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Principles of an arts organisation playing a civic role

Based on our research we have identified the characteristics of and operating principles shared by arts organisations that have a strong civic role.

Are Rooted In Locals Needs

These organisations understand their role in their localities. They are aware of, and respond to, opportunities to work with other community partners including those from other sectors to meet local needs.

Develop Community Agency

The local community plays a significant role in determining the artistic programme.

Capability Build

These organisations are effective in developing community skills, capabilities and creativity.

Build Social Capital

Often significant volunteering opportunities are provided. Sometimes the organisation focuses on encouraging kindness, empathy and understanding of others.

Champion Artistic Quality

This is quality in both process and in artistic output. They tend to believe that in order to have a positive social impact, the art produced must be of the highest possible quality.

Champion Diversity

They aspire to fully represent their communities and to tell untold stories and to give a platform to people and issues which may often be ignored or insufficiently recognised.

Provide Change

They encourage discussion and debate often on difficult issues. They challenge prevailing orthodoxies and ways of working.

Are Open and Reflective

They engage in on-going reflection and dialogue and are open to challenge.