Creative People and Places has people at its heart. It’s about more people taking the lead in choosing, creating and taking part in brilliant art experiences in the places where they live.
Creative People and Places takes place in areas, where evidence shows that people are less involved in arts and cultural activities than elsewhere in England.
As an action research programme, we are experimenting with radically different approaches to inspire and excite people about the arts. We will take risks, reflect on what worked and what didn’t, gather evidence and share our learning widely.
Developed by Arts Council England with investment of £37m from the National Lottery, the programme will run initially between 2013 and 2016.
There are now 21 independent Creative People and Places projects in areas where people have traditionally had fewer opportunities to get involved with the arts. By talking to people about what they want to see happen locally, each project is creating a distinctive programme that’s unique to the people and places that have shaped it. Local people are involved with Creative People and Places projects as participants, decision-makers, artists, volunteers and of course audiences.
Between 2013 and 2015 over 1 million people attended arts events or participated in arts activity in their local community as a result of Creative People and Places.
In 2015 90% of our audience were from lower/medium engaged groups. These segments make up 78% of the English population so lower engaged segments are over-represented in the Creative People and Places programme compared to their distribution in the population as a whole.
Great cultural experiences bring communities together but also have a bigger impact on local areas, on people and their families. We aim to make a lasting change in communities. We will increase the number of people inspired by the arts, as well as help them develop skills, and grow ambition and creativity in their neighbourhoods.
This work takes time. Long term collaborations between local people, artists and partners are therefore fundamental to Creative People and Places. They will ensure that arts and cultural programmes will continue to thrive beyond 2017.
Projects are being developed with a diverse range of partners including health authorities, local businesses, schools, commercial entertainment industries, bus companies, community and voluntary groups, sports clubs, housing associations and local authorities.
We take a broad view of the arts and recognise the value of local art groups and creative activity at home. This is as important as the large-scale arts events created with and for communities.
Each Creative People and Places project is run by an independent consortium of organisations. The programme has grown out of the Arts Council's ambition to achieve great art for everyone.
Arts Council England’s aims for Creative People and Places:
- More people from places of least engagement experience and are inspired by the arts
- Communities take the lead in shaping local arts provision
- The aspiration for excellence is central - this covers both excellence of art and excellence of the process of engaging communities
- To learn from past experiences and create an environment where the arts and cultural sector can experiment with new approaches to engaging communities
- To learn more about how to establish sustainable arts and cultural opportunities and make this learning freely available across the cultural sector
- To encourage partnerships across the subsidised, amateur and commercial sectors
- To demonstrate the power of the arts to enrich the lives of individuals and make positive changes in communities
- That activity is radically different from what has happened before in each place
Mad Hatters Tea Party on the Marks Gate estate, Creative Barking & Dagenham
Make Good neighbourhoods commission, Creative Barking & Dagenham. Photo: Anita Adeshina