(Scots Law) A common; a piece of land in which two or more persons have a common right.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Our Cultural Commons

From Peter Stark

In the next decades: most of us will be able to experience the arts and cultures of the world virtually some of us will travel to experience the arts and culture regionally, nationally and internationally but all of us will grow up and grow old experiencing and participating in the arts and culture, locally .

Our cultural life – first and last – is local.

What can we do - as creative citizens - in our local communities and with our local authorities and supported regionally and nationally to make these 'cultural commons' the life enhancing places we aspire to for ourselves, our grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren throughout our and their lives?

o What opportunities can we secure for all of us to explore and extend whatever gifts and talents in the arts we have been given and cultural interests we have developed as we grow?

o How can we ensure that exceptional creative talent born into whatever circumstance in our community can flourish to its full potential in the world while we support, enjoy and join in that journey?
o What places and programmes can we sustain and develop for our communities in all their diversity to:

• congregate to enjoy and learn from each other’s creativity and cultures (including experiencing culture in different languages, or in our language of choice);

• be challenged and inspired by the new;
• relax in nostalgia and the familiar and
• discover and celebrate our heritages - natural and built and intangible?

Will Levi Marshall of the Stove Network take to Dock Park in Dumfries with paper boats. Photo: Galina Walls
o How can we make our cultural commons places where: joy and grief can be shared; wellbeing, concern, caring, kinship and respect are promoted; happiness and laughter, wonder and curiosity and learning are everyday experiences?
o How do we ensure that our local programmes are designed 'upwards' from the assets we already know we have and can deploy rather than beginning with a deficit in what we have lost or never had?
o How do we ensure address to two of the largest problems confronting us: the personal, social and economic costs of an ageing population and the whole life consequence of skills deficits and structural unemployment for the young?

Big Burns Supper Carnival 2014
Schools, clubs, pubs, churches, chapels, mosques, temples, synagogues, shops, community centres, sports centres, arts centres, health centres, play centres, care homes, libraries, local radio, galleries, museums, heritage sites, gardens, parks, beaches and more are the infrastructure that underpins our ambition. Creative cultural activity of all kinds, woven through these institutions, empowers and energises their potential to realise that ambition.

The rapid pace of change surrounding all our local cultural spaces, including changes to local government, and the rapidly increasing digitization of the wider cultural world, means that previous models of local cultural planning are no longer effectively providing support. However there are new and emerging models, building on local cultural assets and making links with education, healthcare, the voluntary and community sector, and local government.

Local is used here to mean an area such as one served by a group of General Practice surgeries or a cluster of Secondary Schools within a single local authority.

Regional is used to mean a larger area such as one comprising a group of local authority areas with some functional and cultural coherence.

Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK  have joined together to initiate a national conversation about how communities and organisations can and do collaborate and work together to ensure effective and sustainable cultural spaces, networks, facilities and resources for themselves. To add to the conversation and debate have a read of our earlier blog post: 'A Call for case studies and examples: Our Cultural Commons'.

No comments:

Post a Comment