Voluntary Arts Ireland

The Republic of Ireland

Culture sub-Program

Strand/category: Small Cooperation projects

Deadline: 11 December 2018

Cultural operator(s): Voluntary Arts Ireland

Short description: Voluntary Arts was established in 1991 to provide a unifying voice for those creative citizens and groups across the UK and the Republic of Ireland that get creative purely for the love of it. There are approximately 63,000 groups, regularly involving more than 10 million people participating voluntarily in creative cultural activities and contributing to the common good. This activity is, and will continue to be, a critical part of both the bedrock and the grass roots of the cultural life of our communities 

Contact details: Kevin Murphy

Chief Office, Voluntary Arts Ireland

kevin@vaireland.org 

+44 7779092023

Project 

Field(s): Cross Art Form, New Cultural Practices

Description: In a world where it is becoming clear that the everyday creative things we do have a value to us, to the social fabric and wellbeing of our communities and to the health of our democracies commoning offers an alternative approach to sustaining our cultural lives. Our Cultural Commons seeks to explore a range of important commoning approaches applied within different contexts of the cultural ecosystem in order to seed new ways of nurturing cultural life that not only complement the traditional support structures provided by the Market and the State, but provide alternatives when needed. We are proposing activities that can explore the following areas of interest:

• New governance and business models that are more participative and collaborative and centred around common needs and bonds

• Localities as cultural commons (cities and towns, rural regions, neighbourhoods)

• The digital and online cultural commons

• New financial and funding models 

• The making of art as a commoning and peer-to-peer practice

• How cultural democracy can be enabled through commoning

Learning from across the project elements gathered through evaluation will be shared between the project partners and the wider community. It will also inform the development of a network of cultural commoning practitioners which the project will help establish.

We intend that each partner take a lead on one or two of the areas of interest outlined above and devise a programme of activities that will trial new approaches in practice. 

Countries: The project will be led from Ireland so countries facing similar challenges or working on similar scales will be helpful but not essential

Profile:Kinds of organisations you’re interested in working with

We are interested in hearing from:

- arts/creative industries organisations or collaborative networks active in or actively exploring the commons and commoning as a practice

- local authorities and/or place-based creative collectives 

- cooperatives active in the creative sphere including online platform cooperatives and peer-to-peer based organisations

- universities or research institutes active in this sphere 

Partners involved are likely to see the need for transformative innovation and already be active in seeding positive change in the broad field of culture and/or the more specific fields of the arts or creative industries

Although urban commoning is not our only focus this policy reader may be helpful in giving further context: https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/city-commons-policy-reader/2016/07/22

Our ‘definition’ of cultural commoning may also be helpful: 

‘the process of pooling capabilities and material resources to make culture together, wisely and hopefully, for mutual benefit’

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