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After being at the No Boundaries conference (aimed at creative people and organisations looking at citizenship, place and inclusion) for the past two days I have come back to the office and picked up my notes from the Creative People and Places (CP&P) conference from September 2016! I haven’t looked at them since I was there…the notes seem to make more sense now having had the space, the past two days to think, away from my desk.

I came away from the conference yesterday feeling a bit flat, asking myself “yes but what next?” There is always an oppressive government, a worry about the economy, a decline in our resources; that is the nature of a few rich men running the shop is it not?

As an arts charity what actions can we take to bring people and communities together (this was a strong theme at the conference); how can we support our artists more, reach those out of reach and make sure everyone can access meaningful and relevant art. Aren’t these the questions we will always be asking and challenging though? The point of having a creative and cultural sector, as appose to arts and creativity just being part of our everyday existence is that until that point we will always be asking and trying to answer those questions?

What do we do as a sector, or indeed as moral and privileged humans, who are not surviving but thriving do to try and open the door to creativity to the whole of the community. How do we bring new and innovative arts to communities, and at the same time make sure we get to know one another and engage people in what they want.

There is often a nervousness about supporting local people in the development and direction of any service or output…the sentence I hear a lot “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Isn’t that the case for everyone though? Isn’t there a way to curate meaningful creative delivery for all communities, for and with local people?

I think it’s probably just about opening that door; it’s the local, accessible and exciting opportunity that we provide that allows the creativity, imaginations and inclusivity to take on their own journeys within each person and community, that will then allow for quality, new and innovative work.

We all don’t know what we don’t know but we do all want to find out.

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