AMA’s Small Scale Development Programme (SSDP) is designed for small arts and heritage organisations focused on developing their business.
SSDP ran as a residential in previous years, then in 2020 we went virtual, and focused on specific challenges during the pandemic.
The virtual course delivered 18 hours of face-to-face training and support over a 3 week period, covering 5 modules. The course is designed to fit in with your “day job”, with approx 1.5 hours learning each day, 4 days a week, delivered by three “best in class” trainers.
The programme was subsidised by Arts Council England. Arts Council Wales has provided bursaries for Welsh organisations to take part.
Participants are leaders of small organisations. Almost 300 people have taken part over the years.
The professionalism and experience of the people who led sessions was really impressive, and having participants from different regions, artforms and types of organisation added to the richness of the dialogueDavid Drake, Director, Ffotogallery
Organisations who have taken part previously include:
- Arcola Theatre
- Black Arts Forum
- Creative Junction
- Deafinitely Theatre
- Ensemble Reza
- Full House Theatre
- Grand Venue
- Independent Opera
- Just So festival
Hear from previous participants
*Please note, participants quoted may have attended the residential SSDP
SSDP is made up of 5 modules, including an online workshop followed by group sessions with up to 20 peers, hosted online. The programme closed with a session to reflect on the programme and discuss next steps, to make immediate plans for practical impact.
Module 1: Relevance & Value
Go through a situational analysis and explore implications and expectations for your organisation over the next 3, 6 and 12 months. Think about business model shifts and income sources.
Module 2: Business Strategies for Recovery
Look at the components of a Recovery Plan. Develop scenario plans and find the right strategies to get your business through the current crisis – and beyond – while staying true to your purpose.
Module 3: Audiences Post-COVID
Understand who your audiences and stakeholders are pre/during/post Covid. Engagement models are shifting – explore new ways of thinking to sustain audiences and income.
Module 4: Brand & Experience
Organisations have responded in varying ways during this crisis, with some brands emerging as winners, and others suffering purpose drift. What makes the difference, and how can you articulate your brand in a way that builds real value for your organisation?
Module 5: Managing Change
Managing change is about managing people, and there are tough decisions being made. What do you need to know to handle this? How can you take stakeholders with you on the journey – and make sure you are supported yourself?
SSDP has helped over 230 organisations over the past 5 years. SSDP is independently evaluated, and the evaluation notes that “SSDP sessions have enabled assumptions and layers of received wisdom to be peeled away, leading to clearer processes for governance and interrogation of who and what their organisation exists for”.
In terms of the impact on my organisation…. I have the knowledge and strength of conviction (from the AMA programme) to develop and put into place the kind of marketing strategy that could actually be shown as a good example to other organisations similar to us.Sian Hughes, Freshwater Theatre Company
The course was thorough, relevant throughout and above all easily applied in the real world… I have already recommended it to several of my peersMark Tattersall, Artistic Director, Dorchester Arts
Our 2020 trainers are featured
Mel Larsen is an experienced marketing strategist, business coach and trainer, having worked in the arts, culture and business sectors for over thirty years.
Helen is a marketing and audience development consultant, and has consulted with a diverse range of small to large-scale cultural organisations, networks and partnerships throughout the UK and internationally, helping them to become more audience focused.
As a Director of MHM, Guy leads MHM’s cause-led division, and on MHM’s most complex and strategic consultation projects, such as segmentation, membership and branding, across the cultural sector.