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Policy implementation, scoping and mapping of provision, programme implementation, briefings.

Arts and gun and gang crime issues: MMAGS Arts Strategy, 2007-08
Angus McLewin Associates (AMA) was appointed as a consultant to work with MMAGS and Arts Council England North West. During that period the head of MMAGS was seconded to the Home Office Task Force leading on gun and knife crime -national Tackling Gangs Action Programme (T GAP) - and the arts-based consultancy fed into their meetings and priorities as well as to the YJB national guns and weapons strategy.

Manchester Multi Agency Gang Strategy (MMAGS) approached Arts Council England North West, after attending an event at Contact Theatre in 2006, where they took part in a policy maker’s seminar organised by Arts Council England, North West region. Subsequently, MMAGS and Arts Council England North West jointly supported the development of an Arts Strategy to embed arts practice within programme delivery on gang and gun crime issues for children and young people in Manchester.

Arts strategy key findings & recommendations
  • The key findings identified ten elements and issues that informed the recommendations for developing and implementing the five core elements of the Arts Strategy
  • The focus of the strategy was on the three key areas of Prevention, Interventions and Progression routes
  • The strategy recommendations were for the Manchester area and the North West region
  • Further recommendations were framed within the need for advocacy and partnership working within the wider national framework for arts-based approaches to gang and gun crime issues.

The first six recommendations focus on the structure of the strategy and its core elements:

  1. To produce and implement a three-year arts strategy (2008-11) focusing on gang and gun crime issues for children and young people in Manchester and the North West.
  2. To focus the arts strategy on the three identified key areas of Prevention, Interventions and Progression Routes.
  3. To develop and support a dedicated ‘Arts Task Force’ of arts-based organisations that have the expertise and experience to deliver within this area of work.
  4. To ensure key co-ordinator roles are in place to take this arts strategy forward and implement it effectively.
  5. A specialist and targeted training programme will be needed to ensure effective and sustainable delivery of quality arts provision.
  6. Participation and involvement of the young people from the communities most affected by gang and gun-related crime, is critical to the development and delivery of the strategy.

These final six recommendations focus on the range of advocacy roles to support the implementation and effectiveness of this strategy:

  1. To ensure the arts strategy is integrated into the wider multi-agency approaches and provision re: gang and gun crime within Manchester City Council’s strategies and programmes.
  2. Arts Council England North West to advocate for this area of work to be prioritised within key cultural strategies and programmes.
  3. To produce a national advocacy document on the role of the arts in addressing gang and gun crime issues.
  4. To be aware of the remit of the national Tackling Gangs Action Programme (T GAP).
  5. To liaise with the work of the YJB national guns and weapons strategy manager.
  6. To liaise with Leap Confronting Conflict on the dissemination of their conference findings and research.

Three-year arts strategy for Local Authority - Calderdale 2007-8
This ‘Arts and Young People at Risk’ strategy was placed within three key Local Authority strategies:

  • Safer Communities Strategy
  • Children and Young People’s Plan
  • Cultural Strategy

It focused on developing and consolidating the Arts Development Officer’s pilot post as the Arts Council England and YJB partnership had piloted a number of dedicated Arts Officer posts over the previous three years, based within Local Authorities and with YOTS - regional examples included both Calderdale YOT and Lancashire YOT.

Arts Council England - Regional Action Plans, 2005-06

AMA worked with the Yorkshire regional office and with East Midlands region to formulate their Action Plans, providing detailed mapping of direct and partnership provision, followed by strategic stakeholder seminars, establishing common ground and developing potential partnerships. The national framework document (see above) provided the basis for the regional Social Inclusion Officers to develop regionally and locally appropriate plans for the implementation of the national strategy.

Irene Taylor Trust (Music in Prisons) - Evaluation Findings, 2005-06
AMA worked with the Projects Co-ordinator of Irene Taylor Trust (Music in Prisons) to develop a meta analysis to distil and disseminate the findings from six years of project evaluations. ITT wanted to share some of the lessons learned in an easily accessible format to complement the detailed project evaluation reports. The result was ‘Time Well Spent’ a full colour A5 publication, which draws on key findings from the evaluations and gives a sense of the learning and the journeys made by the participants, the creative team, the prison regimes and the researchers (see under Publications).

Creative Partnerships – The needs of children and young people at risk of exclusion, Scoping Study for Area Directors, 2005
How can Creative Partnerships best support and contribute to the learning needs of children and young people at risk of exclusion, both within and beyond its programmes?
As part of a scoping study on addressing the needs of children and young people at risk of exclusion, commissioned by the Director of Learning at CP national office, AMA produced a ‘policy and programme reference document’ which examined the overall current policies around social exclusion and how it affects and reflects children and young people’s needs. The document became the key reference point for any practical and professional development opportunities outlined in the subsequent Creative Partnerships Scoping Study (see under Research).

MusicLeader website – ‘Working with music’, 2005
AMA was commissioned to produce the content for ‘Music and the Criminal Justice System, part of the “Working with music” category of the Music Leader website.
MusicLeader offers information on courses, training providers and networking events to support professional development of the broad range of people work across the youth music sector
The ‘Working with music’ category focuses on music in the workplace and is aimed at all music leaders; whether they are teachers, classroom assistants, project managers or musicians. The content included providing an overview of the Youth Justice sector; an overview of music in youth justice; what qualities and abilities a musician needs to work in a youth justice setting; what project managers should consider when setting up a music activity/project; music project examples. Case studies were provided including a music activity in Youth Inclusion Project (YIP); a music activity in a Young Offenders Institution (YOI); a career profile in criminal justice and an example of a training programme.

Arts Council England - ‘The arts and young people at risk of offending’ strategy, 2004-05
AMA was commissioned as a consultant by Arts Council England to work on the national framework for ‘the arts and young people at risk of offending’ strategy, mapping the direct and partnership provision across the nine regions and providing a draft framework that informed the seven priority areas outlined in the final, strategic objectives.

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