Co-Creating Change today announced its first five commissions, awarding nearly £60,000 to five projects to effect real social change across the country. The commissions bring together artists, local creative organisations and their communities to work creatively and collaboratively together, to tackle wide ranging subjects and issues.
The five commissions are:
- Flight: The Chrysalis Collective – a programme of touring events and governance support for a new mobile learning space made by people who live or work in the Bio Region of South Devon. The programme will be devised in collaboration with Encounters Arts, a company of artists, producers, facilitators based in Totnes.
- A Women’s Manifesto for Living Well with Debt – bringing together women in Bootle with charity Venus and artist Jeanne van Heeswijk to create radical solutions for tackling an urgent issue in the local community: debt.
- The Happiness Project – helping new arrivals to Newcastle/Gateshead to come together to create happiness and cohesion in their communities. The Happiness Project will be developed with Curious Monkey Theatre.
- Exchange 62: northern disabled artists exchange – a new initiative between Artlink Hull, Pyramid of Arts, Leeds and Venture Arts, Manchester. The programme will support a disabled artist from each of these areas to develop and lead their own exchange programme with the goal of long-term social change.
- Garota Hacker – a sustainable fashion project co-designed by BAME-led ZU-UK in Newham and Lá Da Favelinha based at Aglomerado da Serra in Brazil. Garota Hacker combines accessible and creative technologies with personal development processes to empower people from economically vulnerable backgrounds to create and self-develop.
These are the first set of commissions from Co-Creating Change, a network and programme which explores the role which artists, cultural organisations and communities can play to co-create change together around the UK and beyond. The network aims to support projects in which people and partners work together to jointly develop and create, as opposed to conventional participatory arts projects, in which people are invited to join in with the work of an artist or organisation. Co-Creating Change looks to expand the wider civic role all organisations can take, and aims to share knowledge of how creative processes can be used to enact social change outside of the arts.
The network is supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Arts Council England and the Paul Hamlyn Fund, and consists of over 100 partners across the country with Battersea Arts Centre acting as lead facilitating partner.
Two more rounds of commissions will take place throughout 2019, with deadlines in September and December.
Liz Moreton, Director of Creativity and Social Change at Battersea Arts Centre said:
“We are hugely excited to announce our first round of commissions as they are such a good demonstration of the important role creativity can play in addressing some of the most important and urgent issues communities around the UK are currently facing. These projects show a range of innovative, creative and collaborative approaches that shift power into the hands of the people these issues most keenly effect and put them in the lead of shaping the change they want to see.”
Torbay resident Nina Cooper said:
“Some areas near here don’t have a cafe, don’t have shops, and don’t have a pub – Chrysalis popping up will make such a big big difference. It will allow people to get together, whether it’s a workshop, a film show or just a few teas and coffees.”
Lincolnshire-based artist Jason Wilsher-Mills said:
“As a disabled artist, who always includes support for other disabled artists within my personal art practice, I am so pleased that Exchange 62 will support three disabled artists from Hull, Manchester and Leeds. It is only through projects like this that we can truly support up and coming disabled artists and offer them the support they need while providing them with exciting new opportunities. The three artists will not only receive support from the organisations involved, but will also be able to support each other and share their work in the cities in which they are ‘exchanged’ with. This is a fantastic project, which I support 100% and will continue to support it throughout its tenure.”
Barbara Dutton of Venus said:
“As chair of Venus I very much welcome the support from Co-Creating Change. We need creative approaches and new ways to address the problems of debt that our local women face. Designing your own future, using real experience to reimagine their own futures with sustainable new frameworks, and using new radical approaches will open opportunities to think and act differently.”
Amy Golding of Curious Monkey Theatre said
“It is so easy for people to become defined by their asylum status to the extent that the person they were back home (and still are) – with all their skills, careers, families and friends – can be overlooked. Meeting such resilient, interesting, funny, complex and frankly bloody brilliant humans has been utterly wonderful. I want to see these people, my friends, who happen to be refugees or asylum seekers leading the opportunity to be visible in their communities. I’m so happy Co-Creating Change can help us do that.”
Ruth Ben-Tovim of Encounters Arts said
“Encounters couldn’t be more thrilled to have secured this commision. It is such a strong fit with the whole ethos behind Chrysalis and will provide an opportunity to really push the boundaries of co-creation to a whole new level. We can’t wait to see where the Chrysalis Flight Collective will land!”