Lessons from Creative Civic Change

New report 'Preparing the ground' reflects on the learning from the initiative's initial phase
Preparing the ground

Since October 2018, 15 communities across England have been on a radical journey to transform their places through creativity. As part of the Creative Civic Change (CCC) initiative, each area has benefited from £200k of funding, given with full trust to local residents to control. In addition to this funding, each area has been given the time, support and resources to realise their vision, whether its transforming public spaces, celebrating shared histories, or bringing people together.

The experimental funding initiative, is supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), as well as Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Local Trust and National Lottery Community Fund.

This new report, ‘Preparing the ground’, reflects what has been learned at the start of this journey, as communities worked together to shape plans, create connections and plant the seeds of creativity. It focuses on what was happening between the project starting in 2018 and COVID-19 and the first lockdown in March 2020; it describes the different neighbourhoods taking part in Creative Civic Change; outlines their activities and priorities, and shares learning and reflections from the projects themselves, their Critical Friends, and funders.

Grace Bremner, Senior Programme Coordinator, says: “CCC is a funding programme in which every single person involved – funders, residents, artists, and researchers – are learning and growing together. [This report] is the story so far, but there is so much more to come.”

View the report


This is the first of a series of reports sharing the learning and outcomes of Creative Civic Change, compiled by the project’s independent evaluation team of Sarah Boiling, Anousheh Haghdadi from Beatfreeks Consulting, and Amanda Smethurst. The Foundation is supporting Creative Civic Change as part of our work on The Civic Role of Arts Organisations.

Updated on 04 january 2022

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