Oh. What. A. Night. Wonderful people, lots of cake and some spine-tingling singing. And of course our new research report – which is now out in the world spreading our notion of radical kindness.
Following years in the making (gathering content and evidence), months in the planning (so what if our ten year anniversary celebrations run into our 11th year?!) and weeks of writing and design (long days, brilliant team work), it was an absolute delight to finally launch Changing the World through Arts and Kindness at Tate Exchange a few weeks ago.
It was also a joyous celebration of the last decade of our work as lots of our wonderful partners, participants, artists, funders, teachers, trustees and volunteers descended upon Tate Modern to share the occasion with us.
After all – it was a celebration of something that we all hold in common – a belief in the arts to change people’s lives for the better. It was made all the more special by being hosted by Tate Exchange with such great warmth and enthusiasm and being part of the ambition for that amazing space (which is all about exploring how the arts can affect social change).
Not only could we showcase the films and music produced over the years through our work, but we listened to the wise words of our guest speakers including Professor Dominic Abrams, international expert on pro-social behaviour at the University of Kent, who charted his research journey with us from sceptic to convert, and artist Maria Amidu, also one of our trustees, who spoke strongly of radical kindness.
A major highlight though had to be the wonderful Ordsall A capella Singers (Wonderstruck)- singing the roof off about the wonder of the world and our place within it – reminding us what it’s all about and why we get up in the morning to do what we do.
So what happens now?
At People United, we see ourselves as a catalyst for social change and it’s really important to us that we can add usefully to conversations around wellbeing, social cohesion and the importance of art and creativity in our schools. So please do share this report, tell us what you think of it, and let us know how we can work together with you, using the learning from this report to make positive changes to where we live, work and learn.
Please get in touch at [email protected] so we can start a conversation whether you are a policy maker, researcher, teacher, artist, cultural organisation, community development practitioner or active citizen.
Come along to our Arts and Pro-Social Research Group meetings which are open to all and happen on the last Monday of every month at the School of Psychology, University of Kent, starting on Monday 30 October. Contact [email protected] to find out more.