representatives of the voluntary arts
sector. It would be good practice for all such groupings, and indeed Local
Strategic Partnerships, to ensure that they included amongst their
members, representatives of the local voluntary cultural sector.



82        Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



The call for recognition also encompassed the public and other groups.
Surprisingly, it was frequently asserted that there was no ‘champion’ for the
arts in Northern Ireland, the Arts Council being seen as a funder and not as
an advocate of the arts. Council Arts Officers were perceived as being so
busy organising arts events or providing advice to groups that they had little
spare time or resources to dedicate to advocating participation in the arts.

Groups believed that the long term survival of participation in the arts
should not rest solely with their own local initiatives but should be backed
by a regional, if not nationwide, campaign to promote the benefits of active
participation – something seen as essential if the sector was to survive the
perceived competition from the inactive entertainment of television. There
is also a clear need for the sector itself to examine the mismatch between
the level of commitment most groups require of members and the time
available to people, especially younger people, within today’s lifestyles.

The call for recognition from other groups was less defined and, on
exploration, became a desire for greater networking, as addressed below.


Information and Advice

During the Roadshows, the main demand for information, advice and
training related to funding sources and methods. This was followed by
requests for information to help find skilled tutors, conductors, directors,
other artists and technicians. The third largest call was for information
about other arts groups, either in the same arts field or in the locality.

Groups also sought information and advice on planning, marketing and
developing volunteers and committees, but these were not as urgent as the
demand for information on funding.

Although not as numerous, there were requests for information relevant to
starting up a new group and for technical and legal advice (e.g. VAT,
charitable status).

The extent to which participants expressed fears about operating in a ‘claim
culture’ strongly suggests a need for clarifying information and guidance in
relation to Child Protection, Public Liability Insurance, Insurance for
Volunteers and Health and Safety.

The pressures of other duties (fundraising, running events, taking classes,
accounting) on committee members was the key factor identified as limiting
the time available for attending training.

Training and advice was also seen as inaccessible to volunteers because it
was provided during office hours or in Belfast which involved further travel
time and costs.


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   83
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Roadshow participants also reported that many training manuals and
learning materials assumed a certain level of knowledge or access to staff or
resources. There was also a belief that groups could not afford training
advertised in ‘glossy’ leaflets, by private consultants, or the larger voluntary
organisations. Comments were made to the effect that , often learning
materials required a large amount of reading time from volunteers. As a
result, one person in the group tended to be asked to read the material and,
subsequently, inherited sole responsibility for implementing any learning.
Work packs that divide tasks amongst volunteers, or allow the group jointly
to tackle small sections at a time, were considered more appropriate.

When more fully explored, much of the call for information was in fact for
guidance on how to source and sort information of relevance to the group.
In other words, a request for information to be contextualised for small arts
groups that rely heavily on voluntary support. That much of the training and
information currently available is not set in such a context may help explain
why groups have not drawn much support from the broader voluntary and
community sectors. Providing information, even if contextualised, does not
automatically answer the needs of groups. In some cases short term hands-
on support will be required to enable them to develop the capacity and
skills to interpret, adapt and utilise the information or training available.


Infrastructure Support and Networks

The Roadshows supported the Survey finding that Council Arts Officers are
central to supporting the sector. Their contribution was widely valued by
Roadshow participants. However, groups recognised that Arts Officers
often also had arts programming responsibilities, and in some cases, were
tasked with tourism or other roles, and thus had limited time resources.

Not all Councils have Arts Officer and in others, no cover is provided during
leave and this was reported as presenting a difficulty to groups.

At every Roadshow, groups reported that they were not aware of all the
other arts groups present and welcomed the opportunity to come together
to identify and discuss issues of common concern.

There was a call for developing local networks to address shared concerns,
develop an awareness of what others were doing or could offer, raise the
profile of the arts and tackle the sense of working in isolation that many
groups reported. However, participants also stressed that networking took
time, and that as committee members and volunteers were already
stretched, networking would need to be time efficient and relevant.

The Roadshows uncovered a range of groups successfully tackling issues
currently troubling others (e.g. engaging young people, retaining members,
selling tickets), but the lack of networking means little sharing occurs.


84     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Local groups that were associated with an umbrella body (e.g. NI Flower
Arranging Group Society, Making Music, British and International Federation
of Festivals) reported that they were better able to concentrate of
providing good quality arts activities and enjoyment to participants since
they could turn to their support body for assistance in sourcing tutors,
insurance, information and adjudication. These roles were seen as being
the main benefits provided by umbrella bodies, with few groups seeing
them as a source of information on fundraising, audience development or
policy matters – perhaps a reflection of umbrellas themselves being
underdeveloped or resourced and thus compelled to focus their attentions
on art form development, rather than organisational development support.

