Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) 

In 2021 Culture In Flux (CIF) was invited by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to manage the Award for Civic Arts Organisations. The CIF directors Sarah Macnee and Shreela Ghosh have more than 25 years of grants-management experience, and as our consultancy practice is geared around interventions that can make a measurable difference to the lives of individuals and communities, working with the Gulbenkian team on the delivery of the second and third editions of the award has been enjoyable.

TAH - Staff outside The Real Junk Food Project's Makey Wakey Unit. Photography by David Lindsay, courtesy of The Art House

The Art House, Wakefield – Winner of the 2022 Award for Civic Arts Organisations.

Courtesy of The Art House


Heart n Soul  – Winner of the 2021 Award for Civic Arts Organisations.

Photographer Christopher Andreou

Over the past two years it has been great to see how hundreds of arts organisations, large and small, are working with their communities to find solutions. Our understanding of Civic Arts has grown and we have enjoyed discussions with the Judging Panel looking at the various methodologies for co-creation and grappling with what sustainability means in different contexts. We are pleased that the recipients of the Award for Civic Arts Organisations are dispersed across the UK from Scotland to the South Coast of England; evidently, all of these organisations are helping their communities thrive. 

Culture Central – Cultural Leadership Programme

Culture Central is the collective voice for Arts and Culture in the Birmingham City region.  It is leading Transforming Narratives, a three-year programme which aims to establish Birmingham as a leading international centre for contemporary South Asian arts practice, presenting multi-art forms through an artistic exchange programme, for the mutual benefit of Birmingham and cities in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Culture in Flux has been commissioned to design and deliver a leadership development programme which equally meets the learning needs of emerging leaders and mid-career leaders of Bangladeshi and Pakistani (including Kashmiri) heritage in Birmingham, and emerging and mid-career leaders from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The work is supported by the British Council and Arts Council England

Without Walls – Governance Review

In September 2020, Culture In Flux was commissioned by Without Walls – a leading Outdoor Arts company – to conduct a review of its governance arrangements to ensure that it demonstrated best practice as a not-for-profit arts organisation. This work was informed by discussions about equality and accessibility, including issues arising from the Black Lives Matter movement. The review was led by Shreela Ghosh and Sarah Macnee who consulted with the Board members of Without Walls and the director of XTRAX. Shreela and Sarah also talked to the CEO/Chair of 12 external organisations including Dance Consortium, Gecko, Sampad, and Shape Arts. Culture In Flux worked closely with Jo Burns, the Executive Chair of  Without Walls and the final report included a series of recommendations on ways to strengthen the governance of Without Walls. 

Without Walls

Without Walls.

As the World Tipped By, Wired Aerial Theatre @ WE Wonder Noir Festival. Photograph copyright, James Mulkeen

“Without Walls commissioned Culture in Flux to undertake a Governance Review in 2020 with a particular emphasis on barriers to entry and participation. While the issues involved were complex and wide-ranging, Shreela and Sarah engaged in the work with sensitivity and rigour. In our experience, the company has considerable skills and knowledge, and understands the importance of listening and being flexible. We are pleased to have appointed them and with the final report which has made a valuable contribution to Without Walls’ development”

Jo Burns, Chair, Without Walls

LCRCA – Research on Culture and Internationalism

An International Working Group for Culture, led by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) in partnership with the British Council, appointed a team from Culture in Flux, to undertake research on its behalf. This works to embed internationalism within the city region’s 30 Year Cultural and Creativity Strategy and other major strategic strategies and plans serving the city region. The research provides a clearer understanding of visitor profiles and trends across the city region; the composition and needs of international student population; the makeup of the city’s many international communities and residents and the impacts of cultural offer on residents, particularly those with an international or diverse cultural background. It draws on case studies to promote stories to showcase opportunities for the future development of international work. The final report can be downloaded from here.

Fio – Business & Development Planning

 Fio, is an independent theatre company established in 2013 led by theatre  director Abdul Shayek from a base in Splott, Cardiff. The company operates across three connected strands of activity. Firstly, it works with communities in Splott; secondly, it provides training and development opportunities for BAME practitioners from Wales and finally, Fio produces compelling, award-winning theatre that uses drama to tackle complex questions around social justice.

“The Culture In Flux team worked with us at a pivotal moment in Fio’s development. Whilst Fio had been successful in securing short term project grants in the past, we needed multi-year funding support and larger grants to deliver our ambitious productions and workshops over time. As a result of the business planning work led by the Culture In Flux team, Fio has become more sustainable – we have leveraged more than £250,000 from Arts Council Wales and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. Culture In Flux has also enabled Fio to create a clear and robust framework for evaluation, making it easier to measure and understand the company’s impact in terms of arts/cultural policy and social change.”

Abdul Shayek, Founder Director, Fio Theatre Company

UCL – BA Course Development

The Department of Culture, Communication and Media from the Institute of Education at UCL is launching a new industry facing BA Media in 2021. The BA is a collaboration between Institute of Education and faculties of Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Studies within UCL. This is the first of a series of initiatives taking place through the UCL East project which will see the opening of a major new campus at London East Bank. Culture in Flux led the development and validation of the new programme. The programme draws on UCL’s networks and partnerships in London and beyond to offer a unique blend of analytical, creative and entrepreneurial opportunities.

We are very grateful to Mark Dunford and his team for their help in guiding our new BA Media course at UCL to successful validation. His [their] breadth and depth of experience in programme design and its links to national frameworks was invaluable, and we also greatly appreciated his/their sensitivity to local and internal factors.

Professor Andrew Burn, MA, PhD, FRSA, Professor of English, Media and Drama, UCL Knowledge Lab
UCL Institute of Education, University College London

Just A Card

JUST A CARD is a campaign that aims to encourage people to buy from Designer/Makers and Independent Galleries and Shops by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even ‘just a card’ are so vital to Artist & Designer Sarah Hamilton saw the quote “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card‘ we’d still be open” by store keepers who’d recently closed their gallery. Culture In Flux supported the development of the campaign with strategic advice on the provision of training for entrepreneurs, communications, income generation via a successful crowdfunding campaign and partnership working.