On Thursday 15 June, an invited audience of artists and representatives of local arts organisations came together to :

  • review the Feasibility Study being undertaken by Arts Management Consultant, Mari Beynon Owen
  • draw inspiration from Peak/Copa – an innovative contemporary arts programme in rural Wales
  • build support for a future arts development programme in Haverfordwest

Pip Lewis Director of spacetocreate and Co-producer of PLATFORM introduced the 2016 pilot project and the commissioning of a study into the feasibility of future arts development in Haverfordwest.

Mari reviewed her research before looking at comparators and best practice examples in relation to arts development in other towns and rural areas; the pivotal role of the arts in economic regeneration; and the  contribution, which artists can make towards energizing townscapes.

Rebecca Spooner, Creative Director of  Arts Alive Wales, discussed the research and development of Peak/Copa over the last three years which enabled her to visit organisations across the UK such as Grizedale Arts in Cumbria, Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridgeshire, Stroud Valleys Artspace and Cove Park on the west coast of Scotland. A considered approach to development has resulted in Peak/Copa offering an  innovative contemporary arts programme in the rural Black Mountains, for the benefit of artists, communities and visitors. Find out more here.

In the afternoon participants were invited to imagine that PLATFORM as a biennial event was taking place for the fifth time and to think about:

  • What can be seen, where and when?
  • Who is the audience and how are they taking part?
  • Who has been involved in planning and delivering the event?
  • What impact is the event having on the town?

Take a look at their ideas here PLATFORM 2024

Judging from the ‘buzz’ … this confirms the need for a strong artists’ forum in Haverfordwest.

A well organised, focussed event and excellent opportunity for networking, as well as addressing local arts infrastructure. Fantastic CPD opportunity!

Thrilling and inspiring

Evaluation from the twenty people who attended the seminar showed that:

  • 95% agreed the need for an arts development programme building on the work of Confluence
  • 100% agreed that Haverfordwest provides a good centre and focus
  • 100% that a contemporary art event in Haverfordwest would provide a valuable platform to promote contemporary art practice

Featured image: Delegate viewing Snapshot: Colours of the Brecon Beacons by Rebecca Chesney, Peak/Copa