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Peer Support and Digital Mentoring from The Space, AM and Arts Council of Wales

For arts organisations, artists and creative practitioners thinking of producing and distributing work digitally.

The new Digital Mentoring and Peer Support programme from Arts Council of Wales, AM and The Space will offer staff from arts organisations or small freelance teams working on arts digital projects five Zoom support sessions from specialist mentors. The content of all sessions will be tailored to your specific needs and be delivered by The Space’s digital associates. Mentoring can cover topics such as:

  • Producing short-form digital content
  • Low-cost filming of long-form live performances/exhibitions
  • Recreating the festival experience online
  • Developing your online audience
  • Publishing archive digital content
  • Developing an online content distribution strategy
  • Using social media channels effectively
  • Generating revenue online
  • Creating content from home
  • Assessing how lockdown has changed audience behaviours

Learn from your peers

Alongside individual support for your team from a digital specialist, two of your five Zoom support sessions will also give you opportunities to network and share insights and peer learning with other scheme particpants who are considering similar challenges.

Mentors 

The programme’s core team of mentors all have experience working with cultural organisations to develop digital project skills, produce and publish digital content and engage online audiences. They can offer advice on: digital strategy and objective setting; project planning and budgeting; production processes; and measuring and evaluating success. Other mentors may be brought in from The Space’s network of associates if you need advice on a particular topic.

Rob Lindsay advises organisations supported by The Space on digital production and audience engagement. Having working in arts and broadcast for over fifteen years, including with BBC Three and Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rob focuses on audience responses, and making effective social media video.

Kev Tame - chief executive and founder of PYST/AM

Alun Llwyd - chief executive and founder of PYST/AM

AM was launched in March 2020 by PYST with financial support from the Welsh Government. The platform is both a website - www.amam.cymru - and app optimised for mobile and tablet devices (available via Apple App Store & Google Play), and consists of different channels representing the broad spectrum of culture in Wales.

AM is an open, democratic and channel-driven platform that neither owns nor asks for exclusivity over any content on its channels. AM helps promote all content via its social media channels @ambobdim.

AM aims to provide a platform that reflects the inclusive, varied creativity of modern Wales and create new audiences to enjoy its culture.

Meet our mentors, gain some practical digital tips and find out more about the mentoring programme at the Taster webinar sessions– taking place on 13th and 15th April 

To apply

You can apply to be part of this programme by completing a short online application form.

Deadline for applications is: midday 29 April, 2021

The application form will ask you to describe your team, your digital objectives, the support you need and how you plan to measure your success.

If you need assistance with accessing the application process please email mentoring@thespace.org or telephone 0121 663 1488 and leave a voicemail message, including your contact details. Our office is currently not staffed because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but voicemail messages will be forwarded to someone who will then contact you.

Eligibility

Applications are welcomed from teams of two or three people working on a digital arts projects or two or three staff/freelancers working for a not-for-profit arts organisation on activities with digital elements. Participating organisations must be based in Wales and can include both portfolio and non-portfolio organisations. Participating freelancers must be resident in Wales.

Please Note – the programme is intended to support those applicants in receipt of lower levels of funding from Arts Council of Wales and priority will be given to those demonstrating the greatest needs.

Between two or three people from a team or organisation should participate in the programme so you can share what you learn in your team. You can invite trustees, board members, managers and supporting consultants to participate. Other mentees might include communications staff, artistic project leads or production team members. We recommend that one of your mentees be a senior leader in a position to make strategic change across your organisation.

Unfortunately, you cannot apply if your organisation is:

  • A heritage organisation
  • An educational institution
  • Another public sector agency
  • A trust or foundation
  • A commercial or profit-distributing company

If you are unsure, please contact us to discuss.

FAQs

Q: What is the application deadline?
You can submit your application online up until 12pm midday 29 April, 2021. The closing deadline will not be extended.

Q: What is the programme timeline?
We will inform successful applicants by 21 May. Successful applicants will then receive mentoring between June and October 2021.

Q: Do we need to have some digital experience to apply?
No. We are interested in working with a range of organisations and teams, from those with little or no prior digital experience, through to those who already have an established track record.

Q: Do we need to have a specific digital project in mind?
No. However, you should have an idea of the areas that you would like the mentoring to focus on. This might be a particular project, or it could be the development of a wider digital creative strategy.

Q: What sort of work can the mentors do?
Our mentors are there to provide advice, guidance and feedback in relation to activities including digital marketing, content creation, distribution and audience development. They can do this within the time allocated to your mentoring sessions and with some provision for occasional email or telephone support between sessions. However, they cannot take any responsibility for project delivery or creating documents or other materials for you. Mentors also cannot advise you on an any applications to The Space for a commission or to Arts Council of Wales for funding.

Q: How will the mentoring sessions be delivered?
Sessions will be delivered via Zoom video conference calls. We can provide access support for Zoom calls if you need this and can also consider other forms of remote support if Zoom is not suitable for you.

Q: How many sessions will we be required to attend?
The programme consists of five sessions: three sessions with your specialist digital mentor and two peer-group sessions with other programme participants who may be experiencing similar challenges and opportunities. We would request that one member of your team commits to attending all five sessions, with one or two others joining where they would like to.

Q: Will the information we share with the mentors remain confidential?
Yes, mentors will treat all information discussed in your sessions as confidential. During the peer learning sessions, participants will agree not to share information outside of those sessions. We are interested in looking at ways to share insights from the programme so that those in the sector who were unable to participate can benefit from this funded support. We may therefore ask you to consider sharing some of your insights via case studies or articles that we will produce. However, we will only do this with your agreement.

Q: Will there be a cost for the programme?
No. The programme is fully funded by Arts Council of Wales and so is free to participate in.

Q: How will you select which organisations to mentor?
We will select organisations and project teams based on the quality of answers in your application form and your fit with the programme's objectives. We will be looking for you to demonstrate your organisation or team’s need for the support, outlining why now is a good time for you to access the programme, who will be involved and your success indicators.
In addition, we will apply balancing criteria, as we want the programme to support a range of organisations and teams in terms of:

  • Art form(s) and cultural activities that your digital work is focused on
  • Inclusivity - who is making the work and and who the work is for
  • Area of Wales that you are based in
  • Size of organisation, where an organisation is applying
  • Your team’s level of prior experience of digital activity

We welcome applications from organisations or teams where the leadership or the proposed mentees are minority ethnic, identify as d/Deaf or disabled or where your activities are focussed on meeting the needs of underserved audiences and areas demonstrating socio-economic disadvantage, such as poverty, crime, rural isolation, low economic activity/unemployment or poor educational attainment.

Q: How will you evaluate the programme?
We will ask mentees to complete feedback forms and may ask you to participate in a confidential feedback interview. As with all of our work, we will be keen to share lessons learned from the mentoring with other arts organisations, so that as many people as possible can benefit from the programme. We may ask you to help us to create an online case study about the support you have received and you might also be willing to offer other ways that we can share your progress. We recognise that your time is limited and that there will be information that you may not want in the public domain. We will work with you to agree a flexible approach.

Q: I have further questions. Who should I contact?
Please email mentoring@thespace.org or telephone 0121 663 1488 and leave a voicemail message, including your contact details. Our office is currently not staffed because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but voicemail messages will be forwarded to someone who will then contact you.

Apply to the Strategic Digital Mentoring Programme

Our funders

We are grateful to Arts Council of Wales for their support in funding this programme.

Arts Council Wales funding logoArts Council Wales funding logo