Voluntary Arts groups had not accessed the resources of the voluntary and
community sector to any great degree. Asked which groups they had heard
of, less than a fifth named key voluntary infrastructure bodies such as the
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, the Volunteer Development
Agency or the Voluntary and Community Unit. Those who were aware of
such organisations felt that they were exclusively Belfast based and thus not
a source of support for their group. The most common contact was with
local rural networks. Participants presented their perception that the
support offered by such agencies was related to the social and economic
fields rather than the arts and that there was sometimes a ‘language’ barrier
between small arts groups and larger infrastructure bodies concerned with
community development. Again, it would seem that there is a need to
contextualise support and find a means to deliver it locally and effectively to
the voluntary cultural sector.




      CHAPTER SEVEN - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
    Conclusions from the Roadshows that are not covered by previous chapters.


Voluntary arts groups perceive there to be few sources of grant aid open to
them and tend to view the criteria, application and reporting procedures of
funders as inappropriate to the scale and focus of voluntary arts groups.

Groups find most difficulty in attracting grants in respect of running costs.

Most groups seek to engage employees only when they cannot secure skilled
volunteers.

Groups have a great concern for artistic excellence and find difficulty in
securing skilled artists and arts technicians to assist them in this regard.

Voluntary arts groups have difficulty in sourcing neutral, affordable premises
which provide adequate equipment and full disability access.




       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   85
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003




Voluntary arts groups request assistance to develop the number and range of
people they engage with whether as participants or as audiences. Groups are
especially concerned to find ways to make participation more attractive to
younger people.

Most groups reflect the community in which they operate and generally prefer
a ‘colour-blind’ approach to the community affiliations of participants.

Affordable transport is of concern to groups operating in rural areas or
working primarily with young people or the elderly.

There is a huge desire for increased recognition by funders, policy makers and
the public of the value of voluntary arts.

The information, advice and training provided by the voluntary sector cannot
be fully utilised by voluntary arts groups, because it is not set in the context of
small arts organisations operating primarily on a voluntary basis.

Groups are concerned about operating in a ‘claim culture’ and request
contextualised information on the law and good practice in managing a range of
risks.

Local Authority Arts Officers are a crucial source of support for voluntary arts
groups. Their time and resources are not indefinite, and groups can not always
access hands-on support to the extent required.


Groups belonging to arts umbrellas are better able to source insurance, tutors,
demonstrators and other art form support and so can focus more time and
resources on local provision.

The Roadshows were often the first time voluntary arts groups had met. Not
all Local Authorities have Arts Committees or Fora, and not all such bodies
have members drawn from the voluntary arts sector.

Voluntary arts groups would welcome the opportunity to build networks,
provided that these were structured to be time and cost efficient.




86     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Chapter Eight - Recommendations
A report such as this can do no more than present the evidence, the symptoms
if you like. It might, in its conclusions put forward a proposed diagnosis. It
cannot and should not prescribe treatment or stipulate the best ways to
maintain good health. That is for the consultant – or rather the consultation
process within the sector and between the sector and its partners.

This report seeks to open the process of consultation by providing a starting
point for deliberations. Its findings will be considered by the sector at the
Voluntary Arts Ireland Conference in May 2003 and will inform consultation
and exchange thereafter as the sector devises its own plan for the future.


1. Resources – Funding

One strength of the voluntary arts sector is its ability to attract earned income and
local donations. Whilst there must be a limit to the level of individual fees charged,
to avoid cost being a barrier to participation, there is scope to explore the sale of
services and products to organisational buyers. The sector has proven itself capable
and creative in community fundraising. Given the poll position occupied by welfare
charities, there is limited space in the market for further ballots, fundraising events
and business sponsorship, but it is by no means saturated, and business sponsorship
of the arts has great potential for development in Northern Ireland.

In addition to aiding sustainability and limiting calls on the public purse, earned and
donated income has the advantage of being largely ‘untied’, allowing groups the
freedom to experiment. Such funding also creates fewer demands in respect of
administration and reporting. It also allows volunteers to maintain a greater degree
of determination over the group’s future, there being less transfer of power to
funding bodies. None the less, the limitation of volunteer time means that only the
largest groups might hope to survive and develop on earned income and donations
alone. There thus exists a need to improve the flow of grant aid to the sector.

    1.1. Plans to develop future income streams should seek to preserve the
         sector’s sustainability and independence by building upon its ability to
         raise funds through earnings and local community based fundraising.

    1.2. Funders should seek means to secure the foundations of voluntary arts
         activity as a sustainable base on which to build participation in the arts.
         In particular they should, in partnership with the sector:
             •      Review barriers to accessing current funding.
             •      Review the nature of funding available .
             •      Consider ‘baby’ Annual Support for Organisation Programme
                    grants (ASOP) for key local groups.
             •      Build the supply of relevant funding information and advice
                    available through Arts Officers and infrastructure bodies.


