Arts and Culture for Social Cohesion
- November 2023
Following a Cabinet Panel for Community and Enterprise held in June 2021 we examined how arts and culture might increase footfall within the 4 town centres in the district. Initially inviting several artists, creatives, and community arts groups. From that meeting it was agreed that it would be beneficial to set up an Arts & Culture networking group and the Community Engagement team proceeded to list as many arts & culture organisations they could think of including museums, libraries, galleries, community groups, theatre groups, cinemas, arts venues etc. Approximately 50 creative organisations were invited to the first meeting.
Two years later the North Herts Arts & Culture network are still going strong. It enables groups and individual artists to link up, share limited resources, work in partnership on projects and work with creatives from other disciplines that they might not otherwise be in contact with.
Smaller focus groups have been established such as Hitchin Creatives who are pivotal in organising the Hitchin Festival. Artists are linked up with local charities and community groups to bring art to the wider community.
They are also linked up with local businesses such as commercial art galleries, or retail and hospitality businesses to provide a community art trail to bringthe public into town and actually into and engaging with the local business community.
Community Partnerships Team Leader
North Hertfordshire District Council