A thriving, creative society where people are kind to themselves, each other and the world.
Our work uses the arts and creativity to encourage empathy and kindness. We often work at the heart of communities, co-creating participatory artwork around themes that explore ideas related to kindness. We also work in schools, delivering Arts & Kindness programmes, and we run training and artist development schemes designed to share our learning and our methodology. Our work is underpinned by research, much of it supported by the School of Psychology at the University of Kent. Whilst based in Canterbury and working primarily in the South East of England, we also work in partnership with organisations, communities and artists from across the UK.
Our work is characterised by being:
Participatory and Creative: Our work is imaginative, accessible and high quality. We use a whole range of art forms (from music, theatre and photography to storytelling, visual and digital arts) to engage and inspire people.
Well-researched and Evaluated: We use evidence drawn from theoretical and experimental research studies on positive motivation, creativity and behaviour to inform our work. It is important that our work builds on, and adds to, the academic research in this field. We have a thoughtful approach, we try to take our time, creating space and incorporating reflection into all our projects.
A Catalyst: We develop projects that have a multiplier effect and have a real legacy. Our projects are run on a local level but are designed to be replicated and shared nationally and internationally.
People United pioneers work that genuinely engages marginalised communities and leads on rigorous research on the social benefits of the arts. They are generous in sharing knowledge and learning and instrumental in strengthening the cultural sector in the county and at a national level
Tony Witton, Arts & Culture Manager, Kent County Council.
This is vital work. People United is a leader in its field because it systematically uses hard scientific evidence about what motivates altruism and positive social behaviour to guide practical and creative solutions in situations that really matter for people.
Dominic Abrams, Professor of Social Psychology, Director, Centre for the Study of Group Processes, University of Kent