Imagining Community – Thoughts From The Chair

We had a very exciting and invigorating conversation about our community and how creativity can help bring about positive change to that community.

There was a panel discussion, an open discussion and further smaller conversations over tea and biscuits. Many thanks to all that came and made it such an interesting afternoon.

The event was recorded and will be presented publicly soon, but here are some bullet points about what was discussed.

  • Meaningful conversations come from building long-term open discussion and relationships.
  • We all work in our own silos too much. There is a need to poke our heads out and see what everyone else is up to.
  • We treat our communities far too much as a data resource rather than as human beings.
  • Creative practice can have a profound effect on the emotional wellbeing of our communities.
  • There is tremendous pressure on organisations to evidence hard outcomes and data. This leads to risk aversion and a lack of soft outcome-based work not being done.
  • We need to change the fundamental culture of society to be more open to creativity as a natural part of our communal lives.
  • Difficult conversations need to happen more often.
  • Creative groups are perfect places for positive social interaction.
  • Organisations shouldn’t be about giving communities a voice but about communities finding their own voice.
  • It can be hard for individuals from professional organisations to be public figures and they also need our support.
  • ‘Soft’ interventions can stop people from hitting crisis points and take pressure off things like the health service.
  • Our society has become too rigid and outcome based. We need to get back some of the fluidity in how we work together.
  • It isn’t as much about the money as about the time to be with each other and to listen to each other.
  • It would be great to have art in public spaces more and for artists that work outside of formal groups to have places to show their art.
  • Let’s all just slow down and smell the flowers!!

This list is in no way complete but is more a quick top of my head refection on what stuck in my head from the discussion. It was so wonderful that on a hot early summer Sunday afternoon 20 or so people were happy to come together and share their thoughts and their passion for our community.

I would like to thank Ali Rigg, Dr Arabella Onslow (Market Street Medical Practice), Matt Butler from (Space2Create) and John Hall (Artspaces) for being such a wonderful panel. Andrew from Hannah Directory for coming all the way from Huddersfield to deliver the directories to us in Dalton. Janice Benson who had to miss chairing the panel discussion due to health issues and everyone who came along and chipped in.

Look out for more Imagining Community events in the near future.