The value of the arts and humanities is being questioned, homelessness is rising and draconian cuts to local housing and support services are coming into play. It is therefore more important than ever that cultural organisations optimistically promote great contemporary work, engage seriously with ways of including people who are marginalised and isolated, and forge innovative partnerships to deliver exciting, inspiring work.
People facing severe disadvantage are often defined by their problems and excluded from ‘ordinary’ public life. We have a vibrant public professional arts centre and the opportunity to include people facing tough times as audience, as trainees, as volunteers, as artists and as employees.
We want to widen and deepen participation, and pursue creative ways of evaluating impact. Crucially we want to enable people from diverse backgrounds to choose their own labels. We understand that our direct impact will be limited by our size but we believe we are exploring new ways of creating inclusive public space which can have an impact on how the cultural sector engages with civic society that has national implications.