As part of Voluntary Arts' #CreativeNetwork series, this discussion on cultural spaces takes place each month via Zoom. This series looks at how we manage and make use of all kinds of cultural spaces now and in the future.

Some of the discussion is necessarily focused on the current challenging situation for venues and the guidance around this, but we're also very keen to encourage more ambitious thinking about how we develop better collaborative methods of using and sharing spaces in communities to make the best, most equitable use, of spaces available.

This theme relates to some of the essays in our Making Common Cause publication from 2018 which you can download for free. One of Voluntary Arts' current three strategic priorities is "Opening up more public spaces for creative cultural activity" and we are keen to bring together the best and most innovative ideas about how we can achieve this aim.

Our next session on Tuesday 8 September (9:30am) will focus on a theme of outdoor spaces, local neighbourhoods and walking groups. You can join this discussion by clicking this Zoom link on the morning of the session. We will be joined by a number of guests speaking about their work in outdoor settings, including Steve Davis, Artistic Director of Spectacle Theatre in Wales, and Gwen Hales, Lead Producer of Bristol Coddywomple.

Our first session focused on libraries and involved library staff from all over the country discussing the central role they play in local culture and what the future might look like for these kinds of hubs. 

The second session was focused on village halls, with Deborah Clarke from ACRE joining us to give an overview of how a network of more than 10,000 village halls help to provide space for local creativity across England.

The first two sessions have demonstrated that there is much to consider and a lot we can be doing together to enable more collaboration and peer learning across the cultural and community sectors. We are interested in developing the conversation around civic spaces for creativity and community and understand what these spaces are, how they are currently used and what we can do to build better supportive networks to sustain them. 

We are always open to suggestions and ideas for future topics. If you want to get in touch about upcoming sessions, contact Damien, the host of this series.