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Creating the future - an essay by Maddy Costa

One of a series of essays written by independent thinkers exploring how people and places are changing through Big Local

April 2019

Maddy Costa explores how four Big Local areas – Newington, Clubmoor, Devonshire West and Winterton – are each using arts and creativity to transform their neighbourhoods. Within the context of the Arts Council England’s proposed strategy for 2020-2030 which puts the expansion of opportunities for every citizen to do creative things at its core, Costa suggests these Big Local communities are at the forefront of a major cultural shift.

“You’re not coming in to tell people what art is, you’re coming in to expose them to different kinds of art and from that they create their own from their own experience. I think we're all artists, just in lots of different ways.”
Sarah Nicholson, volunteer, Newington Big Local

Read the essay


"I'm not arty": Dispelling a Big Local myth - Maddy Costa

Other essays in the series

'The grammar of change: Big Local neighbourhoods in action' - David Boyle

'New seeds beneath the snow?' - Julian Dobson

'Skittled out? The collapse and revival of England's social infrastructure' - Dan Gregory

'Community Spirits' - Stephen Bates

'Designs on the past'- Carey Newson

'Building wealth' - Hazel Sheffield

Local Trust podcast - Creating the future

This episode explores how four Big Local communities have delved into arts and creativity as a way to express their identity, manage conversations, and transform their communities. This podcast discusses how people can foster a vibrant arts culture as a means of achieving significant civic change.

Participants: Maddy Costa, author of ‘Creating the future: Art, communities and change’. Leila Jancovich, University of Leeds. John Mulligan, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. Annie Rigby, Unfolding Theatre. Grace Bremner, Local Trust. Moira Sinclair, Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Patrick Fox, Heart of Glass. Daniel Ryder, Clubmoor Big Local. Chaired by: Matt Leach, Local Trust.

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