09:02AM, Sunday 05 May 2013
New volunteers have joined a 'working party' to help rejuvenate Maidenhead & District Arts Council (MaDAC).
Eight people signed up to help the organisation following an open meeting titled The Great Arts Debate.
It took place on Wednesday last week at the town hall, and the aim was to establish what the council can do to better serve the arts community.
MaDAC is an umbrella organisation which represents more than 50 arts-based groups.
It was formed in the 1970s to campaign for an arts centre, which led to the creation of Norden Farm Centre for the Arts.
But MaDAC says only about a third of its members are regular users of the centre.
One of the main aims of the debate, which was attended by about 30 people, was to establish what the organisation could do for the others.
Suggestions included better promotion of the work of the arts groups, and the possibility of using a town centre shop unit as a box office.
A re-think of MaDAC's constitution and voting rights was also suggested, with the possibility of the organisation accepting individual members as well as groups raised.
Speaking on Tuesday, acting chairman of MaDAC Carol Hennessy said: "I think it went pretty well. I was pleased with the turnout."
Philip Ratcliffe, chairman of Maidenhead Music Society, was among those who attended the debate.
In a letter to the Advertiser afterwards he said it was clear knowledge of MaDAC's existance and functions is 'patchy'.
"What MaDAC should be doing as its first priority is to develop a vision for the arts in Maidenhead, and an associated strategy to implement the vision," he wrote.
The 'working party' was set to meet for the first time on Wednesday to look at how to move things forward.
Suggestions can then be put to MaDAC's AGM, which should be held this month or as soon as possible after.