About Why We're Here Why we're here Voluntary Arts works to promote and increase active participation in creative cultural activities across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Our Purpose To celebrate, encourage and champion people expressing themselves creatively in their everyday lives and practising their creativity socially with other people. The fact that so many people have, for so many years, chosen to spend their time undertaking creative cultural activity means that it is self-evidently valuable. Voluntarily doing creative cultural activity is not just a nice thing to do, it is the key to a happy human life. - Martyn Evans, Chief Executive, Carnegie (UK) Trust, July 2018 Our Strategic Priorities 1. Building strong connections and relationships to support participation in creative cultural activity We are leading a movement across the UK and Ireland, in which people, groups, organisations and networks involved in everyday creativity come together, along with government and policy-makers, to connect, share and learn from one another. We will use our connections to develop a variety of self-sustaining networks to support creative cultural activity. Intended outcome: a more supportive environment for creative cultural activity. 2. Demonstrating how taking part in creative cultural activity improves social connectedness We are developing projects and gathering evidence to show that regular creative practice with others improves can reduce loneliness and isolation. We will share case studies and research to persuade the general public that taking part in creative cultural activity can decrease loneliness and increase wellbeing. Intended outcome: a deeper public understanding of how and why being creative with other people can decrease loneliness and increase wellbeing. 3. Opening up more public spaces for creative cultural activity We are working with others to protect and promote civic spaces (arts venues, community centres, parks, libraries) for creative activity, by providing information and guidance, sharing innovative examples, and connecting the people who need a place to be creative with those who own/run them. We will share models of innovative use of public spaces for creative cultural activity. Intended outcome: available space is well-used and people looking for a suitable place to be creative feel connected and informed. Our Values The following values inform all our activities: We value creative groups whose activities are shaped and directed by the people who take part in them. We value situations where everyone is treated equally and feels included, and are actively working to increase opportunities for people to be creative. We value the pooling of knowledge, skills, contacts, venues and equipment to enhance creative cultural activity, for the common good. More information about Voluntary Arts can be found in our 'Governance Handbook' and appendices, our Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association. The latest Annual Accounts from Voluntary Arts are also available.