Culture Cloud -Part 3 Defining the Idea
Skinder returned from his journey with a more defined idea of the how the project could work. He had added an extra element after discussion with ArtFinder (AF). This was the idea that people could also sell their physical work at the Media Box when it’s being exhibited. This works well with AF who previously provided services for printing and distributing art works. It would also make Culture Cloud appeal more to the artists, as it provides them with an opportunity to make some money. Skinder added that places like IKEA produce prints of art on a mass scale and it’s usually the same pieces with hardly any input from the art world.
The idea seemed to really be focussed at this point. Skinder started to create the application, sending different drafts to the Culture Cloud team.
Then after not hearing about the project for a while, I suddenly found out we were in the finals and Skinder was having a meeting with NESTA!
The next day I received a call with the words ‘Are you sitting down?’ At that point, I knew we’d got it.
Once we won the bid and it was made public knowledge, we decided to explain the project to the rest of the staff who were not involved in the process. They seemed to like the idea and were really happy about raising the profile of NAE. We looked at the other bids on the NESTA site and saw some interesting, innovative and impressive ideas.
We decided to expand the Culture Cloud team and bring in the wider NAE team. We added our new Director of Programmes, Melanie Kidd and our Exhibitions and Programmes Co-ordinator, Roshni Belakavadi. This was really useful, as we had an initial meeting to explain the idea and get some feedback. After this meeting we realised how complex the idea was and that we needed a business plan. We had a lot of legal technicalities to tackle including royalties, rights, distribution and how to deal with prints etc.
Skinder visited the NESTA office to meet the researchers who were going to bid to work with the successful NESTA projects. Skinder described this to me as a ‘speed dating process’, where each group would talk for 10 minutes to another group of researchers explaining their project. After the researchers placed their bids, NESTA and the Arts and Humanities Research Council picked the appropriate candidates. For Culture Cloud they picked Dr Paul Long, Dr Nick Webber and Dr Simon Barber from Birmingham City University.
by Ravi James Abbott Project Assistant
Digital R&D Fund Themes
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