Test + Learn

Question: Could a partnership consortium between arts organisations and the local authority improve outcomes for communities?

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Problem: Many arts organisations work to improve the lives and life chances of individuals and communities and their work has a significant social impact. Simultaneously, local authorities are negotiating the impact of austerity and making budget cuts to services delivered to those same communities. The scale and working processes of local authorities often aren’t compatible with those of small arts organisations, and consequently, opportunities for meaningful collaboration can be missed.

Partners: The Guild is working with senior local authority colleagues from health, adult social care and children’s services alongside a network of arts organisations and infrastructure support services based in the locality. 

Approach: Following consultation, The Guild is co-ordinating an ‘Arts for Social Impact Consortium’ in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. The consortium is open to any artist or arts organisation aiming to deliver social impact to community groups, and creates and seeks funding for initiatives, which directly meet the needs identified by the local authority.

Findings: The outcomes that we will be measuring this pilot against are:

  • Increase the number of arts and culture initiatives targeted at local authority priorities
  • Develop evidence of the ability of arts consortia to deliver on social impact
  • Increase arts provision available to disadvantaged people in Calderdale
  • Increase funding to arts and culture programmes in Calderdale
  • Reduce inequalities and improve wellbeing for Calderdale residents