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   87
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



     1.3. The Arts Council should consider developing a programme of capacity
          building support for groups with a demonstrable potential for
          development. The programme should not be limited to grant aid, but
          should encompass help with:
              •      Assessing and removing barriers to participation.
             •        Planning for growth.
             •        Raising funds for development.
             •        Engaging and managing human resources.
             •        Maintaining quality of experience and art.
         It might be useful to adapt the concept behind the ‘Stabilisation’ or
         ‘Advancement’ programmes whereby several groups work and learn
         together, offering each other peer support. The programme should be
         delivered through a partnership of the Arts Council, Arts Officers and
         Voluntary Arts Ireland, backed by development workers and specialist
         trainers to fully address the needs of groups in each area. The Lottery
         Challenge Fund might be a means of supporting this development.

     1.4. Funders and resource bodies should review their lines of
          communication with the voluntary arts sector and volunteer proof
          their communications, programmes and processes. This should
          include a review of the methods used to announce funding or
          consultation programmes; the time lines on applications or responses;
          the location of offices and officers; the language used; and the level of
          resources necessary to make an application, administer and report on
          funding. Funders should engage umbrella bodies, such as Voluntary
          Arts Ireland, to road test new materials or programmes to ensure that
          they will be understood by the target market.

     1.5. To reduce wasted fundraising effort and increase transparency, funders
          should review their guidelines to ensure there is plain language clarity
          regarding the aims of the funding programme and the size of grant
          available. Funders should publish a clear scoring system so that
          potential applicants can self-score their projects and assess their likely
          match with the criteria before applying.

     1.6. Funders should seek to ensure that application and reporting
          procedures are commensurate with level of risk involved.

     1.7. Funders should be open to helping groups develop proposals before a
          formal application is made, or should refer groups to a support
          body/bodies with the resources and capacity to do so.

     1.8. Funders should consider providing ‘research and feasibility’ funding to
          enable groups to conduct research and/or engage expert advice in
          developing proposals for later submission. Such a grant might also
          provide funding to allow volunteers to take time off work to engage in



88      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



         development activities. Whilst, in theory, such funding might be drawn
         from the National Lottery Awards for All scheme, this approach would
         not necessarily create a facilitative link with the proposed funder of the
         project under development.

    1.9. The rejection of applications should be approached by funders as a
         development opportunity. Applicants should receive a clear explanation
         for refusal, setting out which criteria were not met and what might be
         improved before a new application is made. A feedback form reporting
         against clearly scored criteria would assist in this.

    1.10. Funders should avoid making refusals on the grounds of minor
          inaccuracies in completed forms; rather, these should be returned for
          correction with sufficient time given for this. This may mean allowing
          a ‘detail collection/correction’ period between the date of receipt of
          applications and the date of decision making.

    1.11. Awards for All has had a positive reception and should be continued
          and extended.

    1.12. Groups, in conjunction with the relevant umbrella bodies, should
          review the role of adjudicators and seek ways to make the most of
          their skills whilst engaged’ the development of master asses or one to
          one training with participants being one possibility. Funders should
          consider funding adjudicators and competitive activities as part of
          their endeavours to raise artistic standards and levels of skill.

    1.13. The Arts Council and/or DCAL should instigate a pilot project to
          provide multi-year funding to key resource agencies in order to
          provide increased stability in the developing infrastructure.

    1.14. The Arts Council, Arts Managers Group, Community Relations Council,
          DCAL, key infrastructure bodies and other appropriate voluntary
          sector agencies should meet in forum at least once a year and establish
          a system to ensure the timely communication of information between
          funders and those delivering support and advice to the sector.

2. Human and other resources

The scale of the voluntary arts sector and its concern with artistic quality mean it has
great potential as an employer of skilled practitioners across a range of art forms.

To date, much artistic input and most administrative work in the sector has been
undertaken by volunteers. There is, however, a challenge to be faced in maintaining
this level of voluntary input. Skills in volunteer recruitment and retention are a
priority need in the sector, as is the development of new patterns of volunteering
better suited to the lifestyles of younger people. Fresh approaches to making
committee membership rewarding and less onerous are also required.


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   89
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



     2.1. The Arts Council should facilitate the employment of artists by
          voluntary arts groups seeking to enhance their standards of
          performance. This might include creative adaptations to the Artist in
          Residence programme to allow an artist to work with a number of
          groups on different days of the week. Provision will be needed to
          ensure artists have the skills required to work with voluntary groups
          and that groups are equipped to manage contract staff effectively. Not
          all groups will have the capacity to become registered employers, and
          artists should have a source of advice on the implications of self-
          employment.

     2.2. Councils and area re-development agencies should consider providing
          voluntary arts centres when seeking ways to revitalise areas or bring
          buildings back into use. Such complexes could be home to a range of
          voluntary arts groups and might also offer an administrator to provide
          support and/or provide a base for an Arts Officer for the voluntary
          arts. This concept is one which groups in an area could themselves
          come together to pursue.

