Submission from Luke Skerritt, Boston Borough Council & Boston Guildhall Museum

Why do you think people in the South Holland and Boston areas don’t get more involved in the arts?

Here are a few observations I feel relevant to the above question.

I think that locally recognition of what comprises the arts or what activities that are arts based is low and agree with other submissions that this makes peoples perception of their involvement with this low when in fact they may be more engaged than they think.

I also believe that there may be a perception among those who wish to see or participate in the arts, have a cultural experience that they should travel outside of the area as locally there is little available. This could be a combination of lack of activity and/or a lack of promotion. These latter points being problematic in trying to present an offer to those who are not activily seeking engagement.

Geography, particularly rurality, plays a factor in enabling participation or allowing access to opportunities to engage with the arts. Other barriers include cost and activity outside normal working hours/weekends.

Also the gamut of activity that does take place and is delivered locally is perhaps not measured and evidenced particularly well.

What do you think should happen to encourage people to get more involved in the arts locally?

A large, structured and co-ordinated project that enables development of inspired events and activities to actively engage people with the arts. Allowing and helping facilitate project deliverers to design projects that offer inclusivity to all potential audiences and participants, and increase the profile of arts across the districts.

What ideas do you have for exciting, innovative ways to get more people involved in the arts in the area? Please also estimate how much it might cost.

I feel that a scheme to develop arts engagement would benefit from being linked to a core theme/s that are relevant locally. I personally feel that celebration of our Cultural Heritage and Natural Environment would sit well as a core theme to base activity round as we live in districts that have developed as a result of our historical activity and our influence, control and management of our natural environment. Both districts are extremely rich in these assets and they are already core to the ‘offer’ of our area to visitors as well as our local communities. To see these celebrated in innovative ways or used as a base to create something new would, I feel, have great merit.

In terms of specific projects I would hope that these would be developed as part of the dialogue that should take place between the project deliverers and the local community. However to throw my hat into the bag I personally would like to see some bold sculpture connecting our Fens, Flats, Rivers & Sky’s, and some virant projects based around our markets and centres that have historicaly been centres for the surrounding communities.