Community Culture Demonstration Projects 2017-2019
Modelling culture as a driver for sustainable communities

Rationale: Agenda 21 for Culture contends that culture can deliver vitality, identity and innovation for communities. Culture forms a fourth dimension and helps roll together the established pillars of sustainable development – economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Development can only be sustainable if culture is given a central role.[1] Too often ‘community’ and ‘place’ areregarded as audience and site for the professional arts, with emphasis solely on the consumption and production model to the detriment of a focus on active participation and community development. The integration of culture, and art as an expression of culture, into a sustainable development agenda requires collaborative work with communities as co-creators of their activities in the present and their hopes for the future.

1) Adopt the Charter for Cultural Rights, developed after workshops in Galway and beyond and deploy the Charter, as a concrete research, learning and programming framework to pilot, test and assess the impact of community culture projects that prioritise community engagement.
2) Demonstrate that the Charter for Cultural Rights can beapplied to give expression to, and to measure the impact and value of the ‘outreach’ aims of Galway 2020; of community-led participation in Agenda 21 Pilot Cities Initiative; and cultural rights in the new Cultural Strategy.
3) Develop a toolkit to be used to proof actions of Galway 2020, Agenda 21 Pilot Cities Initiative and the Cultural Strategy to ensure compatibility with the nine grounds of the equal status legislation and socio-economic accessibility, and compatibility with the public sector and human rights duty introduced by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.

Local community development is about values, people and place. Civil society, including activists and artists, has a central role in developing sustainable urban and rural space. The vision for this initiative is to cultivate processes that embrace culture as a driver of integrated, sustainable and transformative practices within communities, and to ensure that opportunities created are accessible to all.

To demonstrate the potential of the Charter for Cultural Rights as a guide for community culture practice that innovates, empowers and engages within local communities.

- Engage with 3 practice sites in Galway (city and country) to develop capacity and capability initiatives to engage in participatory research and innovation that demonstrates community culture in action.
-Deliver a model to embed the public sector duty to have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality and protect human rights in local arts and culture institutions in order to advance a focus on equality, cultural rights and values-based planning and programming.
- Develop a community culture practice series of publications to capture the histories and imaginaries that have informed the development of Galway’s diverse communities (city and country).
- Stimulate new solutions to challenges of community-led participation models by supporting a strong voice for civil society in the Culture 21 - Pilot Cities Initiative.

Impact :
-Transformative potential of community-led cultural development and its sustainability demonstrated.
-‘Knowhow’ developed which can equip projects with reflective practices that use a rights perspective.
-‘Showhow’ applied with critical processes to document the learning and lessons.

[1] Culture 21, Agenda 21 for Culture

Upload Music Files - Listen Audio - Charter for Cultural Rights

The Community Culture Strategy is a legacy of the City (Re)Searches: Experiences of Publicness Project and was part funded (€59,600) by the Creative Europe cultural policy research strand from June 2012 until May 2014.