The Cultural Contract: Securing the Critical Role of Participative, Community Based Arts Practice in Civil Society

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The Cultural Contract is a unique model of sustainable arts provision devised between a small inner city community Fatima Mansions and CityArts, an arts organisation working for over three decades in Dublin. The Cultural Contract is a protocol agreed between a community which has experienced severe economic disadvantage over the last thirty years yet has developed a unique capacity for arts and cultural work and an arts organisation which is evolving new models for advancing cultural work within community contexts across Dublin. The five-year Cultural Contract (2006 - 2010) has emerged from CityArts and Fatima Mansions shared belief in the centrality of participatory, community based arts practice in advancing the critical role of arts and culture in civil society. The colloquium will present six speakers, four community development practitioners from Fatima Mansions and two arts practitioners from CityArts. They will reflect on how the Cultural Contract has been built on the principal of adjacency between these two stakeholders in the research, realisation and distribution of new arts and learning programmes. The colloquium will actively explore and critically examine the potential of the Cultural Contract to provide a model of locally based arts planning and provision which builds new capacities among producers/collaborators/ in arts and cultural work. Using specific project examples the colloquium will offer a contemporary experience of how the arts can be rooted, resourced and made an integral and highly valued aspect of community and city life.


Keywords: Participatory, Community Development, Collaborative Practice, Research, Community, Cultural Contract, Principle of Adjacency, Civil Society, Sustainable Arts Provision
Stream: Art in Communities
Presentation Type: Colloquium in English
Paper: , Cultural Contract, The


Ailbhe Murphy

Artist
Dublin, Ireland

Ailbhe Murphy is a visual artist who has worked extensively in community development contexts in Dublin. Collaborative projects include Unspoken Truths 1991-1996 Once is Too Much 1996-1997, with the Lourdes Youth and Community Services, the Family Resource Centre and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. She has a particular interest in collaborative community based practice in the context of urban regeneration and in 2003 developed Tower Songs, a cross city collaborative project which engages with a number of communities in Dublin undergoing profound changes in their architectural, social and cultural landscape via major regeneration initiatives.

Ed Carroll

Community Programmer
Dublin, Ireland

For the last fifteen Ed Carroll has worked collaboratively on projects and initiatives in the youth, community, education and cultural sectors in Ireland and beyond. In 2003 he was invited by City Arts Centre to join a dedicated team to lead its two-year organisational and programming review entitled the Civil Arts Inquiry. He continues to research and realise arts and cultural programmes, which reconnect arts and cultural work to community development and civic processes such as the Tower Songs Project, which is a central aspect of his role in CityArts.

Jim Lawlor

Team Leader, Rialto Youth Project
Dublin, Ireland

For over twenty five years youth worker Jim Lawlor has worked with young people in the Dublin’s South West Inner City, in Rialto. He is Team Leader with the Rialto Youth Project who provide an integrated and extensive youth service based on the needs of young people and in particular those most at risk in the Rialto area. Together with the Rialto Youth Project team, he has developed a unique arts and cultural programme for young people supported by the full time employment of a visual artist as one of the team members. He is Chair of the Dolphin House Development Association currently negotiating an equitable development in the regeneration of one of the largest social housing complexes in the city.

Niall O'Baoill

Cultural Co-ordinator, Fatima Groups United
Dublin, Ireland

Niall O’Baoill was founding director of Wet Paint in 1983, a company's whose primary concern was the development of young people's access to and participation in the arts. In 1999, he became the Cultural Co-ordinator with Fatima Groups United where he is responsible for a series of long-term arts and cultural initiatives that create a community model for sustainable arts and cultural provision. He established the Fatima Arts and Cultural Working Group, bringing together the community and arts organization’s working in Fatima to facilitate the cultural expression of this community’s unique identity.

Joe Donohoe

Team Leader, Fatima Groups United
Dublin, Ireland

Joe Donohoe is the Team Leader of Fatima Groups United and Chair of the Canals Area Youth Service and Chair of the Canals Area Partnership all located in the South Inner City of Dublin. He has worked extensively in supporting local resident representative groups in their negotiations with the State and private developers for the equitable development of their local areas. A series of groundbreaking publications such as “Eleven Acres, Ten Steps” “From Ghetto to Greatest!”, “Our Land, Our Ground Our Futures” “8 Great Expectations” and “Dream, Dare, Do” charts the collective community analysis of the Fatima Groups United team led by Joe and makes the argument for how communities can make their voice heard in the context of the extensive regeneration programmes in Dublin city today.

Deirdre Reid

Chair, Residents Panel, Fatima Groups United
Dublin, Ireland

Deirdre Reid is a resident of Fatima Mansions. She is a member of the Fatima Groups United Team and Chair of the Residents Panel. Over the last five years she has worked extensively to liaise with residents on all aspects of the current regeneration of Fatima Mansions. She has co-ordinated a number of the Fatima Mansions summer projects which involve dedicated artists teams and up to 250 children in multi disciplinary arts events. She has participated in a number of key arts / festival events, most recently Tower Songs 2006 a performance with 11 other women residents to an audience of 300 residents. She was one of the co-ordinators of the Bury My Heart in Fatima Mansions, the closing event to mark the final demolition of the flats in 2006 that drew an audience of close to a thousand friends, residents and associates of Fatima Mansions.

Ref: A07P0134