Creative People: Our first community panel

Reflections from the Big Ideas community panel

Welcome to the first in our new series of blog posts highlighting some of the fantastic local people we work with.

We are passionate about making sure that local people are at the heart of the decisions we make – which artists we work with, the places where art happens and what we spend our money on. As well as spending time talking to local people at events, by visiting community groups and even through chatting in the supermarket, we are also establishing a range of community panels that make decisions about a specific area of our programme.

The first of these is our Big Ideas panel, a group of local community members, artists and business people who meet to assess applications received by our Big Ideas strand which funds innovative and ambitious arts projects that involve local people.

After the first round of applications was assessed and funding awarded by the group earlier this year, we had a chat with them about how they felt about being on the panel and what they had learnt.

Panel members reflected on how being part of a panel increased their knowledge of what was happening locally:

“I’m aware of the arts but didn’t know all that was going on…I’m amazed at how much we have that I didn’t know existed”

Whilst for others it has helped them with preparing their own applications, making new connections and reviewing their work:

“It was good to be on the other side of the panel – the quality, detail and ambitious projects made me review projects I am looking at; I am learning to write richer applications”

“Our physical networks have grown as a result of being on the panel”

But most importantly, they enjoyed being able to contribute:

“The more effort I put into the programme and understand the process, the more I can make a difference.”

Since the panel members were asked for their feedback they have since awarded the second round of Big Ideas investment – click here to find out more about these projects.

We have community panels for the majority of our programme, so if you would like to join one please do get in touch.

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