The Art of Change
blog by Helen Willmott (Programme Director)
Every month we meet with a group of arts enthusiasts to discuss the possibilities of how cultural activity can enhance and improve our town. This group, called What Next?, is part of a national movement of around 40 similar groups around the country, bringing together arts and cultural organisations in the UK to champion and strengthen the role of art and culture in our society.
Last month, a small group of us discussed how cultural activities can help to tackle social issues in our town. We came up with a list of issues: litter, drugs, anti-social behaviour, prejudice and personal safety to name a few, and then discussed what might be causing them and how cultural activity could help tackle them.
Some of the suggested solutions were practical. We discussed how artists could work with young people to design and create litter bins and how arts can be used to raise awareness of issues and provoke discussion and debate. And we thought about how activities that bring people together, such as festivals and workshops, can help us all to feel more connected to others in our community and help us to better understand people with different points of view to us.
But most of all, we concluded that many of the issues we identified could be down to a lack of appreciation for the place in which we live. That feeling of ‘nothing good happens here’ or the result of years of news articles that have labelled Corby as being ‘grim’ and ‘unhappy’. We know that this isn’t true. That there’s so much good in our town that’s worth celebrating. And that’s why we work with artists to help us to highlight and celebrate the stories of local people, through projects such as Living Legends and Journeys of Home, and present events that give us all the opportunity to come together in the town’s amazing open spaces. And we’re planning to do much more of this in the future!
Everyone is welcome at What Next?, so please feel free to join us on 8th May, 12th June or 10th July in the B1 bar at The Core at Corby Cube.