Dr Victoria Durrer with Kevin Murphy (Voluntary Arts Ireland) and Rosalind Lowry (Arts & Events Development Officer, Mid and East Antrim Council)
The ‘Creative Citizens Programme’ is a partnership between Voluntary Arts Ireland (VAI) and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. ‘Creative Citizens’ is an action research project that brings local people together with local and regional organisations, services and networks together through active engagement in a programme of 150 arts and culture-related events and activities. It is part of a wider investigation, called ‘Our Cultural Commons’, that VAI and its partner agencies in Scotland, Wales and England are conducting with local citizens and organisations, to explore methods for creating a local infrastructure that sustains the creative and cultural lives of local communities, based on what assets exist rather than those that have been lost. Jointly presented by Voluntary Arts Ireland, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Queen’s University, this presentation shares initial findings from the Creative Citizens Programme, which provide insight into the potential involvement of citizens in local arts development. The concept of the ‘Creative Citizen’ will be explored. Key findings from the Programme are highlighted, followed by an assessment of the challenges and opportunities that result from this type of engagement between local government and citizens.