     2.3. Funders and Voluntary Arts Ireland should consider how groups might
          access support from peripatetic support workers at key development
          points (e.g. making applications, reporting, development planning) as a
          complement to the work of Arts Officers. The model of area based
          development workers employed by Voluntary Arts Wales is one which
          is working effectively.

     2.4. Local authorities should consider offering discounts on arts venues to
          local voluntary arts groups as ‘gifts in kind’ alongside their current art
          grants schemes. The potential for offering dark night use to groups
          that could otherwise not afford to hire a prestigious venue could also
          be explored (i.e. making available venues when not otherwise in use).

     2.5. Funders are encouraged to extend support for repairs and minor
          renovations to venues located in small, rural communities so that arts
          groups can continue to provide activities at a very local level and
          contribute to local social cohesion and community pride.

     2.6. Arts Officers should investigate the feasibility of establishing a local
          authority system for sharing, swapping or renting affordable
          equipment and storage space. An ideal system would be accessed and
          updated locally, whilst covering all of Northern Ireland, suggesting a
          managed on line database.

     2.7. The expertise in volunteer management and development that exists in
          volunteer and community development infrastructure bodies should
          be contextualised to make it accessible to the voluntary arts sector.
          Voluntary Arts Ireland should seek to establish working partnerships to
          adapt and jointly deliver volunteer development support to the sector.


90      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



3. Participation and Audience Development

The voluntary arts sector engages a wide range of people as participants and as
audiences. There is, however, a widespread concern with increasing the range and
number of people involved. The sector is particularly good at engaging people who
are not in work or are in full time education but has scope to enhance involvement
by those in the C2 and D socio-economic groupings and people living in the North
region. Certain art forms also need to find ways to increase participation amongst
men and younger people.

The relatively low level of contact between the voluntary arts sector and the
voluntary and community sector may be one reason that the former has not gained
as great a level of fluency in addressing inclusion issues. Unfortunately, current
funding assumes a level of familiarity and comfort with social inclusion. Capitalising
on the sector’s willingness to be inclusive thus means developing and employing
methodologies that start from where the sector is at. Resources, in terms of skills
development, support and funding are required to enable the sector to fulfil its
potential to provide an even wider range of people with opportunities to make and
partake of high quality arts activities.

    3.1. The sector needs to find ways to match its opportunities to participate
         and requests for gifts of time (volunteering) to the lifestyles adopted by
         people in the 21st century. A research project to examine the position
         of arts participation within the context of the other choices available in
         the entertainment and leisure industry would help in this regard.

    3.2. To increase the sector’s skills and confidence in Audience Development,
         research should be undertaken to gather together relevant literature and
         to review the experiences of those successfully engaged in Audience
         Development across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Examples
         of good practice and methodologies should be collated, edited and
         presented in a format accessible to voluntary arts groups. This may
         include an easy to use research pack to help local groups assess current
         and potential demand and barriers to participation.

    3.3. In the same way as community relations work has created gentler
          paths into building good community relations for groups unfamiliar
          with the field, so arts funders wishing to pursue a social agenda need
          to find creative and facilitative ways to develop the focus on social
          inclusion amongst voluntary arts groups.

    3.4. The relevant funding, policy and infrastructure bodies should work
         together to develop and resource a strategy to increase the skills and
         confidence of voluntary arts groups in relation to good relations. The
         strategy should recognise the barriers faced by groups operating over
         small catchments, on small budgets and on an entirely voluntary basis.
         The material and training already available in relation to social inclusion
         should be contextualised and made accessible to voluntary arts groups.


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   91
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



     3.5. Information and training with respect to increasing access to the arts
           for people with disabilities should be contextualised and more widely
           circulated amongst voluntary arts groups. Current material should be
           reviewed to establish if there is a need to produce a short guide,
           specifically written with the needs of arts groups in mind, highlighting
           the no or low cost steps that could enhance access to their activities.

     3.6. Voluntary arts groups should seek to address transport issues by
          forming links to accessible transport schemes. Funders should consider
          providing assistance towards the cost to volunteers of offering
          transport to those who could not otherwise take part.

     3.7. Groups, identified through the Roadshows and otherwise, that have
          been successful in attracting a wider range of participants should be
          enabled to share their experience with others. A short case study
          report, drawing out transferable ideas, would be one means of
          achieving this, as would regular area networking events and an annual
          Voluntary Arts Ireland conference.


4. Information and Training

There are numerous existing sources of information and training in relation to
organisational development in a voluntary setting. However, this material is not
accessible to the voluntary arts sector, because it is not set in the context of small,
volunteer-led, art focused groups. To be of relevance and use to the sector,
information and training must recognise the limitations of cost and volunteer time
and should not assume high levels of familiarity with non-arts subject areas.
Support resources need to be accessible outside of office hours, preferably locally
and in the home via the internet or telephone.

