So, you'd like to join the Creative and Culture Network?
Southend is enhanced by having a strong cultural landscape that the public can enjoy and engage in. The Southend Creative & Culture Network (SCCN) provides a vital network of support for the many creatives living and working in this city and works with its members towards ensuring the production, presentation, and promotion of culture in Southend thrives.
Who is the network for?
Everyone is welcome to join the Southend Creative & Culture Network. Whether you're a musician, practising artist, a creative, a performer, a writer, a sole trader, a creative micro-business, a freelancer, or a cultural organisation - it is a friendly, inclusive network open to anyone involved in cultural and creative activities in Southend.
What is culture?
We are using Arts Council England’s current definition from their ‘Let’s Create Strategy’ “Culture we use it to mean all those areas of activity associated with the artforms and organisations in which Arts Council England invests: collections, combined arts, dance, libraries, literature, museums, music, theatre, and the visual arts. By describing all this work collectively as ‘culture’, rather than separately as ‘the arts’, ‘museums’ and ‘libraries’, we aim to be inclusive of the full breadth of activity. We have used ‘creative practitioners’ rather than ‘artists’ as an umbrella term for all those who work to create new, or reshape existing, cultural content.”
What is the purpose of the network?
The Southend Creative & Culture Network’s ambition is to maximise and enrich the creative potential of Southend and support creative practitioners in the process. SCCN comprises professional organisations and individuals located in Southend-on-Sea who work for public benefit to deliver culture and the arts for creative practitioners, communities, and wider audiences.
SCCN is self-governing and self-organising. Each member organisation has equal responsibility for agreeing shared objectives and delivering these for the benefit of local communities and wider audiences.
The core aims of SCCN is to enable;
Effective promotion of cultural activities in Southend to other members and the public.
Working together to create new opportunities for collaborative projects, programmes, enhanced resources, and facilities for Southend creatives.
Host regular friendly and welcoming local events for creatives to connect.
We work to ensure the diversity of the SCCN group reflects the society in which we are located. We believe it is important that culture and the creative industries in Southend include a wide range of lived experience and perspectives, including individuals whose voices are often marginalised within mainstream society and cultures. We believe that each individual’s lived experience is unique, complex and intersectional.
It is essential that the SCCN is a safe space and fully inclusive for any person to participate and enjoy without fear of feeling undermined or unwelcome. Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, ageist, classist or any prejudicial behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstance.
We believe we have a responsibility as individuals, as organisations and as businesses to care for the environment. As SCCN, sustainability and environmentalism are core goals that we work collectively to achieve.
As part of the SCCN, members agree to the following pledges;
Artwork is work. We believe that wherever possible, artists of all disciplines are paid for their artistic practice and their labour. SCCN aims to make sure our artist pay is in line with recommended levels, taking advice from our peers and industry standards. We understand there will be occasions when artists will sometimes want to collaborate when there is no fee and understand this can be beneficial in other ways as long as there is transparency and clarity around the exchange. We advocate for clarity about rates or otherwise in promoting opportunities. SCCN will prioritise promotion of opportunities through our network where they are paid.
EXTERNAL REFERENCES/ RESOURCES:
AUE Good Practise (artistsunionengland.org.uk)
Rates of pay & collective agreements in music | the mu (musiciansunion.org.uk) Ratecards: find out the rates for the work you do | bectu Guidance-on-fees-and-day-rates-for-visual-artists-2020.pdf (a-n.co.uk)
Freedom of creative expression
Culture has always provided a powerful medium for expression. This will sometimes cause disagreement, differing opinions and occasional offence. The importance for our creative practitioners, cultural organisations, and residents to be able to express themselves without fear of repercussion or censorship is paramount. Challenging works should be welcomed but always allow space for discussion. We won’t all agree but everyone’s voice has equal right to be heard, as long as views are not defamatory or derogatory.
We believe in the importance of recognising and crediting the work of artists and creatives. We advocate for artists' work being used or reproduced with their permission and for all work to be credited including photographers of works. This includes presentations, websites, printed material and social media posts. Artist retains intellectual property rights and copyright and image copyright for photos.
Collaboration over competition
SCCN recognises that cultural workers and work is often freelance and precarious. Therefore, we are striving to prioritise collaboration over competition. We advocate for transparent practices and opportunities which centralise this as we believe collectively we are stronger together and this ethos can enrich cultural lives and work