Supporting Arts and Enterprise Skills in Communities through Creative Engagement with the Local Area
Prof Paul Haywood
The paper reports on a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Knowledge Transfer Fellowship, ‘Supporting arts and enterprise skills in communities through engagement with the local area’ that ran from May 2009 to June 2012. The theme links a series of practice projects with external partners representing public and third sector interests and affects; social campaigning, community capacity building and citizen empowerment.
The paper reflects on the origins of the AHRC funded research and specifically draws on a public art in regeneration initiative that the team were responsible for between 2005 and 2008. The example engaged teenagers in a process creative enterprise intervention as a means of supporting their influence over capital infrastructure investments in their neighbourhood. The resulting concepts leading to funding proposed multi-agency collaborations and a principle of citizen leadership where creativity can enable and empowering. The paper explores observations about the potential of arts practice in supporting local activism and introduces a new emerging collaboration. The approach seeks to sustain the commitment of central stakeholders by focussing on metrics and benchmarks that they can own.
Perspectives relevant to the published paper have been explored through presentations at the International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference at Cardiff in 2010 and at the International Conference on the Arts in Society in Sydney in 2010. The themes and examples leading to the paper were featured in a Keynote presentation at the ‘ARTSEDGE’ conference in Perth at the invitation of the Department for Education and the Department for Culture of the Government of Western Australia in July 2008.