Unlocking change

Create Gloucestershire

Create Gloucestershire

Create Gloucestershire is a network of people and organisations from across the arts and cultural sector. They work with a range of strategic partners from across different sectors (including GPs, job centres, local authorities and the criminal justice and voluntary sectors) to research, test and share ideas to encourage arts to become “everyday” in Gloucestershire.

Art of Libraries is more than just a new programme - it is a catalyst for a new way of working and thinking across previously disconnected sectors. It is bringing a creative and innovative attitude to engage differently with children and young people - to convince them that libraries aren’t just places to be quiet.

Pippa Jones, Director, Create Gloucestershire

Create Gloucestershire incubates cross-disciplinary work that a single organisation could not achieve alone, providing a single-entry point for commissioners and funders.

Their projects include Art of Libraries, which is a collective change programme across the library, arts and education sectors in Gloucestershire. The shared vision is a vibrant and diverse arts and cultural offer in libraries across Gloucestershire that sparks and sustains a daily creative habit for children, young people and their parents and/or carers.

In response to COVID-19, Create Gloucestershire developed Create Health, which scales their existing arts on prescription services and adds a home delivered and digital offer focussing on 9,000 vulnerable households in Gloucestershire.

Connection to Esmée's strategy

Long-term outcomes
  • Communities are strengthened and transformed through a collaborative approach to culture.
  • Local people and local artists are at the heart of change.
  • Community-led art and creativity are central to local policy and decision making.
  • Community-led art is valued by funders and statutory agencies as a central element of community regeneration.
Alison Holdom, Funding Manager, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Both Art of Libraries and Create Health build on Create Gloucestershire’s experience of working across sectors and within communities.

Art of Libraries aims to develop a new model and network of artists, cultural organisations, schools, parents and community activists, committed to offering a distinct but complementary space for children and young people to explore, play, take risks and experiment. We believe the work will have value, creating a model which can test and embed sustainable practices and have a wide impact.

Create Health complements a broader response that the NHS already funds in Gloucestershire, which is demonstrating that place-based co-production significantly improves the health and wellbeing of individuals taking part and prevents them feeling the need to use statutory services. We believe the work will have value beyond the immediate impact of COVID-19 as it will support venues involved to test and embed sustainable practices, which offer a route for improved community wellbeing.

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