DCMS submissionThe social impact of participation in culture 2018
Our recent submission to DCMS, “The social impact of participation in culture” (January 2018), summarises much of our cultural work over the last few years in terms of social impact.
The summary suggests:
- Engagement skills are as important as excellent art, and ‘everyday culture’ and activities that are fun, are good at boosting access. Libraries make accessible hosts and community-led work particularly enhances social assets. Transport is a big barrier.
- Creative encounters can engage people considered ‘hard to reach’ – they capture attention, create appealing, experiential learning and are social. Stewardship and asset-based approaches are a strength.
- Place-making is a USP, but we need to focus more explicitly on environment. Place-making does not necessarily need newly commissioned work, but quality is important. Sense of achievement coupled with pride in product or place is a potent mix.
- Culture contributes to learning, but shouldn’t only be valued by impact on formal education or jobs. Personal capabilities and skills that lead to hobbies are valuable.
- Culture can create ‘flow’ and enhance mental health and personal wellbeing. It can impact isolation and relationships within families, teams, and communities – but these are not necessarily compatible and relationships must be handled with care.
- Economic impact from upstream and preventative work, with savings to the public purse must be explicit. Working with businesses for productivity is an area for economic growth.
- The fragmented sector undermines many opportunities, not least career progression and commissioning.
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