Open space notes – why don't people engage in the arts locally?

Here are some brief notes on what was discussed at the session on why people in South Holland and Boston don’t engage much with the arts.

  • Social class – art seen as too ‘posh’?
  • People aren’t involved in the planning – art done to them, not with them
  • Financial pressure and affordability
  • People don’t see themselves as being ‘artistic’ enough
  • Art not considered relevant to people’s lives
  • Lack of time, people need to know benefits
  • Lack of recognition of what activities are seen as art
  • Location – rural isolation
  • Creativity
  • What is the cultural offer and how to communicate it
  • Language and avoiding art speak
  • Access to transport
  • Lots for children, less for adults
  • Self reliance, close networking, isolation
  • Communicating  – finding out what small groups are out there and talking to them to find out what they would like
  • Developmental progress – look at what is happening now and how it can be developed
  • What happens round here? What is important to you?
  • Tensions between communities
  • Similarities between Boston and South Holland – engaging migrant workers and communities
  • Creative activity in the consultation – eg museum in a caravan
  • Need to manage expectations
  • Portable art installations – taking art out into the communities – people not knowing it’s on
  • Parking where the chip van parks! Reinventing it into an artistic experience
  • Capturing stories online – video, text, photos
  • Flash mob ideas
  • Connecting – ownership, social media etc
  • Building momentum
  • Where do you get a critical mass of people?
    • Tesco express
    • Marker place
    • Schools and toddler groups
    • Village halls
    • Children’s centres
    • libraries
    • Sub centre
    • Village shows and fetes
    • Communities contact centres
    • Other civil society groups
  • Go to the people, don’t make them come to you