This afternoon Arts Council England had called representatives from Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs) to a meeting at the Paragon Hotel in Birmingham to discuss new proposals for assessment. It was another occasion on which living in a big city is a great advantage. For me it was a 10 minute cycle ride from the office but there was a man there who had driven up from Southampton. I travelled with the vague concern it may be a waste of time but noted lunch would be laid on. This other guy had a whole other level of commitment.
Essentially we were being asked our opinions of having Self-Assessment formalised as part of the Arts Council’s monitoring procedure and how we felt about Peer Review as a strategy for making value judgements about our effectiveness. It is too involved and dull to go into it in any more detail here, but contrary to my concerns it was a stimulating event. The discussions fired me up and as ever it was great to meet up with familiar faces from across the region and to meet some good people from further a-field.
In the final summing up a number of my contributions were quoted, verbatim and thankfully, unattributed. Out of context an admission of “paranoid self-assessment in the shower” is always going to raise a good laugh.