     4.1.The range of information currently available needs to be assessed,
          organised, contextualised and promoted to the sector in order to
          increase its accessibility. Priorities for information, support and
          training provision include:
                •     Funding sources and fundraising techniques.
                •     Skilled local artists and arts advisers.
                •     Volunteer recruitment, development and management.
                •     Audience and participation development.
                •     Managerial and organisational development support.
                •     Developing accessibility.
                •     Legal requirements and standards of good practice
                      regarding Child Protection, Health and Safety, Insurance etc.




92      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



    4.2. Providing accessible information and training needs to be
         complemented by hands-on facilitation to provide groups with the
         capacity to interpret and apply it to their own work. This could be
         achieved through extending the number of Arts Officers and/or
         providing a team of peripatetic development workers to work in
         partnership with a cluster of Councils over a given area. The model of
         area based development workers as employed successfully by
         Voluntary Arts Wales, allows workers directly to support a range of
         groups whilst linking them to appropriate support and training bodies.


5. Recognition

Given the scale of involvement in the voluntary arts and the sector’s ‘grass roots’
reach across Northern Ireland, it is surprising that so many development focused
strategies and policies have overlooked its actual and potential contribution to
building a better Northern Ireland.

    5.1. The inclusion of voluntary arts in the Arts Council of Northern
         Ireland’s five year plan is welcome, and similar consideration should be
         given to the sector in the strategic thinking of public bodies charged
         with developing the arts, voluntary activity, active citizenship,
         community infrastructure and life long learning, including the
         Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure, the Voluntary and
         Community Unit, the Department for Social Development, the
         Department for Employment and Learning and their agencies.

    5.2. All Councils and Local Strategic Partnerships should recognise the
         existence and needs of the voluntary arts sector in their cultural plans.
         They should seek means to consult the sector and consider developing
         ways to map and measure the extent of voluntary arts activity as an
         indicator of the level of access to the arts in the area.

    5.3. All area arts committees and local partnerships should include
         representation from the voluntary arts sector, as should working
         groups or committees relating to volunteering and voluntary activity.

    5.4. The Arts Council, local authorities and Voluntary Arts Ireland should
         work together to formulate a strategy for building on the healthy level
         of participation in the voluntary arts sector, by recognising and
         celebrating its achievements. This might include awards, showcase
         events and a media relations campaign.

    5.5. Public bodies involved in developing the arts or voluntary activities
         should seek means to demonstrate their recognition of the needs of
         the voluntary arts sector through a programme of visiting areas outside
         of Belfast, regionalising services where possible and holding meetings
         and functions outside of office hours.


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann    93
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



     5.6. The Arts Council, local authorities, the Tourist Board and DCAL
          should work together to identify ways to realise the potential that
          voluntary arts events hold for enhancing cultural tourism.

     5.7. The infrastructure bodies within the voluntary arts sector should come
          together to identify practical means to raise the profile of the sector
          and build its capacity to contribute to policy development and
          coherently to advocate its needs to policy makers.


6. Infrastructure Support and Networks

The performance, effectiveness and efficiency of local initiatives is enhanced when
they are able to draw support, advice and guidance from an infrastructure body that
is also able to link them into networks where good practice can be shared and peer
support offered. The infrastructure of the voluntary arts sector in Northern Ireland
is comparatively under-developed. The sector is the largest single provider of
opportunities to take part in the arts in Northern Ireland, and thus, investment in
its infrastructure must be central to any strategy to maximise arts participation.

     6.1. Each Local Authority area should have, as a minimum, one Arts Officer
          post with clear responsibility and dedicated resources for providing
          developmental support to voluntary arts groups. Because Arts
          Officers are so central to the sector, Councils should also make
          arrangements for providing cover when Arts Officers are on leave.

     6.2. Arts Officers should have access to support resources on which they
          can call in fulfilling their role of assisting voluntary arts groups. Where
          possible, these resources should be open to direct access by voluntary
          arts groups and should include:
                •      A list of tutors, artists, conductors etc. available to support
                       voluntary arts groups.
                •      A guide to funding sources for arts and voluntary activity.
                •      Research information and trends analysis.
                •      A guide to organisational development resources suited to
                       the needs of voluntary arts groups.
                •      A list of other voluntary arts groups so that those operating
                       in the same area or field of interest might be contacted to
                       advise or support others.
                •      Information and resources relating to constitutions,
                       charitable status and the legal requirements applying to
                       voluntary arts activities.
          Many of these exist or are under development and need to be brought
          together in an accessible form. Others could most effectively be
          developed by Arts Officers in partnership with Voluntary Arts Ireland.
          This might be a possible use of Lottery Challenge funding.


94      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
            Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



6.3. To stimulate networking, partnership building, resource sharing and
     the exchange of good practice, regional networking events should be
     organised. These should be arranged at times and places that best suit
     volunteer attendance, and should be structured so as to have an
     element of immediate relevance to groups (e.g. training, funding
     information, a presentation by a successful local fundraiser) in addition
     to the longer term networking benefits.

6.4. The publications and websites of funders and sector infrastructure
     bodies should be developed as means to disseminate examples of
     good practice.

6.5. To inform strategic development and assist groups in their own
     planning, researchers in the voluntary and arts sectors should seek
     means to share their plans and findings and make data available to the
     sector. A co-operative network of researchers would help to avoid
     duplication in research effort and encourage compatibility of data.

6.6. Groups should adopt committee structures that include posts or
     sub-committees with specific responsibility for networking, planning
     and linking with the Council so that these important, but not often
     urgent, matters are brought to the fore and attended to.

6.7. Voluntary Arts Ireland should continue to seek ways to link the sector
     to the skills and resources available in the wider voluntary and
     community sector, contextualising these where necessary, and should
     continue to raise awareness of the societal benefits of the voluntary
     arts.

                                    ~0~




   Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   95
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



APPENDICES

APPENDIX ONE: Public Awareness of Support and Arts Organisations

The pie chart illustrates the responses to the Participation Survey of 1,100
adults in October 2002, fourteen months after Voluntary Arts Ireland
appointed its first employee and established an office in Downpatrick.

             Percentage of Adults who Have Heard of the Organisations Named
                                (Participation Survey 1010)


                                        Voluntary Arts
                       Volunteer         Ireland, 7%
                  Develoment Agency,
                          8%


              Awards for All, 17%
                                                                Arts Council of
                                                               Northern Ireland,
                                                                     68%
                NI Council for
               Voluntary Action,
                     20%




                            Community Arts
                              Forum, 31%




APPENDIX TWO: Groups Responding to the 2002 Group Surveys

Nature of Group        % of Respondents                  % of Those Sent the Survey
Craft                                            13                                    7
Cross-Art Form                                   16                                   12
Literature                                        5                                    8
Music                                            18                                   25
Dance                                             0                                    5
Traditional                                       5                                    4
Song                                             15                                    9
Visual                                           10                                   10
Theatre                                          18                                   20




39th Old Boys’ Flute Ensemble                     Antrim Art Club
55th Old Boys' Band                               Antrim Choral Society
A.T.L.A.S                                         Antrim County Embroiderers'
Accept Action Mental Health                       Guild
Altnagelvin Hospital Choir                        Antrim Glens Traditions Group
An Comh Choiste                                   Ardess Art Society


96     Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Ardhowen Youth Dance                          Churches Drama League
Ards Choral Society                           Churchill Flute Band
Ards Writers' Group                           Churchill Silver Band
Armagh City Folk Club                         Clanabogan Drama Circle
Armagh Old Boys’ Silver Band and              Community Arts Forum
Social Club                                   Community Connections
Armagh Pipers’ Club                           Community Network Portadown
Armagh Writers’ Group                         Confederation of Community
Art Act Gallery                               Groups
Association of Irish Festival Events          Conradh na Gaelige
Association of Irish Musical                  Cookstown and District Women’s
Societies                                     Group
Association of Ulster Drama                   Cookstown Arts & Cultural
Festivals                                     Subgroup
B Beyond                                      Counterpoint Choir, Antrim
Bag-a-trix                                    Counterpoint Choir, Armagh
Ballyclare Musical Festival                   Creative Play Resources
Ballydougan Patchwork Group                   Crescent Circle Dance
Ballyduff Silver Band                         Crossgar War Memorial Hall
Ballymoney Drama Festival                     Committee
Ballysally Youth & Community                  Crossmaglen & District
Centre                                        Development Co Ltd.
Ballywillan Drama Group                       Cuan Scribes
Bangor Drama Festival                         Dance Northern Ireland
Belfast Music Society                         Derg Valley Arts & Leisure
Belfast Operatic Company                      Down Community Arts
Belfast Philharmonic Society                  Downpatrick Art Society
Border Arts                                   Drama League of Ireland
Brookeborough and District Arts               Drumquin Development
CAFE- Creative Activity For                   Association
Everyone                                      Dunaghy Flute Band
Cahard                                        Dungannon Camera Club
Cairncastle Community Association             Dungannon Choral Society
Camphill Community                            Dunsford Arts and Crafts Group
Cantiunculae                                  Ederney Speech & Drama Club
Cappella Caeciliana                           Enniskillen Drama Festival
Castlerock Pipe Band                          Enniskillen Photographic Society
Causeway Craft Group                          Fermanagh Choral Society
CCE Bun an Dala, Cushendall,                  Fermanagh Concert Band
Antrim Branch                                 Forkhill Women's Group
CCE, Down Branch                              Friends of Millview
Celebrating the Arts in Rural Areas           Gael-Linn (Armagh)




      Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   97
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Glenkeen Fife & Drum Band                     North Down Patchwork and
Granaghan & District Women's                  Quilters’ Guild
Group                                         North of Ireland Bands’ Association
Grosvenor Chorale                             Northern Ireland Council for
Hampsey School of Traditional                 Voluntary Action
Music and Harp                                Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild
Harmony Hill Craft Group                      Northern Ireland Piping Society
Helen's Bay Players                           Northern Ireland Visual Arts Forum
Hillsborough Oyster Festival -                Off the Cuff Community Theatre
Children's Workshops                          Group
Holywood Players                              Old Museum Arts Centre
Keady Arty                                    Omagh Floral Art Society
Kinturk Cultural Association                  Omagh Forum for Rural
Laban Guild in Ireland                        Associations
Lace Guild of Northern Ireland                Open Arts
Link Centre                                   Outremer Knights
Lislea Drama Festival                         Pastel Society of Ireland
Lisnagarvey Art Society                       Pegasus Theatre For Children
Living Linen                                  Peninsula Amateur Theatre Group
Londonderry Arts Society                      Phoenix Players Portadown
Loughgiel Art Club                            Plain Speaking Community Arts
Making Music                                  Portadown Folk Song Club
Master McGrath Lurgan Festival                Portadown Pakt
Mid-Ulster Community and Arts                 Puddle Alley Theatre Group
Association                                   Rasharkin Women's Group - Craft
Mid-Ulster Women's Network                    Class
Milllview Arts Collective                     Replay Productions
Monkstown Mossley Pipe Band                   Riada Concert Group
Moyle Arts                                    Roe Valley Folk Club
Moyle Arts for Public Places                  Royal Scottish Pipe Band
Murley Silver Band                            Association (NI Branch)
Musaiq                                        Rural Community Network
Musicians of Antrim District                  Sciolto
Development (MADD)                            SHARE
National Deaf Children's Society              Share Music
New Belfast Community Arts                    Sister Scribes
Initiative                                    Slemish Players
Newpoint Players                              South Belfast Cultural Society
Newry Art Society                             South Down Choral Society
Newry Drama Festival                          South Lough Neagh Regeneration
Newry Musical Feis                            Association
North Belfast Set Dance Group                 Sparks In The Dark Drama Group
                                              Sperrin Choir



98    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



St George's Singers (Belfast) Ltd.             Upper Cumber Community Drama
St. Oliver Plunkett Band                       Group
Stewartstown and District                      Upstage Downstage Musical
Historical Society                             Company
The Playhouse                                  Verbal Arts Centre
Theatre 3                                      Volunteer Development Agency
Tullycarnet Yarnspinners                       Warrenpoint Writer’s Group
Two Bridges Theatre Company                    Waterside Local History Group
Ulster Association of Youth Drama              Workers' Educational Association,
Ulster Bands Association                       Ballymena
Ulster Guild of Weavers, Spinners              Youth Action NI, Rainbow Arts
and Dyers                                      Unit
Ulster Operatic Company                        Zero-8-Teen - Crafty Bitz
Ulster Watercolour Society
Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra




APPENDIX THREE: Roadshow and Research Participants

39th Old Boys’ Flute Ensemble                   Association
Accept Action Mental Health                     Aughakillymaude Mummers
Acorn Writers' Group                            Ballydougan Patchwork Group
An Tearmann Project                             Ballyfore Rural Community Group
An Tus Community Arts                           Ballymena Writers’ Group
Antrim Community Forum                          Ballymoney Amateur Photographic
Antrim County Embroiderers'                     Club
Guild                                           Ballymoney Borough Arts
Ardess Art Society                              Committee
Ardmore Folk Group                              Ballymoney Drama Festival
Ards Choral Society                             Ballymoney Literary and Debating
                                                Society
Armagh and District HSS Trust
Community Development Team                      Banbridge Speech and Drama
                                                Festival
Armagh Old Boys’ Silver Band and
Social Club                                     BELB Music Service
Art Act Gallery                                 Belvoir Players
Art and Crafts Consortium                       Bosco Drama Group
Arts and Disability Forum                       Breakthru
Association of Irish Musical                    Bright Lights
Societies                                       Brookeborough and District Arts
Aughakillymaude Community                       Brownlow Branch Library


