Case study 1 | Experiments in Place Making | 54 | Case study 1 | Experiments in Place Making
thE naturE of an ExpErimEnt
One thing that makes Experiments in Place Making dierentrom more traditional arts interventions is its genuinely experimentalnature. Each project is a dierent attempt to remodel the relationshipbetween the artist and the citizen and to integrate creative with socialpractice. The artist has to create a project design that is sensitiveto local needs and that oers more than a targeted workshopapproach. Ideally, their intervention should act as a catalyst or socialand even political engagement. Although each experiment is smallscale, it should serve to show how a more lasting change mighthappen. It could then, in practical terms, provide something solidor council ocers and artists to build on.Out o this programme can come not just greater social engagementamongst people living in the same place but the possibility o a morecreative and productive relationship between citizens and their localgovernment. These experiments provide a hint o new ways in whichideas can be exchanged and issues negotiated as part o a new andmore democratic conversation. Both the project itsel and the newrelationships it has generated will help to create a useul legacy:a new ecology or joined up practice and creative approaches toshared problem-solving. In discovering the opportunities and benets
of working in the ‘civic sphere’, artists will understand better how
their talents and skills can help to build genuine orms o community.Neighbourhood managers will understand better how local artistscan contribute to greater community cohesion and what they needto do to broker relationships between local people and their creativecounterparts.
introducing an ExpErimEnt
The Arts & Social Change strand o Citizen Power has anoverarching aim: to support the development o a fourishingarts scene in Peterborough underpinned by a stronger sense obelonging amongst its citizens. The primary strategy or achieving
this is to build ‘connectivity’ amongst artists, between artists and
the community and – most importantly in terms o active citizenship– amongst local people themselves. Artists working in Peterborough had been discussing how this mightbe achieved at the Creative Gatherings (organised or Arts & SocialChange by Chris Higgins and Fiona Lesley o the MAP Consortium).
It quickly became clear that practical examples would be needed to
underpin and inorm the debates and conversations that had begun
with Peterborough City Council’s neighbourhood managers about
eective ways o working together in the city and or the benet oits people. The Experiments in Place Making programme, launchedin October 2010, was the outcome: a resh approach to developing
community identity and civic purpose through quietly innovative
creative engagements.The Experiments in Place Making programme has worked bypartnering two locally based artists who have not worked together beore with a neighbourhood manager in order to develop newapproaches to place-making and conduct specic interventions thataddress a local need. Seven projects in seven neighbourhoods wereplanned and, a year on, our have been completed.
The primary strategy for achieving thisis to build ‘connectivity’ amongst artists,between artists and the community, andamongst local people themselves.Each project is a different attempt toremodel the relationship between theartist and the citizen.
casE study 1
ExpErimEntsin placE making