Rudman Consulting designs, develops and delivers national and regional digital development programmes for the creative, cultural, heritage, and tourism sectors.
Why the need for programmes of digital development support?
Rudman Consulting knows it is critical that the creative and cultural sectors not only keep up with digital developments – but that they successfully develops their own, suitable to their content, audiences and aspirations! We have found specifically that small to medium sized creative organisations are most likely to benefit (socially, culturally, economically and environmentally) from digital developments, but are limited in their capacity to embrace change. Put simply, their current knowledge base, limited staffing capacity and scale means that many cannot sustain new digital developments alone.
Rudman Consulting believes that digital development is a key driver to sustaining resilient 21st century creative and cultural organisations. Digital technology is transforming the relationship between artist and audience, arts organisations and places, art and the creative economy. As digital technologies and art forms converge, so do the assumptions about who is an artist, what is a digital business. In the past, it was assumed that the arts were purely a research and development function of the creative economy, or an enhancement element to places where creative economies flourished. Now, the arts are beginning to be recognised for their full economic and social potential They are:
• equal partners in the creation of aesthetic quality and tastes;
• trusted channels the general public like;
• incubators for and homes of creative talent; and
• they leverage mass participation and dialogue.
AmbITion England champion and BBC Broadcaster, Bill Thompson, suggested that organisations most likely to thrive in the 21st century were those that were moving from a position of ‘assimilation’ (where the digital is assimilated into existing modes of thinking) to ‘adaptation’ (where existing thinking is changed to accommodate the new possibilities and potential of the digital).
Rudman Consulting is also championing the emergence of a digital content ecology, where the best content is created by the arts/culture/creative sectors collaborating with the digital/media industries. This demands that creative and cultural organisations adapt rather than assimilate, and it means that different types of collaboration have to be encouraged to ensure innovation. Rudman Consulting’s experience is that creative, cultural, heritage, and tourism sector organisations and individuals also need to adapt to the opportunities presented by the now embedded philosophies of openness and sharing.
Rudman Consulting has developed AmbITion as a solution, designing a programme of support activities that enables wider access to a specialist knowledge base (technologists, digital media professionals and innovators); supports skills development & providing tools for sectoral capacity building; and through partnership, facilitates content production partnerships and innovation.
AmbITion is led by Hannah Rudman of Rudman Consulting, and is run in partnership with cultural sector organisational development delivery agencies, and those agencies that invest in the creative industries. Rudman Consulting has so far delivered AmbITion programmes with a total investment from government agencies and The National Lottery of over £3.2m.
Lesley Anne Rose, Creative Producer, Stellar Quines: “It’s fair to say that a couple of years ago Stellar Quines was in the digital Dark Ages. Like many arts organisations we stumbled into our first AmbITion workshop wondering what all the digital fuss was about and what it had to do with live theatre. The workshop turned out to be a Eureka moment in the company’s history as we emerged with our heads spinning with a new found realisation of the potentials of a brave new digital world. We are now moving towards becoming a virtual hub for all those interested in women and theatre; delivering a series of creative digital labs where the interface between live theatre and the possibilities emerging through the virtual and digital worlds can be tested and to train ourselves and those who work with us in new skills, new outlooks and new understandings.”
Cryptic’s Sara Harrison: “AmbITion Scotland has given Cryptic the support, expert advice and time to formulate and investigate a digital project which perfectly encapsulates the company’s mission to use digital technologies innovatively. The project is enabling Cryptic to engage more with international audiences and support the work of emerging artists, whilst ensuring that the company remains at the forefront of the use of digital technologies in the arts.”
Ed Robson, Artistic Director, Cumbernauld Theatre: “AmbITion directly enabled Cumbernauld Theatre to enter the 21st Century – for the first time we were able to sell tickets online, to fully understand the potential and make use of web 2.0 technologies/social media developments, and to be able to manage and respond to our audience quickly and with more knowledge and skill. In the last 18 months Cumbernauld Theatre has transformed its use of Information Technology and as a result has a stronger and more active online communication relationship and sales presence that is directly engaging audiences on a daily basis. “Whilst the financial investment was crucial, the support and skills base that the Company also received will be fundamental going forwards in our ability to now deliver new and growing audiences.”
Julian Forrester, Director, Cove Park: “AmbITion has given Cove Park the ability to communicate faster, better and in new ways. It led us to thinking carefully about what we in particular needed. It then gave us a consultant of great ability to work with who set up programmes suited to us and then trained us in their use with patience and humour. This is the sort of practical help of inestimable value to a small organisation which in normal circumstances could not easily access digital development at this level.”
Chris Willshaw, Online Marketing Specialist, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: “In partnership with AmbITion Scotland we have been able to create Broadcast – our online hub where audiences can experience life at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. By training staff and students as digital content creators we have created a wealth of new digital content – (performances, behind the scenes interviews and masterclasses), which we distribute through our social media channels. Our improved digital culture has had a significant impact through three key areas of student recruitment, audience development and increased institutional reputation.”
Esther Currie, YDance: “The AmbITion Scotland programme has been a huge benefit for YDance. We had aspirations to develop digitally and the opportunities offered by this programme have definitely allowed us to do that. As a result we not only have a fully functioning customer relationship management system that has helped streamline both our administrative and marketing practices, but the training opportunities offered by the programme have also helped us to develop our social networking presence and inspired us to greater aspirations for future digital developments.”
Interested in a digital development programme for the creative, cultural or tourism sectors in your country/region?
Email us to enquire.