Revisioning: investigating the future of CFCCA
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art has been part of Manchester’s flourishing cultural network for almost 35 years. We are a national gallery with an international perspective, bringing together the global and the local. On multiple occasions during our history, the organisation has shifted its mission, approach and home. We now find ourselves at another juncture: a moment to take action, to reflect on our model of cultural production and consider how we can best speak to societal need to ensure our work is both effective and relevant now.
CFCCA’s Revisioning is a co-created project, a collaborative move to make meaningful change. Facilitated by the CFCCA team (staff and Board), an integral Artist Working Group, and experienced change facilitators People Make it Work in collaboration and conversation with partners and constituents, we are eager to shift the status quo and identify and address the many pressing challenges which the sector and organisation must respond to such as race, gender and class equality, societal barriers for engagement, decolonisation and empowerment.
It is important that we reach and engage a multiplicity of voices and experiences which will bring the insight and knowledge we need to help inform CFCCA’s future direction and approach.
PROCESS AND PROGRESS
July – September 2020: Preparation
The initial stage of the process involved in-depth conversation from critical friends and ongoing collaborators. This was an opportunity to hear initial feedback on our intentions.
During this period, we invited an Artist Working Group to co-design key elements of the process and completed a recruitment process to engage a team of independent external facilitators
October 2020 – January 2021: Reflection and Prioritisation
This is where we are now. We are working closely with our partners to agree the project structure to co-create our vision, agreeing how we want to work together. We are reviewing our current strategy and approach to equality and diversity, a first phase of reflection which will coincide with an independent audit of our policy, strategy and process. It is our intention to deliver a truth and reconciliation workshop during this phase to allow voices to be heard and issues acknowledged.
A key part of this process is to begin our constituent analysis, consulting our audiences, artists, funders, peers and partners to understand their important perspectives and inform key decisions made from the process .
February and March 2021
During February and March 2021, the project will briefly pause to allow space for reflection and programme delivery.
The early elements of this process were about transparency, openness and listening. We are eager to ensure that the outcomes of these stages inform next steps.
It is important that this process does not happen overnight, as it needs space to flex as understanding and conversations develop so that outcomes can be embedded into the organisation.
We expect future parts of this process to include bringing together findings, analysing options and testing future thinking. We will share more details as they evolve.
We are aware of the ingrained racial, cultural and political issues within the sector and fully recognise that we can’t promote the necessary change alone. We are committed to a process of ongoing collaboration and openness to ensure we find the right direction for CFCCA and make change which we hope will turn ripples into waves.
(Last edited 13/02/21)
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