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About Culture Leicestershire

Please Note: If you are looking to apply for the post of Participation Team Assistant, please click here to view the advert or click here to view the full job description and personal specification


Our Library and Heritage Service deliver access to culture through collections, stories and expertise across a network of venues and through targeted programmes of activities within communities. This includes Museum, Art, Library, Archive and Learning collections. We operate from 21 venues across the county, having a presence in every town and area of significant population. Our extended network includes 31 community managed libraries and the County’s independent museums and heritage organisations.

We have a large visitor and audience base which includes over 87,400 active Library members and over 150,000 museum visitors pre-covid. We are committed to strengthening and diversifying these audiences.

The vision for our Library Service is “To improve wellbeing and opportunity for the people and communities of Leicestershire, by providing access to reading, learning, information and culture through physical and digital spaces, in line with the Libraries Connected Universal Library Offers.”

The vision of our Museum and Heritage service is to “See a Leicestershire with a rich history that values its heritage, engages its communities, welcomes those who visit the county, and works together to ensure a future for the past.”

As a service we are proud to present and interpret history, challenge thinking, inspire creativity, fire enthusiasm, celebrate and commemorate. We are passionate about enabling people to explore and shape their local, national and international connections both now and from the past.

 

The Cultural Participation Team

The new posts accessible here will sit within this team.

We host, collaborate and co-curate cultural activity and resources by and for local people supporting them to shape how culture is interpreted, experienced and enjoyed.

As a cultural participation team we:

  • Support and empower local people to help shape and influence our service in order to realise their own aims and aspirations
  • Deliver themed, time limited, cultural projects with identified target audiences
  • Focus on audiences who do not currently access or feel represented by our services
  • Focus on the wellbeing of the individual and community supporting cohesion, equity of opportunity and happiness
  • Build local cultural capital though the generation of new networks and connections and the championing of creative practitioners
  • Develop progression routes that will take participants beyond the projects themselves; developing their own independent groups or referring them to our Libraries and Museum Services
  • We are the strategic lead for volunteering for the service and commit to increase and diversify opportunities for local people to participate in ways that work for them.

 

Our significant success with co-produced cultural projects has provided opportunities for people to express themselves, their stories and their personal creative responses. This has led to a positive shift in how people value our services and their place within them. Our projects have started to change the way culture is interpreted, experienced and enjoyed by our communities, for our communities.

Members of the team work closely together. Click the links below for information about:

Volunteering activity
Co-created community projects
Our films
Cultural Participation team structure

Our wider service at Leicestershire County Council

Our staff of curators, librarians, archivists, and our collections and learning experts  work alongside the teams who manage our venues and welcome our visitors. Together they represent some of our most important assets; shining lights on hidden stories, connecting people to amazing art and cultural objects and encouraging people to find meaning and pleasure in reading.

Wider service context

Our Museums are Accredited by Arts Council England (ACE) , have received multiple tourism awards, exemplary results in their Visit England VAQAS assessments and hold the Sandford Award.

The Record Office is an Accredited Archive Service, recognised by The National Archives (TNA)

The provision of a comprehensive and efficient library service is a statutory responsibility of local authorities under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act and is delivered in Leicestershire via a two-strand structure, Library Operations and Library Resources. All Leicestershire libraries offer their local communities traditional library lending, PC access, information provision, events & activities, children’s services and access to digital resources including a comprehensive e-lending library. There are only 18 other library sector organisations across the country to have received Arts Council England funding via their Investment Programme.

We have successfully hosted and supported Museum Development East Midlands (MDEM), this affords us a strategic overview of the sector, enabling us to quickly respond to sector developments, adopt best practice and engage with regional and national networks.

We work closely with Creative Leicestershire, drawing on their sector knowledge and networks giving us an understanding of the needs of the creative sector such as space to rehearse, partnership work, responding to opportunities, financial reporting, building bridges between artists and audiences.

Information on our specific sites and services and links to their microsites can be found here

Why we are recruiting

We are pleased to have received National Portfolio Organisation status and funding from Arts Council England.

The new roles accessible here will support this programme of activity and compliment the Let’s Create Strategy.

The cultural activity generated through these roles will be free for people to explore and enjoy. It will see local artists working alongside participants using contemporary creative practice to enliven and give greater impact to our service offer. New activity will include:

Culture To You

Building on our established Home Library Service and Creative Learning Service models we will develop a new menu of cultural offers which will give people greater access to a range of art and literature opportunities, often in their own homes. It will be volunteer led with an aim to reduce social isolation and increase wellbeing.

Home Library Service

NPO funding has inspired us as a County Council to invest in the sustainability and accessibility of our established HLS to enable it to flourish and reach more people in new ways. We want to pilot new approaches and support the volunteers who deliver the service to enable it to thrive.

Community Curators

We will enable community voices to be heard, stories told and connections made through the development of new co-curated cultural projects in our three market town museums (Melton, Charnwood and Market Harborough) We will offer opportunities for people to express themselves and design their personal creative responses through exhibitions, film, trails, digital tours, drama and art. We harness the skills of local creative practitioners to make this happen. Activities will be aimed at people who are new to our cultural spaces, or do not see themselves represented within our Market Town Museums. We will invest in true collaboration with communities and value the creative potential in everybody.

Creative Expressions in Libraries

We will unlock our large network of Library venues as spaces for new creative activity. We will commission local creative practitioners and partner with other NPO organisations to develop shared audiences and realise the potential of our cultural venues. We will commission site-specific performances and create artist residencies in five of our libraries.  By the end of the programme these co-created practices will be embedded in our way of working and will re-establish our library venues as vibrant cultural hubs in their communities.

Underpinning this work will be the re-imagining of Culture Leicestershire and our cultural offer. This will include:

  • Creating a strategy for ‘Culture Leicestershire’ and our Cultural provision based on this new embedded approach. It supports the new Council Strategic Outcome of Great Communities by ensuring cultural and historic heritage are enjoyed and conserved and that participation in cultural activity in increased as a measure of this
  • Helping to shape the development of the Culture Hub – an ambitious £15 million capital project to co-locate archive, museum, library and learning collections in one building and provided co-designed participation spaces for public access and engagement by 2026 Fund
  • Creating a new online portal to our Services which link our strong separate digital identities, but also make it easier for people to discover our whole cultural offer

We want to see the Council at the heart of Leicestershire’s cultural landscape. This investment and commitment will support individual curators, librarians, participants and creative practitioners to learn, take risks, and flourish in pursuit of improving local people’s lives through culture.

Are you ready to join our team?

Roles will be advertised here when we are recruiting, check back for updates.

Applications are now closed for the following roles

Cultural Outreach Manager

Culture Leicestershire Officer

Culture to You Project Officer

Home Library Service Officer

Volunteering Manager