June 27, 2017

CEO Tina Corri reflects on what this means for our growing work and beneficiaries.

It is a very happy Tuesday here in the People United office. We are enormously grateful to have received Arts Council NPO funding for the third time running, and are extremely proud to be part of the portfolio. It is not an exaggeration to say that we try to live our working lives championing the positive impact that the arts can have on people and places, and so we can’t wait to get going with our future adventures across Kent and nationally.

Tate Exchange 12thApril - Photography by Jason Pay-21

This continued NPO funding underpins People United’s ambition to deliver its mission to create a more kind and caring society through the arts. We will continue to work with amazing participatory artists to create experimental new work with people around universal themes which bind us together – such as tolerance, identity and transition. We will continue to lead on research around how the arts can enhance empathy, change attitudes and perceptions, and break down barriers between people. And we will continue to work in neighbourhoods with participants of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life to uncover the best of people and places through dynamic arts activities, commissions and events which are co-created, co-produced and co-developed.

31_7_16_Kiss_BestFest_239 Photo Ben GoldThis increased investment will also help us to grow in capacity and ambition. We will expand our reach by increasing our ‘supporting others’ work regionally and nationally, helping (and of course learning from) people who want to make positive change in their own settings. This will take place through our new Arts & Kindness Mentoring Programme, coaching, Away Days, associates network and delivering new training programmes around arts and social cohesion. In schools, we will multiply our Arts & Kindness Week programmes, working side- by-side with teachers and pupils to grow a values-led ethos in schools.

Our future neighbourhood work will involve activating a multitude of social action projects running in parallel across East Kent and North Kent, along with our first ever digital artist commission. Our future research work will include helping to develop a new Arts and Pro-social Research centre with our academic partner, the University of Kent, so we can further evidence the special role the arts can play in connecting people and in growing pro-social attitudes and behaviour.Best Fest- Photo Dylan Woolf - Copy

At a time when our society can seem increasingly at risk of fragmentation, we hope that we can add further to important conversations about wellbeing, active citizenship and community cohesion. As we plough our distinctive furrow around arts and kindness, we are forever grateful to those who support us in what we do.

So a heartfelt thank you to our team, board, volunteers, partners, funders and supporters in helping our work to grow and be recognised.

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