New arts funding programme seeks to put communities in the driving seat
A £4 million funding programme enabling communities to transform themselves through arts and creativity has been announced recently.
A joint initiative by the Big Lottery Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and Local Trust, ‘Creative Civic Change’ will support communities to address specific social issues and make positive changes in their areas.
“Communities will take the lead,” explained Laura Drane, the Creative Civic Change programme manager.
“We want to work with and support communities to create positive change based on their vision for their local areas - whether that's addressing loneliness and isolation, developing people’s skills, or improving local spaces. We want to hear from people about what their area needs, whatever their priorities are, and how the arts and creativity can help.”
Alongside direct funding, the programme will offer mentoring, coaching and peer-to-peer support, networking and guidance.
Creative Civic Change is open to areas across England that can demonstrate need such as having higher levels of unemployment, a higher proportion of children in poverty or lower levels of health compared to the general population.
It was created in response to a defined need: the gap in knowledge and funding for communities to lead and deliver creative civic change and a dearth of organisations with skills and experience in supporting it.
The programme aims to:
Enable people to shape the places they live through creative methods
Give overlooked communities an opportunity to work in partnership with arts and cultural organisations
Test a new way of working and model of delivery
Give access to resources to support culture and creative led change
Create resources on community led commissioning of creative projects
Establish new networks and connections amongst individuals and organisations interested and delivering in this space.
Expressions of interest in Creative Civic Change opened on 23 July. The closing date is the end of September.
From October, communities taking part will be designing their projects and have the opportunity to consider the support they need. At least 10 communities which receive funding will be announced in February 2019.