Public art is important because it can help celebrate a local area, creating a sense of place and belonging.
It is about empowering local people to find opportunities for work, health and wellbeing in creative activities and industries. It could be anything from film clubs and dress-making workshops to setting up your own business and communities deciding how space should be used.
Crucial to the positive transformation of neighbourhoods is public involvement from the beginning of the creative process. MHDT has developed an Arts Strategy through which local people can develop ideas for arts projects. The Strategy adheres to MHDT’s Core Values, in particular around Sustainability. Ecological sustainability will mean designing projects that do not harm the environment. Economic sustainability will mean supporting projects which help bring economic opportunities into the area, such as social enterprise.
The guiding principles of the Arts Strategy follow that of MHDT’s wider goals:
Encouraging connections between local people, community groups and wider networks. This will include:
- Encouraging projects and practices that enable inter-generational and inter-community conversation and cohesion.
- Connecting local residents with local artists, craftspeople and creative organisations.
- Encouraging people to have a voice with which to speak to policy makers or powerful institutions through artworks and artistic activities
- Connecting people to professional opportunities
Empowering the community
Ensuring that people are engaged in the creative processes from the beginning, in the development and production of projects.
- Supporting local creative practitioners professional development
- Providing training to enable people to learn and share skills.
Using art work to open dialogues and discussions – and not be afraid to approach contentious issues – to communicate to policy and planning.
- Working with partner organisations such as Hackney Council, Genesis Housing Association, London Wildlife Trust to identify and make best use of both temporary and permanent open space that is being created and changed during the redevelopment of Woodberry Down estate. This could include the design of new street furniture and parks, using empty shops as pop-up shops and galleries and creating ambitious projects in temporary outdoor spaces.
- Using the Redmond Community Centre as a hub to showcase work, workshops and events.
- Supporting the development of nearby spaces for third sector and creative organisations to maximise benefit to local people and encourage longevity of various projects and activities.