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Creative Civic Change

Over the next three years, 14 communities will take the lead and use creativity to generate meaningful civic change in their area

May 2019

With funding of up to £200,000 for each community, as well as a substantial programme of support including advice and mentoring, Creative Civic Change will help every area make social, economic or environmental changes that matter to them locally. Whatever the local priorities, from addressing loneliness and isolation to bringing together disengaged young people, this programme will help communities to thrive by responding in creative ways.

Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Local Trust the Creative Civic Change, the initiative is a shared desire to create a deeper knowledge and understanding of what community-led cultural activity looks like in action. Communities already using the arts and creativity to address social need in their local area were selected to take part in the programme.

Creative Civic Change is being launched in response to the Inquiry into the Civic Role of the Arts Organisations with the aims of exploring a new approach to funding community-driven projects and share experience and learning to inspire others to use the arts and creativity to make positive local change.

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Our inspiration

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Devonshire West, Thurnscoe, St Peter's and the Moors, West End, St Matthews and Newington Big Local explain why the arts matter, what it can achieve and what is so powerful about the arts and creativity for bringing a community together.

Find out how arts and creativity are being harnessed to change lives in two communities.

Newington Big Local and People United: A light in the darkness

Cara Thorpe from Newington Big Local and Tom Andrews founder of People United share their journey to establish arts and creativity in the community, and how it couldn't have happened without taking the time to work with the residents, find out what they wanted to develop something amazing that brings people from all walks of life together.

Creative Barking & Dagenham and Creative People and Places: Building cultural connections

Lindsey Pugh, Executive Creative Producer at Creative Barking & Dagenham shares how and why the arts grew to have a place in their community; Sharlene Carter explains her role as a Cultural Connector - a resident of Barking & Dagenham that runs her own programmes for young people and helps to coordinate some of the biggest cultural events in the area.

Contact information

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Programme co-ordinator

Phone: 020 3588 0576

There is more information on the programme in the briefing document and FAQs.

About the partners

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The National Lottery Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Local Trust are working in partnership with at least 10 communities to deliver Creative Civic Change in 2018-19. The partnership will support communities to lead arts and creative projects that realise their own visions for their areas. The organisations share the belief that arts and creativity can be harnessed to engage, inspire and mobilise communities, and together they want to showcase the difference creativity and imagination can make, particularly in places which are often depicted negatively in the media.

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