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Funder Focus - Creative Civic Change

Our fantastic Greater Creative working party are continuing to work hard to plan and bring you more local creative projects to get involved with, even though we're all currently living a more restricted lifestyle. You might have thought over the last few months "where does the money come from to pay for all of this?" The Greater Creative project in Blackwell Parish is kindly funded by Creative Civic Change, a branch programme from Local Trust, a place-based funder supporting communities to achieve their ambitions.

Creative Civic Change is a partnership between Local Trust, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The programme launched in May 2019 and supports fourteen communities across England to use the power of the arts and creativity to create meaningful civic change in their areas. Residents are in the lead every step of the way. Whatever the local priorities, the programme will help these communities use creative methods to achieve them. Over the next three years the programme will provide each of the fourteen communities with funding of up to £200,000 in addition to a substantial programme of support, including networking, mentoring, peer-to-peer support and skills development.

Strategic aims

At the heart of this programme is a shared desire to create a deeper knowledge and understanding of what community-led cultural activity looks like in action.

The programme wants to achieve three main things:

  1. Improvements for the communities involved. Creative Civic Change aims to support communities to achieve the goals they set for their local area. These goals are many and varied but include; improving public space, creating community hubs, reducing loneliness and isolation, and many more. Through the three years of activity we hope that each area will build stronger and more resilient communities that can continue this work for years to come.

  2. Benefits for Artists and Arts Organisations. Created partly in response to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Inquiry into the Civic Role of the Arts, Creative Civic Change aims to explore the civic role of the arts, artists and arts organisations. We are interested in the dynamic between artists and arts organisations and communities when communities take the lead. We hope this programme will challenge top-down modes of engagement and push artists and arts organisations to work in a new way with communities in which power is shared and respective expertise is highly valued.

  3. Influence. We hope that this programme will have a significant influence on arts funders, community funders, the arts sector, and policy makers, encouraging them to take a less top-down approach to community projects. Through this programme we hope to collectively demonstrate that resident-led creativity should be at the heart of any strategy to make communities thrive.

“The great thing about Creative Civic Change is that it’s not bureaucratic and it’s not about targets, tick-boxes, or outcomes. It’s very human and understands that all humans have it in them to be creative.”

Billy Dasein, REMAKe (Revolutionary East Marsh Arts Kollective)


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