Report reveals positive impact of Culture Collective Programme on communities and creative practitioners
QMU has released the findings of its research report commissioned by Creative Scotland to evaluate the Culture Collective programme. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the programme's progress since its launch, highlighting its significant achievements and offering recommendations for further development.
The Culture Collective programme aimed to establish a network of creative practitioners, organisations and communities, working together to create a positive difference locally and nationally in response to COVID-19. A key element of this programme was to provide employment opportunities for freelance creative practitioners while actively engaging people in shaping the future cultural life of their local community.
Key findings from the QMU research report include:
- Impact on communities: The Culture Collective programme has successfully empowered communities by providing them with the necessary resources, support, and platforms to express their cultural identities and aspirations. Through collaborative working, the projects are reaching deep into localities, engaging many communities including some of the most vulnerable groups and those especially impacted by the Pandemic.
- Impact on creative practitioners: The Culture Collective programme has played a pivotal role in supporting creative practitioners across Scotland. It has provided them with access to flexible, ‘patient’ funding, mentorship, and opportunities to showcase their work, while enabling their professional development. In so doing it has offered a model for how funding can be used to support more sustainable careers in the arts. The report highlights that so far, the programme has created 493 employment opportunities, many of which were being rolled over into the next phase of activity.
- Cultural policy enhancement: The Culture Collective programme has also acted as a catalyst for discussions around future cultural policy in Scotland. It has effectively illustrated the importance of community-led initiatives, grassroots engagement, and inclusive representation within cultural policy frameworks. The report emphasises that the programme is developing what should be understood to be important cultural infrastructure – in terms of the networks and connections between the organisations, partners, and artists in the project locations. Evidence from the projects shows that these viable networks are vital for places to be able to deliver on the aspirations set out in Scotland’s Culture Strategy.
Commenting on the findings Professor David Stevenson, Dean of Arts. Social Science and Management at QMU, and member of the research team, said:
"Our report shines a light on the immense potential of the Culture Collective programme to build on its current successes. The programme has not only provided communities with a platform to share their stories, but it has also sparked conversations about the significance of cultural policy in fostering social inclusion and creativity. It is clear that the unique, flexible, and long term support offered by the Programme has enabled artists to make work responsive to each place, with more meaningful community-centred engagement."
“This report is part one of a two-stage process and later this year we will publish part 2 of this report, which will include a series of case studies each illustrating a distinctive way of artists and arts organisations working in partnership with communities. We hope these will add further depth and richness to our evaluation, highlighting what the projects have been able to achieve and drawing out the key conditions for success when it comes to working in this way.”
Creative Scotland’s Head of Place, Partnerships & Communities, Karen Dick commented:
"We welcome QMUs phase 1 report on the impact of the Culture Collective programme. When Creative Scotland launched the programme in 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, our main ambitions were to support artists and creative practitioners, and actively engage people in shaping the future cultural life of their communities. As the report highlights, with increased funding from Scottish Government, the funded projects have delivered far beyond our initial hopes – providing transformative opportunities for artists, communities and organisations."
“The report provides a wealth of information and examples of the breadth of work and the impact it has had so far. We look forward to continuing to work with QMU to identify opportunities for further nurturing participatory and community engaged creative practice and developing the Culture Collective programme in future.”
View the full National Evaluation of the Culture Collective Programme report from QMU.
Notes to Editor
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot
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