What Next?

What Next? is a movement bringing together arts and cultural organisations from across the UK, to articulate and strengthen the role of culture in society. They aim to find new ways to engage with audiences and visitors to start different conversations about how and why the arts are important, and to urge everyone, as individuals and as communities, to register their endorsement of – and pleasure in – their art and culture, especially where these are under threat.

They have diverse memberships who meet regularly in local ‘chapters’ to share enthusiasms, ideas and information. What Next? operates as a movement (not an organisation or campaign) where there is no central leadership structure and members speak for themselves (rather than with “one voice”) but coalesce around the highest common denominator of ideas and needs that can be acted upon. What Next? is an experiment. They want to try different ways of approaching engagement and advocacy. This requires feeling their way and being responsive to the changing climate and the ideas of their growing membership.

The movement began with leaders meeting for an hour every Wednesday morning at 8:30. They invited specialists to talk to them: community leaders, politicians, funders, academics and business people. Soon similar meetings were springing up across the country; in Manchester, Liverpool, Coventry, Sheffield, Cambridge and Cardiff.          

The main task of What Next? is to encourage people to see connections between the many different ways art and culture affect and enhance our lives and to articulate the importance of these connections for them and their communities.

What Next? has developed a toolkit written collaboratively by a group of individuals and organisations from across the network.

Get Involved
Join your local chapter or set one up
Read the toolkit and undertake the actions to boost the national debate about the value of arts and culture

What's On

Craft Workshops

Various Venues

Friday 08 February 2019 – Tuesday 31 December 2019

Linda Brothwell Conversations in Making

Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Amesbury, Wiltshire SP4 7DE

Friday 24 May 2019 – Sunday 24 November 2019

Exeter's Fine Art Collection: A Sense of Place

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3RX

Tuesday 18 June 2019 – Sunday 15 March 2020

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Supported by: