A new £4m funding programme aims to help communities transform themselves through arts and creativity.
Creative Civic Change is a joint initiative by the Big Lottery Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and Local Trust, and aims support communities in addressing specific social issues.
It is open to Big Local areas, and community groups and community organisations 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. Alongside direct funding, the programme will offer mentoring, coaching and peer-to-peer support, networking and guidance.
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, closing on 28 September. From October, Communities taking part will design their projects from October and consider the support they need. At least 10 communities will receive funding, and these will be announced in February 2019.
Laura Drane, Creative Civic Change programme manager, said:
“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.”
Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive at the Big Lottery Fund said:
“Our funding will enable communities to come together, using culture and creativity, to shape where they live. The programme has been co-designed so that local people take the lead in deciding what to do in their community and we are proud to support it.”