Cultural Playing Field

Creative People and Places: St Helens by Robin Simpson
October 16, 2013, 1:11 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , ,

On Monday Laraine and I were at the Saints Stadium in St Helens to meet the new Creative People and Places consortium. The Heart of Glass programme has been awarded £1.5M from Arts Council England. It is being led by the Saints Community Development Foundation in St Helens, which will use both Rugby League and glass – two strong cultural identities of the town – as starting points to create arts experiences to inspire local people. It is great to see how importantly the role of existing amateur arts groups is being considered by all the Creative People and Places consortia in their three-year programmes to increase engagement in the arts. Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “Creative people and places is unique because, for the first time, the doors are thrown wide open to communities, and, amongst others, to amateur and voluntary groups. We’re asking them to get involved in creating arts activities they know they’ll enjoy. There are some great ideas coming through which I hope will really whet the appetites of people who, up to now, haven’t felt the arts are for them.” On Tuesday Laraine and I talked to the St Helens consortium about how best to involve amateur arts groups in their programme, the potential for our Up for Arts project with BBC Radio Merseyside to support planned activities in St Helens, and the lessons that can be learned from the experience of our RSC Open Stages project.

Robin Simpson.

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