Citizens for Culture

Citizens for Culture is a joint project by Trinity Community Arts, St Paul’s Carnival and Citizens in Power aiming to shape citizen-led cultural plans for the West of England by establishing a Citizens’ Assembly for Culture. The initiative seeks to address the exclusion of local communities and individuals from traditional decision-making processes.

The Foundation provided seed funding alongside the Arts Council and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) between 2021-2023 to fund a group of cultural organisations and freelancers to create a citizen-led design for a citizens’ assembly for culture as well as developing a wide base of support for the assembly. The design phase led to the ongoing support of WECA. 

The Foundation has contributed a total of £110,000 to Citizens for Culture, alongside funding from WECA and Arts Council England, to facilitate citizen participation in the assembly process.

The project will bring together a representative group of people from across the region – selected via a democratic lottery – to participate in the Citizens’ Assembly for Culture. The citizens involved will experience a deliberative process of research, evidence gathering, learning and deliberating, and together will make recommendations for a regional cultural delivery plan.

During the project’s design, Deliberative Workshops brought together collaborators to develop a model for the assembly. In September 2024, 40 citizens from across the region will convene to review evidence and work together to create a Cultural Delivery Plan for the region. The hope is that the outcomes can be disseminated and replicated by other local authorities to feed into their cultural policy shaping and bring the sector together to put cultural decision making in the hands of communities.

This project sits within the Foundation’s Access to Culture programme. We partner with institutions at a national level to shift decision-making processes in the UK and beyond towards citizen-led approaches. By working with local people and influencing organisations to adopt citizen-led strategies in planning, operations and delivery, we aim to help foster a more inclusive and democratic cultural sector.

Updated on 12 june 2024

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