Sector News

Common Ground: Rewilding the Garden – Report, Voluntary Arts

Common Ground - Rewilding the Garden is a new report from Voluntary Arts based on an ambitious programme of work investigating how creative activity is supported in areas of socio-economic deprivation across the UK and Republic of Ireland.


Posted: 01/08/2021

A programme of ‘Open Conversations’ undertaken from 2017-19 revealed a huge amount of existing creative activity in almost every part of the UK and Ireland. This activity is often unfunded, amateur, everyday creativity rather than professional arts but it is no less valuable. Voluntary Arts’ ‘Open Conversations’ model is based on long-form, exploratory, conversations that take place where people meet to practice their creativity.

They set out to talk to people who are successfully organising any kind of creative cultural activity in communities where there is little public investment in the local cultural infrastructure. They wanted to celebrate some of the amazing local cultural activity that is often under-appreciated, unrecognised or under-valued. They visited places where official surveys suggest there is nothing going on but there is actually a rich grassroots culture – where local people are achieving amazing things with the help of volunteers, donated materials and resources.

The aim was to surface and celebrate the full extent of voluntary and amateur creative activity within different communities of place and interest, which predominantly exists without the support of public funds. Ultimately, they wanted to explore whether the shared undertaking of creative activity has a part to play in contributing to the reconciliation of divisions within communities.


To read the full report and watch a filmed panel discussion, visit their website

"Just to say a huge thanks ... I am looking forward to progressing with this project thanks to your support, advice and guidance"

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