CULTURE RESET is a practical rapid response programme to inspire more relevant and impactful cultural organisations and practices.

Born out of the devastating impact of Covid-19 and inspired by the urgent need to accelerate change and respond to the experiences of a broader diversity of people, it will provide expert support and dynamic stimulus for 192 arts and cultural producers, makers and directors across the UK.

The programme runs from 20 July to 11 September 2020.

Each participant will leave the programme with an expert and peer-reviewed action plan to reset their creative approach – it could be for a specific project, for their general artistic practice or across an entire organisation.

We’re looking to recruit cultural workers who care about the wider sector in which they work, and who want to play a part in its transformation. This is about supporting a fundamental reset, and we’re looking to support a movement that contributes to that change.

Participation is funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation and open to the full range of the cultural sector. We want to hear from arts producers, museum and gallery curators, theatre makers, artistic directors, festival producers, library managers, literary editors, musicians, visual artists, choreographers, composers, writers – anyone with the agency to commission and create cultural experiences.

We are particularly keen to receive applications from people working outside of major urban centres, from those from or working with under-represented communities, from creatives and producers of colour, from people working in contexts beyond the formal, or with artists and forms that are outside of the scope of funded activity, and from disabled and D/deaf creatives. 

Applicants may be furloughed, freelance, currently unemployed or working full or part time within an organisation.

You might be asking:

●      If my organisation is to survive, we must connect more meaningfully with our context and communities. Where do I begin?

●      How do we make radical change happen whilst dealing with this crisis – what is it realistic to expect?

●      I know that my organisation has to feel essential for these times and for the communities it serves, what changes do I need to make to create that shift?

●      I know that relevance is important, but I don’t know how it might affect my creative practice. Where do I start?

●      How can I put engagement at the centre of our artistic programme, rather than confine it to our learning or events offer?

●      Does relevance always mean co-creation?

●      How can I persuade my organisation that relevance is essential, not a nice-to-have?

  1. The Programme - what to expect 

CULTURE RESET combines intensive creative online laboratories with a dynamic set of provocations and reflections from directors, artists, writers, academics and producers internationally. It has been devised to offer the support, stimulus and guidance to facilitate immediate action.

Each participant will have access to:

●      A 4-week intensive of facilitated group work to design and test your knowledge, grow your new ideas and plan your action;

●      Weekly provocations by international innovators and thinkers;

●      Up-skilling in civic action, understanding place and audience mindset, social impact and myth-busting in collaboration and co-creation;

●      Access to an exclusive suite of resources curated and selected by arts leaders and producers

●      A one-to-one coaching opportunity to map your own next steps.

CULTURE RESET is a people make it work project funded by The Gulbenkian Foundation and the people make it work team.

The programme is designed and created by Claire Doherty and David Micklem – both leading creative producers and artistic directors – who have been dedicated to progressive, impactful approaches to culture and relevance over the past 20 years. 

David and Claire are joined by a further 10 outstanding facilitators from across the spectrum of the cultural sector – all of whom have real-world experience of producing cultural experiences and making space for new ideas and new voices.

The programme will give rocket fuel to a leading cohort of creatives and cultural producers facing uncertain and demanding times. 

The programme will be conducted online and therefore participants will need the necessary equipment and Wifi access to take part. 

  1. Who can apply

Who is this for:  

This programme is open to the full range of the cultural sector. We want to hear from arts producers, museum and gallery curators, theatre makers, artistic directors, festival producers, library managers, literary editors, musicians, visual artists, choreographers, composers, writers – anyone with the agency to commission and create cultural experiences.


Eligibility Criteria: 

To be considered for a place in the programme you must be: 

●      a UK resident aged at least 18 years old

●      involved in cultural production

●      available for a four-week intensive (up to 10 hours per week) either;

○      20 July – 14 August 2020

○      17 August – 11 September 2020

●      You will be committed to bringing your knowledge and experience to the programme and to actively sharing the impact of the programme with your organisation and networks. 


  1. Selection process:  

We’re expecting high demand for places, so we’ll be allocating places across a variety of criteria:

-       a balance of professionals who are furloughed, freelance, independent, employed and unemployed;

-       geographic regions;

-       artform areas.

The answers you provide in your application form will help us to select participants and to pre-assign participants into the intensive groups. This is so that the groups can focus on an urgent question together with a similar set of challenges or priorities.

We recognise that this is a very fluid situation, and that the personal circumstances of participants may change during the programme.

We have embedded positive action in our recruitment process, to ensure that the widest range of people are included, and know that the programme is for them. 

We are aware of the under representation and lack of diverse leaders in the cultural sector, we see increasing and supporting diversity as fundamental to the future development of this sector.  We therefore encourage all leaders to apply for this opportunity and demonstrate in your application how you will contribute to the diversity of voices in the programme

  1. What is the commitment 

You will be ready to:

●      Actively participate in the peer-learning intensive (We estimate 3hrs per week for workshops and 5–7 hours per week research/listening/reading time);

●      Share your findings and knowledge with colleagues, networks and organisations during and on the completion of the intensive;

●      Take advantage of the full summer programme of talks, podcasts and coaching – we suggest a minimum commitment of 1-2 hours per week outside of the intensive period.

  1. Access Support

We are committed to ensuring and growing opportunities for people who have previously experienced barriers to inclusion.

We recognise that you might need additional support to participate in this programme – whether that technical equipment or childcare costs, access support or adjustments to the programme. Please let us know what you need in the application form. 

  1. What does it cost to participate? 

Places are fully funded. A total of 192 funded places are available (thank you Gulbenkian Foundation) – each worth £500 – plus access support for anyone requiring additional support to take part.


  1. Further Enquiries 

If you have further questions please check the FAQs available on the website or email     

We would also be happy to arrange call if you would prefer to speak to a member of the team on the phone.