Across the Culture Collective network, we’ve been making space for slower, deeper connections via a series of Open Space events, facilitated by our friends at Improbable. We held the second of these events this week (you can find the notes from our first event here).
Like all Open Space events, this time together doesn’t have a set agenda; participants self-organise to create their own spaces to explore issues of shared interest. Any participant can timetable a topic (or “call a session”) on something that they want to work on and nothing is out of bounds. This time, we invited people working within Culture Collective projects, and those from the wider sector too – recognising our commitment to working collaboratively and openly with others in the sector. The theme for this event marked a change in tone from our first gathering too – looking beyond the network to wider sectoral and societal change. The questions that brought us together were:
“What needs to change to support creative and community rooted activity? If activism and advocacy is to grow out of our collective activity, what should we be advocating for?”
We found space to talk about:
- The mental health crisis, and the role of (and duty of care to) artists
- Whose creativity is valued, and how to avoid gatekeeping
- Working with prejudice, tensions and conflict
- Money, and the way that funding and employment structures shape our work
- We’ll be using these conversations to shape our explorations and advocacy over the coming year.
Our Open Space events are illustrated by artist Blanche Ellis (a written description of the illustration is also available).