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#CPshortstories | Tiiu about "Arts for Social Inclusion"

CCI in BSR Creative Ports News

Our Partner Creative Estonia have co-organised the conference "Arts for Social Inclusion" on 8 June with creative industry experts such as Tom Fleming, Nikky Smedley and Toni Attard. Tiiu Allikmäe, staff member of Creative Europe, tells about the conference and the role of arts and culture during the pandemic in our #CPshortstories.

We often talk about impacts of culture during disruptions - the crisis has raised nationalism, intolerance, protectionism,  etc. and changed how do we work, communicate and play,

said Mr Tom Fleming, director of Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy and the member of the council at Cultural Policy Designers Network, while discussing the role of arts at an online conference „Arts  for Social inclusion“.

We have to reframe how to we think about society. The pandemic has brought into  focus the value of arts and culture – what people value the most. At the same time,  the pandemic has brutally exposed the inequalities in society and the arts and culture system. We do not have to forget about the role of culture in supporting health, wellbeing and social cohesion.  Positioning arts and culture to the centre of recovery from the pandemic would be a solution. Arts and culture are building tolerance, respect and trust – it is not portraying the world anymore, it’s about changing it, said Fleming.

Nikky Smedley, an international speaker, trainer and creative practitioner talked about the power of creativity she is especially passionate about.

Taking part in arts and culture gives people an opportunity to experience a sense of belonging and being  accepted (for who they are) within their communities, have valued roles in the community, have social relationships with others whom they chose and share common interests and most of all - have friends.

Toni Attard, Director of Culture Venture Malta, emphasized that it is very important to consider the interests of different groups and communicating with them could not be a project but a long-term process.

"Instead of thinking about what we can do for them, we need to think about what we can do together”, he said.

According to Toni, there is still a lot of work to do, because there are still perceptions that only a few cultural events need to be accessible to minority groups.

The conference was organised by Creative Estonia together with the British Council Estonia and Cultural Policy Designers Network as a partner. For reaching the local minorities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the conference was translated into Russian.

You can watch the conference again here.