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   99
                Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Bunch of Chancers                               Dunaghy Flute Band
Castlerock Pipe Band                            Dungannon Camera Club
Causeway Coast Arts                             Dungannon Choral Society
Causeway Craft Group                            Dungannon Flower Arranging
Causeway Museum                                 Society
Churchill Flute Band                            Dunsford Arts and Crafts Group
City of Armagh Festival of Speech               Embroiderers’ Guild NI
and Drama                                       Fermanagh Choral Society
Classical Guitar Society of                     Fermanagh Mummers
Northern Ireland                                Footlights Drama Group
Coleraine and District Camera                   Forum for Local Government and
Club                                            the Arts
Coleraine Fife and Drum Band                    Fresh Air Art
Coleraine Music Festival                        Glass Oasis
Association
                                                Glor Mhacha
Coleraine Flute Band
                                                Harlandic Male Voice Choir
Community Network Portadown
                                                Harmony Youth Band
Community Recreational Arts in
                                                HARPS Project, Rehability
Coalisland
                                                Hillsborough Oyster Festival -
Conradh na Gaelige
                                                Children's Workshops
Cookstown and Western Shores
                                                Hillsborough Panto Players
Area Network
                                                Holywood Children’s Scottish
Cookstown District Arts
                                                Country Dancing
Cookstown Dramatic Society
                                                Junior Gateway Theatre
Cookstown Floral Art Club
                                                Kansas Kids
County Down Crafts
                                                Lagan Valley Arts and Cultural
Craft Connections                               Association
Creative Play Resources                         Larne Choral Society
Cuan Scribes                                    Limavady Drama Club
Cutting Edge Sculpture                          Lisburn Acoustic Music Network
DCAL Central Management Unit                    Lisburn Historcial Society
Decorative and Fine Arts Society                Lisnagarvey Art Society
Derry Playhouse Writers                         Londonderry Arts Society
Desertcreat W.I.                                Magherafelt Arts Trust
Donaghadee Male Voice Choir                     Maiden of the Mournes Festival
Donaghcloney Rural Needs                        Making Music, NI
Down Arts Forum                                 Mid-Ulster Community Theatre
Down Cathedral Choir                            Group
Down Writers’ Network                           Moyle Arts Development Forum


100    Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann
                 Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Moyle Arts for Public Places                    Riada Concert Group
Newpoint Players                                Roe Valley Embroidery Group
Newry and District Floral Arts                  Roe Valley Folk Club
Society                                         Rostrevor Art Group
Newry Art Society                               Royal Scottish Country Dance
Newry Confederation of                          Society (Belfast)
Community Groups                                Rural Community Network
Newry Musical Feis                              SELB Youth Service
Newtownabbey District Arts                      Sparks in the Dark
Advisory Committee
                                                St. Catherine's Concert Band
Newtownards Silver Band
                                                St. George's Singers (Belfast) Ltd.
North Down Patchwork and
                                                St. Oliver Plunkett Band
Quilters’ Guild
                                                The Market House, Ballynahinch
Northern Amateur Theatre
Association                                     Third Age Arts
North of Ireland Bands’                         U3A Art Department
Association                                     Ulster Bands Association
Northern Ireland Flower Arranging               Ulster-Scots Heritage Society
Society                                         Umbrella Arts
Northern Ireland Music Industry                 Upper Cumber Community
Commission                                      Drama Group
Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild                Upstart Rural Arts
Oil and Water Group                             Verbal Arts Centre
Omagh Arts Advisory Committee                   Volunteer Development Agency
Open Arts                                       Warrenpoint Pantomime Group
Outremer Knights                                Whiteabbey Music Club
Pastel Society of Ireland                       William Carleton Summer School
Peninsula Amateur Theatre Group                 Workers’ Education Association
Phoenix Players Portadown                       Zero-8-Teen - Crafty Bitz
Phoenix Singers
Plain Speaking
Portadown Community Arts
Initiative
Portadown Festival Association
Portadown Folk Song Club
Portadown Pakt
Portadown YMCA
Portrush Music Society
Poyntzpass Silver Band
Q.U.B. Choir


       Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann   101
               Facts, Figures, Futures. Northern Ireland 2003



Bibliography

Arts Council England                        Arts Attendance, Participation and
                                            Attitudes in England. Report of a
                                            study carried out by Social Survey
                                            Division of the Office for National
                                            Statistics. Skelton, et al. October
                                            2001. www.artscouncil.org.uk

Community Evaluation Northern               Report on Research into Evaluating
Ireland (CENI)                              Community Based and Voluntary
                                            Activity in Northern Ireland.
                                            Morrissey, McGinn and McDonnell.
                                            April 2003. Tel. 028 9064 6355
                                            www.ceni.org

Department of Culture Arts and              Press Release 24/01/01. Michael
Leisure (DCAL)                              McGimpsey Praises Work of
                                            Amateur Theatre Movement.
                                            www.dcalni.gov.uk

National Institute of Adult                 Across the Learning Divide. Adults
Continuing Education (NIACE)                Learning in the Arts and Crafts.
                                            Carlton and Sargant. 1998
                                            www.niace.org.uk.

Northern Ireland Council for                State of the Sector 111.
Voluntary Action (NICVA)                    2002. Tel 028 9087 777.
                                            www.NICVA.org

Scottish Arts Council                       Attendance at, Participation in and
                                            Attitudes Towards the Arts. July
                                            2002. www.scottisharts.org

Voluntary Arts Network                      Doing It Ourselves. Learning to
                                            Challenge Social Exclusion through
                                            Voluntary Arts. Jackson. April 2003.
                                            www.voluntaryarts.org




102   Voluntary Arts Ireland - Ealaíona Deonacha Éireann - Voluntar Airts Airlann

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:2
posted:12/7/2011
language:English
pages:128