Medway Council, as part of a consortium, has been awarded a share of more than £1million to increase participation and engagement in the arts, in collaboration with local people and organisations.
Arts Council England has awarded Swale and Medway consortium a total of £1,476,000 over the next three years.
The Swale and Medway consortium was successful in applying for a commissioned grant from ACE’s Creative People and Places programme, which is designed to empower communities to take the lead in shaping local arts provision.
The consortium comprises Swale Council for Voluntary Service and Volunteer Centre; Medway Council for Voluntary Service; Artlands North Kent; LV21; Kent Architecture Centre; Creek Creative Studios; FrancisKnight – project managers for Leysdown Rose-tinted; and FellowCreative.
The consortium will showcase and test new arts activities, support local people to develop their own creative ideas, help strengthen existing arts provision and celebrate what’s great about the arts.
Three local authorities (Medway, Swale and Kent) will work with the consortium to develop the project. The consortium will be working with locally based arts and cultural partners to do this, including: Royal Opera House Bridge Organisation, South East Dance, and Kent County Council Libraries and Archives.
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “This is fantastic news for Medway. Medway Council has long been a great supporter of the arts in this area. The annual Fuse Festival is evidence of the number of artists living and working in Medway, and the general public’s interest in arts, culture and getting involved.
“Being awarded this grant is a testament to the strength of partnership working between the council, the voluntary sector, creative professionals and local communities.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what the project delivers over the next three years and I hope this investment encourages more people to get involved with the arts and culture.”
Carl Jeffrey, Founder of FellowCreative and a member of the Swale and Medway consortium, said: “We are thrilled to have the support of Arts Council England. This substantial investment will make a real difference to the communities of Medway and Swale. The long-term aim of our Creative People and Places vision is to enable a spirit of creative experimentation and the art of doing, together.
“Initiated by an ever-developing network of small-scale, grass roots individuals and organisations, we hope that Medway and Swale become widely recognised as places where all forms of creativity can thrive; where communities directly benefit from the power of the arts to make positive changes in people’s lives; where new routes for engagement are opened up through testing out pioneering and experimental approaches.”
The projects will be delivered by consortia and partners which include arts organisations, museums, libraries, local authorities and commercial organisations working in collaboration with the local community, grass roots organisations and the amateur sector.
To contact the Consortium or to register your interest in the Swale and Medway project, please go to: http://CreativePeoplePlace.info, or email contact@CreativePeoplePlace.info

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